Enhancing Reverse Urbanisation, A Post-Pandemic Gated Community Suitable for Socially-Distanced Living : Stone Lodges | Earthitects

 
 

Stone Lodges – Private Residences are spread across a forested hillside. Built on sloping land on the side of a mountain, they are inspired by the grammar of Mountain Lodges and the native design aesthetic.With sheer simplicity and understated elegance, each villa intertwines harmoniously with the mountain on three distinct levels and blends seamlessly into the natural landscape. Staying true to our philosophy, the materials used are natural, with wooden flooring, random-rubble walls, cobblestone pathways, and log rafters. Showcasing a joyous interplay of stone and wood, the villas are hidden amongst dense foliage and designed with unique elements, keeping sustainability and innovation in mind. Every bit is finely nuanced bespeaking a luxurious yet environmentally responsible aesthetic – A Collectible that ages graciously!

Enhancing Reverse Urbanisation, A Post-Pandemic Gated Community Suitable for Socially-Distanced Living : Stone Lodges | Earthitects

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Reverse Urbanization:

We believe that the “future of living” is our visionary philosophy of “Reverse Urbanization” as we are passionate about pioneering, creating and constantly innovating a positive change in the way people live.The advent of ultra high-speed Internet, the ability to now work from anywhere in the world, and the abundant availability of conveniences for everyday living has led us to pioneer this new philosophy in living, that we call ‘Reverse Urbanization’.A post-pandemic gated community suitable for socially-distanced living – With the ever-growing cities and with internet connectivity making ‘work from anywhere’ possible many are considering making such oases of calm, their home. A home amidst nature is what we as humans were meant to live in, as people are burned out from their regular lives and want to shift to tranquil locations. Focused on living in harmony with nature, we want to change the way people live by bringing a new dimension to luxury with the essence of the wilderness in every square foot.

A Second Home: There is now, more than ever, a need for balance and a longing for man to reconnect with nature – A longing fulfilled by the establishment of a Second home located at the lap of nature and a place to nurture one’s hobbies like Photography, Organic Farming, Gardening, Birding, Trekking and more.” We wanted to provide this ‘Second Life’ for our owners – A life that would be One with Nature! Natural Life Natural Life is about re-establishing the revealing experience of connecting with both oneself and the natural environment – a relationship that has been severed by our modern, urban-centric lifestyles and changes in the way of life brought about by today’s work culture. We re-imagined the experience of everyday living by allying with Mother Earth in designing and creating dwellings that are in harmony with oneself and the natural environment, dwellings that facilitate ‘Natural Life’.

Values of the Land: Rooted in the values of the land, we believe that every dwelling should blend seamlessly into its natural habitat and emanate from the very earth that binds us all, staying true to our philosophy by creating ‘around’ nature rather than ‘on’ it. This has been the light that has guided us in any design journey we embarked on like the design of the globally acclaimed Evolve Back Resorts and while envisioning Stone Lodges – Private Residences. Focused on designing spaces that are “One with Nature” our objective was to change the way people live. Our journey has culminated in every space envisioned and crafted, thus achieving the truest form of spaces in collaboration with Mother Earth and blending seamlessly with the greatest design to exist – Nature. By adopting the native design sensibilities of the land, our villas bespeak the ‘Spirit of the Land’ and is a blend of mountain and manor.

Location of the project: Wayanad, sun-kissed by the clouds and beloved of the Gods, is an emotion waiting to be experienced. Suffice to say that Wayanad is less of a place on the map, and more of an emotion to be experienced. It is, at once, a primal and throbbing vein that taps into its tribal heritage to infuse you with boundless energy, as much as it is a contemplative hermit that draws on hidden reservoirs of spirituality to calm your racing mind. It is a world that lives within you, as much as you live within it, and constantly exhorts you to find your own mountain. And climb it. Wayanad was an obvious choice, after all it is rated by National Geographic as one of the ‘50 must see destinations in the world.’ Besides that, Wayanad is in the wilderness, yet not totally disconnected from the wider world. Be it beautiful locations, airport connectivity, internet, restaurants or daily needs. In Wayanad one has the luxury of having a UNESCO world heritage site called the Eddakal Caves, wildlife sanctuaries, trekking peaks and other beautiful sightings right at one’s doorstep, making it the perfect place for a Second Home.

For the Homeowners The home is a collectible, a legacy that the homeowner can pass down over generations.Stone Lodges Private Residences are spread over an expanse of 13 acres of lush mountain-side that is secured with a compound and advanced security systems. Along with this, Earthitects provides facilities such as 24-hour security, upkeep and maintenance of the property, water and electricity, rain water harvesting, Harmony, Serenity and Intimacy deck for resting and entertaining guests. We also upkeep and maintain Organic Vegetable gardens, Bee-Houses(Apiculture) to conserve and protect the native bees, carefully selected Butterfly-friendly plants to welcome the indigenous butterflies in each of the estates and common areas. The integration of outdoor seating made out of natural materials and a common pond have also been planned along with a variety of unique experiences like Bird Watching, Trekking , Butterfly-Quest, Apiculture Tour, Private Outdoor Dining etc.The homeowners also have an option of renting out their homes as a holiday home for an additional income while they are not at residence through our Villa Rental Program.

Every single action taken during the journey of this project from its inception till today has set it apart from others – From the concept of ‘Reverse Urbanization to the detail of the smallest door knob.  This thoughtfully designed community allows one to experience the innate beauty of nature with every modern convenience at one’s beck and call. The design of Stone Lodges is inspired by the grammar of Mountain Lodges and the native design aesthetic. The villas are hidden amongst dense foliage and designed with unique elements, keeping sustainability and innovation in mind. Every bit is finely nuanced bespeaking a luxurious yet environmentally responsible aesthetic – A Collectible that ages graciously! The concept of Second Living is rooted in man’s need for balance – between the urban and the rural, between work and life. With the changes in lifestyle brought about by today’s work culture, this need for balance is manifesting itself in a longing for man to reconnect with nature. We wanted to provide this ‘Second Life’ for our owners by the establishment of a Second Home at the lap of nature – A place to nurture hobbies like Photography, Organic Farming, Gardening, Birding and Trekking.

We re-imagined the experience of everyday living by allying with Mother Earth in designing and creating dwellings that are in harmony with oneself and the natural environment, dwellings that facilitate ‘Natural Life’. Envisioned to intertwine with the natural slope of the mountains, the villas are designed “around nature, rather than on it”. Our journey has culminated in every space envisioned and crafted, thus achieving the truest form of spaces and blending seamlessly with the greatest design to exist – Nature.When the building comes in the way of a tree or boulder, the design is modified to go around the existing tree or boulder and accommodate it to be a part of our natural design. Thus the existing flora and natural features on the site play their part in enhancing this carefully designed living experience. Staying true to our philosophy and keeping up with our eco-friendly ethos, the materials used in the villas are natural, with wooden flooring, random-rubble walls, cobblestone pathways, and log rafters, showcasing a joyous interplay of stone and wood. The wood used in crafting the space portrays its authenticity with ‘Live Edges’ accentuating the natural character of wood. The floors, joinery, switchboards, skirting and furniture are handcrafted with live edge teak wood that adorns the spaces with warmth and grain. Rough, uncut and unpolished stone each with a character of its own, forms the thick random rubble walls of the lodges. Other natural materials portrayed in Stone Lodges are the clay roof tiles, eucalyptus poles in the ceiling, customized-finish granite for counters and stone deck floors.

Our skilled craftsmen, our team of passionate Carpenters, create and build our hand-crafted furniture and fixtures in-house. Each item at the villa is made at the property including the switch boards, joinery, kitchen counters, shower tray and cabinetry. All of this ensures that our items are unique to Earthitects and every piece conveys a unique story. The wood is intentionally left unfinished to really accentuate the live edge, and can thus be expected to age gracefully over time. While most of the natural materials are sourced from the site itself, other materials are  sourced locally to promote the nativity of Wayanad. And, to ensure no resource goes to waste, some boulders are cut to form random-rubble walls, while leftover teakwood goes into the making of fixtures and fittings. 

Stone Lodges is spread across 13 acres of lush vegetation and grand contours. Our Landscape design concepts implemented with sustainable measures encourage the protection of the native species of flora and fauna. With an uncompromising motive to maintain the ecological balance, we have created an environment where man and nature coexist with each other. With a focus on environmental sustainability, the entire site has been afforested with over 8000 endemic species of trees making it a forested hillside today. With the careful implementation of our eco-friendly landscape measures, Stone Lodges is now home to a variety of native birds, butterflies and other creatures. The integration of prolific fruit trees and birdbaths – the lily ponds, invite the birds to coexist, luxuriating the birding experience. 

While most of the natural materials are acquired from the site itself, other materials are sourced locally to promote the nativity of Wayanad. And, to ensure no resource goes to waste, some boulders are cut to form random-rubble walls, while leftover teakwood goes into the making of fixtures and fittings. The thoughtfully designed switch boards, mirror frames, knobs, cloth hangers and skirting are hand-crafted from remaining pieces of teak wood. Intentionally left unfinished to accentuate the live edge. The wood used in the crafting of the fixtures ages gracefully over time.

Challenges: The biggest challenge was to retain the natural character of the topography and features of the site with no spatial re-tailoring. When the building comes in the way of a tree or boulder, the plan was modified to go around the existing tree or rock and accommodate it to be a part of our natural design ‘ensuring that no stone is turned’. The villas were designed “around nature, rather than on it”, such that the existing flora and natural features such as boulders, play their part in enhancing this carefully designed living experience. And even those boulders and trees that we couldn’t avoid doing away with were integrated with the interior design of each villa. The challenge of designing a dwelling on a natural slope was the difference in the contour levels and how we would turn this into our biggest opportunity. We overcame this challenge by designing the villa on three distinct levels. The first and second levels house the spacious residence. Nestled amongst the luxuriance of the wilderness, the third level comprises the Exterior Deck with an infinity pool surrounded by lily ponds. Due to the levels, each deck has an endless, unobstructed view of the forest. The challenge of building on a natural slope was taken as an advantage by achieving the best views of the forest and the surrounding mountains from every space in the home. We believe that “The larger the Challenge, the greater the Opportunity”.  The challenge we faced, gave us an opportunity to design dwellings with spectacular tree-top views from every space. 

Lighting Design: The lighting design is envisioned in such a way that it follows the architecture of the space.  Automated soft lights are specially customized as per the user to provide a bespoke experience with the help of sensors.  The thoughtfully designed warm lighting is concealed such that the source of light is not visible to the eye. The interior trail is led by the soft non-glaring warmth of the lights emanating from a concealed source. Upward Lighting illuminating from the Eucalyptus poles on the ceiling, creates an arcadian setting.

Design Concept – Welcoming the Outdoors, Indoors.Crafted with sheer simplicity and understated elegance, Stone Lodges embodies nature in every inch. The inclusive design of the living room is envisioned as an intimate space that bespeaks rustic chic, allowing one to savor the essence of the woods without stepping out. Characterized by a stone feature wall, the expansive living follows the open concept without compromising on privacy.  The Viewing Deck with stone flooring  invites the natural elements of the outdoors, indoors. Specially designed and crafted in-house, the personalized pieces of furniture delineates nature in its purest form. Crafted with the live edge and unaltered texture of natural Teak, they are one-of-a-kind collectibles.

Experience ‘Natural Living’ at the Lap of Infinity.Nestled amongst the luxuriance of the wilderness, the third level comprises the Exterior Deck with an endless, unobstructed view of the forest.The infinity pool, surrounded by ecosystemic lily ponds, offers a meditative soak in the natural atmosphere. The warmth of the temperature-controlled pool compliments the cool, hilly weather of Wayanad, creating the perfect oasis of calm.

Dine in harmony with nature With endless views of the forest, the exterior deck is highlighted by stone flooring finished with black oxide. The railing made out of Eucalyptus poles creates the perfect viewing deck at the comfort of one’s own home. Surrounded by a tranquil lily pond adjoining the infinity pool, the outdoor dining space is designed such that one can dine under the soft glow of the twilight with an unobstructed view of the wilderness. Crafted from the finest teak, the dining chairs elevate the beauty of wood in its original form.

A space to ponder, surrounded by peace and serenity/Unwind and Relax under a Gazebo Set amidst the lily pond and the infinity pool, the Gazebo at Stone Lodges is crafted entirely out of natural materials. A thoughtfully designed roof made of unfinished log rafters and clay tiles is supported by four sturdy wooden poles thus creating the perfect viewing deck from the third level of the villa. Underneath the cozy ‘Gazebo’ is a Daybed to relax and unwind whilst listening to the songs of nature. With an enchanting view of the woodlands, one can enjoy the peace and serenity of nature or catch up on work even on a rainy day.

A cozy nook that allows you to be lost in thought, escaping into a world enveloped by nature. Our signature Bay Window at Stone Lodges, brings natural light into the space with a striking view of the lush landscape around. An addition to the expansive rooms, the exterior side of the bay window is covered with thick wooden poles inspired by the concept of mountain lodges. This cozy niche is perfect for a deep read surrounded by the abundance of nature.

Crafting an enchanting journey through the misty wilderness while enjoying every comfort of staying indoors. A walk through this unique ‘Bridge’ unfolds a journey that connects you to the greatest design that exists – Nature. The grandeur of the walkway is complemented by the high glass joinery all around. With light pouring across the entire stretch, the walk from one lodge to the next is an immersive experience with no visual barriers. The lighting design is envisioned in such a way that it follows the architecture as you descend. Made out of granite, the steps are lit by automated lights providing a great user experience. This picturesque walkway is the perfect space to contemplate, relax and rejuvenate.on a rainy day.

Wake up to your Second Life! A private retreat within the larger sanctuary, the master bedroom is an opulent ode to rest and relaxation. Designed to be one with nature, a private deck adjoining the space provides a stunning view of the surrounding wilderness. Portraying the natural edge, the exceptional wooden bed is the furniture of dreams! Sturdy and bold, this magnificent piece is crafted from robust teak wood. The hardwood floors made of rich teak, adorn the space with warmth and grain. The accent wall with rough-textured stone contrasts the warm wood all around.

Indulge in a bathing experience amidst the greatest design to have ever existed – Nature. Our latest creation, among our signature outdoor baths, is envisioned to reveal the freedom of taking a shower beneath the open sky. This indulging tropical shower helps one reconnect with nature with the luxury of staying indoors. Set amidst a courtyard, the organic shower tray with stepping stones is surrounded by lush foliage and natural boulders. The interplay of light and shadow is brought about by the Eucalyptus poles on the ceiling, with their natural oils and distinct texture. Made out of brass, the bathroom fixtures add an antique charm to the rustic stone wall. Mounted on the counter, is a black granite wash basin elegantly chiseled from a natural rock. The wooden cabinetry below the counter is finished with hand-crafted wooden knobs that portray our close attention to detail.

A Natural Powder Room in tune with Nature. Reimagined as an expansive Powder Room, this spacious Bath is designed to capture the true essence of nature. Accentuating the space is the branch of a tree that contrasts the clean cut mirror, thus amplifying the outdoor effect. The concealed lighting design is envisioned in such a way that light follows the architecture. An abundance of natural light through the Skylight falls on the stone wall highlighting the crude textures of natural stone. The wardrobes are characterized by mirrors that face each other creating an illusion. Showcasing our keen eye for the tiniest details, the hand-crafted wooden knobs and black iron rivets add character to the doors of the wardrobes and cabinets.

A Story in every Piece With sustainability as the core idea, up-cycled wood from construction is crafted into switchboards while maintaining its organic shape. Our Attention to the smallest details brought to life this custom-made antique brass tumbler switch which adds a vintage charm complementing the natural texture of the wall.

Sustainable Bespoke fixtures handcrafted with Uncompromising Attention to Detail. Our skilled craftsmen, our team of passionate Carpenters, create our handcrafted fixtures in-house. Each item at Stone Lodges is crafted at the construction site which includes the joinery, kitchen counters, shower trays and cabinetry. All of this ensures that the items are unique to Earthitects and every piece conveys its own story. While most of the natural materials are acquired from the site itself, other materials are sourced locally to promote the nativity of Wayanad. And, to ensure no resource goes to waste, some boulders are cut to form random-rubble walls, while leftover teakwood goes into the making of fixtures and fittings. To further the idea of sustainability, upcycled wood from construction is crafted into thoughtfully designed mirror frames, switchboards, knobs, skirting and cloth hangers. Intentionally left unfinished to accentuate the live edge, the wood used in the crafting of the fixtures ages gracefully over time. The home becomes a collectible then, a legacy that the homeowner can pass down over generations.

Mother Nature’s ‘Timeless materials’ – Stone  Rooted in the values of the land, every space envisioned by us, emanates from this very earth that binds us all. Our ecologically conscious design is highlighted by the careful selection of materials provided by Mother Nature that age gracefully. Obtained from the boulders on site, rough unpolished stone, each with a character of its own, shape the beautiful stone walls. By the skilled artistry of our master masons, they are carefully chiseled to perfection, while preserving their original charm. The rough textured stone wall juxtaposes the warm glow of wood while also providing thermal insulation. Due to its naturally high thermal mass, the walls absorb heat during the day and release it at night, cutting down on heating and cooling costs thus providing the user with comfort.

Design Philosophy – A Collectible, Designed and Carefully Handcrafted to preserve the Innate beauty of Nature. Designed keeping in mind the Earthitects’ signature style and crafted by our team of passionate carpenters, the ‘Day Lounger’ functions as a formal seater in the Living Lounge. Made out of single pieces of handpicked Teak, this seater delineates wood in its natural form. Every piece of wood, carefully selected with its intricate grain and distinct personality conveys a unique story that is translated to create our handcrafted one-of-a-kind collectibles. Robust planks of wood connected by wooden spindles serve as the backrest for the low single-slab seater. Supported by carved wooden legs, the lower slab extends to create a “built-in” side table surface. Contrasting the earthy textures of the natural stone wall, the wood is intentionally left unfinished to accentuate the “Live Edge”, and ages gracefully over time.

Handcrafted Collectibles We take pride in our unique craftsmanship and detailing in design. Our skilled craftsmen – Our team of passionate Carpenters, pay close attention to detail, always looking forward to a challenge. The ‘Earthitects’ signature design style finds its infinite expression in this unique piece of craftsmanship that portrays understated elegance. Each piece with its distinct personality elevates the beauty of teak wood in its original form combined with cane, weaved by local artisans. Carved with nature-inspired motifs, the apron of the chair compliments the handpicked natural upholstery which is carefully chosen to tread lightly on the environment. The supports are characterized by tapered ends with subtle detailing.

Coexist with the marvels of nature made possible by our Bird-Friendly Landscape Design. Stone Lodges has become home to a number of species of endemic birds that form the mysterious backdrop of the forest. The integration of prolific fruit trees and birdbaths – the lily ponds that surround the deck, invite them to coexist, luxuriating the birding experience. With the break of dawn, the enchanting sounds of the birds at your estate adds vibrance and joy to the serene setting. This unique experience of being one with nature amidst these beautiful creatures can turn anyone into a bird enthusiast! Photograph: A Grey Wagtail enjoys a dip in the infinity pool at Stone Lodges. Other species of Wagtails spotted at Stone Lodges are the White-browed Wagtail and Forest Wagtail.

Landscape that welcomes the native fauna.‘Natural Life’ is about re-establishing the experience of connecting with both oneself and the natural environment. With the whiff of nature in every breath, Stone Lodges facilitates the revealing experience of ‘Natural Life’. To do our bit towards environmental sustainability, the entire site has been afforested with over 8000 endemic species of trees making it a forested hillside today. With our eco-friendly landscape measures, Stone Lodges is now home to a variety of native birds, butterflies and other creatures. Master of Disguise: The Southern Flying Lizard (Draco dussumieri) is the only species out of a total of 40 grouped in the genus “Draco” that is found in the Western Ghats. They have a very unique body part known as the ‘dewlap’, a bright yellow-green extension from under the chin that moves up-and-down which is a code of communication between individuals. Playing an important role in the food chain, its population is fast dwindling, and hence measures have been taken for its conservation through our eco-friendly landscape design.

A Dining Experience that accentuates the serenade of the Greatest Design to Exist – Nature. Our design objective from the very inception of the idea was to afford one a tranquil dining experience that is in harmony with its natural surroundings, creating a private sanctuary to unwind. Far removed, and lost in the wilderness, the ‘Harmony’ deck is perched on stilts and designed to float amidst the verdure of the forest. The sturdy stone pedestals and wooden pole railing contribute to our eco-friendly and natural design aesthetic. Encompassed by the serenading sounds of nature, the Harmony deck is the perfect place to dine under the twilight and the soft light of the candles.

FACT FILE

Designed by : Earthitects

Project Type :  Residences

Project Name :Stone Lodges – Private Residences

Location : Wayanad, Kerala, India

Year Built :  2019

Area :  7320 sq. Ft 

Principal Architect : Ar.George E.Ramapuram

Team Design Credits : Irene Koshy, Muhammad Jamaal, Dhyana Priyadarshini, Meme Chauhan

Photograph Courtesy : Earthitects Team

Firm’s Website Link : Earthitects

Firm’s Instagram Link : Earthitects

Firm’s Facebook Link : Earthitects

 

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