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Architecture Design of Raintree House

Description About The Project

Raintree House designed by Khosla Associates, inhabited by a high flying, nature loving couple and their family. When first hearing of it, build a house around a site’s existing trees sounds outlandish — like designing a car around its horn. But the designer understood Chennai’s climate. And to them, it made perfect sense. Construction began towards the end of 2014, and today, the home as it stands is a medley of indoor – outdoor spaces spread over 9,350 square feet and two floors. For this house, the tree with its sculptural roots straddling the compound wall defines the entrance court of the home and influences its imprint and location on the site.

The L shaped plan of the house has a strong North-South axis with the living area assuming a central pavilion like location with views of nature on both sides. Also, the South opening of the living area frames the giant Raintree while its North opens completely to a linear Koi pond and garden.

Once insides, the flow of public spaces on the ground floor includes living, dining, family, kitchen, study, and a guest bedroom. The family room spills out into an ample verandah that flanks the koi pond and North garden. On the other hand, the upper level of the house has the master bedroom, an open family area as well as two children’s rooms, each with views of either the tree canopy in the south or the garden in the north. Besides, the materiality of the house has large expanses of polished grey kota stone as the flooring is offset with walnut wood in certain bedrooms. Accent cast concrete walls in the master bedroom and stairwell wall complement the material language.

The Architecture Design Project Information:

Raintree House, a climate responsive Chennai home by Khosla Associates
Raintree House, a climate responsive Chennai home by Khosla Associates

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Raintree House, a climate responsive Chennai home by Khosla Associates

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Raintree House, a climate responsive Chennai home by Khosla Associates
As seen from the street, a giant rain tree straddles the compound wall. Its canopy shading the entrance to the Raintree House.

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Raintree House, a climate responsive Chennai home by Khosla Associates
Raintree House, a climate responsive Chennai home by Khosla Associates
Also, the massive leaning trunk and roots of the central rain tree are adjacent to the steps leading to the home’s entrance.

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Raintree House, a climate responsive Chennai home by Khosla Associates
The main living area overlooks the koi pond and the garden in the North. The large horizontal painting is by Mahmud Husain. The saree silk rug on the floor and the cushions are from Sarita Handa. The furniture is custom designed by Khosla Associates and manufactured by Virasp Batliwala. Besides, the large old pot in the koi pond sourced from Purple Turtles. The objects on the coffee table are from old Kochi.
Raintree House, a climate responsive Chennai home by Khosla Associates

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The sitout between the dining area and the guest bedroom of this Raintree House faces the main North garden. The lotus leaf sculpture on the wall is in black metal, and is from Abaca, Mumbai.
In the main bedroom, the backdrop of the bed is an entire wall in cast concrete. The floors are walnut hardwood, and the furniture was custom made and manufactured by Virasp Batliwala.
Raintree House, a climate responsive Chennai home by Khosla Associates

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Raintree House, a climate responsive Chennai home by Khosla Associates

The Raintree House Gallery:


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Text by the Architects: On the Southern periphery of the site stood a magnificent and ancient Raintree. That influenced the spatial layout of this 4-bedroom house in Chennai. The tree, with its sculptural roots and the giant canopy, was a primary driver in determining the layout and design of the house. We wanted the tree to be omnipresent, so we created the entrance court around its roots and positioned the living room in such a way as to have direct views of it. Also, the main compound wall on the street designed with certain cutouts to accommodate some of its branches and roots.

Photo credit: Shamanth Patil J| Source: Khosla Associates

For more information about this project; please contact the Architecture firm :
– Add: No 18, 17th Main Rd, HAL 2nd Stage, A Stage, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560008, India
– Tel: +91 80 2527 8186
– Email: [email protected]

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