At one time nature existed and man lived in, with and through it. An era too far away to remember it, perhaps an Arcadian era, a golden age. Then man decided to create places where to found companies, closer, confined relationships. Cities were born. We cannot remember this too, an event lost in the mists of time.
However, we can remember how man, although living in cities, possessed the ability to enjoy nature, sought it out, respected it. Nowadays this is often not the case. The city seems to have unquestionably dominance over the countryside, over places that do not have a well-defined border, over cool and shady places. The gap between nature and city is not an impenetrable barrier, it is an elastic border, which folds according to will.

Now the point is not to consider the city an extension of nature, the two entities are differentiated by numerous characters, and always will be. What is happening in these times is a progressive rapprochement between the two, an infusion of nature in the cities exhausted by pollution, climate change, frenzy and stress from overwork. The city remains a city, but at the same time it is full of green spaces, parks, gardens, trees and greenways.

This principle should assume that our homes may also become greener. Those who do not have a garden where they can calmly devote themselves to the activities that for many millennia have entertained the men and women who loved nature, should not necessarily give up the possibility of contact with the emerald color of the leaves, with the delicacy of the grass, with the scent of flowers and the sound of hair lashed by the wind. Garden Room is an example of how the artifice of architecture can bend to the delicacy of nature, and how the latter is not afraid of binding itself with what is built by man.

This single bedroom which sits within a garden is designed for a flamboyant couple in the quaint suburb of Pali Hill. The organically designed spaces seamlessly flow into each other, thinning the boundaries and bringing nature closer to the living. The spaces take on a sculptural form with some wrapped in turquoise mosaic, some in mediterranean whites, while others in slate and green.

The walls bend, protrude, contract and retract, with protuberances, cavities; concrete but full of life, organic in the forms as organic is the atmosphere that reigns in those rooms. The dwelling is inside the garden, just as the garden is inside the house. The elements merge, recreating a new convergence of the senses. The water with its delicate music flows from obviously artificial sources, which seem to have been there forever. The air fills the spaces, purifies them (Mumbai is one of the most expanding cities in the world, as well as one of the most polluted), and takes the form of glass, lamps and delicate objects that surround it with their transparency.

The earth invades with its strength as a pavement on which the grass grows, and as you go deeper into, it becomes rock, stone, rough and vigorous, as in a cave of other ages, already mentioned. Fire remains the last element not contemplated, but that is in the hearts of those who live in this dwelling between nature and artifice. A fire that vigorously animates the love of greenery, and illuminates the way towards an ecological awareness, of which this project prides itself.

Project details

Design: The White Room (Nitin Barchha & Disney Davis)
Project Location:  Pali Hill, Mumbai, India
Typology: Private garden
Built: 2017
Photo credits:  © Sameer Tawde

The White Room

The White Room

The White Room studio is built on the basic principles of exploring the bare beauty of materials. The focus has always been on exploring innovative ways of approaching fundamental problems of space, proportion, light, and materials. The way in which a wall meets a floor, or how a door fits into a wall, flush or proud, are not mere details, they are as much architecture as the planning of a sequence of rooms in a gallery, or the composition of a facade.
White Room consider architecture, of all the arts, as the one that most depends for its expressive power on rubbing up against the gritty constraints of everyday life