With the advent of technological breakthrough and advancements, the human race has come a long way. Technology has become ingrained in our day- to day lives and yet we are intimately rooted in nature consciously or subconsciously. Nature is the reflection of our own being which breaks up the linear lifestyle patterns and helps us create new synergies.
Vanantara is envisioned as one such project, that collaborates with the inherent features of the living world. With a total area of 70 acres that is divided into 200 plots, Vanantara looks at re-creating a living ecosystem with nature at its epicentre. The landmass is strategically divided into plots, which measure 0.5 acres each to accommodate modest dwellings. These parcels of land are held together with tightly rammed mud roads lined with trees and natural water bodies. Every plot is abundantly planted with more than 40 trees- forming a balance of keystone, medicinal, forestry, flowering & fruiting species.
With nature being the key design inspiration, the landscape takes up many roles. Plots lined with trees in place of compound walls, kitchen gardens in place of aesthetic gardens and water bodies that fill up seasonally in place of pools. These design elements engage the user to appreciate and observe the wonders of cyclic variations in nature. The residences are sculpted amidst this landscape set-up, grounded to camouflage in the surroundings. The entire community is planned to evoke a sense of belonging and an experience to be constantly connected with nature.
The symbiotic relationship of the overall built with free rein on greens and meandering greenways form the core elements of the masterplan. Each plot is demarcated for a villa of built-up area of 2500 Sqft. The Entry to the villas is half submerged in the land connecting the user to the natural surroundings. The entrance lobby and other spaces are flanked by water bodies which act as natural catchment areas and fill up during non-monsoon periods. Series of sunken courts planned for all the interior spaces bring in natural light to all the spaces. A central open to sky deck connects both the formal and informal spaces. A dining deck is planned to overlook the trees paying a tribute to nature for its gracious produce.
The Earth villas are designed to accommodate two bedrooms with sunken courts and skylights. The organic approach flawlessly merges with the surroundings forming a holistic living environment. With framed views of the landscape, the overall building is understated with exposed plaster for the walls, the repose of which helps the structure to remain humble and allows the tones of the landscape to stand out. Pigmented oxides, natural stones and brick flooring provide a subtle yet strong material palette which hold the space together and add a softer touch to the overall living environ reminiscing one of the bygone eras.
Conscious design elements like waterbodies, strategically planned skylights, use of natural materials help achieve comfortable ambience inside the villas throughout the year. Evaporative cooling, stack ventilation, cross ventilation are some of the design principles which form a strong sustainability module. The building architecture hence attempts to create opportunities to enjoy the paths of the sun, the gush of the wind and the courts that celebrate rain. Each element is like an ode to nature.
The urban dwellers and nature are drawn closer together with activities like beekeeping, butterfly breeding and parks refining the overall flora and fauna of the community. Natural outdoor spaces like the barn, outdoor gym and animal farms induce community living. Activities like growing your own food and swimming in natural catchment areas reconnect to the long-forgotten roots. Creating pedestrian scale environments, water harvesting and conservations, harnessing solar energy are some of the key design considerations.
With all these as small pixels that build the bigger picture, the overall community engages and enlightens people about a living that is grounded and deeply connected with nature. The overall master plan marks a continuation of a pursuit of a holistic approach to landscape.