A house that satisfies the needs of the body and mind.
A house with a private temple in the garden and a lush roof that becomes part of the boundless natural landscape in which it is immersed; a place where the relationship between man, his spirituality, his 'energy' needs and the environment is redefined in an unexpected way. It is Sunoo Temple House, the result of two-year-long work (and studies) by the architect Saket Sethi, founder of the Saket Sethi Design & Archilogics Design studio.
The building is located on the outskirts of Mumbai, surrounded by acres of paddy fields and with a garden not on the roof, but as its roof. Because of its peculiar garden, the structure of the Sunoo Temple House required a year to be built, and almost two years to fully set up the garden. During this time, there have been numerous obstacles that were overcome, like pest attacks, heatwaves, and cyclones.
The huge residential green roof, probably the largest in India, seems to follow the course of the land and then merge with the landscape. It can be used both as a garden and as a vegetable garden: an in-depth study led to the development of a prototype of houses that grow their own food and generate their own energy.
With its creepers all around the house like curtains, Sunoo Temple House turns out to be a magical place in which nature shapes indoor comfort too: the garden acts as a cooling blanket, protecting the house from the sun and keeping the temperature low and pleasant even in the hottest days.
Just a few steps away, the one-of-a-kind temple appears: shaped like an egg with a spiral structure inside, recalling an absolute indivisibility, and inspired by the galaxy, the temple is created using Bisazza mosaic tiles.
The interior design of the space is based on a seamless dialogue between interior and landscape, peppered with artifacts based on travel from Italy to Bali, and even the clients’ antiques.
The main sofa is John John from Poltrona Frau, while many of the other living room elements are repurposed and repolished old furniture, keeping with the idea of upcycling. The dining table is custom made and designed by Saket using fabricated laser cut components, like a jigsaw puzzle fitting together.
The project has been the first of a long series of green homes for Sethi, who declared: “We all have to listen to nature and start somewhere, in whatever way we can. Even with a small plot of land, living sustainably is a viable option”.