A Modern Home in India Evokes Emotion With a Giant 4-Ton Rock

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By Lucy Wang
A precariously perched rock on a long cantilever delivers an unexpected twist to an Indian abode.

Mumbai–based Spasm Design Architects have recently completed a home that immediately evokes an emotional response—and not just because of its hilltop panoramic views. 

Located in India’s coastal town of Alibag, just south of Mumbai, the 8,200-square-foot dwelling—also known as Soaring Rock—draws inspiration from the countryside’s seemingly limitless horizon. 

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The home faces farmlands, a reservoir, and highlands in the distance.

The home faces farmlands, a reservoir, and highlands in the distance.

 "The emotion one feels on arrival at the crest of the site is of liberation, an expanse," explains the architects. 

The precariously perched rock weighs four tons, which is roughly the same weight as an adult Indian elephant.

The precariously perched rock weighs four tons, which is roughly the same weight as an adult Indian elephant.

To celebrate that sense of liberation, the team has placed a massive four-ton rock along the prong of a 20-foot-long cantilever.

The home is set on the top of a hill for prime views.

The home is set on the top of a hill for prime views.

Oriented to face the "color-saturated" sunsets over the nearby reservoir, the team has created the home to emphasize its horizontal volume with cantilevered elements on multiple sides.

Large windows let in natural light and views from all directions.

Large windows let in natural light and views from all directions.

"Horizontal lines echo the nature of the panorama," describes the firm. "Living spaces are framed between two simple planes, framing the views as cleanly as possible."

A tree-stump end table adds a dose of organic style to the modern living area.

A tree-stump end table adds a dose of organic style to the modern living area.

Designed with clean lines and an undoubtedly modern aesthetic, the home remains grounded to the landscape with its mix of earthy materials and lush plantings.

The open-plan dining and living area flow seamlessly into the outdoor terracotta terrace.

The open-plan dining and living area flow seamlessly into the outdoor terracotta terrace.

White stucco walls are complemented with timber shutters and a large west-facing terrace, elevated on a stone base. This area is lined with terra cotta and punctuated by a garden and L-shaped pool.

A luxurious bathroom with marble walls and earthy timber elements.

A luxurious bathroom with marble walls and earthy timber elements.

Timber is also predominately featured in the interior, which marries modern furnishings with indigenous patterns and artifacts set on a restrained backdrop of white walls and stone tile floors.

The master bedroom opens up to a small terrace through full-height glazed sliding doors.

The master bedroom opens up to a small terrace through full-height glazed sliding doors.

The main living areas—including the two outdoor terraces, an open-plan dining and living space, and three bedrooms along with the master ensuite—are positioned on the west side of the house where the best views can be enjoyed.

The view of the colossal rock can be seen from the service quarters.

The view of the colossal rock can be seen from the service quarters.

Full-height sliding glass doors flood the rooms with natural light and blur the line between indoors and out. That effect is reinforced with stone flooring, which continues from the interior to two small outdoor terraces on both sides of the home.

Uplights accent the lush landscaping flanking the entrance.

Uplights accent the lush landscaping flanking the entrance.

The cantilevered roof and timber shutters also mitigate solar heat gain. 

A set of stairs leads up to the spacious roof for entertaining.

A set of stairs leads up to the spacious roof for entertaining.

Site plan for the Soaring Rock.

Site plan for the Soaring Rock.

First floor plan for the Soaring Rock.

First floor plan for the Soaring Rock.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Spasm Design Architects

Structural Engineer: Rajeev Shah Associates

Landscape Design: A.Y. Retiwala

Lighting Design: Spasm Design Architects

Interior Design: Spasm Design Architects