Palmyra - Studio Mumbai

On a visit to Mumbai in January 2011 I was taken by Studio Mumbai to visit arguably their finest work, a private residence called Palmyra.  The house, approached along a winding drive through a grove of coconut palms comprises two rectangular pavilions of equal size.  The pavilions are clad in narrow slats hand crafted from the palmyra palm.  Studio Mumbai designed and built the house including all fixtures and fittings as well as most of the furniture.  Even the light switches and door handles were cast in the studio. Whilst the building is undeniably contemporary the hand crafted finish employing traditional building techniques makes for a subtle and textured building.  The site is located outside Mumbai on the shores of the Arabian Sea.  There is not a garden as such around the house, the buildings sit within a landscape characterised by coconut palms with stands of banana.  A rectangular water basin sits between the two pavilions with minimal planting between the house and the drive.  It remains one of the most influential pieces of architecture I have seen.