Perched atop a hill between a jungle and a rubber plantation, this treetop-skimming bungalow in Kalutara, Sri Lanka was built to take full advantage of this unique site. Designed by architect Narein Perera in 2009, this stunning home echoes the traditional architecture of the area.
The owner who commissioned the house had a few specific requests: the home had to work as a rental property, it had to offer a relaxing space for getaways from stressful city life, and it had to allow the owner a space from which to oversee the operations of his entire 72 hectare (42 acre) estate.
The home’s simple materials such as steel, timber and bamboo emphasize its connection to its surroundings. Inside, the space is large and open, featuring only three bedrooms with attached baths and a spacious common room. Employees’ quarters are housed in the wooded areas downhill from the estate bungalow, hidden beneath the lush green canopies. As such, anyone in the bungalow has unparalleled privacy.
Above all, Narein Perera’s goal was to create a home that “touches the earth lightly.” With its steel supports that lift the building high above the ground, The home certainly achieves that and much more. It is a dream home that sits right in the middle of a paradise-like setting.
“The bungalow sits almost on top of the raised terrain of a 17 ha estate, where the rubber plantation stops and the jungle begins. It’s selected and elevated sitting allows an undisturbed view of the estate, the valley below and the hills beyond, a view that is always in flux with the changing seasons and the cycle of the paddy cultivation.”
“The inspired form draws on the generic elements of the watch‐hut that encompasses a ‘Simple Form’, that is ‘Elevated’, ‘Protected’, yet ‘Connected’, allows ‘Maximum vantage’, has a ‘Single Entry’, could be ‘Dismantled’, ‘Re‐usable’ and primarily ‘Touches the Earth Lightly’. The solution adopts primarily an elevated deck extending off the hill, a fungible space that encompasses all living and functional aspects needed with the private areas tucked into a compact timber clad box. The simple asymmetric roof, skewed, its structure extending, touching the earth creates a certain imbalance, temporariness to the whole.”