A Stunning Roof House in Khandala

Located on a 10,000 sq ft plot, this amazingly stunning roof house has a high retaining wall on one side.

The house is located on a 10,000 sq ft plot having a high retaining wall on one side. This side was the dominant rain direction in this very high rainfall region. Future developments around the plot are likely to be ground plus two storeys and it was important to create a large living and garden space at an elevated level to be able to enjoy the views. The site had an overall level difference of around 4m which was negotiated in the planning. The house responded to the views around by opening up in the north east direction.

Ar. Sonal Sancheti

The house uses the roof not only as a rain protection element but also as a space making element where the roof itself becomes the vertical space making an element. Past experiences of building in this region led us to create roof surfaces to take the onslaught of the monsoon from the south west direction. A concrete portal- low and cantilevered, free from the ground breaks this roof to create openings that include the main entrance and the connection to kitchen exterior space.  The use of levels further creates privacy and lets the roof itself enclose space. The house is essentially a plinth with a roof, with no walls towards the eaves ends of the roof and only precast 50 mm Aerocon panels or fenestration in the gable direction of the house.


  • Roof structure uses 4mm steel plates to create double angle rafters that are visually very light and have minimized the use of steel.
  • 75mm thick “Vaspar Board” uses an innovative 50mm thick paper honeycomb sandwiched between two 12mm marine ply boards and is used as the main roofing element.  This board can span 1.20 m x 2.40 m and visually reduces the steel supporting the roof and provides adequate sound and heat insulation.
  • The construction of the roof is completed with charcoal coloured upstand seam zinc roofing that is continuous in length and gives complete protection from rain. The outdoor living room has a zinc clad underbelly which curves up to create a space that gives the house its unique character.
  • The house uses Aluminum window frames with teak wood shutters to make a composite window type that is high on aesthetics and economical in construction.
  • The superstructure of the house is completely made up of steel and 50 mm thick Aerocon panels along with Aluminum frame window fenestration- a very fast and lightweight construction process.

Roof House in Khandala

Special Features

  • An open Living Room enclosed partially by black agricultural mesh and roll down bamboo screens further saves on cost and more importantly gives an ideal semi-open space to the house. A plunge pool attached to this verandah adds to its usability and informal character.
  • The parking and service areas are tucked at the lower and ground level and become part of the heavy plinth on which sits a lightweight steel structure.
  • The staff accommodation forms a retaining wall along the compound and enables the creation of the main green space for the living room of the house.
  • A mezzanine space is accommodated within the high roof volume to give additional play space to the children and overlooks the children room on one side and the kitchen and dining spaces on the other.
  • A multiuse family room has vertically pivoted shutters that enclose or open up space. This family room opens out onto a terrace that overlooks the entrance forecourt and connects to the green landscape. 
  • The house uses very basic flooring materials- black polished kadappa stone for the interiors and rough kadappa stone for all exterior areas. 
  • Rooms are intentionally kept small but have high volumes making creative spaces flooded with daylight. The rooms and master bathroom make use of exterior courtyards to create privacy.
  • The water from the roof is channelled in an RCC gutter which becomes an exciting element in the monsoon season.

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