KDND Studio Stacks the Volumes to Design The Shift House | Maharashtra  | Surfaces Reporter

KDND Studio | The Shift House | Maharashtra  | Surfaces Reporter

Mumbai-based design firm KDND Studio stacked volumes like a play of ‘jenga’ blocks to create the 'Shift House' in the picturesque location of Aambey Valley, Maharashtra. The house is designed to respond to the site and most importantly not be obstructive in its manifestation but dissolve into the terrain. The prime aim was to get the uninterrupted views of the Unesco recognised western ghats and man made lake, which are also the perfect setting of this house. SURFACES REPORTER (SR) takes you on a tour to this wonderful house. 

Also Read: A Stack of Uneven Cuboid Boxes Forms the Exterior of Double-Storey Sarpanch House | Telangpore | Neogenesis+Studi0261


The designer’s approach on the north side of the plot meant that any siting of the built form would block up the view of the surrounding.

Design Strategy

The design strategy evolved by ensuring that the earth plan was recessed at least by a floor height such that on approach and entry into the plot the views are uninterrupted.


This meant access to the house would be by a ramp that would snake into the contour until a flat plateau was created to accommodate the built mass.

Two volumes in this house sit over each other. The shift of one volume further creates the necessary design and functional requirements that need to be accommodated.

The Lower Volume- A Large Concrete Box

The lower volume is conceived as a mass growing from the earth plan and conceived as a concrete box that is solid at the entry but opens up towards the valley side.


This volume houses the more public functions in a house like the dining and living along with the master suite and servant’s facility.


The living room accesses the large verandah which is abutted to the swimming pool and jacuzzi. 


The lower volume, the larger block has the outdoor dining adjacent to the pool. Utilities like generator, filtration plant etc are accommodated below this block.


Since the south façade of the built form faces the south but also the brunt of weather, it was necessary for this volume to ‘shift’ outward and sideways to create the necessary overhang for protection of weather.

Green Local Stone in the Upper Volume

The shift in the upper volume allows for the accommodation of the staircase leading to the four identical bedroom suites.


This volume designed in green local stone is meant to camouflage with its surrounding.


The Brise Soleil also known as screen on the south façade protects the balcony which stretches along the four bedrooms.


Also Read: 200 MM Local Stone Cladding in the Building of Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa | Yh2 Architects | Edifice Consultants

The north face the screen protects the verandah and provides for the necessary privacy from the entry of the plot.


The ‘Shift’ House, is an existential and displaced geometry set in the surrounding with a minimal barefaced transparent experience.

Project Details

Design Firm: KdnD Studio LLP
Partners: Ar. Anand Menon, Ar. Shobhan Kothari & Ar. Kiran Kapadia
Completion Year: May 2019 
Area: 6500 sqft
Location: Aambey valley, Lonavala, Maharashtra
Photo Courtesy: ©Photographix | Sebastian Zachariah
Text Courtesy: KDND Studio LLP

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