Modernism With Mud: A Bengaluru Home is Inspired by the Five Elements from Nature

A home mimics its community and natural surrounding lushness, by employing a palette of all things natural and unprocessed.

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From communal to nuclear living, humans have progressively regressed transforming into hermits, without the joys of the previous lifetime that included a sense of belonging and social interactions. But we have often overheard that nature is all about balance so, balance it bought! The community-building movement resurfaced courtesy of the pandemic, making denizens aware of the pros of truly fostering a community. In the spirit of this trend, a couple’s home affectionately called Panchatathva (five elements), was accoutered by Deepak Berthalome Architects to adapt to a community’s sustainable suave.

“The name Panchatathva is a true reflection of the approach we have taken in the construction of this house in terms of design and the materials which we have chosen,” affectionately recollects Raghava Rao Bellamkonda (the client).



Bengaluru, Karnataka

Plot Area

12,000 sq. ft.

Built-up Area

3,400 sq. ft.

Number of Rooms


Completion Year


Vaastu Compliance



Away from the asphalt-clad, congested roads of Bengaluru, a cult practices sustainability paying homage to the demigod-entitled nature. This community monikered, “NSR Greenwoods, is located in the north of Hosekote in the Bengaluru Kollar route,” reveals Deepak, principal architect of Deepak Berthalome Architects. Every home in this commune pulls a blanket of greens and chills in the bucolic settings while stalking every move of nature. Within this militia of houses is an efficient sergeant called Panchatathva, tussling against climate change while eliciting its training to leave zero footprints or evidence of ever being present.

The home is set in fitting Arcadian settings on the outskirts of Bengaluru, in a community practicing sustainability. Watch the complete video on Buildofy.

This modest, down-to-earth abode is strategically posted near a green park and a trail of interminable greenery, concocting an affair with its beguiling Arcadian settings. It is trained by nature’s five elements to ambiguously represent the whole body while carolling chants of the revered relationship between humans and the environment. Off-roading, while listening to the susurrus of nature one comes on-site, to witness the sorcery of this habitat. Deepak describes, “In the layout, it is designed in such a way that each plots have plants planted along the periphery”.

Adjacent to the home is a thick blanket of trees stretching miles while a green garden emerges in front. Watch the complete video on Buildofy.


Upon entering through one of the two passages leading to the dwelling haloed by verdant and vivacious flora a sense of tranquility sets in. Beyond this velvety green blanket of grass is a hedged gazebo, sunbathing under the golden speckles of diffused light. Reaching this corralled figment of cooling rhapsody, a rather snug haven peers from the other side. “We wanted to keep the footprint very minimal so this (the lower part) is about 8 feet and it grows to about 18 feet with the roof coming out,” Deepak clues us in. He adds, “It's just like a tree,” alluding to a tree’s frail stem enduring the rotund weight of its foliage.

As one enters the main entrance a gazebo, transpires offering respite from the scorching heat of Bengaluru. To watch the complete home documentary, click here.

Sauntering on the green blanket, towards the abode’s alabaster walls with hues starred as the year's colour one often strays from the course, captivated by the blossoming verdancy around. However, dramatic enactments from a series of arches veiling the porch, persuade a visitor to cosset its cooling shroud. This porch stows hints of greenery, sleek storages, and platforms for observing the segueing garden while sitting on crossed legs. Between these platforms is a wooden door, “as we enter the main house, we have a double height space which is the centre of the house (called) Brahmasthana,” Deepak rationalises. The entrance foyer with framed filigree work, set against an olive wall savours in the honey-dew speckles of sunlight undergoing photosynthesis to provide light to the adjacent spaces, hat-tipping nature’s convoluted procedures. This foyer’s first impression is Elysian arbour-esque, courtesy of the apertures on the upper level, “...the east and west openings take out the hot air, also a light play will always be there,” the architect reveals.

As one proceeds, laughter and chatter echo through a duet of arches, circumscribing the family’s hangout spot viz a living, dining and kitchen areas, that line up for insider on everything gossip-worthy. Packed with wooden accents, floral cases and the esteemed Athangudi tiles, this rustic space becomes a flag bearer of minimalistic style. “Two bay windows which are towards the east and (from there) we can see the nice garden,” Deepak clues us about a snug reading and slumbering space. A pooja space unperturbed meditates along the bay windows, dragging the inhabitants to adorn its ethereal design featuring five recessed arches forming a colossal semi-circle around a slightly loftier arch.

An open plan is executed via living, dining and kitchen areas for fostering conversations with a translucent ambience. Visit Buildofy for the video of the complete project walkthrough.

These petite arches signify the five elements of nature, positioning the cosmos within a finger’s reach. “So, here comes the earth element which represents the body... and this is the air element which represents the awareness...this is the fire element which represents that intelligence,” Sarita Bellamkonda (the client) points. Further pinpointing to the fourth arch she explains, “This is the space element which represents the consciousness... then comes the water element that represents the mind,” bringing together a metaphorical universe. In the other dimension of this space, is a bedroom with a bay window, a meditation room and a publicly accessible powder room.

The unconventional pooja area displays the five elements that are the home's inspiration for battling climate change. Visit Buildofy for the video of the complete project walkthrough.


A South Indian architectural essentialism is a courtyard, conspicuous in almost every household, but here it parlays as a Radcliffe Line separating the public block from the private quarters. Deepak further rationalizes, “this court is the central part with two grown trees framing it, and again extended to one more space where the Kund (a water feature) is present,” emulating the classic step wells of Rajasthan. This open-to-sky seating, assembled with mud concrete blocks and slathered with mud plaster, underscores mud’s ability to stay placid even when beaten down by the sun’s heat. The stepped seating features a water body that, “goes down up to five feet in the water area,” reveals Deepak, on the water’s ability to cool the moderate wafts that infiltrate the adjacent courtyard and the home.

The courtyard transforms into the heart with a view of the natural surroundings and access to the kund (a water feature) adjacent to the courtyard. Watch the complete video on Buildofy.

The courtyard idles under the sun’s warmth, stretching to a snug, exclusive living area which one could nearly mistake for a greenhouse; due to its sloped roofs and the blooming greens inside. This space with inbuilt seating on either side of a petite aisle, leads to a sleek slit window at the rear akin to Tadao Ando’s Church of the Light. A ligature of light speckles illuminates the mud-plastered walls and a deep receded planter bed with, “glass tiles given in the roof which create patterns at different times of the day,” the architect justifies. On either side of this sanctimonious space two bedrooms concur, in shades borrowed from nature’s motley crew.  “The other room we have treated with a touch of yellow, with yellow, this room has a blue touch and the plaster is a very natural bluish dye,” Deepak further substantiates, referencing the colours from the sky and sun.

A private living area with in-built seating offers a respite to the inhabitants away from the main block. On either side of this space, are two bedrooms with colours borrowed from nature. To watch the complete home documentary, click here.

Panchatathva, an eco-conscious habitat embellishes its myriad of sloping roofs with feathers of sustainability, fluxing in the congenial embrace of the community. Following the cult’s radical ideologies and indigenous techniques, local materials are incarnated to work with and not against the surrounding environment. With the home transpiring as an evanescent moment on the Earth’s timeline, Sarita asserts, “Here nature is there to give you support to uplift you from that stress...(in a way) Nature wakes you!”

To watch the complete home tour, peruse the drawings in detail, and browse additional photographs, visit Buildofy. While there, don’t miss out on the other impressive contemporary homes in Karnataka and across India.