Nestled at the foot of Charmadi Ghat, the Butterfly House takes inspiration from the scenic surroundings of Ujire in South Karnataka. The site's natural contours, including an 8-foot drop along the northeast, have influenced the design, allowing for breathtaking views of the majestic mountains from all house areas. The unique roof form, inspired by the surrounding mountainous landscape, becomes a defining feature of the Butterfly House.
The design of Butterfly House is rooted in the site context, climate, and client preferences. Traditional elements are carefully integrated into a design that harmonises with the existing surroundings. Cross-ventilation becomes a crucial aspect of the design to ensure comfort in Ujire's warm climate and heavy monsoon rains. The roof's thoughtful detailing facilitates rainwater runoff while promoting better airflow and stack cooling. Additionally, the design pays homage to South Kannada traditions, incorporating abundant natural wood and laterite stones into the material palette.
The journey into the Butterfly House begins with a mudroom, providing a space for residents to store their footwear. Upon entering, a vibrant burst of green greets visitors in the triangular courtyard, inspired by the surrounding mountainous terrain. This interactive space guides guests toward the living or dining area, inviting exploration and connection.
To the left of the entrance courtyard lies the living room, which opens onto a verandah overlooking a tranquil pool. The living room features large cut grey tiles, creating a subdued ambience that allows nature to take centre stage. The light-coloured walls and ceiling further enhance the natural surroundings, creating a serene atmosphere within the house.
The verandah between the living room and the pool showcases a tactile change in materials with its wooden deck. Underneath the pool, a stilt area serves as additional car parking. The compound is bordered by a laterite stone wall that seamlessly blends with the scale and character of the space.
Situated beyond the entrance courtyard is the dining area providing it with a sense of privacy. A grey metal jali crafted from round bars shields the dining area from direct views, while a strategically placed tree adds further seclusion. This space becomes an intimate setting for shared meals and gatherings.
The staircase serves as a complement to the entrance courtyard, featuring Jaisalmer marble which contrasts beautifully with the surrounding greenery. Lit by a skylight and adorned with a pale grey metal railing, the staircase adds an experiential element to the Butterfly House, connecting the internal levels and providing intriguing vantage points.
Running through the double-height volumes of the dining area and entrance courtyard is a small bridge which connects the two ends of the house. It leads to the master bedroom on one side and the daughter's bedroom and family area on the other, establishing visual connections between the internal levels.
The family area is designed to allow the other architectural elements to stand out, with subdued furniture choices. The uniquely derived roof of the Butterfly House takes centre stage here, creating a distinctive visual feature. A metal shelf pays homage to the sharp, organic forms inspired by the mountains and becomes the focal point of the room.
The master bedroom offers a panoramic view of the entire house, from the living and dining areas to the kitchen, utility space, and the pool beyond. It is designed with an inward-opening window that provides a holistic perspective of the house. An attached lavish powder room enhances the master suite's luxury and convenience. The daughter’s bedroom, on the other hand, has the best view in the house with a fixed pane opening having a bird’s eye view of the site. The powder room in the daughter’s room carries the grey colour palette seen throughout the house, accented with cool blue vitrified tiles. Natural light floods the space through a skylight, creating an inviting ambience. A low-level bathtub elevates the experience, allowing for moments of relaxation and tranquillity.
The Butterfly House seamlessly blends nature and tradition, creating a harmonious living environment in the picturesque setting of Ujire. From the stunning views of the mountains to the thoughtful integration of South Kannada traditions, every element of the design tells a story.