Sited on a ridge in the lower Himalayas, the house at once aligns and distances itself from its neighbours. Taking on some of the configurational elements found in vernacular houses of the region, Tara Kothi, distinguishes itself by employing a spatial strategy that allows for the house to be understood either as an abode for the lone traveller or as a four bedroom summer retreat for a large family. This simultaneous shifting in scale is best evident in the workings of the plan.
The plan exploits the existing topography by situating the house against an upper level terrace. The terrace which has been naturally carved out of the hill is bound on the East and West by tall trees. Tara Kothi engages this terrace by allowing for access in to the house via a bedroom suite. The relatively small scale of this terrace coupled with a program consisting of a bedroom, bathroom and pantry ensures that the intimacy associated with the immediate landscape is also evident in this part of the house.
At the lower level, however, a large garden offering views of the plains on the east and the mountains on the west, precedes the large verandah that sets up the entrance sequence into Tara Kothi. While the verandah provides a space for outdoor living without being overly exposed to the vagaries of the often temperamental climate of the region, it also sets up the basic massing of the house. The upper level of the house has three bedrooms with a fourth suite in the attic.
Tara Kothi enjoys the intimacy that is characteristic of smaller vernacular hill houses while simultaneously being able to provide the spatial and technological amenities that we have grown used to.