Location: Pune, Maharashtra, India
The YMCA International Camp site sits upon a promontory jutting into the Andhra Lake near Nilshi village, which itself is surrounded by forested sahayadri mountains in western India. A small plateau at the top became the center of the design, which integrates cabins, tent sites, a manager's bungalow and catering facilities into the landscape. Meandering paved walkway, or lineal spine, small descending ramps, and stairs link all of the components of this organic plan. This unique pattern results in structures being posited under earth mounds and within the hill slopes. The human eye first perceives it its in an open garden with only a walled dining court covered by tensile parasol. Moving through the tent plot forms the forest thickens and views to the lake is through thick foliage. The descending ramps and stairs tempt one to explore what appears as entries to underground caves. Yet on further exploration these lead to foyers and only into generous rooms with large glass walls opening out to the vast lake fingers and forest. A sit at verandah and small lawn invite one to pause and meditate. Of particular interest is the manager's bungalow, which is actually a crescent shaped, earth-covered bow, with glass walls facing the lake. Ventilators and skylights appear as sculptors on the earth mound roof. The composition thus emerges as a large organic garden integrated into a natural setting.