Gobhai Mountain Lodge
Lonavla, India
The Gobhai mountain lodge was the first project by the architect Nari Gandhi, and was arguably the first time Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West "desert masonry" method was utilized in India. Sited on a cliff in a very remote location near an elevated dam reservoir, the lodge remains difficult to access even with a heavy vehicle.

The architect made use of locally quarried stone and semi-skilled labor within a modest budget, carried out for an architect friend. The walls of the house were built with Wright's method: large stones are placed within wooden formwork, with the more flat/finished sides of the stones facing outwards. Concrete is poured from the top, and after setting, the form work is removed, leaving a rough finish.

A large roof with deep overhangs above verandas (including long projections at the gable ends) and eaves which touch the ground was built in sheets of asbestos cement. Its trusses are wood. The flooring for the lodge is simple concrete, with grooves that follow the triangular geometry of the roof.

The most striking design element in the building is its plan: the architect used the east-west meridian as a central divisor of the site, and then used a 30/60 triangle as the form generator for the house along this meridian. The contours of the site played a minor role, but this triangular layout was intended to maximize the heat and light of the sun along the site. Within the lodge, the main living areas were exposed to maximum sunlight, and the deep roof overhangs protected the house from the regional heavy rains. Within the angles of the triangular plan, openings were aligned to views of the nearby reservoir and valley, and the distant Rajmachi fort.

As of February, 2008, the basic superstructure of the lodge still exists, although its roof has since been dismantled.

Sources:

Gore, Rahul. 1996. The Works of Nari Gandhi. Graduate Thesis, Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad.

Hawker, Michael. 2007. "Celebrating the Works of Nari Gandhi." Friends of Kebyar: November 2007.
Location
Tungarli dam, Lonavla, Lonavla, India
Images & Videos
Events
1964-1965
Variant Names
Gobhai Mountain Lodge
Mountain Lodge
Variant
Building Usages
private residence
residential