Private Getaway: Shirish Beri’s Seaside Retreat at Devgad

a beach house of Shirish Beri in Devgad, Maharashtra

Great minds, especially creative ones, need time to get away from the daily grind to relax, rejuvenate and refresh! That’s exactly what award winning Indian architect Shirish Beri had in mind, when he set off to create a beach house in Devgad, Maharashtra. Incidentally, Mr. Beri was awarded J. K. “The Architect of the year” Commendation award 1995 for the design of this house.

Shirish Beri's house seaside retreat at Devgad

The beach house retreat has been built with the utmost respect to nature. Care has been taken to “blend” the home into its magnificent backdrop. The home is overly simplistic, and so is the decor. The one-room habitat has been designed brilliantly with strategically placed windows to catch every bit of nature one can, even while indoors. What impressed me was the ubiquitous eating/ dining/ sleeping center space – when you see the pictures, you will know what I am talking about.

Below is a personal description by Mr. Beri himself, of a project that’s very close to his heart, and no doubt is the source for the brilliant work he executes.

the brilliant work executed by Shirish Beri

the brilliant work executed by Shirish Beri

The idea of having a beach house germinated in my fascination with the sea and in my faith in Nature’s healing, refreshing and rejuvenating potential. Along with physical stimulation that the sea offers in the form of swimming, jogging on the beach, playing in the sand, etc., the beach house offered a peaceful natural environment with the soothing sound and sight of the waves breaking on the shore.

The view of the sea

The view of the sea from most spaces was also an important consideration. Even the kitchen has the view of the sea on the west and of the property gate on the North.

Shirish Beri at work
Shirish Beri at work

I felt the need to get away from the busy routine of our architectural office to a place like this for the concentrated, undisturbed creative design process to happen. Thus my own basic architectural work happens here.

The design of this beach house stems from a basic simplicity of life style and from its symbiotic relationship with Nature. It does not appear to be force dumped there, but appears to grow on the site – to belong to the site.

Taking advantage of the undulating site conditions, the following was achieved:

  • raised plinth for a better view for the main living and kitchen area.
  • segregation at slightly lower level for service areas like porch, utility & servants room.
  • mezzanine floor studio-bed at 1.1 M above the main level with better view as well as privacy.
  • a changing area with bathroom & W.C. below the mezzanine floor with a direct access from the beach after a swim (this prevents the wetness and sand from spreading all over the house.

The main entrance to the house meanders through the portal or gateway created by the two existing casuarina trees. The Undal tree with a seating platform & Tulasi forms the vista through the car porch.

The main entrance to the house is created by the two existing casuarina trees

The house is basically one single unified space under one roof. Different functions are differentiated by low partition walls, curtains, different levels, etc., but the essential flow of space continues uninterrupted merging with the surrounding nature.

the outdoor space continues uninterrupted merging with the surrounding nature

The living room space flows into a covered verandah sit out on the west, which further extends down into two levels of the lawns – then into the coconut grove.

At the end of the property, right next to the beach is a built in shady sit out for eating, reading etc.

The beautiful verandah

The flooring is cow dung and mud. The studio has a timber floor.

The flooring is cow dung and mud

The flooring is cow dung and mud

The flooring is cow dung and mud

The flooring is cow dung and mud

The house is constructed from the local laterite stone with a hipped timber roof structure and Mangalore tiles.

The house is constructed from the local laterite stone

The house is designed for the coastal climate allowing for maximum air circulation inside, but at the same time being able to contain the fierce wet stormy monsoon winds from the west and southwest.

The house is designed for the coastal climate

Living in this house does rejuvenate one’s tired nerves. The energy field created here acts as a much needed antidote to today’s rushed, competitive & materialistic life style.

Thank you Mr. Beri, for sharing the warmth and beauty of your personal retreat with us. We loved it!

 

26 Comments

  1. Sharon .. . such a beautiful place –
    the tranquility can be felt through the photos. .. . JJjjj

     
  2. wow i love all those pics..fascinating

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  3. Such a beautiful house 🙂 Sharon. How I wish I could own one such house for myself :0 ..

     
  4. Wow, looks like such a wonderful place!

     
  5. Thanks for your comments Judith, Preety, LG and Shalini. So glad you liked this one!

    – Sharon

     
  6. Nice post sharon, Its my dream to build beach house like this..

     
  7. So much positive energy in this beach house. Nice post Sharon.

     
  8. Ai,love this pretty much,dreamworld!Hope I will create similar place with that kind of peace in it,in this life.Ciao from Aleksandra

     
  9. Sridhar, I’m sure you will, sometime soon – and please note that when you do, my family and I will be the first visitors there!:) On another note, thanks for all the help!

    Thanks Sri. Yes, the house does seem to be a good place to recharge oneself!

    Aleksandra, thanks for stopping by. This seems to be your first stop at The Keybunch, welcome! 🙂

    – Sharon

     
  10. Sridhar, I’m sure you will, sometime soon – and please note that when you do, my family and I will be the first visitors there!:) On another note, thanks for all the help!

    Thanks Sri. Yes, the house does seem to be a good place to recharge oneself!

    Aleksandra, thanks for stopping by. This seems to be your first stop at The Keybunch, welcome! 🙂

    – Sharon

     
  11. How lucky to live in that house and surroundings! My dream!! 🙂

     
  12. Somehow I missed commenting here…I like the way the design blends with nature…perfect getaway from the mad-mad world!

     
  13. oh my! looks like sirish beri is living in MY dream house!

    beautiful!

     
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  24. That is a relaxing space. I like the way that nature has been blended into the whole look of the home, seamlessly integrated to form one relaxing space. The use of natural lighting is good as well.

     
  25. Such a peaceful and tastefully done place. Home in nature's lap, so beautiful.

     
  26. Such a peaceful and tastefully done place. Home in nature's lap, so beautiful.

     

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