For the four-member family, comprising the couple and their two little girls Anika and Samara, this translated into imagining a space that interacted deeply with nature, and suited their outdoorsy, activity-filled lifestyles. “And we really wanted to retain the old trees on the site; have them be the focal points where possible,” Natasha says.
When you first hear of it, building a house around a site’s existing trees sounds outlandish—like designing a car around its horn. But Sandeep and Amaresh understood Chennai’s climate, and to them, it made perfect sense. Construction began towards the end of 2014, and today, the home as it stands is a medley of indoor-outdoor spaces spread over 9,350 square feet and two floors. Nature takes precedence here and the trees, as hoped for, are the biggest personalities. One in particular—an aged, multi-trunked rain tree—straddles the compound wall at the entrance, its lush canopy dappling the house with light and shade.