Excerpt: Arunyam by IMK Architects is a housing project offering the experience of an urban retreat with modern comforts and a connection to nature. The ‘designing with nature’ approach focuses on building alongside the site’s natural elements. The project embraces biophilia and offers extensive amenities, creating a unique and fulfilling retreat experience for residents of all ages. Overall, Arunyam by IMK Architects integrates serenity and sustainability.
[Text as submitted by architect] Arunyam is a 95-acre second home development project by IMK Architects located in Takawe, near Talegaon, an hour’s drive from Pune. Located at an altitude of 2185 metres, Arunyam is nestled in the lap of nature, surrounded by forests, hills, and a lake. Arunyam, derived from a Sanskrit word that translates to ‘forests, is designed to offer the experience of an urban retreat in a rustic setting with modern comforts, offering a connection to nature. The ‘designing with nature’ approach focuses on building alongside the site’s natural elements.
The entry to Arunyam is through a large, inviting gate inspired by nature. Phase one of the project comprises 68 villas, a community clubhouse with a swimming pool, lakeside activities, and a forest trail. The 1.5-kilometre-long lakefront features a promenade, camping area, and jetty, allowing direct access to the lake’s waters. The villas enjoy views of the lake and lush forests, maintaining their connection with nature even indoors. Curved, meandering pathways connect these villas and other amenities in the development to create a forest-like experience. The biophilic approach to design intends to truly connect residents with nature.
Arunyam offers villas that combine a rustic aesthetic with urban conveniences. There are five different villa configurations ranging in size from 2,600 sq. ft. to 4,000 sq. ft. These villas are planned along the natural slopes of the site. The entrance to each villa is either from the ground or the first floor and is determined by the site’s topography to minimise the cut-and-fill process. Features vary from rooftop gardens to a private pool or jacuzzi. Interiors follow a modern style with jali walls and large full-height windows drawing in maximum daylight and breeze.
The clubhouse and villas are solar-powered and designed based on climate-responsive design principles. Exterior walls have exposed bricks with rooftop gardens that include vegetation and climbing vines that blend with the forests and hilly backdrop. The clubhouse has glass facades to aid outdoor connectivity and accommodates a variety of amenities such as a cafeteria, convenience store, games room, spa, and gymnasium.
The project is driven by an eco-conscious approach. Wooden chalets and fabric tents for camping are planned across the lake. Due to high flood line restrictions, this development is of a temporary nature. The design also has spaces planned for activities such as boating and kayaking. The ‘Miyawaki method of plantations’ is adopted, where only native species are planted. A forest ambience is created by planting over sixty native breeds all across the site. The forest trail, 650 metres long, offers an immersive walk to experience nature and runs throughout this forest. On the steeper slopes, indigenous breeds of fruit trees are farmed, providing scope for community farming.
Arunyam offers unique experiences such as shaded sit-outs and pavilions at picturesque locations and pebbled walkways on streams. Overall, Arunyam by IMK Architects integrates serenity and sustainability. The project embraces biophilia and offers extensive amenities, creating a unique and fulfilling retreat experience for residents of all ages.