From the portals of FHD, here’s a landscape master-plan for a 41.68 acre residential development in Mangalore! A contemporary styled landscape that blends harmoniously with the site topography is proposed for a residential project comprising of 232 villas.
One of the primary decisions was to use the locally available laterite stone, which imparts an earthy, vernacular touch and reduces cost (as against regular brick) as well. Since Balinese was the preferred landscaping inspiration, the stone is a versatile material that lends itself beautifully to contemporary as well as ethnic styling.
Our client wanted a grand entrance that could proudly announce the grandeur and style of the project within its precincts. The entrance boulevard needed to be vibrant with colourful foliage. Since the site is located between two hillocks, the valley actually runs through the central part. The starting point of the design process was to take the advantage of the location instead of focusing on the challenges posed by the terrain. Facilities such as amphitheatre, walking plaza, jogging/cycling tracks, club house, tennis courts and community congregation spaces were created. An underpass connecting the two hillocks has been suggested for ease of pedestrian movement and connectivity between the two landscape zones.
Protecting all the indigenous vegetation on the site was a key guiding principle in the layout and aesthetics. Designing spaces for recreation, walkways, water bodies, planting new plants – all layout options emerged from these fundamental decisions. As is usually the case, circumventing site conditions and saving the existing trees was a major challenge that has been successfully overcome.
A huge design intervention and a highly sustainable feature that our team has suggested in the project is the creation of a bio-pool. These are contemporary interpretations of the erstwhile ‘kund’, inspired by the topography of the site and taking advantage of the significant level drops at intervals of about 20 m. Two large water bodies were thus carved out, that can collect the storm-water run-off and this collected water can meet the basic watering required to maintain the greenery of the landscape. The run-off water from the north of the site is first collected in a tank (‘kund’) and moves further into the bio-pool.
The Balinese character continues and extends to the ‘kund’ too. A further addition of stepping stones in the kund creates a micro-ambience within it as well. A tranquil ambience envelops the space, aiding activities like yoga & meditation – and offering a whole new experience with the water beneath.