A home by a seaside, riverside, or lakefront is a dream come true for many and a red-hot design trend now. The privacy and Utopian views they offer are driving the demand.
Experts share their ideas.
Keeping your public spaces large and facing the view side, while keeping your private spaces smaller with smaller windows, and on the rear side, is wise. At a seafront home in Goa, Rachna Agarwal, founder-design ideator with Studio IAAD, Gurugram, designed an open-to-the-sky dining space with a perforated screen that can be pulled up based on privacy requirements.
“To add to the aesthetics, we opted not to oil the deck and left the wood to weather,” she notes. Another element Rachna added to keep up with the waterfront context: a covered deck in the first-floor lounge that diagonally overlooks the sea.
Views matter. At a Bengaluru lakefront home (overlooking the Bellandur Lake), Gowri Rao, associate director with Gayathri And Namith Architects, added glass boxes that project out of the rooms to serve as a seating area.
“We also crafted a double-height space with a skylight and a central water court. From these zones, one can capture a stunning view of the pool, the mirror pool (six inches of water with a glass compound wall and a floating wooden deck with a seater), and the lake”, she says. For safety without hampering views, she worked with partly fixed (that acts as a glass railing) and partly sliding glass, she illustrates.
“A Udupi beach home we built, is sandwiched between a river on the rear side and the sea on the front, so we raised the house in one part and the other part is left intimate to the river,” elucidates Sudhir P S, Gowri’s partner. Lifting the home was important to capture views, and remove the parking spaces and the road from interrupting the views. Locally available laterite stones and granite were Sudhir’s go-to materials in this context.
Speaking about a stunning contemporary-style waterfront holiday home designed in Reis Magos, Goa, Natasha N Kochhar, principal designer with LTDF, New Delhi, says, “The home overlooks the junction of Mandovi river meeting the sea and the Atal bridge that offers a captivating view at night as well.”
Large windows generally take away privacy but in a waterfront home, especially when the home is at a height, there is complete privacy, she notes.
Don’t let the design overtake the narrative of nature. Centre your home around the views, and complement it with automated and mood lighting, say experts. In a waterfront home, your furniture can be directed towards the water instead of the TV, she suggests. “The flowing river makes it appear like the home is moving, so we opted for a rounded roof that resembles a stretched fabric, and paired it with hanging cane lights to mimic the aesthetic of a cruise,” she says.
Dean D’Cruz, the principal architect with Mozaic, Goa, also created the sense of a ship’s deck at his riverfront project in Goa. “We used wood and steel for the look. Our aim was to keep the home as open to the river and as buffered from the road on the other side as possible,” he adds.
Harmony with nature Architect Ajay Abey of CSBNE, Kollam, designed a home that overlooks the Ashtamudi lake and captures the essence of traditional waterfront architecture. Build around the natural course of water, and do not disturb the natural ecology of the water edge, he advises.
Spoorti Kabbur, the principal architect with Kabbur Architects, Hubballi, is working on an ongoing waterfront resort in Honnavar. The space overlooks the Arabian Sea and Sharavati river, with a watersports zone.
“Apply the zero-kilometer concept, we used the best of locally available materials,” she notes. Honnavar has plenty of laterite stones and bricks, which she is counting on. “Laterite is a very porous stone — in a waterfront context we use chemical fillers that protect it while keeping the look intact,” she adds.
Janhvi Kini, an architect with ACE Interiors & Architects, Mangaluru, is also working on an ongoing seafront homestay at Surathkal. She recommends ceramic, vitrified tiles, or designer porcelain tiles for flooring. “Rule out marble because it fades and stains easily on the waterfront. Also, avoid cushions and wallpapers as they don’t work well in humid areas,” she notes.
“Minimise hardscaping of the buffer zone, integrate the inside, the landscape, and the waterbody,” says Mayank Ruia, founder, and CEO of MAIA Estates, Bengaluru.
At his lakefront residential project in Bengaluru, Mayank added an infinity pool on the roof level. “Glass railings coupled with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels offer seamless views from within. We have a viewing deck-cum-kitchen, and a Jacuzzi on our living deck to further embrace water,” he shares. Keep the waterbody at the forefront of the design process, and orient as many rooms as you can to it, he adds.
Foundation design can be challenging here, says Ajay.
Selecting materials that are durable on a waterfront is a challenge.
Set aside a budget of Rs 5,000-10,000 per sq ft for a waterfront home.
Waterfront homes cost about 15-20% more than regular homes as they need more robust materials, says an expert.