Residential development for PRA Realty - The Lake District

PRA Realty's "The Lake District" project envisioned a self-sustainable integrated township at the foothills of the Sahyadri range, with vibrant neighbourhoods supported with amenities such as school, health care, shopping and recreation at Kondhwa, near Pune.

Provisions for a wide range of housing typologies that would offer a greater choice to discerning home seekers, coexistence with the environment, minimal intervention to the natural terrain and infusion of grand outdoor spaces, play courts, parks and trails were crucial points of the brief provided to us.

It was imperative for the design to strike a fine balance between creating new dwellings and preserving the extant natural balance. A natural lake formation exists along the periphery of the eastern edge of the development which is being recharged in the monsoon through natural streams cutting across the breadth of the site at several locations. There are breathtaking views of lush green valley from vantage positions.

The conceptual plan was evolved by creating and conserving a network of steep slopes and natural canals. The development footprints have been designed around these networks to conserve water and prevent soil erosion. Networks of linear parks which further protect the natural landform also reduce the heat island effect. While the development demand was high (3 million sq.ft.), the challenge was to create structures which would respond to the natural conditions and the climate. The spatial components would thus be in constant dialogue with the surroundings harnessing all its benefits.

A multi-layered approach was adopted in planning the township, which is developed as multiple clusters of self-sufficient neighbourhoods strategically positioned to avoid building on steeper slopes and the stream corridors. The undeveloped areas coalesce into a wooded central park forming a green lung to the community. Each housing cluster enjoys natural views of the surroundings, carefully designed to enjoy natural ventilation and adequate daylight.

 A commercial precinct forming the gateway node to the township comprises a health care facility, a school plot and shopping centres. The edge of the natural lake abutting the site would be the pedestrian promenade and is linked through pedestrian trails to all the neighbourhood clusters. Sustainable strategies are being implemented such as rain water harvesting and solar power as alternate energy resources. There has been a holistic approach to design taking into account principles of urban design, landscape conservation and sustainable architecture, resulting in a smart and efficient community dwelling design.