Amey Kandalgaonkar : House in a Rock / Rock House 3

Although in constant technological, spatial or ideological evolution, architecture never really gets over notions of heritage. A strong statement inspired by the architect and photographer based in Shanghai (China) Amey Kandalgaonkar with an experience of imagining a residential project built around the stone tomb of Madain Saleh in Saudi Arabia.

Real archaeological treasure, the city of Madain Saleh tells many stories. Carved in pink stone by the Nabataeans, it is however much less popular than its Jordanian neighbor of Petra, political capital of this ancient people. It is sometimes called cursed, sometimes mandatory passage of Muslims on pilgrimage to Mecca. But all the speeches agree to emphasize the exceptional beauty of this place, first to be inscribed on the World Heritage List and containing no less than 138 monumental rock tombs.
One of them drew the attention of the architect and photographer Amey Kandalgaonkar who designs two proposals of habitable structures which, instead of circumventing the natural elements, feed on the constraints and integrate them into the final result, creating thus unique sets, between heritage and contemporary architecture.


Taking into account the volume and complexity of the composition of the rocks of Madain Saleh, the architect uses simple plans and volumes in his first project, House in a Rock, creating a healthy dialogue between natural and artificial. After modeling the rock with 3D software, he merged a concrete flat roof villa with the rock mass, concealing the architectural intervention as much as possible.
The second proposition takes the reverse fold and minimizes its maximum impact on the archaeological site. Thus, the designer imagines a curvaceous construction - always in concrete - raised on stilts. The structure and its voluptuous silhouette are reminiscent of Shanghai's futuristic contemporary buildings.

A site, two projects and endless discussions on the integration of heritage in today's architecture.

To learn more, visit the site of Amey Kandalgaonkar

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