A Wooden House in the Himalayas



I have well and truly been sucked into the world of architecture envy, and though there is something delectably tantalising about perfectly refined spaces, there’s something even more alluring about a space that feels honest and natural. The Wood House by Matra Architects encapsulates this warmth despite it’s location high up in the Indian/ Nepalese mountain range.

The house is designed as a private holiday home situated in the village of Satkol, located 2000 metres above sea level and looking out across the Himalayas. The structure is broken into two parts across three levels. The base is constructed with a dry stonewall base that was excavated from site, and is topped with an angled structure clad in oiled ’thun’wood. I have spent a bit of time in this region; the climate is damp with a strange mixture of cold air and strong sunlight. The result is a lot of mist, condensation and wonderfully mysterious atmospheric quality. To combat the difficulties of this temperate climate, the architects have constructed a dynamic skylight that reaches up into the sky. It’s angled shape allows for the most amount of sun possible to enter into the interior spaces, simultaneously warming and drying out the central hub. As well as this, a horizontal band of windows circumnavigate the shell, again allowing for the maximum amount of light and warmth to enter the space. The thermo bonuses of such a design are obvious, however the by product is a striking design that still feels appropriate to the alpine conditions, and creates direct sight out to the spectacular views that stretch out in front of the property.