Dezeen Magazine

Archiopteryx designs People Tree House to conserve and store rainwater

Architecture studio Archiopteryx has created a home in Noida, India, which is arranged around water collection and topped with a rooftop splash pool.

Called The People Tree House, the home was designed for medical entrepreneurs and stands above a clinic that occupies the basement and ground floors.

Above the clinic, the home is arranged around a central cylinder that contains an elevator and spiral staircase, which rises through the building to a rooftop splash pool.

Rooftop swimming pool
The house is topped with a rooftop splash pool

The house has been carefully designed to control sunlight exposure throughout the year and to collect and utilise rainwater.

A curved ramp on the roof, along with balconies containing pools and planters, was designed to collect rainwater. Five solar panels extend the spiral motif into the skyline.

"The building generates energy, recycles water and irrigates planted areas to nurture life, in tradition with age-old water-harvesting techniques," Archiopteryx founder Akshay Shrinagesh told Dezeen.

Roof with solar panels
Solar panels extend the shape of the spiral staircase into the sky

The water is collected in a tank at an upper level, which is connected to a rainwater manhole below ground with a bright red pipe that runs through the middle of the house – at points functioning as a staircase handrail.

"Taking inspiration from the Amber Fort and its harvesting methods, the People Tree House channelises rainwater runoff," he continued.

"Water is released from the upper level tanks, under gravity, via drip irrigation pipes," explained Shrinagesh. "When required, stored water is diverted to the home's upper levels, creating a cycle of collect-irrigate-store-reuse."

Staircase in The People Tree House
The red rainwater collection pipe functions as a handrail

The home was arranged over four floors with a kitchen, living space and bedroom on the first level and two en-suite bedrooms above.

The third floor, which contains the splash pool, has a further two bedrooms, while a study is located on the mezzanine level above.

Archiopteryx added plants around the home
Pools and planted greenery feature across different levels and balconies

Throughout the home, openings, skylights and cutouts were designed to fill the spaces with natural light.

"The building focuses on the effects of nature and the natural, on form and function, and on the quality of life of the human being," said the founder.

While the main structural walls were made from exposed stone, the curved walls of the stairwell were finished with stained plaster coated with coconut oil.

The flooring and exterior was clad with Indian white marble and yellow sandstone to "compliment the earthy colour palette".

Archiopteryx designed The People Tree House
Openings fill the home with natural light

Noida, in Uttar Pradesh, is a planned satellite city of Delhi and part of the National Capital region of India. The city is organised as a series of rectilinear tree-lined transportation grids.

The People Tree House is built on one such plot and is surrounded by neighbouring buildings on three sides.

Sky view of the People Tree House
People Tree House was built on one of the streets of the Noida grid plan

Other recent Indian projects featured on Dezeen include a concrete villa in Delhi with a plant-covered roof by Studio Symbiosis and the Museum of Art & Photography in Bangalore by Mathew & Ghosh Architects.

The photography is by Andre J Fanthome of Studio Noughts & Crosses.

More images and plans

Lower ground floor plan
Lower ground floor plans
Upper foor plans Archiopteryx
Upper floor plans
People Tree House section detailing
Section detailing rainwater systems
Structure axo People Tree House
Structure axo
Archiopteryx sector plan
Sector plan
Section plan Archipoteryx