Cottage in the Woods

Project : Cottage in the Woods

Location : Katra, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Status : Unbuilt

Area : 600 sq.m

Design Team : Shikha Doogar, Shridhar Rao, Rana Sarkar

Associated Research:
Architecture V/s Identity

Cottage in the Woods

Cottage in the woods is born out of an ideology that architectural identity is culturally, historically acquiescent and transformative in nature. Located on a hilly site that forms a valley overlooking the TriKuta Hills in the holy city of Katra Jammu, the cottage finds itself immersed within the wooded trees of a resort complex. The site presents an opportunity to sit amongst the field of trees as an observer. The access to the site is a climb down towards the valley. Perched and disconnected from the main complex the cottage was an experiment to explore the possibilities of use and identity.  

The design challenges the timeless depictions of the built environment and questions the legitimacy of existing non-transformative notions of architectural meaning and value. The traditional house (Tak) is studied, analyzed and deconstructed to extract the syntax of the cottage in the woods. The resultant design is a simple derivative which fuses the two basic typologies of the traditional structure. Multiple iterations are studied and tested on site for performance, experience and flexibility before a final iteration is chosen.


The cottage design is a coalesce of two contrasting elements in form, materiality and spaces; The juxtaposition flows into materials as traditional stone having a rustic appearance sits with white stucco finish. The design intends to blur the boundaries between exterior and interior spaces by bringing in the woods; the multifunctionality of the cottage allows the rooms to be occupied all year around.