There’s no better way to escape the heat or the hustle and bustle of our cities this summer, than to get behind the wheel with your family and escape to your family farmhouse for a weekend getaway. Farmhouses on the outskirts of Indian metropolitan cities have become popular weekend escapes from the cramped surroundings of modern urban India. A farmhouse is a housing type both residential and recreational – a welcome refuge for families and friends to get together in the heart of nature.
Farmhouse retreats offer an unparalleled way to relax, recover and rejuvenate from a hectic week. These properties have become, for many Indian families and groups of family friends, more than just a luxury; for many they are a necessity born of the stresses of the city. Here we offer some inspiration by way of a handful of awe-inspiring farmhouse retreats from around the world. Take a closer look and imagine how blissful your weekends could be.
With this suburban farmhouse on the outskirts of Delhi, nostalgia meets forward-thinking design, blending traditional vernacular architecture from southern India with the modern architectural aesthetics. Ecologically-aware farmhouses are common expressions of the popular concern for India’s sustainable future, and this example responds admirably. With its deep wraparound verandah providing shade, water features positioned to take advantage of prevailing winds, and an overall structure centred on a courtyard that provides additional internal cooling, this farmhouse is an excellent design characterised by low energy consumption. Picture an evening spent in softly-lit ambience, sitting on the verandah with a cool breeze taking away the heat of the day. What better than this for taking time out over a stress-free weekend.
Mountainside retreats offer spectacular vistas and ample space for outdoor activities like weekend brunches. Typically at altitude, these habitats are a perfect response to summer’s warm weather conditions. This rehabilitated barn in Trentino, Italy, designed by architects Supercake, is a great demonstration of how abandoned mountain farm facilities can be adapted for residential and recreational purposes. Here you can see how the barn’s well-restored façade and rustic windows retain traces of their functional past while incorporating the essentials of modern, energy-efficient design. Who wouldn't want to take their morning cup of tea while sitting in the garden of this retreat, with a historic farm building and the mountains of northern Italy as a backdrop?
Driving through the mountains of Asturias in northern Spain, we visit this small, countryside house set against the hillside. With a destination like this available to us, it would be hard to resist escaping from the city for more than just a weekend. Located at the end of a narrow and winding mountain road, the prospect from this retreat is one of forested slopes, patchwork fields, and the vastness of the mountains. This particular house, with its geometric lines and discreet use of modern materials, offers a striking yet understated juxtaposition to its beautiful setting, nestled in the heart of nature.
Money cannot buy you everything, but we think that this might be as good as it gets. A weekend escape spent here offers you a moment of nirvana, allowing you to immerse your body, mind and soul in lush, green surroundings and a residential retreat equipped with all the modern conveniences. Designed by Hohensinn Architects, this house is located close to Austria’s Bad Aussee, and is intended to provide you with pampered, luxurious weekends. The structure’s transparent, minimalist design, and the façade’s subtle use of colour, gives the impression, from inside and out, that the whole is of a piece with the awe-inspiring Alpine landscape. Take five and pamper yourself.
For those of us that find beauty in simplicity, this minimalist home is sure to catch the eye. Carefully crafted incisions in the façade, precise attention to detail, and geometrically-balanced framing recalls the famous phrase of master architect Mies van der Rohe: ¨God is in the details¨. Appropriate use of glazing on each of this retreat’s façades allows for a variety of garden views and an indication of how various functions and amenities are distributed throughout the house. This design admits plenty of natural daylight – we love the idea of waking up to warm rays of sunlight, filtered through a canopy of trees outside, as if outside and inside were interchangeable.
Escaping urban chaos is a surefire way to engender an appreciation of the little things in life. This design is an extremely compact 55m2 prefabricated nature retreat, designed down to the last detail by Denmark’s Vipp. Giving the impression of being more than just a house, this building has been described as a “liveable product”. With an open plan living and dining space, the design encourages you to take the opportunity and live in the moment, supporting a sense of simultaneous transience and rootedness. Gorgeously in-context, this house discreetly announces itself to its surroundings and its inhabitants, standing lakeside somewhat like a striking piece of contemporary furniture. Weekends spent here are the ultimate way to slow time down to a more comfortable pace.
At the end of our weekend, it is true that we have only memories to retain. Those memories that survive the trip back into the city are the ones most cherished; but who would want to have to leave and merely remember when there’s a view like this for us to enjoy. While we all know that a return to reality is inevitable, at least such places of bliss remain waiting for another visit. For those lucky enough to have such a retreat at their disposal, the experience can be repeated, though we hope that in any case these diverse examples of weekend retreats offered at least a little inspiration. For more stunning examples, take a look here.