Inspired by the Mada’in Saleh rock tombs in Saudi Arabia, architectural designer Amey Kandalgaonkar has conceived a modern home embedded into the side of an enormous rock. Fit together like a Chinese puzzle box, the overall form is slowly revealed as Kandalgaonkar gives an aerial view of the site. It’s only when looked down upon from the sky that the minimalist facade reveals a much more complex construction at the rear of the megalithic rock.
Kandalgoankar, who is a master of creating 3D concept renders, spent a significant amount of time working on the shape and form of the rock prior to conceiving the home. His House Inside a Rock is full of surprises, above all for the manner in which it cuts into the natural material rather than building off of it.
“Considering the visual complexity of the rocks at Mada’in Saleh, it was imperative to use simple planes and cubes in order to achieve a visual balance,” the Shanghai-based architect explains. “I started out creating the rock in 3D software which in itself was a sculpting process. Later when inserting the house into this rock, I tried to keep its visual impact from eye level as minimum as possible and only when observed from a birds eye, the real extent of the intervention is revealed.”
By juxtaposing the rough texture of the rock with the smooth surface of the concrete, Kandalgoankar achieves a complex visual contrast where old and new are complementary. Though it’s hard to imagine something like this will ever materialize in the real world, these incredible architectural concepts remind us of the artistry behind architecture.