The Pankhasari Retreat is a connected venue for co-living and co-working in the Indian Himalayas. Situated in West Bengal, near the border with Sikkim, the project aims to promote more sustainable tourism patterns, taking advantage of the increased living-and-working flexibility of the digital era. Buildings have been designed through an iterative process that involved local residents, craftsmen and practitioners from the surrounding area.
The complex includes residential, business, sport and farming facilities. The houses, built with local materials like stone, farmed teak and sissoo, reinterpret the verandas and overhangs of the vernacular architecture, protecting residents from extreme rain and sun conditions. The project responds to the environment using bioclimatic principles in architectural design, with specific focus on cooling and shading, improving natural ventilation, and protecting against monsoons.
The Retreat exemplifies the ongoing changes in our lifestyle facilitated by the emergence of global communication networks. High-speed Internet connection and extensive teleworking facilities permit international travelers to stay for longer periods of time at Pankhasari living in one of the planet’s most remote and beautiful corners while at the same time engaging with communities around the globe.