“House Inside a Rock” is a unique design by Shanghai-based architect Amey Kandalgaonkar. The structure was designed and 3D rendered by the architect offering minimalistic concrete slabs with organic geometries of natural rock. The design was inspired by the rock-cut tomb of Saudi Arabia’s Madain Saleh an ancient archaeological UNESCO world heritage site carved into large masses of sandstone.
Humans have been carving architecture into rock for nearly our entire history on this planet, so it’s a little surprising we don’t see more modern marvels mimicking spectacular ancient wonders like the city of Petra in Jordan. Relatively easy to carve, sandstone offers an ideal medium for sculptural architecture that adapts existing rock formations into habitable spaces.
With even more transcendental technology being developed to aid in the process of building our planet’s modernized structures, it’s only a matter of time before we see environmentally-articulated dwellings.
We are not quite there yet but one can still imagine. Kandalgaonkar combines colossal sandstone formations with minimalist concrete and glass, carving out spaces within the rock formations and adding new horizontal planes for outdoor living spaces.
“Considering the visual complexity the rocks at Madain Saleh, it was imperative to use simple planes and cubes in order to achieve a visual balance,” Kandalgaonkar 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 bird eye, the real extent of the intervention is revealed.”
The multi-tier building incorporates a handful of luxurious amenities, from numerous decks, viewpoints, and a fully encapsulated terrace, all the way to an immaculately-placed infinity pool that overlooks the area’s desolate surroundings.