Imagine waking up to the sound of birds chirping, and you step out to your balcony to the view of lush greenery. Did you assume you were in a remote forest, away from the city? What if you got everything you imagined in your city home?

Project Name: Kohinoor Kaleido
Project location: Kharadi, Pune
Site area: 54,900 Sq.m
Gross Built Area: 1,94,554 Sq.m
Program / Use / Building Function: Residential
Clients: Kohinoor Group
Status: Ongoing
Architecture Firm: VK:a architecture
Firm Location: Pune
Renderings credits: Anup Gandhe
Design Team: Amit Shetty, Pratik Pankhewale, Tejashree Pawar, Atharva Gaikwad
Landscape Team: VK:a Landscape
Author: Ar.Athulya Ann Aby

Kohinoor Kaleido by VKa architecture - Sheet2
Site layout showing residential apartments aligned to the periphery with the mini-forest in the center. Parking podiums with recreational amenities on the terrace flank either sides of the ground open area.

Located in close proximity to the Kharadi IT hub in Pune, the residential complex, Kohinoor Kaleido is anticipated to cater largely to the IT crowd, who spends a majority of their day (and night) in front of a monitor, indoors. With rising levels of work from home or hybrid modes in the sector, live-work-play neighbourhoods become a necessity than a concept.

When Vk:a architecture conceptualized the project, the open space took the center stage (literally). The 12 residential buildings are strategically aligned towards the periphery and multi-level car-parks ensure more space on the ground.  Inspired by a vision to create not only a healthy lifestyle, but also to motivate the youth of tomorrow to learn and play outdoors, the central space is conceptualized as a mini forest, with designated camping area, butterfly garden and amphitheater.

Kohinoor Kaleido by VKa architecture - Sheet4
A broadwalk hovering above the eco-pond gives the residents a unique experience of being suspended in nature.

Comprehensively detailed by the internal Vk:a Landscape team, it is to be densely planted by native trees and plants. The project responds to the water scarcity of the Kharadi region with an Eco-pond, an artificial lake made of the excess STP water after tertiary treatment. An orchard space is provided to encourage urban farming and a demarcated area for a weekly farmer’s market for selling and buying local produce. Other amenities like swimming pool, clubhouse, children’s playground and courts are provided on the parking podiums. The ‘forest’ extends out and flows into the buildings, welcoming every resident out to the open.

Kohinoor Kaleido by VKa architecture - Sheet6
Area designated for farmer’s market, which can be used for pop-up stalls by any small business.

Breaking the monotony of repetitive facades are patterned jalis banding the buildings, giving each a distinct identity. The patterns are abstracted from shapes as seen through a kaleidoscope, thus earning its name – Kaleido. Just as in a kaleidoscope, the central void brings in the necessary natural light and ventilation required to brighten the apartments on the periphery.

Designed as a free-flowing, natural environment, the central open space presents an opportunity for organic development of an eco-system. As daily activities are brought closer together, social networks are also enhanced with increased chance face-to-face meetings. With high-density development being the vision of the future, well-designed residential projects can the first step towards a self-sustaining community.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.