Elegant colonial style home in the Indian hills

Elegant colonial style home in the Indian hills

Designed by ABM Architects

Holymount Estate is a take on the British colonial style where “more is less” and the “bold is beautiful”. It is a protected property in a Cantonment town, 7500 feet above sea level. The quaint town of Landour, Mussoorie in which it is located, boasts approximately 30 historical residences, all constructed during Britain’s colonization of India.

Some of these even belonged to prolific residents, like writer Ruskin Bond, actor Victor Banerjee and media personality Pranoy Roy, amongst others. Thus, the area has a rather unique architectural character, which ABM Architects and their clients were intent on retaining. With this goal in mind, focus is given on restoring the exterior of the residence to its original glory, preserving the distinctive solid stone structure, turrets, and sloping sheet metal roof.

A lot of attention was directed towards the interiors, as the original floor plan and layout were rudimentary and lacked basic modern conveniences and insulation. The interiors were completely re-planned and refurbished from a stark, bare, Spartan house to a warm, cozy and stunning holiday home.

After outfitting the space with contemporary fixtures and appliances, interest was added by the inclusion of collectible and custom-made furniture pieces, lights and tapestries. Naturally, the interior design strikes a balance between the historic and the contemporary. The selection of the furniture and the material palette is vibrant given the cold atmosphere of the hills, and the rooms are very different to each other, each having their unique character. The paintings and artefacts are from the Client’s vast collection and are coordinated well in the Interior palette. The comfort of large bathrooms and heated floors throughout, make the whole place a warm nest for the soul. The extensive use of pine and teakwood adds warmth to the look and feel of the spaces. This is an important visual counter to Landour’s cold nights and moderate winter snow fall.


The overarching idea was the creation of a residential museum – a true curation of the significant history of the building and area and a plethora of critical residential design trends. The architects succeeded in providing the owners with a home away from home that is different from all their other residences – comfortable and familiar, but something new to be discovered with every visit.


Architects: ABM Architects

Project Name: House in the Mussoorie Hills

Location: Mussoorie Hills Landaur, Uttarakhand, India

Area: 4500 SQ.FT. (Build-up area)

Status: Completed in 2016

Architect in Charge: Alfaz Miller


Additional Credits

Design Team: Riyaz Himany

HVAC, Landscape and Facade: ABM Architects

Structural Engineer: CSE Juzer A. Tinwala

Design Consultant: Latika Amersey

Photographs: Tanuj Ahuja

All project images are © Architecture firm/Design firm/Student and Photographer mentioned respectively. The text is provided by the Architecture/Design firm/Student which may have been edited as per the editorial discretion.