Bangalore’s Greenest Homes: The Dutt’s Five Seasons House is a home for all seasons

Everything in the Five Seasons House bursts with the promise of sustainable living that nourishes the earth, home and self.

Their Facebook profile says “A secret slice of Bangalore where time stands still”. You realise that there can’t be a truer description, when you visit the Five Seasons House, the handcrafted art home of the Dutt family. Five Seasons was rebuilt, brick by brick, with every inch of wood and metal recycled. The house took nearly five years to complete, all because the Dutt family believed that love’s labour was not going to be lost at their old family home.

The result is a painstakingly handcrafted home with creative nooks and corners that make you pause and re-look at sustainable living with fresh new eyes. There is the wasted metal and wood that has been turned into candle holders, old speaker metal parts that now function as ceilings, creaking water pipes which hold food on the dining table, old upholstery which is now the roof of the security cabin – every piece of furniture, wall and foundation in Vijay Dutt’s home for all seasons has a story to tell and a message to pass.

Re-using everything in sight

Dutt’s residence practises the 3Rs of waste management to the T. Outside the home you can see the majestic Ficus Elastica. You will never guess that it was a dump yard earlier and that the Dutts adopted the tree, cleared out the dump, built a fence and using old tyres, left over paint and waste mud, created a mini rock garden.

Garden & Kiln

The house blends seamlessly with its surroundings – it almost seems like an extension of the greenery outside. There is a perfect balance between light and air at the entry and exit of the hallway giving the impression that there is a connect indoors and outdoors; the squirrels get duped and run to and fro in to the house. At the entrance you can also glimpse a fascinating recycled artwork made from the spare parts of an ambassador car.

The living room is almost carbon free with its recycled furniture and upcyled upholstery and the feeling permeates as you go through the house -through the organic furnishings, a recycled dog house, old trunks, repurposed stone slabs, furniture made from water hyacinth, all vying for attention. The Dutt family has spent years in the handicraft and handloom sector, a deep knowledge they bring to the design sensibilities inside the house.

Sharing the joys of earth-friendly living

The fruits of a sustainable life are too precious to be enjoyed alone, say the family – parts have been let out as a community centre to encourage a holistic lifestyle encompassing art, health, food along with spiritual sessions like a Satsang, yoga, mediation, community gathering for contemplation etc.

Performance Centre

The energetic and effervescent Vijay Dutt, owner  of the home says,” I wish to spread the message of energy conservation, food security, saying no to plastic, car pooling, cycling to work, water stewardship, tree adoption etc and adopt values such as compassion towards stray animals, all of them using my home as the axis.”

The door to a zero-energy life

Vijay Dutt is of the opinion that as a community we can all contribute to sustainable future by reducing our carbon footprint.  To bring home this message, the family celebrates Earth Hour regularly with a community event where the living room is lit up with 24 candles housed in repurposed scrap metal/ wood candle holders and visitors can meet up and join in the buzz. The event is also an Art night where upcoming artists and other like minded people from handcraft and cottage industries bond and co-work together.

Garden Gym

Car pooling notices are frequently put up outside their home so that people can participate and share a car, thus saving gas, money and reducing pollution. There are also plans to offer cycles for work in the near future. The last Sunday of every month sees a garage sale at the Five Seasons House where you can declutter, reduce, reuse and recycle household things. The garage sale is clubbed with other community events, book reading events and sometimes even a potluck dinner.

Food from the Farmacy

The Dutt family runs Farmacy, a food store from where you can pre order organic pulses, cereals, soaps, oils etc in bulk, typically a month’s supply. Karan Dutt, Vijay’s son, is a passionate organic gardener and has tie-ups with providers to bring together sustainable food products. The rose garden at the top of the home is his fruit of labour where he has around 30 varieties of roses in unique colours like light purple etc. “People using the room benefit from the aromatherapy,” he says.

Earth Hour

The house has an organic terrace gardening centre which aims to train people in the entire process of planting and maintaining an OTG: right from planning to nursery techniques, plant protection, organic manures and composting techniques.  Krishi centre is the brainchild of Dr K M Bojappa, Dr Hithalmani and Sri A T Krishnamurthy of Thoreau Foundation, a centre for Environmental, Educational and Humanitarian activities. The first president of the foundation was Vijay Dutt’s father, Kulbhushan Dutt.

Shakti Kendra at the Five Seasons House has active science models to explain key issues like the energy crisis, global warming, clean energy sources like solar energy etc. Aimed both at students and teachers to help them understand the need for alternate energy and thereby reduce carbon footprint, over 18 models made of scrap materials, plastic parts and toy motors have been used.

Getting some rejuvenating me-time

Work and a life style that includes time for leisure, health, family, and spiritual development is the key to achieving work-life balance. And to remind people about this important philosophy, the Five Seasons House has an old fabric weighing scale installed at their home to depict the balance. The idea is to create “Me time” and the House offers this opportunity by providing a plethora of activities to engage you in hobbies, healthy pursuits.

Dhabha Nook – Book Reading

Aqua Yoga at their paddle lap pool, Jacuzzi with high powered tubs, an unconventional gym that believes in exercising in open space with potted herbs, perennials and other organic plants keeping you company, going the healthy route with their innovative dietary options for you after the gym; all straight from their in-house organic garden is what the Dutt residence offers.

Going fast, going slow

Vijay Dutt calls himself the Guru of slow movement. He advocates that going slow is a way to be mindful and savour life’s precious moments. Keeping this in mind he has various initiatives at his home like the “Slow food corner” where noodles get cooked over coal, and takes two hours to cook. Baking a organic healthy pizza at the  wooden fired kiln sure takes time but it is an activity that will immerse all your senses right from picking up the fresh ingredients that go in to pizza to the earthly aroma that emerges when you bake. Every Friday you can engage in the joys of baking with their Joy of Baking workshops.

Community Bake Workshop

And staying… still, till the sun shines

The Five Seasons House has rented out five rooms for guests – open, well designed rooms with plenty of light and ventilation. The beds are recycled, the fabrics and upholstery are made of organic fabric with specially sourced art and custom designs. All the rooms run on solar power.

Fun activities are conducted for kids where they learn about healthy organic foods, disease fighting foods and are taught “you are what you eat”.   Sundays are jolly times for kids – storytelling, craft corners and hobby classes are arranged.

The House also has a Tree-of-Hope depicting hope and optimism. Vijay Dutt says that when life throws challenges the first thing that a person loses out is hope. So he has created the River-of-Love, Tree-of-Hope & Fountain-of-Three-Wishes in his Zen Garden to help people pause and rethink.

The happy FSH community

Looking forward, Vijay Dutt has many more initiatives lined up his sleeve. Teaching vocational green skills and training individuals to become green entrepreneurs is one such scheme. Recycling grey water and going for complete water stewardship is another.

Come weekend, whether you are looking to get a glimpse of really green house, engage in some meaningful pursuit of a hobby or learning, or just wanting to still your mind, pack your bags and arrive at the Five Seasons house. There is a good chance that you will really come away transformed.

Bangalore’s greenest homes is a series on beautiful homes that have been built on strong sustainability principles – from natural building materials to efficient light and space design, water harvesting, off-the-grid energy energy, eco-friendly decor and furniture. And a lifestyle for the residents where less has meant a lot more. 

Usha Hariprasad is an Editorial Intern with The Alternative. The Alternative editorial internship is a chance for students and working professionals across the globe to work with the magazine’s editors in creating real-time content, photo and video stories and more while exploring the fascinating world of sustainability and social impact as it unfurls around us. Write to if you are interested in exploring an internship.

Usha Hariprasad is a freelance writer. She is fond of travelling, discovering new places and writes about travel related destinations around Bangalore at Citizen Matters. more


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Usha Hariprasad is a freelance writer. She is fond of travelling, discovering new places and writes about travel related destinations around Bangalore at Citizen Matters. more

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