What does Indian architecture now look like? While a coherent vernacular is yet to emerge from the country’s contemporary designers, a young generation of architects is making its mark. Khosla Associates is one such practice. Founded in 1995 by Sandeep Khosla, a New York Pratt Institute graduate and former associate at Charles Correa's Mumbai office, and co-director Amaresh Anand, its portfolio ranges from schools to offices. But it is Khosla’s private residences that are most impressive, as seen in their latest project, the spectacular Cliff House.

Perched 200ft above the beach in Chowara, a small fishing village in Kerala, South India, the Cliff House was conceived as a vacation home for a family based in London. While the family insisted on the size of the home (1397sqm), it was the hot and humid local climate that dictated the open spaces (remarkably, only 50% of the space is encased by four walls). Defined by a dramatic asymmetrical sloping roof that sits atop an elegant assemblage of concrete boxes, the building is finished with polished cement, concrete and rough slate which are warmed by slatted timber and natural kota stone from a nearby quarry.

Khosla Associates made subtle references to India’s architectural history, particularly from the period of the newly independent country in the 1950s, and also borrowed from Brazilian modernism by punctuating the vast rooms with open-air courtyards. Yet the overall aesthetic of the Cliff House is unique, even more so in the setting of a lush coconut plantation that overlooks an endless stretch of beach. Decorated a la Corbusier with a minimum amount of furniture and antiques, the architecture either frames or merges with the surrounding nature. It is, quite simply, the ultimate vacation home – both a triumph of exotic design and a showcase of the talent that is defining contemporary Indian architecture.