Architect in ChargeNishita Kamdar
Text description provided by the architects. We come from a time where spaces are getting smaller but expectations are getting much larger. There is this constant fight between reality and expectations. Amidst this stands the architect whose role is to try and bridge this gap. Design is the harmony and compromise one reaches between thoughts and execution. What makes you a good designer is your ability to realize all your thoughts into things.
This 4,200 sq ft house is nestled in a typical G+13 storey building complex in the heart of Ghatkopar East. The typology of homes around here is blingy stones and “imported” Italian marble finishes complete with veneer polished to its glossy best, expensive chandeliers screaming out to their Swarovski brothers.
The client Mr. Shah and his family had their brief laid out quite strictly from day 1: the house needed to be functional, free of clutter, simple and true to their personalities. And this was the starting point of a great project.
The Open House, true to its name, has spaces that open out to each other or onto something. The living room has a great double height volume which allows sunlight and air to fill up the space beautifully. It would only be unfair to not respect this to its fullest. To do so we decided to do away with the walls between the Living Dining and Kitchen area to make it appear like 1 large space. This not only enlarged ones view but also allowed maximum light and cross ventilation in the house. The opaque concrete walls were replaced with slim see through glass and metal partitions which can easily slide away and tuck discreetly tuck itself away to open up the space.
For Privacy these doors can be shut and form 2 distinct kitchen dining and living zones, still allowing light to filter in . This also allows to family to constantly engage with each other even whilst someone is in the kitchen and the other people are eating at the table. There is a constant visual connect to all the spaces from here.
The idea of the “wall” has been challenged in several ways here. The upper level media room hides behind a beautiful artist painted blue wall, which collapses to reveal the room behind. Storage spaces (which form a crucial part in Indian households) are tucked away between walls to almost appear to be absent.
The 3 most essential materials used in the house are Wood, Metal and Concrete. The Metal and Wood Staircase forms the backdrop to the living room and becomes an architectural element. Metal sliding doors and railings are used to keep the look as slim and minimal as possible. Hardwood in its natural form is treated in various ways, we have tried to reuse even the smallest scrap of wood produced on site. Door handles , wood art frames , diwan backrests were made from leftover plywood and Hardwood on site.
The Deep Chestnut wooden flooring gives a sense of great warmth to the rooms. The client wanted extremely clutter free spaces; hence the house has been designed with extremely minimal and discreet storage pieces.
The terrace area which is an 800 sq ft large space open to sky is the best space in the house. Since the main colour palette was black and brown, we painted some colourful DIY flower pots to brighten up the space and make it look fun. Plants with distinct smell like the Champa and herbs like basil, oregano and mint fill up the space with a lovely aroma.The material palette is carefully selected here . Since the double height volume in the living room, invited a lot of heat from the sunlight, the natural concrete panels on the wall (concrete is a cooling agent) helps in bringing down the overall temperature of the space.
Overall the house is extremely functional and easy to maintain. By maximizing the window and openings one also ensures that throughout the day, the need for artificial light and ventilation is almost not required.