Abandoning the boundaries between art, architecture, interiors and landscape, Hiren Patel Architects conjure a residence that truly advocates the idea of living with nature.
Being unpredictable is a predictable virtue of architect Hiren Patel’s designs. Owing to its luxurious and elegant appeal, he has fondly nicknamed this residence as ‘The Frill House’. This home is exhilarating to describe and must be undoubtedly exhilarating to inhabit as well. The Frill House is not just a structure designed to grab eyeballs (like some recent endeavours in the field of modern architecture) but is an experience for all your senses to savour.
Over the years, Hiren Patel has proven his mastery in creating stunning yet structured landscapes. His landscapes are in constant dialogue with his architecture. In this house, he has gone a step further and has seamlessly fused architecture with the surrounding landscape.
The architect elucidates, “I was thoroughly inspired by Charles Correa’s design of Parekh House with its summer and winter sections, built during 1967-68, apt for Ahmedabad’s climatic conditions. I filtered my flock of ideas to arrive at derivatives that befit the design brief specific for this residence. Consequently, I came up with two distinctively treated gardens on the north and south sides of the house. This conduces into a ‘Z’ shaped layout plan.”
Conceived like a forest, the south garden with its fully blossomed varieties of palm, frangipani and silver oak casts shadows on the south façade. This protects the south wall of the house which is exposed to the harsh sunrays for most part of the day during summer months. Contrary to this, the north garden has extensive lawns with delicate shrubs and plants. The shadow of the house keeps the lawn useable even during the hotter hours for the cricket loving dwellers.
The green cover at the Frill House has more to do than just climate control. It is used as poetry which adds drama at every turn. The clever juxtaposition of green renders artistic frames of vision to be relished from within. It is delightful to discover the seamless synchronization of architecture and interior décor with the landscape to create fresh and lively spaces.
“Understanding the client’s nature, lifestyle, family background and future needs I decided to give them a spacious house that would be opulent as well as vernal,” explains Hiren Patel. Keeping in mind the prospective development of high-rise residential schemes in the adjoining properties, the built form of 9,000 sq. ft. is positioned at the centre of the 58,000 sq. ft. site.
Following the basic orientation of spaces according to the Vaastu Shashtra principles was a stern instruction from the client. Subsequently the entry opens in the north, the master bedrooms falls in the south-west and the prayer room finds its place in the east direction.
In order to revel in the feeling of being in a forest, the functional spaces are separated from each other and connected through transitional passages. This provides a sense of adventure and exploration to its habitants through the ever-changing landscape. Each space reveals a different philosophy on the convergence of nature and human.
On venturing deep within the private zone, the endearing north garden is unveiled in its full valour through a double height verandah. The dining room, study room, kitchen and staff area are all closely knit together for efficiency and comfort. The privacy quotient is well balanced for the master bedroom and guest bedroom as they perch away from the rest towards the south.
A keen art connoisseur, Hiren Patel intertwines art to his architecture. The métier of this project is the nifty selection of art displayed. The Frill house is replenished with creations of master artists. The family room is bejewelled with a painting by Nabibaksh Mansuri and the work of Late Sharad Patel satiates the foyer room. A painting by Hiren Patel himself also finds a place in one of the passages.
“The white colour of the walls gives the form a sculptural quality against the prominent green of the landscape. The interiors are well cogitated and minutely detailed out with great workmanship,” believes Hiren Patel.
Text By Kruti Choksi
Photographs Courtesy Hiren Patel Architects