The pristine, simple and elegant qualities of white find expression in this duplex apartment in Mumbai; here the spaces brushed in myriad shades of alabaster come to life in an understated opulence.
It has been said, ‘God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously, as when He paints in white.’ These words ring true in the ashen simplicity defining this open 5,000 square feet space etched in monochromatic detailing. Designed by the Mumbai based ZZ Architects, this duplex apartment combines a rich material palette with open planning and a frill free approach to create a home that satisfies the clients’ requirements to the‘T’.
The home is accessed through a lobby where begins the white drama – Opus flooring balanced by a glossy grey toned wall paper, the narrow vestibule leads us to the living room framed in a wooden doorway, which is the only contrast to the colourless surfaces, aptly accentuating their effect.
One step into the living room, and the spaciousness of the open plan connecting the living room to the adjacent lounge space and adjoining staircase, leaves us speechless. With the dynamic backdrop of Mumbai’s cityscape framed in a full length glazed panel, this monochromatic room is filled with varied textures and finishes that subtly connect with our finer sensibilities.
A cantilevered wooden table top extending from the television console wall marks the dividing line between the living room and the lounge space. Bordered by balconies on either side, the view clear through glass walls, this lounge space is the perfect relaxing spot for friends and family.Deviating from the white diktat, the beige carpet and lounge seats, give the space a less formidable definition. Atmospheric hues filter in through a skylight topping a wooden staircase within a double heighted space that is the gateway to the inner sanctum.
White onyx carpeting the entire house is not only a binding element but also a rich background for the rest of the achromatic textures and details. “The initial important decision we made was to use a uniform flooring of white onyx throughout the house. This is definitely a statement as it’s very rare to find such quality onyx in large quantities,” say the architects.
The dining room boasting of a mirror and onyx table-top is akin to a chic art gallery, with the designers taking ‘white’ as a ‘code’ to the next level, through an enigmatic Patricia Uriquola abstract composition in white shades.
Monochromatic tones even find their way into the bedrooms; here however colours are used to balance the spread of white. The master bedroom duplicates the ashen vocabulary of the main public spaces and creates a visual treat with the textures of the material palette composed of fabric, glass, stone and wall surfaces.
For the other bedrooms, the design ethos changes slightly. In the words of the architects, “The design of other bedrooms and bathrooms has been created to portray the individual’s taste and personality, yet having its own identity.”
In one room the dark brown of the wooden finishes dominantly draws our eyes to the linearity, framing the argent surfaces and textures. While elsewhere, the neutral colour scheme in nude tones dominates the décor, and white becomes merely a wallflower. In here, the bed tucked away in a nook is subjugated by the full height headboard in combinations of nude patches creating geometric art. It leaves the rest of the white space to soak in the external physical and visual elements streaming through glazed surfaces spanning the entire length of the room.
In a note to the white décor architects Zubin Zainuddin and Krupa Zubin elaborate, “We wanted to explore a home with clear undertones of white as a ‘tying scheme’. The space had to be grand in scale but with an understated luxury that does not scream attention. A fusion of styles and a blend of interior finishes are obvious through this home. Interesting textures and innovative use of materials are effortlessly combined in the design and are clear indicators of ZZ Architects’ inimitable style.”
Sometimes a simple brief can become a winning mantra, and the design team at ZZ Architects dissected the client’s request of a ‘simple yet detailed home’ to create a duplex apartment that is rich in splendour, simple in expression and mesmerising in appeal; combining the magical feel of white with open spaces that find their limits only in the cityscapes beyond.
Text By K Parvathy Menon
Photographs ZZ Architects