Building from scratch, Krupa and Zubin Zainuddin of ZZ Architects have created a four-level bungalow in suburban Mumbai, combining that intangible element of style with all that technology has to offer.
No, not minimalistic. And not back-to-roots either. If you’re looking for contemporary, with all the hi-tech bells and whistles of modern day living, then Krupa and Zubin Zainuddin of ZZ Architects have much to offer. Slick styling, with carefully handpicked accessories, their aesthetic enables clients to unabashedly live out their dreams. No cutting corners. Not even a little bit.
This 8,000 sq ft bungalow in suburban Mumbai is spread out over four levels. As if this is not luxurious enough, a garden unfurls from its windows, seemingly extending as far as the eye can see. Which it doesn’t, obviously. The illusion is possible only because of a forest-like army of trees on the neighbouring plot, which serendipitously appear to be part of the aforementioned garden… and rather than circumscribing the space, they make it appear to extend to infinity.
The bungalow has an unusual genesis. Explains Krupa, “The owners of two neighbouring plots came together and commissioned us to create individual bungalows for them. So we razed the existing structures to the ground and built afresh.” Who wouldn’t want that, unless you’re sitting on a heritage property? “In our design, the new structures meant for unrelated owners, have a common wall. This way, the space on the site has been maximised.”
A green wall flanks the entry, one path leading directly to the garden. Quite convenient for guests to use when there is a large party on the lawns. Lending support for large scale entertainment is an outdoor bar and seating in civil work. A jogging track and outdoor dining facilities ensure that the garden is not only eye candy, but gets used more often.
The concept embodies modern-day living with its sometimes irreconcilable needs of privacy and togetherness. The guitars and the drums in each space spell out the hobbies of the boys.
Each floor has the feel of a suite, with a bedroom, walk-in closet, bath and lounge spread out over approximately 2,000 sq ft of carpet area. All balconies overlook the garden. Private libraries, puja room, a study with an internet station, you name it and its there. And yes, the terrace has the mandatory spa and massage room.
The living room has very few walls. Those that are there are covered in works of art which extend from the floor to the ceiling, in scale with the space. The different grouping of sofas provides a combination of formal and informal seating. The chequered marble flooring adds to the ambience.
The dining table sits on a slightly higher level with no pattern, in a reversal of the expected. Soffit lighting on the periphery of the ‘platform’ provides the intended visual lightness, making the entire space appear to float. An inclined backlit marble covers the wall adjacent to the dining table, adding a new plane to the space. The lighting is from Flos and Established & Sons, the loose furniture from many different brands.
“We just picked up pieces off the shelf, choosing whatever we liked without any pre-conceived plan of where to place them,” says Zubin. “The beds and side tables, on the other hand, are customised. Marble with a strong grain has found its way into many areas of the design including the area surrounding the headboard in the bedrooms, making a statement with both its colour and pattern. “There is intense detailing in the civil work,” adds Krupa.
The piece de resistance, though, is the home theatre room in the lowest level of the bungalow. But that is not a complete description, because it also houses a 20 ft long pool which runs the length of the screen, which easily measures 10 ft on its longer side.
Slide out a motorised cover over the pool and voila – you have an instant dance floor. Seating for a couple of dozen people easily converts this space into a party zone, with yellow tables providing a punch of colour. Swim while you watch a movie? Kind of redefines leisure, entertainment as well as exercise, blurring the boundaries between them so that you’re not sure where one ends and the other starts.
In the words of the architect, “It is needless to add that there is immense value which is added to a space by customising it and this makes a project not only challenging but immensly satisfying.”
Text By Devyani Jayakar
Photographs Sebastian Zachariah Courtesy The Architects