A contemporary home in Vadodara is given a timeless soul by Urvi Shah Associates. Bold shapes contrast with natural material creating a traditional space in a modern shell.
Designing a contemporary home with traditional details is often tricky business. It requires a fine balance to blend both worlds and in this project, Architect Urvi Shah has managed to do just that. Urvi Shah Associates is a Vadodara-based architecture and design firm with commercial, residential and large housing projects in their portfolio; it was commissioned to take care of the architecture and interiors of this residential project.
This stand-alone family home in Vadodara was built on a small plot of 2150 sq ft. The client brief was to create a contemporary-meets-traditional look. “We have created a contemporary design with clean lines and simple forms but have included traditional elements of living which are explored with the use of natural materials like brick, stone and wood,” explains Urvi Shah, Principal Architect.
The exterior sets the tone for the interiors of the house with its red brick and white façade. The contemporary lines of the building are bold yet not so avant-garde as to be out of place in the neighbourhood.
At the entrance, a large wooden door invites you into a simple foyer which then leads on to the main living space. The open living and dining room is decorated largely in muted tones of white and grey, including the ceiling. “The ceiling is exposed concrete. The idea while designing the house was to use natural materials like brick, concrete, stone and wood for an earthy feel. So I have used natural materials for both the exterior as well as the interiors,” says Urvi.
The eye-catching feature here, however, is the large red brick wall which contrasts beautifully against the other pale surfaces. “The client wanted the house in natural materials, something evergreen and did not want to use any contemporary material for its elevation. The idea was to create an earthy feel throughout the house in contrast with the contemporary furniture,” adds Urvi. The wooden furniture is upholstered in light colours to add to that contrast.
The other focal point of this open space is the white-and-wood staircase (exposed RCC with solid wood treads) leading upstairs. The red brick wall once again provides a striking background and leads the eye to the next level.
An interesting, almost hidden feature is the beautiful mural on the brick wall. “Like many other families, this client too wanted to have an image of ‘Shrinathji’ in the living room. So we thought of making a ‘Shrinathji’ mural on the exposed brick wall of the staircase which also happens to be the focal point of the house. The mural is made from exposed brick and is well lit with spot lights from the stairs.”
The dining room leads to a patio which was created as an extension of the dining area for outdoor use. “I have used multi-coloured river finish kota stone for the flooring as well as for the water-body. The area is semi-covered with a pergola above to provide some shade as well,” says Urvi.
Upstairs, the red brick wall shows up again in the master bedroom. This room is a wonderful example of using natural materials to a striking effect. The spot-lit brick wall and laminated wooden flooring adds a healthy dose of warmth to the largely minimal décor and brings it all together to make this a room you want to linger in.
The other bedrooms are similarly decorated in complementary neutral tones and with striking headboards. The bathrooms are elegant with glass walls, wooden floors and warm lighting.
The second floor includes a bedroom, a home theatre room with leather recliners for a touch of theatre-inspired fun and a pantry. A terrace in river-finish black kadappa stone gives a glamourous effect to this relaxed zone.
By using local and natural materials like the brick walls, marble, kota stone and wooden furniture Urvi Shah has given this contemporary structure both a traditional and timeless soul.
Text By Chryselle D’Silva Dias
Photographs Courtesy The Architect