The Entrance Pavilion at the luxury villa housing project, Glade One, in Ahmedabad, has been designed by Bengaluru-based Khosla Associates as a simple, welcoming ensconce for visitor greet-ups, display and for social gatherings.
Bengaluru-based Khosla Associates was brought on board by BSafal Constructions Pvt. Ltd. to design an entrance pavilion for their ambitious golf course villa housing project, Glade One, located at Sanand in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The team, led by Principals Sandeep Khosla and Amaresh Anand, had to create a 6,000 sq. ft. space that would make the perfect first impression on visitors, before they moved on to view the project’s vast lifestyle offerings, including a 250-acre golf course, and club house, resort and spa facilities.
In the words of the firm, the Pavilion had to be “an entry and greeting point”. Though at the outset that may seem like the spare and simple objective of building this space, the Entrance Pavilion in reality encompasses many functions within its elegant, roomy folds. One of its major functions is to act as a display destination that showcases the perks of being a resident of the Glade One development project; as well as the levels of progress it traversed, the distinguishing features, and more.
The warm, welcoming tenor of the Pavilion is established by a low-frill, sturdy approach to space division and construction. The prominent materials here are wood, stone aggregate, and cement, and this combination comes alive at night with the help of sublime warm lighting. “The external walls are a judicious mix of stone aggregate plaster and polished cement offset with timber on the roofs,” states Sandeep Khosla, Principal and founder of the firm.
The designers were aiming for earthy tones for the Pavilion, a wise choice as it both complements and enhances the expanse of natural beauty all around the building. This is in fact one of the prime achievements of this space, that it manages to impress with its subtlety and class, but in no way attempts to usurp the charm of its surroundings, or of the luxuries that lie ahead of it.
Aside from entry and display, the pavilion also had to become a space that is ready to serve and entertain guests on occasion. This is a de rigueur arrangement at housing projects of the size of Glade One – the presence of small, cosy structures where the residents, otherwise separated by private walls, can once in a while gather and socialise at.
The overall stretch and elevation of the Pavilion is largely flat, and runs across in a mostly uninterrupted, elongated sequence of grey epoxy flooring. “A linear proportion for the floor plate was considered for our design, as the entrance to the overall development was fairly narrow,” attests Sandeep.
Tall glass divisions make sure that the smooth flow of the formal and informal, interior and external spaces continues uninterrupted.
The entrance court is carpeted with pebbles and sits overlooking a wide portico space that is flanked by trees. And “looming above is a sweeping butterfly roof with large overhangs, clad on the underside entirely in slats of timber.” This rather traditional spread thus makes even small flashes of design visually arresting. Like a shallow water feature near the main door, and a curvilinear wall defying all the straight angles around. Keeping in good stead with the breathy surroundings, the exterior as well as the interiors are characterised by wide spaces and minimal furnishing.
And then again there is that polished cement curvilinear feature wall. It originates at the entrance court, cleaves and curves through the interiors to enclose a reception table and create a coffee bar, before jutting out from the western end of the building, where it dips to meet the ground and comes to an elegant stop near the wooden patio. Though still far from wildly eccentric, this addition to the scheme is a delightful surprise.
The Glade One Visitor Entrance Pavilion looks like an appropriately luxurious living room space rather than a stiflingly formal structure that could host get-togethers.
A brilliant stroke of design wisdom by the team at Khosla Associates, as avoiding the temptation of adding ostentatious props and rooms at a luxury project is always a tough choice to make.
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photographs Jignesh Vishwanath