Playing with modern elements to blend in with a vintage look, project Orange Extension by SHROFFLEóN is an inspired rendition of an extension built around a 60-year-old family home in Bandra, Mumbai.
Going by the principle that a “good design tends to be a culmination of a creative collaboration – not only between the two of us, but between us, various consultants and the client,” Kayzad Shroff and Maria León came together to set up an architecture and design company called SHROFFLEóN. This young and budding architectural design initiative has been taking on several projects in the field of landscape urbanism, urban design, interior design, architecture and installations.
Both, Maria and Kayzad are equipped with a graduate degree from Cornell University, while the latter is also a Teaching Associate at the same university. The latest feather in the cap of this young design firm is project Orange Extension, which is best described as a modern twist to a 60-year-old Bandra home.
The extension project covering a 1,500 square metres area and spread over four floors was primarily commissioned to protect the collection of super luxury cars, which are a prized possession of the owner of the house, from the elements of nature. With that objective in mind, the design team conceived the idea of twin extensions to the existing structure in the form of canopies.
Speaking of the concept behind the formalisation of this design, Kayzad says, “It was our intention to have an addition that whilst respecting the overall aesthetics of the existing structure, reflected the times in which it was built with a contemporary aesthetic – a structure that managed to stand apart from the old – and at the same time one that would have an easy dialogue with the contexts it sits in.”
The most critical aspect of the project was the right treatment of interventions, which were executed in the form of sculpted objects in the round. This was achieved by ensuring that a great attention to detail was accorded to every part of the upcoming structure, including its underbelly.
The highlight of the geometrical aspects is that a visitor gets a full view of the entire extension upon entering the building premises. According to the young architect, the geometry played a crucial part in ensuring that the structure blended well with the existing building and did not stand out as an oddity.
Maria explains, “The geometry of the revamped area derived its form completely from the existing context – the physicality being born out of juxtapositions of projections of contextual guidelines. The resulting form is thus one that blends seamlessly and fits snugly into context, all the while maintaining its distinction and celebrating its individuality through a material difference.”
The Orange Extension is characterised by the presence of grooves of varying widths that run throughout the structure. All the prominent grooves have been further accentuated through lights embedded in them. These grooves also add functionality to the structure by channelling rainwater towards the collection plate, from where it then flows into an adjoining flower bed.
The rainwater collection plate installed in the structure has been kept structurally different from the other elements of the canopy with a view to emphasise its alternate purpose in the design scheme.
“The inclusion of the rainwater collection plate was a conscious choice for this project. By doing so, we make evident and distinct the expectations of the plate in relation to the rest of the under belly, thereby reflecting the happenings of the top onto the bottom of the canopies,” says Kayzad.
Explaining why this element was made an integral part of the project design, Maria adds, “Since this project was commissioned for a home in Mumbai, a city that receives heavy rainfall, and for the sole purpose of protecting the cars from the elements, we felt it was important to make the intentions of this extension explicit through its very design. The rainwater collection plate, along with the geometry of the design and its materiality, contributes toward expressing this singular idea.”
The underbelly too has been evolved with extreme attention to detail, with the axis leading to the home accentuated through a lowering of the ceiling. Here too the structure, materials, design and lighting have been carefully handpicked to build a connection with the existing facade. White plastered surfaces, treated random rubble basalt stone walls, wood and glass have been used to render the blend of the old and new entirely seamless.
Weathering steel, a material that eliminates the need for painting by forming a stable rust-like patina once exposed to the weather, has been used to give the area a rustic touch. The project, Orange Extension, derives its name from exactly this play of colours.
Text By Arushi Chaudhary
Photographs Sebastian Zachariah/Photographix