Space Dynamix has ensured that the home meant for a joint family in Ahmedabad, is flooded with natural light and breezes. A slick contemporary aesthetic flowing through the spaces both connects and demarcates them.
Why would anyone in Ahmedabad get architects from Mumbai to design their home? With no dearth of architects from the much-respected CEPT in the city, ‘importing’ them would seem much like carrying coals to Newcastle. Ashutosh Wad and Manjunath Hathwar of Space Dynamix have a simple answer to that.
“We had designed an office for the clients earlier. As developers, they understood the process of design and were happy with our work,” says Ashutosh. “To minimise the risk of mistakes, our drawings were all made in a 1:1 scale. That compensated for the ‘long distance’ nature of the work,” adds Manjunath. Both the architecture and the design of the interior were undertaken by the duo.
Constructed on a 12,000 sq ft plot, the home comprises a formal living room, family room, five bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, a study and a powder room. It has been designed for a family consisting of two brothers, their mother, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter. Since during the day, only the daughter-in-law and the mother would be at home it necessitated common spaces where they could see each other, talk and stay connected.
“The formal living room gets a panoramic view of the garden, while at the same time being segregated from the main living spaces, affords privacy. The inward looking layout allows various spaces to talk to each other across both levels, creating an ongoing dialogue,” says Manjunath. Large overhangs provide much needed shade in the extreme heat of Ahmedabad, while the south facade has minimum fenestrations to minimise heat gain.
A vital part of the brief was that the garden area had to be maximised. “To further this objective, we placed the structure towards the periphery in an L shape, keeping the rest of the plot vacant. The formal living room extends into this vacant space on one side, thus forming a courtyard that is enclosed on three sides,” says Ashutosh. The adjoining plot was purchased during the course of construction. The central courtyard opening out onto this large garden space, infused a substantial dose of nature’s charm into the design scheme.
The courtyard functions in the tradition of the best spaces of its kind, by bringing in light, ventilation and facilitating visual connections, as well as providing a meeting place for the family. “In Ahmedabad, being able to invite the breeze in is of vital importance,” says Manjunath.
Since natural light effectively washes the interior during the day, artificial lights get switched on only after sunset. At night the house beckons like a beacon, with lights glowing from all the large glass windows. Multiple glass boxes filled with light appear to be connected thinly with horizontal structural members.
Only one type of marble and veneer run through the entire house, with only the wallpaper differing in the various rooms, stamping them with its distinguishing touch. “The marble we chose, Grey Aurobico, has a great deal of character, so other elements have been kept more subdued,” says Ashutosh.
The colour palette of grey and brown gives a feeling of continuity in the flow of spaces. All the beds have been customised, with the pattern behind the bed, either in leather, wallpaper or stone, serving as an accent. In all the bedrooms, the wardrobes and baths are one contiguous space. The washbasin is in the closet area, with the WC hidden from view. “The spaces are fluid, so it is difficult to define were one starts and the other ends,” says Ashutosh.
“The washbasins have a sculptural presence,” says Manjunath. Glass partitions or automated screens enable the spaces to be connected and each bathroom has a private courtyard outside, providing a refreshing glimpse of greenery. On the upper level, the ducts outside the baths are sky lit and the entire visual experience conspires to create the ambience of a spa.
In the daughter’s bedroom, a splash of candy colours in the same abstract geometric pattern as the carpet and the futuristic chairs creates an intense visual experience. Saturated with colour, the irregular shape of the carpet adds to the drama. Laser cut stone murals provide a 3D effect on some walls in the house. The staircase has a glass railing, with no steel support. Marble and wood treads make up the aesthetic.
“Designed as a sculptural element composed of staggered alternate blocks of Statuario marble and wood, the well of the staircase is capped with an installation of lights, custom fabricated in aluminium,” says Ashutosh.
Expansive spaces all over the house accommodate the complex mix of patterns on the flooring and walls, subdued by the monochromatic colour palette. Space Dynamix has competently put together glass, marble and stone to not only create a sophisticated aesthetic in this large home but also establish a spa-like experience in the private spaces.
Text By Devyani Jayakar
Photographs Radhika Pandit