Four apartments were combined to create a sprawling three level penthouse in Vadodara by Dipen Gada. His clever design has further nailed the villa-like ambience of this home. A collection of art adds its own cachet to the design.
When your client is the developer of the building itself, it’s quite clear that modifications can be made at the time of construction, on the architect’s advice. “This client came to us before the structure was complete, so we were able to combine four apartments to create this penthouse for him,” says Dipen Gada. Spread over three levels of 3,500 sq ft each with the terrace on the top floor, the living room enjoys a double height ceiling, creating an explosion of space.
The front door sets the tone for the customisation of the details in the home. Two brass plates with a patina finish run diagonally across the Sheesam wood of the door, the handle being created as part of the design at the casting stage. The small foyer has a mirror on one wall to give the illusion of more space. An asymmetrical bench provides seating for two, its curves drawing a second glance.
As one steps inside, a dramatic sculpture by Ashit Das from his Parchai series makes an eloquent statement. “When we bought this, we were unsure of where we would be placing it, but later, everything just fell into place,” says Dipen. A vertical glass alongside, with a female figure etched on it alludes towards the eternal male-female equation. A narrow strip of open space beyond the glass windows is a token gesture towards recalling a garden.
The dining table has mother of pearl inlay, with seven pendants suspended from the ceiling above. This fixture combines the function of illumination along with the curling stems of money plants in glass holders, containing water. The painting on the wall adjacent to the dining table is by Heeral Trivedi, while nine ceramic pieces by Vinod Daroz on the burnt granite wall behind the sofa, create an understated geometry.
“An interesting staircase is another design aspect that we enjoy paying attention to,” says Dipen. The wall alongside the cantilevered staircase has human figures scaling the C-shaped niche, symbolic of an upward journey, overcoming challenges and achieving progress. “Designed by us, they were fabricated in fibre and finished to look like concrete,” says Dipen. Their presence makes an intriguing statement, instantly attracting attention.
All the spaces on the lower floor are connected to private terraces with semi covered sit-outs which have concrete and M.S. pergolas clad with wood. “The client enjoys a comfortable balance between built-up area and green space,” says Dipen. The parents’ room has an age-appropriate aesthetic. Above the headboard of the bed, a small 12 in x 12 in painting has a large silk mount with mangoes on it. This floor houses two bedrooms, a pooja area, a kitchen with store and utility as well as a dining area. “The kitchen in white, is an airy, bright, functional space, its size permitting the luxury of an island. All its cabinets were fabricated on site,” says Dipen.
The staircase leads to a wide corridor which becomes the perfect backdrop to display the spectacular Arunanshu Chowdhury paintings. There are lavish bedrooms, with large dressing and toilet areas, each with a distinct identity of its own. A home theatre and meditation area are part of the facilities.
The daughter’s suite in blue is located on the second level. It is defined by a fun aesthetic. A black and white portrait on the wall behind the bed clearly proclaims her right of ownership. The adjoining room, separated by sliding doors which can provide privacy to the sleeping area, is a meeting place for the friends of this student of architecture, so that they can study together.
The double height living room is an expansive space, with a muted colour palette imparting a restful quietude.
A drawing board supports their academic activity, while capacious ‘pockets’ on the sides of the sofa provide practical hold-alls for stationery. Two chairs upholstered in blue denim, add a young vibe to the space. The en suite bath is also in blue, a wall behind the wash basin hiding the shower and WC from immediate view.
The top floor houses the terrace, its 3,500 sq ft space accommodating a home theatre, ensures that part of the space can be used for entertainment even if it rains.
Service platforms at the rear end of terrace facilitate the frequent parties hosted by the owners. The lounge area opens up to lush green garden with a water body. The open-to-sky area houses a white gazebo, the limestone on its walls imparts a pale green colour, which is almost pistachio. Hexagonal white flooring in china glass covers part of the floor. ‘This is a particularly attractive space on a full moon night,’ says Dipen, indicating his partiality to the terrace.
Text By Devyani Jayakar
Photographs Tejas Shah