For the renovation of her 4 BHK residence, Jyotika Shah handed the team of Ego Designs a bit of an unnerving canvas, replete with skewed lines and walls that were far from being perpendicular. The designers started from scratch after disrobing the space completely.
Located in Sukhsagar Apartments in Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, the 1300 sq ft flat sits on the 9th floor of an ageing building. As far as the layout was concerned, the client was clear about her spatial requirements. Always eager to put their own spin on spaces, the designers were delighted to institute the civil changes. Both parties were on the same page with regard to the aesthetics. Says one of the principal designers, Chirag Doshi, “She wanted us to experiment and be creative – make it look different – but also keep in mind that a family was going to reside there.”
Seizing the free hand that had been given to them, the designers adopted a semi-industrial eclectic loft style for the interiors of the common area – the entrance foyer, the living area, the dining area and the puja room. As such, textural play became integral to the scheme. A continuous wooden ceiling over the common spaces reinforces the industrial look. A brick wall forms the backdrop to the living area, while the dining area finds its focus in a wall of mini handmade ceramic tiles.
The blues, reds and yellows of the tiles offer a visually appealing textural contrast to the kiln fired surface. Concrete finish tiles surrounded by bands of wooden skirting form the selected choice of flooring. In the balcony, a ceiling of wooden rafters hovers above whitewashed wooden wall paneling dotted with greenery.
Because it is undoubtedly the highlight of the house, the most central location was bestowed upon the brick wall. In keeping with the loft style interiors, track lighting was installed in the ceiling. Indigo sofas and steel framed tables add to the look, while décor elements like tripod lamps and cushions in an ethnic theme further accentuate it.
Overall, the furniture selection could be called minimalist, employing predominantly blacks, whites and wooden textures. In order to increase the visual depth of the space, storage units in the common area have been restricted to a height of 3’. “The glass walls of the puja room also help to increase the feel of depth in the space,” says Chirag.
A common conundrum associated with renovation projects is that the existing structure of the building always presents the designers with the question of how it can be incorporated aesthetically into the scheme. In this residence, RCC beams divide the different segments of the common area. Thus, a massive beam running the entire length of the living area separates it from the dining area.
Secondary beams notionally demarcate the components of the common area further. One solution to this would have been to drop the wooden ceiling down to the soffit of the beam. Interestingly, though, the designers took the path less travelled by revealing the beams, rather than concealing them. The wooden ceiling sits just below the true ceiling and appears to float above the network of beams seamlessly throughout the common area. By doing this, they have managed to retain the original volume of the space.
“For the bedrooms, we decided to continue some elements from the common area, but restrain ourselves with regard to the industrial look,” says Chirag. Thus, the flooring, skirting and wooden doors meander their way into the sleeping quarters. However, the statement that the textured walls make is limited to the confines of the common area. Of the four bedrooms, two have been treated as master suites, one as a children’s bedroom and one as a guest room.
The children’s bedroom is connected internally to the master bedroom for easy access. The interiors of the bedrooms are quaint and minimal. The guest room doubles up as a TV room. The designers have changed the flooring and lighting scheme in this room, in order to separate it aesthetically from the others. “Lastly, the small lobby leading to the bedrooms has been highlighted with a family collage,” says Chirag.
Chirag and Sneha Doshi founded Ego Designs in Ahmedabad in early 2007, soon after the completion of his post graduation. With no past experience in the field, the duo took it upon themselves to learn the tricks of the trade the hard way. A few small jobs later, Ego Designs found itself armed with the right amount of learning experience to take on larger projects. Appreciation and a validation for their efforts came in 2013 when leading magazines began showing interest in featuring their work. Today, the studio has completed several noteworthy residential, retail, office and hospitality projects.
When a studio manages to attain the right balance between its own desire for experimental creativity and its client’s aspiration for a homely and soothing living experience, a respected work of art can truly be achieved. At the Navrangpura residence, the design team’s success undeniably speaks of this equilibrium.
Text By Ar. Priti Kalra
Photographs Courtesy Darshit Ringwala