A spectacular view of Mumbai’s famed Queen’s Necklace, makes an elliptical living room the star of this apartment…which is what tempted ZZ Architects to take on the revamping of the space. Their slick contemporary aesthetic permeates the décor, adding a liberal dose of sophistication.
In a city where a view is a luxury even in the most premium real estate, this apartment enjoys the cream of it all. “The linear layout of this 3,000 sq ft apartment was challenging because of the resultant corridors,” says Zubin Zainuddin of ZZ Architects. “But the clincher was the unusual elliptical living room, with a prime view of the famed Queen’s Necklace,” says Krupa Zainuddin, also of ZZ Architects.
“Diametrically opposite this landmark, it complements the curving sweep of the lights on Marine Drive and its dynamic changing sky.” In their make-over, the duo reduced five bedrooms to four, getting more spacious volumes in the process. Since the room faces west, there is abundant natural light, while privacy is not compromised since the apartment is on a higher floor and enjoys a good vantage point.
Earlier, the dining area was part of the living room. In Krupa and Zubin’s revamp, the dining room has been moved to another area, while three clusters of seating occupy prime position in front of the seascape. “The space had to be clearly dedicated to lounging and a living zone, thus moving the dining and other activities off this area became necesssary,” says Krupa. Montepulciano marble sweeps through both the living and dining room, uniting them and acting as an abstract artwork on which the furniture is placed.
“The multiplicity of the seating arrangements gives it a larger than a regular apartment impact when one enters the living room,” says Zubin. One seating faces the television, another is geared towards conversation and a third encourages solitude. A column in the centre of the room has a console placed against it. “This makes the column more relevant, especially as we’ve also used it as a backrest for the chaise longue,” says Zubin.
Most of the furniture has been customised for the home, with the single-seaters intentionally placed next to the window. Easily moved, they can be positioned to face the room for conversation, or turned around to enjoy the view.
After sunset, the room is illuminated by recessed spot lights and a curved cove which echoes the shape of the room. This also permits most of the height of the ceiling to be retained at the centre of the room. “Many sea facing apartments are not the greatest in terms of a night view. Think of Worli Seaface. If you look out of many of the apartments, it is pitch black and can feel isolating. But this apartment actually had a ringside view of the strength of the city.
So dim lighting in the living room works after sunset,” says Zubin. In the dining room, clear glass pendant lamps from Klove hang above the table and illuminate the space, while a large canvas by Satish Gujral on the adjacent wall makes a statement. There are two kitchens, which is usually more common in bungalows.
“One abuts the dining room, where the hosts bake and create a live kitchen experience for their guests,” says Krupa. “It is a kitchen and yet not a kitchen, as cooking becomes part of the entertaining. A hands-on cooking island encourages interaction with the diners.”Housing larger ovens, the space is well equipped for such endeavours.
A powder room sits discreetly tucked away behind a door with mirrored panelling. A delightful surprise, the super luxe ambience of its classic black and white colour palette invites a lingering inspection.The marble flooring in veined Montepulciano and black Marquina marble is executed in a complex geometrical pattern; the pristine presence of white sanitary ware offsets this detailing of the floor. Overhead, the fragmented geometry of the origami-inspired ceiling adds considerable drama, its presence effectively doubled by the mirror.
The four bedrooms have rear city views. The master bedroom is French inspired, a serene space with a white palette. A large tufted leather headboard and crystal bedside lamps with conventional white shades lend it a formal ambience. A single cushion in lemon yellow offsets the snowy white bed linens and a solitary reading chair enables curling up with a book.A crystal chandelier sparkles overhead supported by cove lighting while a wooden flooring in Oak Herringbone adds pattern underfoot. Fabrics are by Andrew Martin and No-Mad. There is no clutter as the room connects seamlessly to the wardrobes, while striped Bronze Armani marble presides in the bathroom.
In the daughter’s room, the tall headboard of the bed turns its back on a large window. “We weren’t sacrificing much light, since this room has a surfeit of windows,” says Krupa. “But to ensure privacy from the adjacent high rise buildings, curtains filter the light and prevent the room to be viewed from the outside.”
The entertainment room doubles as a guest room when required and has coffee tables made from metal wires to provide a visually light ‘see-through’ appeal. “Less and less people want to have a dedicated ‘guest room’,” says Zubin. “The room needs to multi-task and be of use even when there are no guests.” A sofa-cum-bed has a bright red pattern on the cushions, a red pendant lamp fitted with a filament bulb echoing the punch of colour.
The palette in this home is subdued, a quiet style coming from the quality of the materials used. In deference to the view, Krupa and Zubin’s treatment and finishes are subtle and understated, even as they deliver their customary sophistication.
Text By Devyani Jayakar
Photographs Courtesy ZZArchitects