Located in Valsad, Gujarat, this apartment is in fact a beautiful 3-dimensional blank white canvas. The Architectural firm, The Company of Design has painted this canvas with a few strokes of meticulously crafted furniture, but the progression of the final picture is left entirely in the hands of its users.
The client, a man consumed by wanderlust, travels extensively on business. Having been exposed to many different cultures, he and his wife wished for the design of their home to be “simple, white and minimalist.” This would enable the nomadic duo to constantly refresh their palette with souvenirs and memorabilia collected from around the globe. The idea was for the house to be a mute backdrop, a subdued stage, on which their eclectic tastes could take on the role of the main cast.
The concept of the house centres on the theory of open planning. “We believe that the perception of a space changes in reference to the objects placed in it,” says the design team. Thus, the movement from one space to another is seamless. The objects take the foreground by creating notional partitions. An exquisite cohesiveness in the objects is achieved via a triangular geometry that has been incorporated in the design of the furniture pieces and doors. The cuneate module expands and contracts in accordance to the scale of the furniture.
The main door of the house gives a twist to the classic battened door, one in which said battens take on the shape of triangular fractal geometry. Enter and to the right, a wooden shoe rack facilitates the seeping of the triangles delicately into its elevation. Two antique candle holders stand tall as the guardians of the home. A transparent partition fashioned in taut yellow rope separates the foyer from the dining area to the left.
The foyer opens into an abundantly spacious living room, its vastness enhanced by the white walls, white floor and white ceiling that enclose it. Pristine ceiling rafters go almost unnoticed as they subtly demarcate the area of the living room. The console unit below the TV reveals a scaled down version of the aforementioned triangular pattern in its elevation. An olive green sofa set surrounds a dark wood coffee table in which slight cuts and angles pay an indirect homage to the prevailing geometrical theme.
A large opening in the wall between the living room and the kitchen becomes a breakfast counter and amplifies the seamlessness of the floor plan. Three high chairs crafted in metal alloy sit fixedly below three suspended light fittings, the encasing bodies of which are finished in a bright and reflective gold. The chairs owe their strength to the triangulated structure that holds them in place. Powder coated in maroon red, electric blue and teal green respectively, their seats and backrests are built out of the same light wood that dominates most of the other furniture.
The three bedrooms together are an embodiment of immaculateness. In the master bedroom, the base of the bed is a bold expression in wood, a pure cuboidal form with crisp right angles sitting gently over a darker recessed platform. The side tables and headboard follow suit with their unadulterated rectilinear geometry. Two earthy bean bags, purchased on one of the couple’s many expeditions, draw a quiet, yet perseverant attention to themselves.
The headboards in the children’s and guest’s rooms mark the reappearance of the three-sided polygonal geometry. The bases of the beds are white cuboids, in deference to their wooden counterpart in the master bedroom. While the white walls, white floor and white ceiling continue into these two bedrooms, each of their canvases is coloured with an additional space, a bluish grey niche within which a built-in seating unit overlooks a generous window and houses storage drawers below.
Natural and rustic grey tones monopolise the interiors of the bathrooms, be it the tiling, the ledge wall, the wash basin counter or the light fittings. The upholstery and soft furnishings, too, express themselves in myriad shades of grey.
Based in Surat, The Company of Design is a multifaceted design studio founded by architects Niel and Pooja Parekh in 2015. The firm is run on the ideology that any form of interaction with any space should always be design-based, be it an architectural intervention, the remodeling of an interior space, an urban insert or interplay of graphics.
“The idea is to use tangible elements in order to create something that brings out intangible emotions in the end user,” says the team. The studio approaches each project with client and context as the starting points. They strongly believe that the so-called ‘style’ of an architect should not become the pivotal point of every design he or she conceives.
Text By Ar. Priti Kalra
Photographs Courtesy The Fishy Project (Ishita Sitwala)