Houses have always been interesting little laboratories where spaces are created to specifically cater to their occupants’ lifestyles. ‘Radhika’ the house in question has been designed to respond to a rich yet simple lifestyle that demands a minimalistic aesthetic with a fine-cut neatness.
A pleasing balance between unpretentious simplicity and cosmopolitan sophistication greets you as you walk into this 5000 square foot of redeveloped space that constitutes a bungalow located in the Deccan region of Pune. Unfolding layers that respond to the specific profile of the residents, Piyush Mehra and Priyanka Pradeep of PS Design enjoy a free reign as they make beauty and comfort intermingle in an elegant shell.
A 40 year old construction endowed with small windows and closed spaces had to be remodelled. The architectural team tells us, “The design was a challenge. We broke down 90% of the walls and reframed the space into a modern open and well planned space.” From a traditional old home, the building underwent a complete make-over in order to gel with today’s contemporary look, redefining its vernacular core.
“The lineage of the bungalow is a landmark for the locals. We therefore decided to eliminate the age old elevation features like mouldings and cornices and converted them into simple straight lined architecture”. A touch of wood was added to bring in character for the elevation and highlight a prominent projection of the house.
Space and light form the basic elements which are articulated in a highly sculptural manner, enclosing volumes which are dynamic and transcendental. The whole house is awash with a restrained colour palette. Beige and white guide the project.
The height restriction of the main door led to making it wider to six feet. The foyer leads into the fourteen feet high living room. Twelve feet wide windows perch themselves here, bringing the outdoors in with views of a perfectly manicured garden.
Along the same axis, the dining room is located adjacent to a huge kitchen, store and utility area. The subtle and wide palette continues its way into the dining room where a Turri table and chairs occupy centre stage. The high polish of the table reflects the light that is suspended from modern fixtures above. Fragrant blooms introduce a dose of freshness to the room as they sit atop a modern buffet unit whilst catching a glimpse of their reflection in a pair of Laurameroni mirrors.
The architectural duo shares, “The clients wanted a white and beige look throughout the house”. Thus, the colour story around the house has been kept neutral. Light shades of biscuit clad the floors in slabs of Michelangelo and Crema Bellissimo marble. The redeveloped bungalow gains a new heart in its extensive mix of furniture that leans towards a global look through the lifestyle accessories sourced from Italy, Singapore and Dubai. Some sourced from Mumbai and Delhi chip in to introduce some local flavour. While the beds wear the label of Cattelan Italia and Turri, the plush sofa in the lounge is from Arketipo.
Compositional dominants of the project were incorporating design elements with simplistic lines, careful architectural detailing and references. The house is an apt showcase for the client’s comprehensive art collection. “The owner is an avid art collector and most of the paintings were out of his own personal collection”, inform Piyush and Priyanka.
“We worked around the art and decided the location of the key pieces before deciding on the rest of the furniture”. The team has skilfully converted the house into a personal museum. “A house becomes a home from personal collectibles. There is always a story behind a certain piece of art.”
A punchy canvas of red, wine and blue animates the living room which is a well-edited haven of classic cum contemporary pieces. Two concise tables on curved ‘X’ legs accentuate the corner tucked at the foot of the staircase. The house enjoys a flight of floating steps protected by a glass railing, suspended from a steel handrail that turns at the landing. A pair of intricately carved shutters finished in gold reveal a prayer room propped up against a backdrop of Honey-Onyx.
The bathrooms are glamorous and monolithic in terms of materials used. The duo shares, “Marble is not just decadently beautiful but also serves to infuse a sense of luxury in most spaces”. Beige Travertine used in the master bathroom and Grey Estremozin the daughter’s bathroom lends an artistic quality to the whole space. The powder bathroom is a hybrid of Honey and White Onyx.
A stone wall highlights the water feature of the bungalow as it reiterates the strength of the wall. The terrace presents another story of contrasts. An impromptu purchase of a bench finished in wood and colourful ropes knotted together is its star attraction. Adding a poetic spin on pure forms the house is a well-adapted version of a homogenous blend of tradition and modernity.
Text By Kanupriya Pachisia
Photographs Courtsey Mark Lucombe Whyte