In the busy area of central Mumbai, this apartment building stands out as one of the tallest. With its cheery terrace garden and warm interiors, the building’s penthouse, designed by KNS Architects, is a quiet family haven that breaks away from the chaos of the outside world.
An exquisite amalgamation of modern and traditional themes is at work in this 3500 sq ft penthouse, leading the design team to give it the moniker of ‘fusion’.
When you have a family of six – patriarch and his wife, son, daughter, daughter-in-law and granddaughter – spanning three generations, individual preferences can turn out to be quite at conflict with each other. Hence, the blend of the old and new design worlds is no accident; rather, the fusion idea skilfully brings together the choices of the people residing in the house.
Kanhai Gandhi, an architect in the KNS team explains, “The main challenge with the project was that there were distinct personalities in the family with diverse design and colour choices. To cater to that and also to make the house appear as a seamless entity was not easy.” So, the bedrooms retain individual styles but the common areas adopt a more neutral approach.
Starting right from the elevator lobby, there is a mix-and-match theme – while the flooring has a simple and clean finish with Italian marble; the ornate black chandelier with prominent curves works in contrast.
As we enter the common space that combines the living and dining area, minimalistic lines define the structure and design, but these are enriched with the use of luxurious materials. Armani brown marble flooring gives the space a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
While everything else sits harmoniously in the background, the diamond-patterned wall panel in the dining space catches the eye of any visitor. This panel made of acoustical fabric stretches to the top floor ensuring a sense of continuity between the two levels; a perfect backdrop to enjoy a leisurely meal at the dining table!
A glamorous staircase connects to the upper floor – this one steals the show with its glass side walls and black-glass steps. Kanhai Gandhi explains, “We wanted to give the staircase a stylish and uncluttered look. The use of glass gives a floating appearance. There is also an intentional gap behind the staircase to position the chandelier from the top floor.” Again, the old-world chandelier comes together beautifully with the modern staircase, creating an interesting mix of elements.
Each of the four bedrooms has a remarkably unique character, but there are some common features that unite them. For example, the marble flooring extends neatly into each adjoining bathroom identifying them as one unit. The bathroom walls have a distinct herringbone-like pattern, varying in texture and colourbased on the adjoining bedroom.
The master bedroom has neutral shades of white and brown indicating the choice of the older couple in the house. Glossy veneer panels in the wardrobe shutters and the backdrop of the cot render a timeless elegance. In contrast, the son’s room makes a bold statement with concrete finished walls and black accents. Kanhai Gandhi explains that the son chose a ‘masculine’ look for his room. The bathroom again is an extension of this with a monochrome wall print.
The daughter’s room has a vintage design. A soft wine and white colour scheme paired with roses, motifs and ornate wall hung lamp gives this room the old-world charm and yet retains a fresh and contemporary feel. Watch out for the elaborate use of mirrors accentuating the illusion of space!
The grand-daughter’s bedroom transports you to a different world altogether, just perfect for the little girl of the house. Treated in soft hued accents of pinks and blues along with a chessboard floor, there is a fairy-tale like quality to this room. The chequered flooring brings movement to the otherwise static space. In line with the theme of the rest of the house, this bathroom, too, is an extension of the bedroom; adorned with butterflies on the wall and pink accessories, the aura is all floral and feminine.
Finally, we enter the most coveted space of the house – a mesmerising terrace garden amidst the urban jungle. With a view of the eastern harbour and the juxtaposition of vertical greens against the black edged granite, this cosy ‘nature nook’ of the house instils an earthy sense of calmness and stability.
Despite the multiple colour schemes used, KNS architects manage to create a homogenous flow with the clever use of materials, textures and patterns. So, while every person gets a unique space, the penthouse comes together as an abode in complete harmony.
Text By Ramya Srinivasan
Photographs Courtesy Photographix