DIG Architects’ model apartment has a clean and contemporary design that a young professional in his mid-thirties can easily identify with. With its sophistication and spaciousness, this 1600 sq ft flat is sure to attract several potential investors.
Designing the interior for a model apartment is different from designing one for a specific client. For a client, individualisation is the key. The design in that case often embodies the client’s personality. There is also room to experiment, play around with the aesthetics, and be blunt and bold. However, when it comes to a model flat, there are some unique challenges.
Firstly, there are multiple stakeholders to cater to, including the builder’s marketing and sales team. “The architect has to strike a balance between the buyer’s expectations, his own inherent style and the builder team’s design sensibilities. Here, the aim was to create an aspirational value. When a client visits the apartment, it should be compelling enough to nudge him towards a booking,” explains Amit Khanolkar, one of the principal architects.
With this complex dynamic in perspective, DIG Architects, comprising the duo Advait Potnis and Amit Khanolkar, have created a refined space adopting a volumetric approach. Two dominant factors guide the underlying design of this apartment – the target audience and the need for the space to appear voluminous.
The core clientele for this project is young, independent people with a modern taste. So, the linearity, clean lines, refined colour and material palettes all direct towards a contemporary and minimalistic look; then, comes in the need for the apartment to look expansive. Sparingly used wood panelling and liberal use of neutral colours successfully renders the spacious outlook.
“In an end-user apartment we might use bright shades, but here, we just try and keep it light and easy on the eye,” says Khanolkar. For example, the beige marble flooring works hand-in-hand with the white shades that dominate the walls. “We contrast this by creating focal points through accessories, styling, bed linen or loose furniture which will then go on to make a signature statement for the house,” he adds.
Take the customised wall in the living area, for instance. This has white Aluminium C-sections placed such that it provides a sense of depth that you do not achieve by treating the wall with a wallpaper or paint. On the other side, a white PU finished console housing the TV unit merges seamlessly into the living room wall plane.
The statement wall continues further into the other semi-public space of the home – the dining area. The dining space has a muted, softer tone with a lavish dose of white. “While we usually love to go with brutal contemporary, we prefer a softer approach when we pitch a concept for the masses,” explains Khanolkar. And the white fashions a subtle angelic charm here, spreading the boundaries of the space more than what it’s on paper.
Connecting the living and the dining spaces with the bedrooms and the kitchen is a passage, designed as a linear space with an understated colour palette. This is another innovative method using which the volume has been amplified. A soothing white barrisol ceiling, beige marble flooring that reflects the soft light falling from the barrisol above and beige wallpaper embellished with macrophotography paintings come together to forge a poised connector space.
In the master bedroom, functionality, comfort and intelligent use of space, blend together beautifully to construct a cosy ambience that most people will identify with. The wooden flooring continues as wallpaper on the two side walls, and is complemented by white side tables and a TV console on either side. Storage spaces are neatly concealed; the sliding mechanism of the wall is hidden behind the pelmet, thus producing an illusory effect of a continuous wall that translates into a white gypsum false ceiling.
Attention to detail to the littlest things makes this a charming home to set eyes on. Our top picks among the accessories are the customised solid prints on the pillow covers and the hard-to-miss cheery macrophotography paintings.
Khanolkar shares a key theme in their projects, “We don’t create island spaces. There has to be a consistency and continuity throughout; the soul of the space has to remain the same.” This is reflected in several projects executed by the DIG team. The ingenuity of this young team combined with their conscious choice of focusing on fewer projects at a time, has resulted in a brilliant success story winning them several awards and accolades. “We’re a studio, and will always remain so. We’ll never turn into an office,” sums up Khanolkar neatly, explaining their core mantra.
Text By Ramya Srinivasan
Photographs Courtesy Photographix | Sebastian Zachariah and Ira Gosalia