Nestled among the lush hills of Alibagh, Aurelia is located on an envious vantage point; it aims at total serenity, especially the kind that celebrates its surroundings.
On a site of 3 acres, absorbed into the densely vegetated hills, this house has a modest area of 2000 sq ft. The pool that doubles as the terrace taps the full benefit of its natural surroundings. The dictating element for the design scheme was the natural terrain of the plot and the designers at Shroffleon granted its maximum benefit in the way of splendid views to both the indoor and outdoor spaces.
A manipulation of the spatial arrangement of the enclosed areas sees that the house keeps its respect of the micro environment at the fore. Given that Aurelia is a holiday home, the design ensures that the owners get to have a constant taste of its tranquil environs.
Radical as it may seem, the planning of the house is nothing short of functional while sticking closely to the contemporary genre. The upper level houses a magnificent infinity pool that proves to be the house’s crowning glory. Minimalistic monochromatic materials used at this level highlight and yet blend into the visual theme of the surroundings.
The designers highlight that “the pool being infinity on all sides overspills into a smaller water-body underneath, forming a cascading waterfall that becomes the backdrop of the main living room.” One element – in this case the infinity pool, creates multiple spaces to lounge and relax in, fulfilling an important prerequisite of a good holiday home.
The cascading water that forms a lounge pool of sorts lends a bit of drama to the lower level that is otherwise a straight-cut, simple, contemporary structure. Large decks with wooden flooring surround the building forming the main focal points of the ‘built’ outdoor space. Chic and fluid outdoor furniture in pristine white automatically draws ones attention in a rather soothing way – again highlighting the purpose of the home.
Pathways and peripheral areas are predominately filled with pebbles creating a contrast to the smooth wood and sandstone decking. A patch of manicured green lawn hosts another gathering spot that the designers proudly boast about, calling it “an eco-mesh structure enclosing a barbecue pit that in time will get taken over by foliage and will transform into an outdoor ‘house of purple flowers’.”
The interesting part about the landscape at Aurelia is that everything is planned in rigid zones. The hardscaped decks and pathways intersect with manicured lawns intermittently, softening the overall look of the outdoor spaces and also serving as connections to the unspoilt environment that surrounds the plot completely.
The building by itself is clean-cut, planned with perpendicular edges that announce that there are spaces with maximum functionality within. Modest in size, the L shaped house has 2 bedrooms and large living areas surrounded by glass ensuring unobstructed views of the valley.
The treatment of surfaces within the living areas also keeps to the theme of the entire design and as a result there is a constant connection with the outdoor spaces. Fabric for the furniture in the living areas has been contained to tones of beiges and greys giving the space a sense of laidback homeliness while bringing to the forefront the main aspect of the house – the views that are to die for.
The bedrooms nestled into the corner have their own private sit-outs. Aurelia has a virtually open plan when it comes to the common spaces, but the bedroom planning is another story by itself. Privacy being the key, the secluded location and introverted planning ensures the residents get all the alone time needed.
Calm and soothing colour schemes in tones of yellows, greens, beiges and cool greys add to overall appeal of these tastefully designed spaces. A private sit-out is an added luxury for one of the bedrooms that gets its own private view of the hills.
Jane Austen always said “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort,” and the designers of Aurelia ensured that the owners are provided more than enough comfort, and then some enviable more.
Text By Virupa Kantamneni
Photographs Courtesy Photographix India