Wrapped in the invigorating air of Mumbai and set amidst clouds, the Jain penthouse already heightens your sense of anticipation. One glimpse of the luxurious living, created using a palette that compliments the stupendous views is then sure to drop your jaw, even as you step inside this dreamy abode.
You shouldn’t be surprised if you’re slightly overwhelmed by your very first impression. From the lobby to the master bedroom, this Mumbai penthouse radiates the charm of modern aesthetics clubbed with envy inducing sculptures that fill and highlight its every niche. As you enter, you are caught off guard by a cluster of steel cylinders that hang down from a wooden ceiling casting pinpoints of light on the stark floor below. A chair rests in the corner with an interesting piece of art standing behind it – one that extracts a second look. You notice a cigarette stub stowed away in a glass bottle.
Bold art creates nooks of pizzazz across the apartment via relatively simple means. In the left corner of the living room, the modern staircase crafted around an MS skeleton, finished with beige Bellissimo marble and a clean, uninterrupted glass railing, highlights a wall that has been inlaid with a random arrangement of sim card shaped Statuario marble pieces. Two human figures, protruding out of vertical niches, propped against a backdrop of blue-black back painted glass act as conversation starters as you prepare yourself to take in more of this house.
The architectural team cites, “The entire house has a design which is more subjective than objective. There is an overall balance in the entire house. It is just not a deliberate attempt to create a focal point.” The duplex apartment comprises of 4 bedrooms. The layout has been configured such that the lower level accommodates the living room, dining room, kitchen, powder bathroom, guest bedroom and parent’s bedroom.
In one of the most densely populated cities of the world, space is always an issue and Mumbai is no exception. The architectural team has tackled space constraints most innovatively. While the dining room reflects along a mirrored wall, magnifying dimensions optically, the living room oozes with shades of whites in order to up the luminosity and aid natural light to bounce back into the spaces. The passage to the parents’ and guest bedroom has been kept clutter free. This has been very cleverly achieved by making the television console penetrate into the guest bedroom in a way that it supports the guest bedroom wardrobe right behind – intelligently eliminating a partition wall.
Sanford I. Weill once said, “Details create the big picture.” And these have been given due attention by Kharkar and team. The TV panel continues with a corner detailing of veneer before expanding into the dining room in the form of a mirror and vertical bands of grey and white P.U., creating a bar code pattern that’s holds your interest. The wall opposite exudes warmth via rustic earthy tiles fixed in a brick pattern.
This wall also holds a temple and crockery storage hidden behind an intricate louvered shutter. In one shrewd move, the cement sheeted wall behind the staircase conceals the powder bathroom door. The staircase makes a sharp curve as you land on the upper floor in order to generate a wider aisle. A one piece toughened glass forms the railing here.
Embracing a feeling of expanse through homogeneity, the Bellissimo floor continues into the master and kid’s bedroom. The design of both these rooms makes a statement as it tries to separate restraint from excess and refinement from banality. A combination of veneer, mirror and stone highlights the master bed. The team shares, “We had brainstormed a lot over this zone of the apartment.” A thirty-six inch extension tactfully protrudes into the upper living room making the master bedroom wider. The entry to the walk-in-wardrobe and master toilet hides behind the TV console panelling. The coffee table chair finds its apt position in the extended area as it allows its occupant to glance into the living room through the window it perches in front of.
Creating the perfect bedroom for the twin girls, Kharkar has tapped creativity and even made it run loose across the room. While the corner bed creates unceasing space to play around in, a red trunk used for storing toys adds a pop of colour and fun. “One girl’s favourite colour was pink and the other’s blue. While we introduced the two colours through artefacts, we kept the overall palette neutral in order to compliment the look.” A blue painted wooden grid runs all along the bed. This feature gains its element of interest through paintings inside the grid.
“Sufficient highlighting makes this project different from the rest. While each room dictates its own story, a constant material palette ties the plot together,” informs Kharkar. Given a mandate to design a holistic interior, the team has successfully achieved a beautiful and seamless integration of art, sculpture and modern living.
Text By Kanupriya Pachisia
Photographs Courtesy Gaurav Kharkar and Associates