The rise of lux­ury apart­ments


Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Mad­hurima Nandy n mad­

BENGALURU : A dra­matic over­head atrium draws the eye into the lobby, it­self im­bu­ing a fresh and cool am­bi­ence to res­i­dents with use of mar­bles sourced from across the world.

Light in­stal­la­tions shine, seat­ing is clas­sic with a sub­tle twist and a lounge bar wel­comes with a richer pal­ette of dec­o­ra­tive screens, tonal so­fas and rich wooden trims.

That’s how Martin Kemp of Martin Kemp De­sign de­scribes the en­trance lobby of K Ra­heja Corp’s up­com­ing Arte­sia project in up­scale Worli, Mumbai, which the London-based firm has de­signed along with the show apart­ment and com­mon ar­eas.

Arte­sia is a 45-storey tower with 3,000 sq. ft, four-bed­room homes, priced at around Rs30 crore, and is be­ing sold by-in­vi­ta­tion only. It’s the de­sign stu­dio’s first ven­ture in In­dia and Kemp said, “...In the de­sign of Arte­sia, Martin Kemp De­sign has brought a blend of Euro­pean de­tail com­bined with in­ter­na­tional style.”

The new se­ries of lux­ury projects com­ing up across cities have two unique fea­tures in comm on—en­trance lob­bies by de­sign­ers and in-house spas. Lux­ury home­buy­ers, shelling out Rs5-30 crore for an apart­ment, want their homes to look and feel like a lux­ury ho­tel, say de­vel­op­ers.

A part of its lux­ury col­lec­tion, Lodha Group’s port­fo­lio of high­end res­i­dences in Mumbai and London, Lod ha Alt amount’ s lobby, de­signed by Ra­jiv Saini + As­so­ciates, was con­ceived as an el­e­gant pub­lic liv­ing room.

An orig­i­nal Pablo Pi­casso art­work—a 1937 piece painted by the artist at Mou­g­ins, France, and ac­quired through a Christie’s auc­tion—graces the lobby.

“De­spite the pes­simistic view on the econ­omy, lux­ury home­buy­ers are eval­u­at­ing the right prod­uct and ser­vices. Novem­ber on­wards, there has been good de­mand and we sold out the six du­plex pent­houses in Trump Tower (4,000 sq. ft each, for Rs20 crore) in just a mat­ter of time,” said Arvind Subra­ma­nian, re­gional CEO, Lodha Group.

High-end projects have gone through var­i­ous phases over the years - with sprawl­ing pent­houses, gyms and club­houses to jacuzzi and pri­vate pools of­ten be­ing the sell­ing point for de­vel­op­ers.

In Ra­heja’s Vi­varea project in Worli, the lux­ury spa and sa­lon chain War­ren Tri­comi was brought in to run the in-house spa. At Arte­sia, too, there is a spa.

“There is a band of buy­ers to­day who want high-class homes. They are global trav­ellers and have high ex­pec­ta­tions,” said Kishore Bhatija, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor–real es­tate devel­op­ment, K Ra­heja Corp.

Pune’s 219 Boat­Club project, be­ing de­vel­oped by Dubai’s Mer int Group, which has just ten du­plex pent­houses at Rs17.5 crore up­wards, the lobby (de­signed by Stu­dio Hinge) has a glass sculp­ture made up of 361 hand-blown LED lights that cre­ate a sense of move­ment and an en­trance canopy by ar­chi­tec­ture firm ADND.

Bengaluru’s Pres­tige Group is build­ing res­i­dences at Her­mitage, a city-cen­tre project that shares its en­trance with Con­rad Bengaluru a lux­ury ho­tel by Hil­ton, also built by Pres­tige.

It has 23 floors with an apart­ment per floor of 7481 sq ft, in­clud­ing a 500 sq ft pri­vate lift lobby.

There’s also a com­mon en­trance lobby de­signed by Morph De­sign Co. and a spa. At Rs 19-20 crore a home, sales are by in­vi­ta­tion.

“This project is all about ex­clu­siv­ity and the buy­ers are hand picked by the man­age­ment. In­dian buy­ers want com­fort and ameni­ties while NRIs want ex­clu­siv­ity and security, they want to know who their neigh­bours are. Money isn’t a con­cern but they want the en­trance to be grand which is why they have a shared en­trance with the ho­tel and we have a lux­u­ri­ous lobby for the project as well,” said Ankit Shukla, clus­ter head-lux­ury projects, Pres­tige Group.

In the heart of Delhi, Gianni Ver­sace S.p.a of Italy and lo­cal firm Unity Group have launched a project with two tow­ers where the in­te­ri­ors, in­clud­ing the lobby and apart­ments, will be de­signed by Ver­sace Homes.

Even in a tra­di­tion­ally mid­dle-class res­i­den­tial sub­urb like Thane, projects now at­tempt to give buy­ers a sense of high-end liv­ing.

In an up­com­ing res­i­den­tial tower, Sheth Group has brought in in­te­rior de­signer Suzanne Khan for the lobby and club­house. It also has a li­brary, spa and mini ban­quet.

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