A RE­LAXED ABODE

AM­RITA CON­SUL­TANCY DE­SIGNS AND BUILDS A CON­TEM­PO­RARY HOL­I­DAY HOME THAT SITS IN THE LAP OF NA­TURE IN THE SLEEPY HILL STA­TION OF LON­AVALA.

Society Interiors - - LIFESTYLE - Text: Ma­rina Cor­rea Pho­to­graphs: Ra­jesh Shetty; cour­tesy the firm

Prin­ci­pal in­te­rior de­sign­ers Suren­dra and Am­rita Shetty of Navi Mum­bai-based Am­rita Con­sul­tancy, has de­signed and built a sec­ond home for a client, who is into real es­tate, in Pan­goli vil­lage, Lon­avala.

The client, who re­sides in the ur­ban jun­gle of South Mum­bai, wanted a hol­i­day home that is con­nected to na­ture in ev­ery way. So the duo along with their ably as­sisted team chalked out a sus­tain­able de­sign for the en­tire site. It en­joys the in­her­ent ad­van­tage of be­ing lo­cated on a high al­ti­tude above the rest of its sur­round­ings. How­ever, their big­gest re­straint was the rock bed be­low, which they had to move around by tak­ing the floor plinth al­most 48 inches above the road sur­face, as they needed a min­i­mum of 36 inches of soil to cre­ate a sus­tain­able green cover.

“Our pri­mary fo­cus was to cre­ate a lot of green ar­eas. Even the bound­ary wall went into a lot of de­tail­ing, where we used the hol­low of the hume pipes to plant bam­boo shoots that dou­ble-up as a nat­u­ral screen,” says Suren­dra. They were ably sup­ported by AY Reti­wala and As­so­ciates, who were the land­scape con­sul­tants of this pro­ject. The ground-plus-two level bun­ga­low is around 6,000 sq. ft. that sits on a sprawl­ing 12,000 sq. ft. land.

The el­e­va­tion is sim­ple and con­tem­po­rary with punc­tured glass façades that main­tains the in­door-out­door connect through­out the home; har­ness­ing co­pi­ous amounts of nat­u­ral light and ven­ti­la­tion. As a re­sult, the struc­ture looks light and breezy. Its grey tone is fur­ther en­hanced against the nat­u­ral greens and blues. “We al­ways wanted to cre­ate a dual con­cept – a strong day­time ef­fect and an equally bold night feel as a stark con­trast,” says Am­rita.

Through the use of clear glass and earthy el­e­ments, an open feel is cre­ated that vis­ually con­nects the in­te­ri­ors with the out­door greens. For in­stance, the liv­ing is an ex­ten­sion to the pool deck; the din­ing is merged with the bar­beque area and slop­ing lawns; the open-to-air bar on the ter­race pro­vides an un­in­ter­rupted view of the rolling hills and an over­view of the land.

The drive­way, steps and en­trance to the house are es­pe­cially done up in Rock­deck salted ash series of 16 mm thick­ness to hide the 48 inches el­e­va­tion on the steps. Ba­sic Ce­mento grey vit­ri­fied tiles are used on the walls but are smartly cut into strips to cre­ate a weave ef­fect. The ceil­ing gives off a wooden ef­fect but in ac­tu­al­ity is an eco­nom­i­cal prod­uct known as Jain Plast (in­ter­lock­able PVC strips that come in a va­ri­ety of nat­u­ral wooden shades). The team has surely done its home­work to come up with su­pe­rior-look­ing and in­no­va­tive prod­ucts that are easy-on-the pocket.

In­ter­est­ingly, re­spect­ing its age and the fact that these 100-year-old tree that sur­vived on a rock bed for such a long time has not been lost on the de­sign­ers who re­tained it on the site. Com­ing to the in­te­ri­ors, they are spa­cious and min­i­mal­ist. A pool ta­ble in the liv­ing room im­me­di­ately con­jures up im­ages of a space where fun, con­vivi­al­ity and bond­ing are highly pri­or­i­tized over pure aes­thet­ics. All the bed­rooms are done-up in pas­tel shades, al­low­ing the out­door views to be the high­light. A neu­tral colour pal­ette com­pris­ing whites, greys and browns en­velop the house, whilst pops of colours come through the soft fur­nish­ings, en­liven­ing spa­ces.

The best at­tribute of this home is its con­nec­tion to the out­doors viz. its many bay win­dows and slid­ing doors — bring­ing in sunlight, ven­ti­la­tion and most cer­tainly a chilled out vibe, mak­ing it a happy place for this fam­ily of six to un­wind and com­mune with na­ture whilst en­joy­ing the lux­u­ries of a well-ap­pointed home.

11 The house sits above the rest of its sur­round­ings, al­low­ing the home­own­ers a scenic over­view.

8 The din­ing room over­looks the bar­beque area and lawns. 9 One en­tire wall of the kitchen is a floor-to-ceil­ing win­dow, al­low­ing the space to be bathed in nat­u­ral light. 10 A view of the pool and a glimpse of the 100-year-old tree that was left un­touched on the site.

12 One of the bath­rooms with a sweep­ing view.

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