The rise of lux­ury apart­ments

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Mad­hurima Nandy 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 wel­comeswith­aricher­palet­teof 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 up­com­ingArte­si­apro­ject in up­scaleWorli, 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-bed­roomhomes, priced at around Rs30 crore, and is be­ing sold by-in­vi­ta­tion only. It’s the de­sign studio’s first ven­tureinIn­di­aandKemp­said,“...In the de­sign of Arte­sia, Martin Kem­pDe­sign­has­broughtablend of Euro­pean de­tail com­bined with in­ter­na­tional style.”

The new se­ries of lux­ury projects comin­gu­pacross­c­i­tieshave two unique fea­tures in com­mon— en­trance lob­bies by de­sign­er­sandin-hous­es­pas. Lux­ury home­buy­ers, shelling out Rs5-30 crore for an apart­ment, want­their home­stolookand­feel like a lux­ury ho­tel, say de­vel­op­ers. Apartofit­slux­u­rycol­lec­tion, Lodha Group’s port­fo­lio of high­end res­i­dences in Mum­bai and Lon­don, Lodha Al­ta­mount’s lobby, de­signed by Ra­jiv Saini + As­so­ciates, was con­ceived as an el­e­gant pub­lic liv­ing room. An orig­i­nal PabloPi­cas­soart­work— a 1937 piece painted by the artist atMou­g­ins, France, an­dac­quired through a Christie’s auc­tion— graces the lobby.

“De­spite the pes­simistic view on the econ­omy, lux­ury home­buy­ers are eval­u­at­ing the right prod­uct and­ser­vices. 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.InRa­heja’sVi­vareapro­ject in­Worli, thelux­u­rys­paand­sa­lon chain War­ren Tri­comi was brought in to run the in-house spa. AtArte­sia, too, there is aspa.

“There is a band of buy­ers to­day who want high- class homes. The­yare­glob­al­trav­ellers and­have­high­ex­pec­ta­tions,” said Kishore Bhatija, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor–real es­tate de­vel­op­ment, K Ra­heja Corp.

Pune’s 219 BoatClub project, be­ing de­vel­oped by Dubai’s Mer­in­tGroup, which­hasjust­ten 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 canopy­b­yarchi­tec­ture firm ADND.

Ben­galuru’s Pres­tige Groupis 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.

“This­pro­ject is all abou­tex­clu­siv­ity and the buy­ers are hand­picked by the man­age­ment. In­dian buy­ers want com­fort and ameni­tieswhileNRIswan­tex­clu­siv­ity 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-lux­u­rypro­jects, Pres­tige Group.

In the heart of Delhi, Gianni Ver­sace S.p.a of Italy and lo­cal firm Uni­tyGrouphave­launched a project with two tow­ers where the in­te­ri­ors, in­clud­ing the lobby an­da­part­ments, will be­designed by Ver­sace Homes.

Even­i­na­tra­di­tion­al­lymid­dle­class 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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