The rise of luxury apartments
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.