Society Interiors - - LIFESTYLE - Text: Ma­rina cor­rea Pho­to­graphs: Dhru­pad Shukla; cour­tesy the firm


The pro­ject re­volves around ren­o­vat­ing an old ground-plus-one bun­ga­low in Ahmed­abad, Gu­jarat, to cre­ate more space for a doc­tor-cou­ple, who wanted larger ar­eas to meet their present and fu­ture re­quire­ments.

De­signed by UA Lab, this pro­ject scoops out more space within the ex­ist­ing built-up area rather than build­ing larger spa­ces. “Our first site ex­pe­ri­ence, where pea­cocks and pea­hens greeted us, guided us to de­velop a de­sign with­out com­pro­mis­ing on the ex­ist­ing open spa­ces avail­able to the users,” say Vipuja and Krush­nakant Par­mar, Prin­ci­pal Ar­chi­tects, uA lab (ur­ban Ar­chi­tec­tural Col­lab­o­ra­tive).

But at the same time, the old load-bear­ing struc­ture pro­vided them with very less free­dom to re­lease space, they re­call. So, us­ing the de­sign lan­guage of walls, col­umns and frames, they cre­ated en­velopes around the main struc­ture such that the en­closed space within could be re­leased in these en­velopes. All these new ex­ten­sions, de­signed as en­velopes, are done in ex­posed RCC struc­ture and kept open from the top; cre­at­ing a cu­bic form to the built mass.

“We tried to open the in­ner spa­ces of the house to­wards the outer gar­den; this helped in es­tab­lish­ing stronger re­la­tion­ships with the out­side greens and har­nessed nat­u­ral light and air,” says Krush­nakant.

As the liv­ing room is ex­tended on the west side, all those walls are kept in ex­posed RCC fin­ish, whilst the other walls are painted. Three open­ings de­signed in the ex­posed RCC por­tion are meant to connect the liv­ing to the green ar­eas on the west side. Soft fur­nish­ings seen through­out the house have been done in a va­ri­ety of cot­ton fab­rics to lend a warm and invit­ing look to dif­fer­ent spa­ces. In fact, the en­tire house is done up in Kota stone (with leather and mir­ror pol­ish) and Jaisalmer stone.

Ad­ja­cent to the liv­ing is the din­ing room, which is con­sid­ered to be the most im­por­tant fam­ily space. “We also wanted to de­sign a ve­ran­dah space for an in­for­mal din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Vipuja. The ve­ran­dah then be­comes the ca­sual din­ing area for the home own­ers to en­joy their meals un­der a per­gola.

Climb a floor up and one en­ters the fam­ily lounge – per­fect for get-to­geth­ers with rel­a­tives and friends. There is a small stand­ing bal­cony added to get in the east light, which pro­vides a warm and well-lit am­bi­ence through­out the day thanks to this tiny bal­cony open­ing. The lounge also dou­bles-up as a home theatre and the chil­dren use it to watch movies with their friends.

The orig­i­nal master bed­room was a tight, en­closed space, with just enough area for a dou­ble bed. The ar­chi­tects opened up the old can­tilevered bal­cony, turn­ing it into a bay win­dow and cre­ated an al­cove, which was de­signed as a read­ing space in the for­mat of a baithak (In­dian seat­ing ar­range­ment). With the client hav­ing a pen­chant for col­lect­ing an­tiques, a large cop­per fil­ter makes its stately pres­ence felt. A skylight added to the ceil­ing of the master bath­room brings in nat­u­ral light through­out the day.

A com­mon bal­cony with ver­ti­cal rail­ing on the first floor con­nects the master bed­room and the chil­dren’s bed­room. A cosy sofa; two chairs and a cen­ter ta­ble; paint­ings, bam­boo chicks and some palm fronds peep­ing in make this an in­ti­mate space for the par­ents and kids to bond.

The chil­dren’s room is done up in wood and ve­neer as seen, viz. ta­bles, racks and cab­i­nets. A gen­er­ous book rack has been well-de­signed along with tiny cab­i­nets for their tro­phies and other knick-knacks. De­spite a dou­ble bed for the girls, a study ta­ble, an ad­di­tional book cabi­net, a mir­ror-dresser and a wardrobe with frosted glass, the room does not look clut­tered, but feels rather spa­cious.

The ren­o­va­tion is a state­ment of ca­pa­bil­ity of the ar­chi­tects, where the home­own­ers have not only im­proved their con­nec­tion to the out­doors (via bay win­dows, ve­ran­dahs, bal­conies, etc.), but also con­tinue to main­tain the same equi­lib­rium with crea­tures like pea­cocks, squir­rels, etc., who come vis­it­ing on site.

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