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.
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.