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Society Interiors - - PROPERTY -

n con­vert­ing a 1978 Kolkata house to her own de­sign stu­dio, ar­chi­tect mon­ica Khosla Bhar­gava and her team at KHam Con­sul­tants ex­presses the essence of holis­tic, sus­tain­able de­sign through the preser­va­tion of ex­ist­ing ur­ban fab­ric. The project is not just about re­uti­liz­ing or retrofitting the old struc­ture; it’s the de­sign of new, more ef­fi­cient, in­stal­la­tions with the ob­jec­tives of op­ti­miz­ing en­ergy, flex­i­bil­ity of space plan­ning, use of en­vi­ron­ment-friendly ma­te­ri­als and con­struc­tion tech­niques.

The three storeyed Bal­ly­gunge bun­ga­low with a con­structed area of 2,500 sq. ft. had em­bod­ied the trends of south Kolkata ar­chi­tec­ture in the seven­ties. The build­ing has un­der­gone al­ter­ations over the years. When Mon­ica Khosla Bhar­gava got the prop­erty, it was in a pretty mu­ti­lated state. Mon­ica’s pas­sion for Kolkata’s unique ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage, mo­ti­vated her to re­tain the lo­cal Kolkata her­itage in­tact even as she went about ren­o­vat­ing the prop­erty to cre­ate her dream de­sign of­fice.

she has re­tained the ex­ist­ing sun­shades and the orig­i­nal teak case­ment win­dows. The ear­lier oc­cu­pants had re­placed five of th­ese win­dows with alu­minium slid­ers. Mon­ica found this jar­ring with the char­ac­ter of the space and she again re­placed th­ese five alu­minium slid­ers with the orig­i­nal teak wood win­dows. Mon­ica is an ar­dent sup­porter of sus­tain­able de­sign and her de­sign is char­ac­terised by nat­u­ral eco-friendly ma­te­ri­als. Wood is her favourite ma­te­rial and she was only to keen to re­store the old teak wood win­dow look.

Monika loves the open airy look with spa­cious feel and plenty of light. She found that the in­te­ri­ors orig­i­nally did not have the am­ple nat­u­ral sun­light she loves. She says, “We re­moved the grilles and the in­ter­nal par­ti­tions and some walls, thus open­ing up the space to let in an abun­dance of nat­u­ral light in­doors.” The two rooms on the ground floor were uni­fied to cre­ate a 500 sq. ft. of­fice re­cep­tion and con­fer­ence space. Sep­a­rat­ing the two spa­ces is the ter­ra­cotta coloured logo of the firm, mounted on teak wood slats. The in­door space has a con­tem­po­rary de­sign fash­ioned out of con­crete-wood-glass.

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