Where art abounds…
Residence of Mr. Akshay Shah (SAMRUDDHI BUNGALOW)
The client was an unusual one for Usine. His firm insistence, that his house must curate and celebrate art at every turn, coupled with his complete disregard for superficial elements.
When they set hands upon this project the casting stage of the columns and slabs had already been executed. So they were supposed to take a raw framework and weave about it a house that breathes in art and nature alike.
An exurban location for a residence may easily lead one into thinking less of the probable challenges. This project surely proved otherwise; the scenic site situated 8 km, away from the constant bustle of Vadodara city happened to be abutted by the Nalanda Internaional School. This meant that there shall be sporadic outbursts of boisterous kids, right before and after the school timings. The unmetalled road that lets about 165 buses ply each day on this route, twice, did not make it any easier.
The designers thus spent an extensive amount of time in attempting at solutions to keep the noise and the dust out and away from the house, and in rephrasing the language of the concrete framework, which was a given.
They employed triply glazed, full length glass units in a closely worked out manner.
The house is austere when it comes to embellishments. This is evident because the focus was on acquiring art pieces and then creating spaces that could revere them.
The exterior is clean, strong and devoid of any cladding. The entry that leads to the noble yet almost-levitating frontage of the house is paved with a rather humble variety of tiles but set against it is a large bronze mural by artist ratilal kansodaria portraying the dance of life when it rains. It lets in a soft filtered view of the garden beyond it.
The main door is more of a bright coloured wooden mural by artist gulam mohammad sheikh and besides it sits a similarly vivid Japanese piece on the wall. More than 5 dozen tiny glass birds hang as a sweeping spiral within this double heighted foyer; it’s almost as if the rain mural cued them in to the house for safety.
One is diverted to the formal living area by a gold engraved human figure sculpture by artist ashish dash in wood stands with an array of ‘masks’, a subtle innuendo on the modern social life when we think of it. The plush fawn colored sofas are teamed cleverly with the plain walls in order to intensify the dramatic character of the two purple arm chairs and the kodanda rao painting on the wall, about people on a seaside and the plethora of their thoughts.
The foyer then flows into the dining area that has another differently thought out expression. The glass human figurines hovering over the elegantly muted dining table are contrasted by the bold colours and distinct textures of glass, ceramic and metal in the abstract Shivlings by artist Vinod Darod.
The kitchen is jazzed up with a yellow band that runs throughout, sandwiched between the white of the walls and the black of the counters.
The family living area flows in next where the solemn white walls and flooring seem to admire the playful cooling blue of the sofas and the coffee table. The client wished for a whole wall to be dedicated to their family portraits and this feature lends an intimate and emotional overtone to this space.
The bedrooms are assigned with a unique colour palette to suit the individual’s tastes and energy. The master bedroom sports an occasional bold red on plain beiges. The son’s room on the other hand, had a sophisticated pairing of yellows with greys. The daughter’s spirited nature called for a vivacious mix of greens in hers. A painting or a series of them, that complemented each concept and colour scheme, adorns every room.
The reading space has a combination of a smoky beige sofa with pop orange cushions and a faded olive arm chair. Next to this is an entire wall of the same hue, dotted with an artist’s rendition of her thoughts at different occasions on 150 unique pieces of Italian paper; an allusion to how reading evokes a multitude of emotions within us.
The artist happens to be a student of Fine Arts at The M.S. University of Baroda. The piece was chosen not just for the underlying concept but also since the client wanted to nurture and promote local art and artists.
The multipurpose hall is a congregation space for the whole family and for their close friends- all of whom happen to be avid card players. So the installation that was commissioned for this room happened to be an abstracted version of a deck of cards.
The pop colored recliners infuse the whole space with a lively zing. The client maintained that every surface that was to be contacted should be imbue the highest comfort and quality and so these recliners were made to order and shipped in from Spain.
The living spaces, the reading space, and the bedrooms have an expansive view of the serene, lilting landscape around from the large triply glazed windows that use non reflective, glare-free glass.
The ceilings throughout are uncluttered and minimally articulated. This smoothness was maintained so that the emphasis is not diverged from the art and the carefully selected furniture.
It is evident that all the paintings, sculptures and murals were chosen, very consciously or were commissioned, to fit a narrative.
The exact aesthetic that the client desired was delivered through a series of narratives that the artworks spun across individual spaces as well as a whole. The house indeed became one, where art abounds.
LOCATION : vadodara, gujarat
PLOT AREA : 36,000 sq.ft.
BUILT UP AREA : 10,500 sq.ft.
CLIENT : Mr. Akshay Shah
PRINCIPAL DESIGNER : Yatin kavaiya & jiten tosar
DESIGN TEAM : Ar. Nirali bhakta & Chitra sindhkar
CIVIL WORK : Mr. Ajay Patel
PMC : Mr. Nimesh Panchal