Architects are aware that well-travelled clients are exposed to diverse architecture and design. Consequently, their wish list may include transferring an overseas aesthetic to Indian shores, although any architect worth their salt will not mindlessly duplicate designs, with site and climate being major considerations. Architect Hiren Patel of HPA was no exception. The design of this two-level European villa was tweaked to suit Ahmedabad’s location and climate.
Fit for a Joint Family
In addition to a European villa design, the client wanted the four-bedroom home to have enough public spaces to host several socials. “Three generations were to live together in this bungalow, with all of them enjoying the company of guests at home. A teenage boy, a young couple and elderly in-laws—all with a robust social life. Clearly, the home had to provide adequate spaces for different age groups, be spacious and functional,” says Patel.
The exteriors feature plaster walls painted in a pale colour, with white frame windows. Straight lines dominate, topped by a sloping roof with shingles. “We decided to leave generous margins at the front to create a plaza and then set the structure so that it is completely open on the east, towards a large, private garden and a pool.”
The extensive glazing on the east side invite the morning sun into the bungalow making the structure look like a glass house. After sunset, the spaces within glow like a beacon. In contrast, the west of the building has fewer openings, which provide protection from the harsh afternoon heat.
A verdant lawn unfurls from the bungalow, dotted with sculptures, low shrubs as well as mature trees that rise above the building. The garden has been designed with the symmetry of a British garden. “Important spaces within the home such as the formal drawing room, dining room, family room and master bedroom look onto this garden,” says Patel.
The lower floor houses the foyer, puja room, guest room, parents’ room, kitchen, dining, family and formal living rooms and verandahs. The master bedroom, study, lounge, storeroom and son’s bedroom are on the upper level.
This is a narrow, long space with leather seating, and a sepia-toned wallpaper with a vintage feel, replete with cherubs and Greek columns. Framed black-and-white photos on the opposite wall continue the imagery of ancient architectural details. Making a statement is the signature Chester Moon, an elegant sofa designed by Paola Navona for Baxter.
Despite the narrow, linear nature of the space, a corridor has been eked out from the living room by means of a transparent glass partition. Additionally demarcated by a wooden ceiling, it leads to a panelled door in white which recalls the ‘European villa’ brief. Like other spaces in the house, the colour palette in the living room is restricted to the quiet greys and browns, set against muted ivory and cream in larger swathes taken up by floors and ceilings. The result is a sophisticated space which does not depend on pops of colour for impact.
An eight-seater rectangular dining table has brass legs and is topped by a black marble with luxurious gold veins. Comfortably cushioned chairs encourage togetherness at meal times. Two overhead pendant lights in brass have candle-style bulbs to impart a warm glow. “The dining area is extended on the east side as well as the west with verandahs, the latter being of double height, ideal for Sunday breakfast and morning tea,” says Patel.
The master bedroom enjoys a separate sitting area for entertaining close friends as well as watching late night movies. Further inside is the bedroom with a verandah. “These discrete but interconnected rooms provide a plush ambience, together with the well-appointed bathroom and spacious dressing room,” says Patel. The other bedrooms are also luxurious, some with wooden flooring in a chevron pattern. En suite baths and dressing rooms ensure that privacy is not compromised.
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