THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN THE WORLD
All The World’s A sTAge THE CINEMA ISSUE
Starring Irrfan Khan ★ Alia Bhatt ★ Karan Johar ★ Rahul Khanna ★ Naomi watts
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN THE WORLD
AT HOME WITH ALIA THE CINEMA ISSUE
ALSO Starring Geoffrey bawa ★ Bijoy Jain ★ John Pawson
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CONTENTS October 2016
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN THE WORLD
All The World’s A sTAge THE CINEMA ISSUE
FOCUS AD sets the stage for Rahul Khanna— with a mix of furniture and home accessories— in a behind-the-scenes look at an actor’s life.
SHOPS The design eras of four iconic television shows provide inspiration for these distinct collections of products.
AGENDA A round-up of people, ideas, innovations and events in the news.
PROJECT Tasked with creating a pavilion for this year’s edition of MPavilion, architect Bijoy Jain researched Melbourne’s origins for his installation.
ON THE COVERS
The entrance to the Mumbai home of actor Irrfan Khan, designed by Shabnam Gupta. (‘In Character’, pg 174) On Khan: Pullover, Canali. Trousers, Ermenegildo Zegna.
Photographer: R Burman Fashion stylist: Akshay Tyagi Hairstylist: Mohammad Naqi Make-up artist: Vijay Shikare
Starring Irrfan Khan ★ Alia Bhatt ★ Karan Johar ★ Rahul Khanna ★ Naomi watts
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN THE WORLD
AT HOME WITH ALIA THE CINEMA ISSUE
Alia Bhatt in her home designed by Richa Bahl. (‘Little Star’, pg 166) On Bhatt: Blouse, Dming. Black shorts, Zara. Heels, Nine West.
Starring Alia Bhatt ★ Irrfan Khan ★ Karan Johar ★ Rahul Khanna ★ Naomi watts
Photographer: Prasad Naik Fashion stylist: Ami Patel Hairstylist: Ayesha Devitre Make-up artist: Rosario Belmonte
INNOVATION New Delhi studio Paul Matter reveals Satellite, the much-awaited follow-up to their acclaimed debut lighting collection.
DESIGN Architect Abha Narain Lambah talks to AD about being the first Indian invited to design an installation for the upcoming St Petersburg Biennale of Museum Design.
ART In an exclusive interview, artist Reena Saini Kallat talks to AD about her latest creation at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
SHOWCASE Visit the stylish set created for Condé Nast India’s first foray into television, Vogue BFFs—the show everyone’s talking about.
INDULGE AD brings you the latest updates from the world of luxury.
TECHNIQUE Asian Paints’ brand Nilaya collaborates with Good Earth on a range of wallpapers inspired by the Silk Route.
PORTFOLIO Through a showcase of iconic products, AD highlights the traditional craftsmanship of three Italian brands.
SPOTLIGHT AD profiles four of India’s most famous set designers—those architects of the silver screen.
PHOTO Early Indian cinemas are great examples of how Indian architecture appropriated modernism to attract moviegoers. AD showcases a photo project by two German artists that documents them.
ACCESS Part diplomat, part therapist, part networking ninja, and part friend, the interior designers of Bollywood play almost as many roles as their clients.
ARCHITECTURE British minimalist John Pawson—an architect who has constantly and consistently defined the beauty of a clean aesthetic—has designed London’s Design Museum, set to open in November.
contents Pg 174
Pg 50 Pg 50
EXCERPT Explore the iconic architectural structures of Geoffrey Bawa’s Sri Lanka in these extracts from a new book that provides an in-depth look at the late architect’s work in the country.
URBAN OASIS Sanjay and Ina Arora’s Juhu villa is like an island of calm in the stormy, tempestuous sea that is Bollywood.
LITTLE STAR Just seven films old, star baby Alia Bhatt is at home—in front of the camera, with AD.
IN CHARACTER With a solid grounding in theatre, Irrfan Khan has a screen presence that is riveting. One of the few Indian actors to successfully work in Indian and international films, he opens up his home to AD.
DOCUMENTARY STYLE AD50 firm Architecture BRIO designed this home on the outskirts of Mumbai to be one with its terrain.
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
BOLLYWOOD HQ Writer, director, producer and actor Karan Johar wears many hats; this office, designed by interior decorator Simone Dubash, is where he hangs them.
HOLLYWOOD REMAKE Award-winning producer Brian Grazer had a design dream team convert his California home into a contemporary mansion.
SETTING THE SCENE Ashe + Leandro for Merida transformed this duplex apartment into a home for actors Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber.
ROLE PLAY Ali Baldiwala, of Neerja fame, balances his two passions— acting and interior design—in this modern, chic south Mumbai home.
WORKBOOK Samir Wadekar adapts the international styles in our pages for your homes.
INSIDE STYLE Find the right audio set-up for your living room with these high-fidelity speakers and sound systems.
POINT OF VIEW The screening room in Shaana Levy-Bahl and Uraaz Bahl’s Mumbai home reflects their shared love for film.
RSVP Patrons of contemporary art were hosted at a dinner by the Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art, held at co-founder Roshini Vadehra Kapoor’s home.
SCOUTS A low-down on the hottest products and newest launches to hit the market this season.
STOCKISTS An A to Z of the stores in our pages.
AD 10 Interior designer, actor, producer and author Twinkle Khanna tells AD about 10 of her favourite things.
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
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Starring Irrfan Khan ★ Alia Bhatt ★ Karan Johar ★ Rahul Khanna ★ Naomi watts
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From top: Villa Vista in Sri Lanka, designed by Shigeru Ban. ‘Sofa With Arms’, by Shiro Kuramata for Cappellini. On set with Rahul Khanna (page 37).
y favourite films are highly stylized fusions of architecture, design, fashion, and pornography disguised as art. Top of the list is The Thomas Crown Affair, though I can never decide which version I prefer: the 1968 original, where a dapper Steve McQueen wears a Jaeger-LeCoultre ‘Memovox’ and drives a Ferrari 275; or the equally stylish 1999 remake, where Pierce Brosnan owns the most perfect Caribbean beach cabin, Rene Russo has a wardrobe designed by Michael Kors, and where set designer Leslie E Rollins created the handsome interiors of Crown’s townhouse, the marble staircase of which is the location of the most glossy sex scene in cinema history. Then there’s 2009’s I Am Love, which is a lesson in how I want to live. Set in the Villa Necchi in Milan (if you haven’t visited Piero Portaluppi’s 1930s’ masterpiece, make sure you do so during your next trip to Salone), the art deco interiors are as much the star as Tilda Swinton, who plays a sophisticated but desperate housewife with an elegant wardrobe by Raf Simons for Jil Sander. The storyline revolves around a young chef, and even the food is captured gorgeously on film; director Luca Guadagnino brilliantly uses fine dining as a suggestive metaphor, focusing on Tilda’s mouth as she nibbles on jewel-sized dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco. I’m a big Tilda fan and she makes a habit of only appearing in the most stylish movies. Recently she collaborated again with Guadagnino on A Bigger Splash, which is set on the tiny island of Pantelleria off the coast of Sicily, within sight of Tunisia. What a location! The film takes place in large part around the pool of one of the island’s stylish dammusi, the ancient stone cottages with vaulted ceilings that are unique to the island. The fashion (this time Dior) is exquisite, but you have to wait for it; Tilda is naked in the opening scenes, sunbathing on the roof of her villa. All I see is the incredible house. It strikes me that making a film is like putting together a magazine; it’s all about curating. So, what if the editor of AD played movie director? Well, let me set the scene. First, we’d need a jaw-dropping location. I’d head straight for Sri Lanka and the house designed by Shigeru Ban for Koenraad Pringiers that AD featured in our November-December 2012 issue. Here, perched on a cliff, the house is shoot-ready, filled with custom-designed furniture, and art by Saskia Pintelon. But down on the deserted sands, we’d need to construct a pavilion on the dunes for a Dr No-referencing beach scene. I’d ask Sameep Padora to work on a contemporary cabin consisting of a long deck with a sharp, cantilevered roof, and just a few key pieces of furniture, including a series of specially commissioned sun loungers inspired by Shiro Kuramata’s iconic ‘Sofa With Arms’. The seemingly natural steps to the sea would barely be noticeable—the result of a collaboration with landscape architect Piet Oudolf—and would reveal themselves in the opening scene as the camera followed the waves retreating from the shore. Next, we’d need a wardrobe. Akshay Tyagi, who styled this month’s cover with Irrfan Khan, will be in charge of the fashion. He’ll work on some hyper-chic resort wear for her and an edgy take on the shorts-and-T-shirt combo for him. But I wouldn’t want too many clothes. A bit of nudity is key to o any good storyline. The leading lady will, however, need jewellery. Mumbai-based Viren Bhagat is one of the most important living jewellers of our time, up there with JAR in Paris. I’d ask him to create something minimal in rare blue diamonds. If the movie’s a flop, then we’ll recuperate some of the losses when we sell the Bhagat jewels at Christie’s in Geneva. Of course, there’ll be a moody road trip, and like the Bond movies have the he Aston Martin, I’d want a signature ride. For that, we’ll approach Anand Mahindra, who last year bought the Pininfarina design house, and ask him to o reimagine that iconic car, the Hindustan Ambassador, into a sleek coupe that can be driven into the distance as the credits roll. Just a few more details to iron out: a clever script by Zoya Akhtar, a soundtrack by AR Rahman, and cinematography by Bharat Sikka. Oh, and as for the cast, I’ll be holding auditions. An Ueli Berger sofa will make the perfect casting couch.
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PORTRAIT: R BURMAN. VILLA VISTA: PHILIPPE GARCIA.
THE CINEMA ISSUE
R BURMAN PHOTOGRAPHER R Burman is a Mumbai-based photographer, and a regular contributor to AD and other Condé Nast India magazines. In This Issue: Burman photographed Rahul Khanna for ‘Lights! Camera! Action!’ (pg 37) and Irrfan Khan for ‘In Character’ (pg 174). “It’s always a pleasure working with the AD team. This issue was a special one for me—shooting both Irrfan Khan and Rahul Khanna. Both of these brilliant actors are very different in their own right, but they brought great energy to the sets and made both shoots effortless. ”
ILLUSTRATOR Jane Webster is an experienced Londonbased illustrator. She specializes in visual orientation through maps, architecture, food and travel. Her hand-drawn images are commissioned around the world and evoke a sense of presence and place. In This Issue: Webster illustrated a part of Mumbai’s skyline, featuring the Indian film industry’s best-known celebrity homes, in ‘The Real Interior Designers Of Bollywood’ (pg 126). “This brief was about translating the form of a basic map key line into an exciting coastal narrative of the Bollywood stars’ choices of residence.”
ILLUSTRATOR A graduate in commercial photography from Arts University Bournemouth, Rohan Hande is a photographer and visual artist who has previously worked at Condé Nast India. In This Issue: Hande designed visual soundscapes as backgrounds for ‘Sound Cloud’ (pg 227). “Music is an important part of my work process, and mixing sound waves in my drawings has been an interesting experiment. The tune playing in the background while working on these illustrations: Skin by Flume.”
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
GAYATRI RANGACHARI SHAH WRITER Gayatri Rangachari Shah, a regular contributor to AD, is a Mumbai-based journalist. In This Issue: Shah wrote about the house Sanjay Arora—the managing director of D’Decor—shares with his wife Ina and their two daughters in ‘Urban Oasis’ (pg 155). “The Aroras were a dream to interview. Not only were they incredibly happy to share details of their beautiful, serene home, which was unlike any I have seen in Mumbai, they were warm and wonderful people. I felt like I was with old friends.”
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FASHION STYLIST Akshay Tyagi has quietly become one of Bollywood’s most sought-after stylists, dressing the likes of Hrithik Roshan and Siddarth Malhotra, as well as Irrfan Khan, who asked for him for AD’s shoot. Trained in textiles and conceptual fashion at Canada’s NSCAD University, Tyagi is also working on his own collection inspired by designers Hussein Chalayan and Issey Miyake. In This Issue: Tyagi styled actor Irrfan Khan in the shoot at his home for ‘In Character’ (pg 174). “Shooting with Irrfan and Burman was such a great combination of energies; both have this laid-back, easy-going style that was simply enjoyable to be around. The whole process was so comfortable that I think we forgot we were even working!”
WRITER As the ex-deputy editor, and current contributing editor at AD, Divya Mishra is usually far removed from the world of Bollywood, and rarely finds her paths crossing with those of Indian movie stars. Having sunk her teeth into these assignments, she is currently trying to un-boggle her mind. In This Issue: Mishra was excited to interview Alia Bhatt for ‘Little Star’ (pg 166), because “apart from the fact that she’s very talented, she’s one of the few movie stars to whom I can say, ‘I’ve watched almost all of your movies!’” 32|
ArchitecturAl Digest|october 2016
WRITER Raja Sen has been an outspoken film critic, writing for Rediff.com since 2004. He writes about movies, motor sport and culture for many national and international publications, and is currently working on his first children’s book. In This Issue: Sen visited the home of actor Irrfan Khan for ‘In Character’ (pg 174). “I was antsy about doing my first story about interiors and talking about a house till Irrfan told me he was antsy about giving his first interview about interiors and talking about his own house.”
FASHION STYLIST Tanya Vohra is the junior stylist at GQ India, and has styled many of India’s hottest stars, including John Abraham, Imran Khan and Varun Dhawan. In This Issue: Vohra styled actor Rahul Khanna in ‘Lights! Camera! Action!’ (pg 37), which captures the many roles an actor plays. “This was my first association with AD, and it was wonderful. The scale of the sets was astounding, the planning and execution were impeccable. Rahul Khanna, as always, was his exceptional self, and looked absolutely dapper, while donning some of this season’s latest trends.”
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CELEBRATING THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF MAKE IN INDIA
THE LION STRIDES AHEAD MAKE IN INDIA MILESTONES
Policy changes and reforms have underpinned foreign investments, making India the world’s most attractive investment destination. Here are landmark moments in Make in India’s 18-month journey to date
1ST CHOICE FOR TECH MNCS TO SET UP R&D CENTRES OUTSIDE THEIR HOME COUNTRIES SOURCE: ZINNOV MANAGEMENT CONSULTING REPORT
AMONG THE TOP 10 FDI DESTINATIONS GLOBALLY SOURCE: WORLD INVESTMENT REPORT 2015, UNCTAD
1ST AMONG THE WORLD’S BEST COUNTRIES TO INVEST IN
SOURCE: BEST COUNTRIES RANKINGS, 2016 -U.S. NEWS, BAV CONSULTING & WHARTON SCHOOL
46 PERCENT GROWTH IN INDIA’S FDI EQUITY INFLOWS (OCT 2014-MAY 2016)
FDI EQUITY INFLOW INCREASED FROM $46.72 BILLION IN 2012-2014 TO $70.93 BILLION IN 2014-2016. SOURCE: DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL POLICY & PROMOTION, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
UP 15 SPOTS ON THE GLOBAL INNOVATION INDEX 2O16 SOURCE: CORNELL UNIVERSITY, INSEAD AND THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANISATION (WIPO)
7TH MOST VALUED NATION BRAND IN THE WORLD SOURCE: BRAND FINANCE
1ST AMONG THE WORLD’S FASTEST GROWING ECONOMIES IN BOTH 2016 & 2017 SOURCE: WESP REPORT 2016, UN
1ST AMONG 11O INVESTMENT DESTINATIONS POLLED GLOBALLY
SOURCE: FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE – BASELINE PROFITABILITY INDEX 2015
1ST AMONG THE WORLD’S MOST ATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT DESTINATIONS SOURCE: ERNST & YOUNG – 2015 INDIA ATTRACTIVENESS SURVEY
1ST AMONG THE WORLD’S TOP MOST GREENFIELD FDI DESTINATIONS, JANUARYJUNE 2O15 SOURCE: FINANCIAL TIMES – FDI MARKETS
UP 12 PLACES ON THE EASE OF DOING BUSINESS 2O16 LIST
1ST AMONG THE WORLD’S FASTEST GROWING ECONOMIES
SOURCE: WORLD BANK
SOURCE: INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
1ST AMONG 1OO COUNTRIES ON THE GROWTH, INNOVATION AND LEADERSHIP INDEX SOURCE: FROST & SULLIVAN
$55.7 BILLION - INDIA’S HIGHEST EVER RECORDED FDI INFLOWS (2015-2016) SOURCE: DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL POLICY & PROMOTION, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
OUR ROUND-UP FROM THE FRONT LINES OF DESIGN: TRENDS, PRODUCTS, STYLES, BOOKS AND EVENTS
LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION! Armchairs by Pierre Jeanneret; Mahendra Doshi. ‘Rugged Denim’ rug; Hands Carpets. ‘Atelier 63’ floor lamp by Venetia Studium; Firefly. On Rahul Khanna: Black pullover; Paul Smith. Jacket; Giorgio Armani. Trousers; Dior Homme. Shoes; Christian Louboutin. Watch; Panerai.
Rahul Khanna headlines ’s latest production, also starring a stellar cast of furniture and home accessories PHOTOGRAPHER R BURMAN CREATIVE DIRECTOR ASHISH SAHI INTERIOR STYLIST SAMIR WADEKAR FASHION STYLIST TANYA VOHRA
Black nickel-finish steel tripod floor lamps by Ethnic Roots; Pepperfry.com. ‘Kershaw Plain (NCW4204-01)’ wallpaper by Nina Campbell for Osborne & Little; F&F. ‘Nail’ artwork (portrait, centre); Defurn. ‘Pret’ white, upholstered armchair; The Charcoal Project. ‘Bong’ side table by Giulio Cappellini for Cappellini; Poltrona Frau Group Design Center. ‘Agate’ door handles; Viya Home. ‘Tango x 2’ (brass shade) pendant lamps; Paul Matter. ‘A Part’ framed archival print, engravings and acrylic colours on archival board (portrait, right), ‘Bombard - I’ archival print, drawing on archival board (landscape, top) by Pratap Morey; Tarq. ‘Water Works - Print 11’ (landscape, bottom); Design Temple. ‘Coco’ (Oxford grey) leather sofa; Abaca. ‘Water Works’ white and grey cushions; Design Temple. ‘Kangourou’ teakwood chair by Pierre Jeanneret; The Raj Company. ‘Cosset’ rug; Cocoon Fine Rugs. ‘Leaf’ centre table; Defurn. ‘Molten’ (pale sapphire) vase; Trésorie. On Rahul Khanna: Turtleneck pullover; Etro. Jacket, trousers; Corneliani. Shoes; Paul Smith. On Magdalena Nowak: Dress; Roberto Cavalli. Shoes; Christian Louboutin.
discover ‘Flame Of The Forest’ hanging lamp; Viya Home. Black ceramic pouffe; Address Home. Circa-1960 sideboard with steel trim; Phillips Antiques. (On sideboard) ‘Square Ridge’ brass platter, cocktail shaker with peg measures, ‘Pyramid’ whisky glasses, ‘Havana’ crystal wine decanter; Trésorie. Acacia wood bowl and plate (with lemons); Muji. Ebonized lion; Essajees. ‘IC LIGHTS T’ by Michael Anastassiades for Flos; Firefly. Painting from the Rampur Palace, Naga standing sculpture; Essajees. Curtains in ‘Wakati Matope’ fabric from the Bantu collection; The Pure Concept. ‘Seamless Moroccan’ hand-tufted rug; Hands Carpets. Circa-1960 ebonized chairs; Phillips Antiques. ‘Mushroom’ marble-top dining table; Pinakin. ‘Tulip’, ‘Rose’, ‘Lotus’ brass vases from the Flora collection by Dario Contessotto; Scarlet Splendour. On Rahul Khanna: Turtleneck pullover; Etro. Coat; Corneliani. Trousers; Bally, London. Shoes; Salvatore Ferragamo. On Princeton Aguocha: T-shirt; Ted Baker. Jeans; Paul Smith. Shoes; Ermenegildo Zegna. Glasses; Giorgio Armani.
ArchitecturAl Digest|OctOBer 2016
‘Freestyle (CZ2444)’ wallpaper from the Modern Nature collection by Candice Olson; Nilaya. Framed poster by Andrew Martin, ‘Pret’ chair in green suede; The Charcoal Project. ‘Manhattan’ mirror; Fusion Access. ‘489-AL’ wall-mounted make-up lights by Leds-C4; Firefly. ‘Yacht Club Desk 01’; Portside Cafe. (On desk) Toner and lotion bottles, acrylic storage unit, hair clip (black), digital clock (black), ‘PET’ pump bottle (green), aluminium cup; Muji. (In acrylic storage unit) Men’s grooming products by Shiseido; Parcos. Make-up brushes by Yves Rocher; Parcos. Memo holder, silver paperknife, pen tray; Ravissant. Champagne flute; Trésorie. ‘Skin Empowering Cream’ by Shiseido; Parcos. ‘Abhidi’ scented candle; No-Mad.in. On Rahul Khanna: Vest; Jockey. Trousers; Dior Homme. Watch; Panerai. Shoes; Hermès. On the rack: Patterned scarf; Salvatore Ferragamo. Scarf with white border; Paul Smith.
‘Fox Trot (FP 423001)’ wallpaper; Pierre Frey. ‘Lost Right Angles-I’ and ‘Lost Right Angles-II’ framed archival prints on archival board by Pratap Morey; Tarq. Spoked art deco bracket lamp; Taherally’s. ‘Utrecht’ armchair by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld for Cassina; Poltrona Frau Group Design Center. Brass occasional table with marble top; Mahendra Doshi. Signed crystal cup by Lalique, ‘Cheval’ crystal paperweight by JG Durand; Essajees. Wooden valet; The Upper Gallery. ‘Bergman’ (grey and white) rug; Shyam Ahuja. On the valet: Jacket; Philipp Plein. Black scarf; Ermenegildo Zegna. Patterned scarf; Salvatore Ferragamo. Tiepin, cufflinks; The Tie Bar. Cufflinks; The Bro Code. Glasses; Giorgio Armani.
Custom-made red carpet; Qaaleen. On Rahul Khanna: Shirt; Giorgio Armani. Jacket, trousers; Corneliani. Belt; Ermenegildo Zegna. Shoes; Heel & Buckle. Bow tie; The Tie Hub. On Magdalena Nowak: Dress; Galvan London. Shoes; Christian Louboutin. On Saket Sharma, Sanjeet Singh, Gaurav Nain, Pradeep Jangar and Sandeep Sharma: Suits; Brooks Brothers. Photo Editor: Kim Sidhu Production Assistant: Shreya Basu Production: Temple Road Productions Models: Anima Creative Management: Magdalena Nowak, Saket Sharma, Sanjeet Singh. Inega: Princeton Aguocha. Gaurav Nain. Pradeep Jangar. Sandeep Sharma. Rahul Khannaâ€™s make-up artist & hairstylist: Apeni George. Magdalena Nowakâ€™s make-up artist & hairstylist: Claire Schultz; Inega.
For details, see Stockists 44|
ArchitecturAl DigeSt|OctOBer 2016
Production designer Cece Destefano and set decorator Caroline Perzan’s take on a hip-hop music industry mogul’s New York office is indeed an opulent and lavish one. The office is dominated by a mix of velvets with lacquered or high-gloss pieces of furniture and gold accents.
takes style inspiration from the sets of four television shows across design eras, from 21st-century New York to a fantastical palace east of Westeros
STYLIST SONALI THAKUR
1. ‘Kudu’ table lamp by Alex Davis Studio, `25,000, Indi Store. 2. ‘Center Enter’ tray from the Lifetime collection by Giorgio Soressi, price on request, Giorgio Collection. 3. ‘Steel Horn’ with base, `4,500, Apartment 9. 4. Glossy wooden tray with horn handles, `9,500, Fennel. 5. Black Murano glass cabinet, price on request, Taherally’s. 6. ‘Avatar’ desk by Umberto Asnago, price on request, i 4 Mariani. 7. ‘Savoy’ chair, `1,10,000, Apartment 9. 8. ‘La Flamme’ wall hanging, `3,42,850, Christopher Guy. 9. ‘Ares’ figure, `39,000, The Furniture Republic. 10. ‘Dukono’ armchair by Joaquim Paulo, `1,80,196, Brabbu. 11. ‘Knot’ veneered side table with brass accents, `1,85,000, House Of Raro. 12. Gold vase, `15,500, Sajaavat.
HOLDING IMAGE: STAR WORLD (EMPIRE SEASON 3 AIRS ON STAR WORLD AND STAR WORLD HD/© 2015 FOX AND ITS RELATED ENTITIES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.) PHOTOGRAPHERS: INDRAJIT SATHE, ANSHUMAN SEN, THIRU S/WHITELIGHT DESIGN. ASSISTANT STYLIST: KRITI VIJ.
STALACTITE CONSOLE Â¦ STALAGMITE COFFEE TABLE www.viyahome.com MU MB A I 0 1 / 3 1 Ka ma l Ma n s i o n 2F Ar t h ur Bun d er Ro ad Co laba M. 9987879694
GAME OF THRONES
Deborah Riley, the show’s production designer, created the Meereen palace, which is set in a desert. The pyramid-like structures were inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Mayan Revival period architecture, punctuated with a mix of classical and chunky furniture to add relatability.
1. ‘Villa Vista 806740ST’ chandelier by Fine Art Lamps, price on request, at Highlight. 2. ‘Malachite Pyramid’ stacking box, `26,746, Jonathanadler.com. 3. ‘The Poillerat’ mirror by Theodore Alexander, price on request, at International Furniture Brands. 4. ‘Cherry Blossom Flower’ bowl, `8,700, Devi Design. 5. ‘Menton 4’ screen, `7,02,483, Christopher Guy. 6. ‘Dillon’ cabinet, `10,87,805, Kellywearstler.com. 7. Italian chair in walnut wood, `1,20,375, Artisera.com. 8. ‘Borodubur’ table, price on request, Viya Home. 9. ‘Kawali’ amber crystal wine glass and champagne flute by Christofle, `12,154 onwards each, at Emery Studio. 10. ‘Cowrey’ shell neckpiece on stand, `30,000, Maison 15. 11. Tiger eye and jade square table with gilding, `1,50,000, Essajees. 12. ‘Hand’ and ‘Eye’ candleholders, `6,690 each, Ecruonline.com. 13. Oriental chest, `7,000, Cane Boutique.
HOLDING IMAGE: HBO ASIA (WATCH GAME OF THRONES SEASON 1-6 ON HOTSTAR PREMIUM/© 2016 HBO ASIA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.) PHOTOGRAPHERS: INDRAJIT SATHE, ANSHUMAN SEN, THIRU S/ WHITELIGHT DESIGN. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: SAMIR WADEKAR, KRITI VIJ.
MASTERS OF SEX
Production designer Michael Wylie created this mid-century modern office for a story based on the real-life team of sex researchers in the 1950s. The space was layered with monochromatic upholstered furniture and textured wallpaper to evoke a sense of post-war America and its design forwardness.
HOLDING IMAGE: MICHAEL DESMOND/SONY PICTURES TELEVISION/SHOWTIME (ALL SEASONS OF MASTERS OF SEX ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX/© 2013 SONY PICTURES TELEVISION INC AND SHOWTIME NETWORKS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.) PHOTOGRAPHER: INDRAJIT SATHE.
1. ‘Iona 101/4033’ and ‘Elgin 101/6007’ wallpapers from the Caledonia collection by Cole & Son, `23,852 per 7.3-metre roll, at F&F. 2. ‘Watch Me’ wall clock, `6,950, BoConcept. 3. ‘Scion’ blue-grey decor jar, `7,900, Address Home. 4. Green rug from the Project Error collection by Kavi, `2,88,000, Jaipurrugsco.com. 5. Mid-century teak chair (part of pair), `60,000, Mahendra Doshi. 6. Mid-century rosewood desk, `75,000, Phillips Antiques. 7. Teapot, saucer and cappuccino cup from the Touch! collection by Kahla, `5,750, `1,500, `1,800 respectively, at Studio Fifty4. 8. ‘Eames Hang It All’ by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller, `24,900 onwards, at Workrite. 9. ‘Goldfinger’ armchair with footrest by Leonardo Dainelli for Arketipo, price on request, at And More Stories. 10. ‘Chandigarh 1 shelf’, `54,975, Iqrup+Ritz. 11. ‘Sabbie’ vase by Carlo Moretti, `7,192, at Yoox.com. 12. ‘Box Box Desktop’ (5 pieces) by HAY, `3,053, at Le Mill. 13. ‘Nelson’ table lamp by George Nelson, price on request, Herman Miller. 14. ‘Oki’ trays, `4,950, BoConcept. 15. ‘Amsterdam’ dining chair, `39,982, Jonathanadler.com.
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1. ‘Arlequin’ chandelier in black, satiny crystal and flannel grey with 12 lights by Saint-Louis, `24,60,880 onwards, at Emery Studio. 2. Mid-1800s French goldleafed two-seater, `3,70,000, The Great Eastern Home. 3. ‘Comfy’ armchair, price on request, Asnaghi Interiors. 4. ‘Anémones’ vase in fuchsia crystal, `3,72,630, Lalique. 5. ‘French Victorian Aubusson’ rug, `2,06,000, Yak Carpet. 6. Occasional game table by Theodore Alexander, price on request, at International Furniture Brands. 7. George II, Chippendale, England 1750 period style armchair from the Galleria collection, price on request, Oak. 8. Pink fairy-glass kerosene lamp, price on request, Taherally’s. 9. Colonial gilded console, `75,000, Mahendra Doshi. 10. ‘Trian Or’ wine glass with 24-carat-gold engraving by SaintLouis, `33,460 onwards, at Emery Studio. 11. Table clock, `1,57,950, The Great Eastern Home. 12. ‘Aldwych 94/5027’ wallpaper from the Albemarle collection by Cole & Son, `8,714 onwards per 10-metre roll, at F&F. 13. Table lamp, price on request, Living Spaces.
HOLDING IMAGE: GRAEME HUNTER/ STARZ/SONY PICTURES TELEVISION (OUTLANDER SEASON 1 & 2 ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX/© 2016 SONY PICTURES TELEVISION INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.) PHOTOGRAPHERS: INDRAJIT SATHE, ANSHUMAN SEN. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: SAMIR WADEKAR, KRITI VIJ.
Set in the 18th century—when Parisian style was at the height of its glory—this show features Versailles and the court of Louis XV. Production designer Jon Gary Steele used parquet flooring, shimmering mouldings, ornate objects and furniture to recreate and establish that period’s style.
NEWSFLASH es to know right now A round-up of events, ideas, innovations and nam COMPILED BY LEENA DESAI
Danseuse Aditi Mangaldas is famous for her fluid moves and eloquent technique. This month, Londoners will get a chance to see her in action at the Barbican from 20-22 October as part of Dance Umbrella 2016, the city’s international dance festival. Mangaldas’s performance is titled Inter_rupted and merges advanced sound, rhythm and lighting with ancient kathak traditions to explore human fragility, disintegration and renewal. Awardwinning lighting designer Fabiana Piccioli has worked closely with Mangaldas on the show. barbican.org.uk 58|
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
PHOTO: NIRVAIR SINGH
DANCING UP A STORM
It isn’t very often that art is welcoming, but on the rare occasion that it is, it becomes memorable. Mumbai-based artist Shilpa Gupta’s installation at the international art exhibition Sonsbeek ’16 is one such effort. Located high on the hills of Sonsbeek Park in Arnhem, in the Netherlands, the artwork, like most of Gupta’s previous works, blurs lines—between the real and the imagined, between installation and experience. Made in collaboration with local design firm Buroharro, the composition includes a set of winding concrete steps that lead you down to an oval reservoir of water; in it is reflected the piece of sky that peeks in through the foliage above. Merging into the landscape like ancient ruins, some of the concrete blocks are inscribed with subtle, poetic messages that invite viewers to look closer, experience, and become a part of. sonsbeek.org —TORA AGARWALA
From fashion and spaces to jewellery and weddings, Rohit Bal is one of India’s most versatile designers. He now sinks his teeth into crystalware by designing a candescent collection of tableware and ornamental objects made by master artisans from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Manufactured in 24 per cent hand-cut lead crystal—reputedly the best quality in the world—the collection includes goblets, vases, tea sets, platters, salvers and urns. Rimmed in 24-carat gold and pure platinum, and featuring Bal’s signature lotus and peacock motifs, these are items worthy of an heirloom from one of the country’s most celebrated maximalists. rohitbal.com
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
Eminent gallerists and auctioneers Pundole’s are all set to open the doors to their new space in the historic neighbourhood of Ballard Estate, in Mumbai. Pundole’s new location will hold a number of auctions, exhibitions and educational lectures. Their first auction will be held in November and will be dedicated to Indian classical and modern art. They hope to regularly hold curated estate sales and category-specific smaller auctions at their new location. pundoles.com
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Four big, influential fairs make October a busy, art- and design-packed month
New Delhi-based artists Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra are taking their much talked-about eponymous brand Thukral & Tagra to the Middle East for the Dubai Design Week, the second edition of which will take place from 24-29 October. For the fair, which celebrates the diverse design talent in the Middle East and Africa, the duo is setting up ‘The Emotional Pavilion’, an interactive exhibition called ‘Memoir Bar’ in collaboration with Bharat Floorings & Tiles. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to write down a memory on a piece of paper, which is shredded and made into a beautiful hexagonal tile. The artists view their project as a “transfer and exchange station”, a conduit for depositing and preserving memories forever. dubaidesignweek.ae
Clockwise from top: A rendering of the set-up of ‘Memoir Bar’ for the Dubai Design Week. Finished tiles showcased at Mumbai-based gallery Chatterjee & Lal, in July this year as part of Thukral and Tagra’s two-day pilot project of ‘Memoir Bar’. Knocking at Stone’s Front Door, 2 (2016) by Neha Choksi
PHOTO COURTESY THE ARTIST AND PROJECT 88
Frieze London, from 6-9 October, will see the participation of 160 of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries from 30 countries. While sister fair Frieze Masters will convene 134 historical and modern galleries, and will showcase art and antiquities. Mumbai-based gallery Project 88 will exhibit at Frieze with a solo booth by Neha Choksi. Sarnath Banerjee will also exhibit at Frieze at the lounge of the fair’s main sponsor Deutsche Bank. frieze.com 62|
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
BACK TO PAVILION
London’s busy design-packed October kicks off with the 10th anniversary of the Pavilion of Art and Design or PAD London at Berkeley Square from 3-9 October. This year’s edition of the fair will be, shockingly, housed inside a white tent, breaking away from the iconic black pavilion PAD is famous for. Inside, like previous years, collectors will get to see some of the most prized, museum-worthy art, antiques and artefacts from the mid-19th century to the present by 65 top exhibitors. pad-fairs.com
Exhibit piece from Munich-based Kunstkammer Georg Laue
‘Round Abyss Table’ by Christopher Duffy, courtesy of Sarah Myerscough
TEFAF, one of the most important fine and decorative arts fairs that takes place in Maastricht, Netherlands every year, will hold its first New York edition from 22-26 October. Ninety-four illustrious dealers in art, design and furniture from antiquity to the early 20th century will participate at the fair. tefaf.com
PHOTOS: NICHOLAS WATT
AD50 architect Bijoy Jain next to the inconstruction MPavilion in Mumbai. Below left: A scaled model of the MPavilion. Left: Jain sketching the design of the MPavilion.
UNDER THE ELEMENTS
To design the MPavilion in Melbourne, Bijoy Jain went back to the city’s origins and history and aptly named his creation ‘Lore’
WRITER PHALGUNI DESAI
he Melbourne Pavilion, or MPavilion as it’s known, is a yearly hub of art, design, performance and discussions around internationally relevant practices. Initiated by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation in 2014, each year an international architect is invited to design and create the temporary pavilion, which will house the four-month-long event. This year, the foundation invited AD50 architect Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai to lend his unique aesthetic to the pavilion design. Jain digs deep into his practice, which involves looking beyond the immediacy of the space given, to pay homage to its history and origins. His unique approach to architecture grabbed the attention of Naomi Milgrom, director of the Milgrom Foundation who considers Jain to be “one of the world’s most fascinating architects”. The foundation commissions architects for the pavilion based on 66|
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
their contribution to contemporary architecture, ability to encourage design debate and make a meaningful contribution to cultural collaboration. “[Jain’s] approach to design reflects a deep concern for craft, ‘handmade architecture’, local knowledge and community participation in the design process,” says Milgrom. Jain, who is the first Asian architect to design the pavilion, brings with him the concept of lore, exploring architecture at its most basic while connecting histories to the present-day space. “The original site, which was inhabited by the aborigines, was a swamp, and over the course of the colonization of Australia, things changed. So my first instinct was to drive a bore all the way into the ground, connecting to the point where there is water. And the MPavilion surrounds this bore, and in doing that, it becomes a gesture connecting all the civilizations that existed on this land.” A tazia—a high tower-like structure—rises from the pavilion. Jain hopes the structure will guide visitors to think on the connections between humans, the earth, and the faraway stars. Constructed using bamboo, stone and rope, Jain’s design brings to mind a clean, stripped-down version of the various pandal structures built for events in India. Jain uses bamboo—known for being supple, light, agile—to kindle ideas and drive collaborations. As MPavilion 2016 gets going, Jain, who recently concluded the redesign for Mumbai designer store Ensemble, is making plans to go on a year-long sabbatical. “I’m going to take a break from architecture, to build my own house, with my own hands.” We’d expect nothing less from one of India’s most organic architects. MPavilion 2016 will be open till 18 February 2017.
www.giorgiocollection.it Seregno (MB) Italy
Collection ALCHEMY design Giorgio Soressi
MADE IN ITALY
Still glowing from the success of its debut collection, New Delhi-based studio Paul Matter is set to unveil a series of highly conceptual, minimalist light installations WRITER KAVERI ACHARYA
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
The ‘Satellite I’ wall sconce and ‘Satellite II’ pendant light.
PHOTO: NEBEN NINGTHOUJAM
aunched in February 2016, Paul Matter’s first collection of lights established the studio’s mastery over a sophisticated, minimalist aesthetic, and building upon it would be the key to a successful follow-up. For creative director Nikhil Paul, the simple yet elegant geometry of the cube was the starting point for a new collection of what he calls “light sculptures”. This collection, titled Satellite, is also influenced by the work of legendary minimalist artist Sol LeWitt, and the Bauhaus movement, with an inadvertent nod towards Pablo Picasso’s Constellations. Staying true to a minimalist doctrine that eschews embellishment in favour of raw materiality, each piece—composed of brass arms and hand-blown glass lanterns—seamlessly couples contemporary and vintage design. Entirely handcrafted and customizable, the arms are rendered with a combination of brushed, patinated or burnt finishes that underscore the material possibilities of brass. The clinical titles of the pieces—‘Satellite I’, ‘Satellite II’ and ‘Satellite IV’—juxtapose the ethereal quality of the levitating, moon-like lanterns with the definitive angularity of the arms that have a pivoting elbow, enabling a 180-degree movement on a horizontal plane. The pieces can be used as individual fixtures or in a number of combinations. With the imminent launch of the collection, Paul is interested to see how his light sculptures will be interpreted in a multitude of spaces. We can hardly wait.
CHRONICLING CULTURE he ethnographic photography collection of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography—also called the Kunstkamera—is one of the oldest in Russia and the world. Presenting a visual history of mankind, this collection is on display for the first time as part of an exhibition designed by architect Abha Narain Lambah at the Kunstkamera. The exhibition opened on 30 September 2016, to coincide with the start of the St Petersburg Biennale, and will go on till 30 January 2017. The museum’s curators, who have selected the photos, are interested in the scientific study of ethnographic photography. The exhibition is divided into two parts: an external gallery that traces the history of the museum’s photographic collection; and an internal circular hall that showcases photos—placed atop vertical spikes—from the archives, categorized into sections, like ‘dances’, ‘religious rituals’, ‘public punishments’ etc. The ambitious project is a way for Lambah, the museum, and the consultants to tip their hats not only to the photographers, but also the collectors and curators who carefully preserved them for posterity. Architectural Digest: How did your association with the St Petersburg Biennale and the Kunstkamera museum start? Abha Narain Lambah: I had given a lecture on my work with Clockwise from top left: Circus Artists, China, 1950; collector: Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Ball Game, Japan, early 20th century; collector: Specific Department Museum. Rope Walkers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century; collector: AL Melkov. Ravi Shankar, India, mid-20th century. Torture, China, early 20th century; collector: BV Bekker. Arrival of the Bride to the Groom’s House, Kazakhstan, 1897; author and collector: KN de Lazari. Dance of Fishermen, India, mid-20th century.
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
museums in India at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg two years ago. The Pro Arte Foundation, Russia’s premier contemporary art institution, had organized it and this year, they asked me if I would design an exhibition at the Kunstkamera for the St Petersburg Biennale of Museum Design. Kunstkamera is Russia’s oldest museum. This is an honour and a first for any Indian and I feel privileged at having been invited to participate in this. AD: What is the exhibition ‘Humankind’s Family Album’ about? ANL: This is a collection that documents people, cultures and ceremonies across the world. It chronicles long-forgotten customs and costumes from Alaska, Russia, Turkmenistan, China, Japan, India, Indonesia and many other countries and is, in a way, like a family album of the world. AD: What made you take up a project that’s primarily based on anthropology and ethnography? ANL: Since the 19th century, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Kunstkamera museum have been patrons of photographic expeditions across the globe, studying various cultures and regions from an anthropological and scientific research objective. This has led to one of the largest photographic collections of this nature being held in the repository at the Kunstkamera. I have always been fascinated by early black-and-white photography. I’ve been influenced by my grandfather, who extensively photographed Kashmir in the early 20th century. I’ve also edited the Archaeological Survey of India’s photographic collection for its book commemorating 150 years of the institution. All things considered, this was too tempting an offer to pass up.
PHOTOS COURTESY THE KUNSTKAMERA
Conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah talks to ’s LEENA DESAI about designing Humankind’s Family Album—an exhibition that presents a ‘visual anthropology’ of world cultures
Artist Reena Saini Kallat talks to ’s LEENA DESAI about her installation Woven Chronicle at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, which makes a statement about the global refugee crisis Architectural Digest: How do you think Woven Chronicle addresses the subject of MOMA’s exhibition, Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter? Reena Saini Kallat: Woven Chronicle traces the movement of migrants historically, beginning from the earliest migrations out of Africa due to climate change, to indentured labour migrations in industrial, and now, in post-industrial societies. The work was conceived with electric wires to form a drawing, that suggests migration patterns globally. It thus responds to the complex circumstances brought about by forced displacement, which the MOMA exhibition focuses on.
deep-sea ambient sounds, ship horns, and electric pulses? RSK: While conceiving the work with densely criss-crossing wires across continents, I kept thinking about the undersea cables that connect our world today through fibre-optic communication technology. So the audio component resonates with throbbing sounds of high-voltage electric current, drowned within which are engaged tones from telecommunications, mechanical-sounding drones, and factory sirens intermingling with migratory bird sounds.
AD: Electric wires are recurring tools in your work. What do you think makes them ideal to convey a message? RSK: I am interested in the notion of the map as dynamic and ever-changing—[something that] streams and transfers data with the global flows of energies and people. I like working with yarn; but at some point, I decided I would use electric wires and treat them like yarn. Wires essentially transmit energy and information. While technology and commerce are blurring geographic boundaries, there are inherent contradictions. Electric wires act both as conduits and barriers, serving as channels of transmission, but also evoking images of barbed wires or different kinds of fencing.
AD: How has the work been received and interpreted so far? RSK: The general response to Untitled (Map/Drawing), as it was called at the biennale in Göteborg in 2011, was tremendous. It meant a lot to me when the curator Sarat Maharaj, for whom I hold deep regard, responded with great enthusiasm to the work. Subsequently, it was shown in an exhibition curated by Geeta Kapur, called Floating World, at Chemould’s 50th anniversary in Mumbai. Woven Chronicle was commissioned by the Vancouver Art Gallery for their outdoor exhibition space, called Offsite, in 2015 and is now in their permanent collection. It gave the piece a new dimension, where passers-by stopped to engage with the work, photographing themselves in front of it, stepping over stones across the water body in front of it to get up-close, completely altering the experience of the work with reflections of the map over water.
AD: What was the idea behind using sound effects such as
Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter is on till 22 January 2017.
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
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THE BESPOKE CRAFT OF ILLUMINATION Where tradition meets contemporary design and creativity and uniqueness is a natural part of the process. Preciosa, the Czech lighting brand, creates personalized lighting solutions to bring what youâ€™ve imagined to life With centuries of Bohemian glassmaking tradition and innovative ideas that lend themselves to unconventional designs, Preciosa is one of the leading global designers and manufacturers of bespoke lighting installations, chandeliers and
fixtures. Blowing life into one-of-akind objects and installations made out of the highest-quality glass, it tailor-makes each lighting solution, giving you exceptional handcrafted pieces that exactly represent what youâ€™ve imagined. Based in the famous Crystal
Valley in Czech Republic, here the entire complex and interdisciplinary process is done under one roof, requiring many different specializations and teams of experts in respective fields. And the final result is nothing short of breathtaking.
Preciosa won the tender to light up Mumbai’s International Terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. One of the most prestigious lighting projects in the world, the lotus lights are representative of the petals of the lotus flower in three stages of bloom—closed, blossoming and in full bloom. Serving as a tribute to contemporary Indian design and showcasing India’s cultural heritage, these lights consist of four stages, delivered over three years, and required collaborations with the Indian government, Czech dignitaries, Larsen & Toubro, GVK Power & Infrastructure and American architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Every light consisted of three elements, each of which was handmade at Preciosa. A handblown, open hourglass
forms each light’s centre. With miniscule bubbles creating a more organic and textured look, it required exceptionally skilled and experienced glass-blowers. The powder-coated aluminium petals were punctured by rows of laser-cut, leaf-shaped holes, reflecting traditional Indian design and creating a diffused light effect. The final element is another set of gold-hued, naturally brushed and shaped aluminium lotus petals, representing the flower in full bloom. What’s more, to meet the demands, Preciosa had to completely reorganize its factory to meet the order and precisely schedule all parts of the production, shipping and installation processes. This included glass-blowers, machinists, laser cutters, engineers, logistics and shipping specialists,
managers and installers, all who worked around the clock to meet the demanding delivery schedule. And to make sure that no element was damaged, each piece had to be individually packed and shipped. Once they reached Mumbai, each light had to be fitted by hand by Preciosa’s own team of installers, who took great care and applied their expertise to complete this large-scale project. Besides this, Preciosa has also crafted one-of-akind bespoke lighting sculptures for a number of hotels and restaurants. So no matter the design, Preciosa can make it a reality. For your bespoke consultation, email Michaela McClelland, managing director India firstname.lastname@example.org
V O G UL E I V I N G The set for Condé Nast India’s shiny new celebrity talk show is creating serious house envy WRITER KAVERI ACHARYA
ou’d have to be living under rock to miss the media blitzkrieg that preceded the premiere of Condé Nast India’s television debut, Vogue BFFs. Airing on Colors Infinity, the show brings to your screens pairings of movie stars and cultural influencers, who share dynamic private and professional relationships. The show’s playful format allows guests to relax and be themselves. It goes without saying that the BFFs set is as stylish as anything you’d see in the pages of Vogue. “Design is at the heart of everything Condé Nast does. And the look of our first-ever TV show, Vogue BFFs, was always going to be defined by an incredible set. The brief we gave was for a New York loft-like look—a hip and eclectic space, exactly like a stylish apartment in Tribeca. Now, the first thing that all the A-listers comment on when they arrive is how fabulous the set is,” says Alex Kuruvilla, the managing director of Condé Nast India. Conceptualized by Bindiya Chhabria and Narii of Temple Road Productions, the sets were created in just five days, at Mumbai’s iconic Mehboob Studio in Bandra. The designers
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
PHOTO COURTESY TEMPLE ROAD PRODUCTIONS
The two-seater and side table in the foreground, and the sofa and floor lamp on the mezzanine are from Defurn. The side table on the mezzanine is from Scarlet Splendour.
worked on creating a warm and inviting space that mirrored the international sensibilities of the show’s jet-setting guests. The result is a design where spaces flow into each other, vintage and contemporary styles cheerfully mingle, and an earthy palette holds it all together. The set opens to the stairs of a wooden mezzanine that looks on to the living room and breakfast bar. There is a skylight in the living room, beneath which guests can sink into a plush leather couch that faces a mini library. A leafy veranda creates an interplay between inside and outside. The simplicity of the wooden panels and cement-board floors is offset by a layered styling that brings texture and character to the space. Accents like maps, masks and make-up mirrors pay subtle tribute to the film industry. The designers gave the space a relaxed and effortless vibe—the true hallmark of a Vogue home, and much like the show itself, it stands to be a game-changer. Vogue BFFs airs Saturdays at 9pm on Colors Infinity.
The realiTy of a dream home During the fifth season of Upload & Transform—a consumer engagement programme by Godrej Interio—Bollywood actor Sonu Sood fulfilled his mother’s long-standing dream of renovating their family home
Today, Sonu Sood is one of the happiest actors around. He has finally seen the commitment he made to his family come through. His mother was his go-to person, and the decision-maker of the family. Together, they had agreed to renovate their family home in Moga, Punjab. But her sudden demise brought their makeover plans to a standstill. Sonu went to some of the top interior designers and architects, but somehow no one could translate what he and his mother had envisioned. His home was then selected by Godrej Interio’s Upload & Transform, season five. Part of the biggest consumer engagement programme by the brand, participants were asked to upload
“Godrej Interio understood the thought process that went behind each idea and were able to translate it perfectly.” – Sonu Sood
pictures of their living spaces and share their ideas on how they’d like to see their homes. A lucky few won home makeovers from Godrej Interio. Season after season, the response to this countrywide programme has been tremendous. Now in its fifth season, it is hailed as Asia’s biggest consumer engagement programme in the FMCD industry. Sonu wanted his family home to be luxurious, minimalist and spacious, with a warm traditional touch. His brief: an abode that his wife and children would love and a glamorous space where he could entertain the film fraternity. His father, on the other hand, wanted the home to be cheerful. After all requirements were taken into account, the Godrej design team transformed their home within a week and a half. Unique furniture was handpicked and arranged in a manner that created a sense of space and everything, in terms of design, look, feel and utility, exceeded everyone’s expectation. Reminiscing about his experience, Sonu said, “My mother was my sole strength and was someone who looked into every homemaking decision. The thought of renovating the house without her brought everything to a grinding halt. It was only after a while that I took up the idea of renovating the house again to complete what we had begun. Godrej Interio understood the thought process that went behind each idea and were able to translate it perfectly. I am elated to have taken up this venture with them. They helped me fulfil a task for my family.” The Upload & Transform programme by Godrej Interio doesn’t just transform celebrity homes, but also those belonging to the winners. Speaking of the programme, Anil Mathur, COO of Godrej said, “We are always looking for ways to connect with our consumers and delight them with lovely surprises. This year, Upload & Transform has only created bigger and better chances to strengthen our relationship with them.” With this campaign, Godrej Interio not just innovatively engages its consumers, but also reiterates their commitment towards transformation. For more information, visit www.godrejinterio.com/transform
Gucci’s former creative director, Tom Ford is known for redefining the Italian brand and pumping up its sex appeal. As homage to his reign from 1994 to 2004, two new rooms in Gucci’s Florentine museum have been dedicated to his work. Curated by current creative director Alessandro Michele, Ford’s sensual and provocative designs are presented in rooms decorated in red velvet and pink satin—from accessories like the GG G-string and handcuffs (pictured below), to memorable campaign images, and game-changing looks from the runway. Gucci Museo, Piazza della Signoria, 10, 50122 Florence, Italy
We bring you the best in all things luxury WRITER RISHNA SHAH
TOM FORD PORTRAIT: DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/STAFF/GETTY IMAGES
Luxury is in the details in Volvo’s newest luxury SUV, the ‘XC90 T8 Excellence Edition’. It’s equipped with a top-of-the-line Bowers & Wilkins sound system—comprising 19 built-in speakers—to get the best out of your playlist. Passengers get comfortable individual seats in the back, mini-tables, a refrigerator, and handcrafted crystal glasses by Orrefors. Volvo’s Scandinavian engineers have made sure to incorporate a hybrid driving mode for lower fuel consumption and emissions, as well as the option to customize your ride for performance or comfort.
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Caught by paparazzi wearing their favourite timepieces, these actors seem to be making the right wrist choices
The actress-turned-pop-star actr sdp p r makes a dramatic dramat c statement state ent with her ‘Oyster Oyster Perpetual Day-Date’ in pink gold. Launched in 1956, this was the first wristwatch to spell out the day of the week at 12 o’clock, along with the date at 3 o’clock—handy to ensure the world’s most-followed Instagrammer always posts on time.
AUDEMARS PIGUET Neil Nitin Mukesh
A black hand-stitched alligator strap gives the Bollywood actor’s ‘Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph’ a plush touch. The self-winding chronograph has a date display at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 12 o’clock o’cloc and a d luminescent um esce t whitew tegold hands famous hand on the brand’s b gridded dial. di .
CHOPARD Colin Firth
Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth accessorizes for black-tie events black tie eve ts with a limited edition editio ‘L.U.C U Tourbillon QF Fairmined’ Fairm watch. Crafted with a satinsat brushed ruthenium dial d a and a d 18-carat, ethically mined rose m gold, the watch has an impressive p nine-day power reserve rese and a tourbillon that calls for o a second seco d glance at the Brit’s wrist. w .
‘Miss Moneypenny’ donned a ‘Constellation’ watch off-screen, while promoting Spectre, the most recent James Bond film. With over 600 diamonds in a snow-set supernova pattern, this 24mm white-gold wristlet is fit for the finest of Bond girls. g .
B LGARI BVLGARI THE INDIA TODAY GROUP/ CONTRIBUTOR/GETTY IMAGES
Selena Gomez om z
ALBERTO E RODRIGUEZ/STAFF/GETTY IMAGES
The leggy star has been spotted several times on the red carpet with her trusty double-coil ‘Serpenti Tubogas’, a bestselling watch by Bulgari. The silver opaline dial comes with a guilloche pattern and hand-applied hour markers. The signature spiralling bracelet is noticeable from miles away.
A L L
After the success of their collaboration with Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Asian Paints partners with Good Earth for a range of wallpapers that pays homage to the legendary Silk Route WRITER LEENA DESAI
here was a time in Indian interior design when a distinct lack of imagination seemed to hold sway. This was when the living rooms of many Indian homes were plastered with wallpapers showing the paradisiacal beaches of Honolulu or Pattaya. Mine was one of them. The trend bore testimony to decor ideas that were escapist, unoriginal and deprived of an identity that was home-grown. We are, fortunately, no longer living in those times; and thanks to the efforts of companies like Asian Paints and Good Earth, we can now accessorize our homes with wallpapers that exude and celebrate an unmistakably indigenous design idiom. Launched last month, this new wallcovering collection sees the coming together of two of the biggest players in the Indian home decor scene: Good Earth and Nilaya, Asian Paints’ in-house, dedicated wallpaper brand. For Asian Paints, this is the second big partnership—after collaborating with fashion maestro Sabyasachi Mukherjee on a series of wallpapers launched last year—and the decision to align with Good Earth was a no-brainer. “Nilaya is a very special offering from Asian Paints that is positioned around the idea of creation, curation and collaboration,” says Amit Syngle, president, sales, marketing and technology, at Asian Paints. “We were clear that the >
The Good Earth for Nilaya Silk Route collection of wallpapers comprises three styles or ‘stories’: Charbagh, Palmyra and Xanadu. This design— from Xanadu—is called ‘Indechine (Sky colourway)’.
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY NILAYA
discover < brands we collaborate with should share similar values: craftsmanship, a unique Indian design sensibility and a keen eye for detail. And we felt that Good Earth is possibly one of the few Indian brands to have practised these values successfully over a long period of time. So for us, it was a natural choice and a great opportunity to work together and create something special.” Anita Lal, the creative director of Good Earth, echoes this sentiment. “We found that we share common values with the team at Asian Paints; they also have a global outlook with an Indian point of view. We were impressed by the unparalleled quality of Nilaya wallpapers and their strong distribution network. So when Asian Paints approached us to create a collection for Nilaya, it was a natural progression to extend Good Earth’s design sensibility to wallpapers.” LOOKING TO EAST, AND WEST The making of ‘Good Earth for Nilaya’ wallpapers started with the designs, which were all hand-drawn. Lal, along with lead designers Pavitra Rajaram and Asha Madan, revisited their favourite theme, the Silk Route, for inspiration. After creating a moodboard and curating designs from the Good Earth archives, they settled on three distinct styles or ‘stories’—Charbagh, Palmyra and Xanadu—for the Silk Route collection. The Charbagh style takes its inspiration from the walled gardens along the ancient route and features delicate florals and architectural elements such as jalis and chevrons. Designs within the Palmyra style showcase a mix of foliage, date palms, outsized birds and fruits and flowers, all meant to evoke “a desert paradise”. Xanadu includes whimsical designs that hark back to the romance of travel. Pagodas, sailboats, elephants, giant lilies, delicate peonies, and exotic birds of paradise constitute the primary motifs of this style. Once the designs were finalized by the Good Earth and Asian Paints teams, they were digitally treated to achieve scale, proportion and repetition. The teams then headed for England, to the county of Lancashire. “When we looked at whom to approach to make the wallpapers, we thought Lancashire was the place to get them made,” says Srikanth KS, marketing manager, innovation and business development at Asian Paints. “We are looking at the best of Indian design and also the best of manufacturing technology and processes worldwide. They have access to superior raw materials. The paper comes from sustainable forests and all the colours are water-based, which makes it a very eco-friendly process. There is also a certain level of detail and quality of craftsmanship that they bring to the table.”
All the colours for the wallpapers are mixed by hand; various tints are blended and trials done on paper before achieving the desired shade. Above: ‘August Moon (Cinnabar colourway)’, from the Xanadu story.
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
DESIGN IMPRINT Two kinds of printing methods are employed to make the wallpapers. Depending upon the colours and complexity of the design, the technician selects either the traditional or digital method. In the traditional method, the designs are engraved onto wooden or rubber rollers; the engraving is done by hand or using a laser. This is the most time-consuming of the wallpaper-making processes because four or five rollers are made for each design, one for each colour. The colours are all mixed by hand, using either a fabric swatch or a colour reference. Getting the colour right is an iterative process that involves several trial runs to arrive at the precise shade. To print their wallpapers, Asian Paints selected a non-fibrous woven >
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Left: In the Lancashire factory, where the wallpapers are made, a technician checks the printed paper. Far left: One of the steps of making the wallpapers before the base coat is printed. Above: Wooden or rubber rollers are engraved with the design; a single wallpaper needs many rollers, one for each colour in the design; multiple trial runs are carried out to ensure that the pattern is well registered.
< material as the substrate. It is on this synthetic material—chosen for designs. The Silk Route collection comprises 17 unique designs across its toughness, durability and tactility—that the design is finally printed. A variation of the traditional method of printing is called surface printing. The machines that printed this way were made in the 1800s, and only a handful of them are operational today, one of them being at the Lancashire factory where these wallpapers are made. Surface printing gives an almost hand-drawn feel to a design because it creates a slightly embossed profile. In the digital method, the designs are converted into files and printed using a digital machine. The advantage of this technique is that it allows one to print more colours, although metallic colours cannot be printed digitally. Asian Paints went with a 60-40 split for their wallpapers, with the preference leaning more towards the traditional method. BEARING FRUIT It has taken Asian Paints and Good Earth only six months to develop this collection, the former fast becoming an old hand at this. The company prides itself on being the first organized player in the wallpaper category in India. Not only do they offer people interesting creative collaborations, they also offer a complete system of application. Through the company’s home solutions network, a customer can get access to their ever-expanding range of wallpaper 92|
ArchitecturAl Digest|OctOBer 2016
the Charbagh, Palmyra and Xanadu stories, with some being available in multiple colours. Many of these designs will soon adorn Good Earth salons—“stylish show houses where customers will get a real look and feel of the wallpapers,” informs Lal. “They will be part of a platform that provides inspiration and styling ideas for interiors to envisage how large or small spaces can be dramatically transformed with judicious use of wallpapers.” For both Asian Paints and Good Earth, this project has been a true meeting of minds. “It was a very seamless and enjoyable experience,” maintains Lal, “There has been a great degree of trust between the two teams. It has been a very good partnership, with each partner bringing complementary skills to the table.” The feeling is mutual for Syngle: “We respect the design vision of Good Earth, and similarly Mrs Lal trusted us to produce, curate and present her designs. We have worked together right from ideation and that has helped us evolve the Silk Route collection into something that both Nilaya and Good Earth are equally proud of. It has been a great experience working together; and we are confident that this collection is just the beginning of a long partnership.” Designed in India and manufactured in England, these wallpapers wear their Indian-ness proudly on their sleeves, offering us a refined aesthetic to decorate our walls with in a way we never could before.
For the first time in India, VitrA, in association with Architectural Digest, presents Design Dialogues, an exclusive discussion with AD editor Greg Foster and Arni Aromaa and Sauli Suomela from Pentagon Design—three-time winners of the prestigious Red Dot Award. A design event, with luminaries from architecture and design in attendance, it will focus on Aromaa and Suomela’s design and creative philosophy, touching upon insights on democratic design and what Scandinavian design means in today’s context.
Date October 7, 2016 Venue The Leela Palace Bengaluru 7:30 pm onwards For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org BY INVITE ONLY
M A D E I I NT A L Y
takes a look at three iconic products by design firms that harness classic Italian aesthetics and crafting traditions Writer Samir Wadekar
‘Maria Teresa’ chandelier
Above: A reference drawing of the chandelier used by the craftsmen in Masiero’s factory. Top right: The ‘Maria Teresa’ chandelier can be handcrafted in various sizes and dimensions. Right: A component of the chandelier during assembly.
When the lavish 19th-century Prestige Hotel Budapest reopened its doors in 2014 after a major redesign, it chose the stunning Swarovski-crystal-studded ‘Maria Teresa’ chandelier by Masiero for its main lobby. Since 1981, the company has been handcrafting exquisite lighting products in its factory near Venice for many of the world’s best hotels. It takes a team of 10 master craftsmen nearly a week to handcraft a single chandelier. The internal painting department can customize the lighting designs in specific shades and colours. The ‘Maria Teresa’ uses a patented LED system—a technique that enables the chandelier to recreate different colours and variations of light. “The shape of this magnificent chandelier is inspired by ancient Venetian splendour,” says Enrico Maria Masiero, the company’s managing director. “This chandelier is made using skills typical of traditional craftsmanship, but manufactured using revolutionary technology. We strive to produce lights that are suspended in time.” masierogroup.com
If one were to grade a company by the people they collaborated with, Venini would get an ‘A+’. From Gio Ponti to Tadao Ando, the best minds in design have worked with this Italian brand. Based in Murano, the island famous for its glassmaking traditions, Venini was established in 1921. Its then art director Vittorio Zecchin designed the ‘Veronese’ vase inspired by a vase he saw in the 1578 oil-on-canvas The Annunciation by Italian Renaissance painter Paolo Veronese. Ninety-five years later, the vase is still in production, and is now a coveted icon of design. The handblown glass vase takes one master blower and two assistants almost a day to create. The three components of the vase— the base, the small sphere on top of it, and the body—are shaped individually and then joined together. Each piece goes through a laborious quality check before it is given a seal of approval. venini.com
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
A drawing for the 1921-designed ‘Veronese’ vase. Above left: The ‘Blu Mare’ (marine blue) vase was created in a limited edition of 49 pieces. The ‘Verde Mela’ (apple green), ‘Talpa’ (grey) and ‘Rosso’ (red) versions of the vase. Below: The master blower and his assistants creating the vase in the company’s workshop.
An illustrated rendering of the chair. Below: The stitching and application of the leather casing at the i 4 Mariani factory. Left: The leather-clad and beech-plywood backed ‘Wing’ swivel chairs.
i 4 MARIANI ‘WING’ CHAIR
Named after the four Mariani brothers—Biagio, Tarcisio, Umberto and Emilio—the 1956-established i 4 Mariani is a third-generation family-run company backed by a formidable team of international designers. The company makes furniture primarily for the home and office from its production facility in the north of Milan. The ‘Wing’ chair, designed by architect Luca Scacchetti in 2001, is a classic example of the firm’s refined Italian aesthetic. Designed with a single seat frame and three curved beech-plywood sections, the swivel chair has leather-covered, CFC-free polyurethane foam. With production time at a mere six hours per piece, i 4 Mariani produces close to 600 ‘Wing’ chairs each year. i4mariani.com 100|
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
New Catalogue 2016 Luxury Interiors and Accessories for Exclusive Homes, Hotels, Executive Offices & Yachts www.formitalia.it
NEWSMAKERS, OPINIONS THAT MATTER, PLUS THE LATEST IN ART, ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN Creating this glass palace, for director Sooraj Barjatya’s 2015 film Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, took art director Nitin Desai’s team six-and-a-half months, and used nearly 10 million glass pieces, which were all installed by craftsmen from Udaipur.
PHOTO COURTESY: NITIN DESAI
LET’S TALK ABOUT SETS
Architects of changing spaces and stories, art directors do for their films what jewellers do for their gemstones—provide them a setting in which they can sparkle. For , TEJAS SONAWANE profiles four of India’s best
Left: Desai flanked by his numerous awards. The set of the sheesh mahal (palace of mirrors) from the 2015 film Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, was created in Desai’s studio in Karjat, Maharashtra. Below: The set Desai created—also at his studio—for the 2005 film Jodhaa Akbar, was modelled on the real Agra Fort, built by Mughal emperor Akbar. Bottom: A part of the set of the 2002 film, Devdas.
PHOTOS COURTESY NITIN DESAI
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
COLLECTION CHRISTOPHEL/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
itin Desai is one of the most admired art directors and production designers in the country. He began his career assisting the legendary Nitish Roy, and went on to build many sets for Shyam Benegal’s 53-episode historical drama, Bharat Ek Khoj (1988). His eye for detail was noticed by director, writer, and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, during the making of the latter’s classic Parinda (1989), and he was offered the job of art director on his next, 1942: A Love Story (1994). The film was shot mostly in Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh, but when unable to find a period-appropriate town square—an important location in the film—Desai created it from scratch at a different location. His work on the film not only led to a long and fruitful creative partnership with Chopra, but also got him international recognition. He was chosen as the art director for the 1994 live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, and went on to do many other international projects such as Mira Nair’s Kama Sutra (1998), Jane Campion’s Holy Smoke (1999), as well as the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire (2008), for which he recreated the exact Kaun Banega Crorepati sets he’d designed for the popular TV show. In Indian cinema, he has acquired a reputation for being a period film specialist with a knack for grandeur, as seen in his work on Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar (2000), Lagaan (2001), and Devdas (2002), among others. But Desai didn’t start out with the idea of art direction. He studied photography at Mumbai’s Sir JJ School of Art—serendipitously picking up a skill that has helped him immensely. “Photography makes you think of light sources, angles; it involves the observation of details,” he says. “Which is why, when I design sets, I also make provisions for the camera—where it’s going to be placed, how it’s going to move—and how the [director of photography] will light up the shot.” He has been challenged by many of his creations, but is currently enamoured by the sheesh mahal (palace of mirrors) set he designed for Sooraj Barjatya’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015). “It was a childhood dream of mine to make that, having seen it in movies like Mughal-E-Azam (1960),” he says. “It took six-and-a-half months to create, using nearly [10 million] glass pieces, which were all installed by craftsmen from Udaipur.” More than 25 years into the profession, Desai still loves his job, which combines his twin passions of set design and research. “Nowadays it’s much easier with the Internet,” he laughs. “In my day, we used to spend months at the Asiatic library and take tons of Xerox copies from big, fat books.”
Left: Art director Sabu Cyril. The set of the 2010 film Enthiran, which won Cyril multiple awards for best art director. Below: For Enthiran, Cyril had to create many models of actor Rajinikanth. Fibreglass horse sculptures on the sets of Baahubali (2015). Bottom: A part of the sets of Om Shanti Om (2007).
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
PHOTOS COURTESY SABU CYRIL
n anecdote from the shoot of the Malayalam film Pavithram (1994), starring Mohanlal in the lead role, tells you all you need to know about Sabu Cyril. For a crucial scene in the film, Cyril had been asked to find a location and convert it into a hospital overnight. He zeroed in on a marriage hall, and did up the venue as carefully as possible, but Mohanlal wasn’t convinced. He called Cyril and said, “Are you sure about this? If anything looks fake then the entire scene will fall flat.” Cyril responded: “Don’t worry, I’m going to be extra careful.” The next day, the young art director arrived on the sets to see Mohanlal waiting to meet him with an amazed smile on his face. “How did you do this?” he asked, “I felt like I was actually in a hospital!” Cyril gleefully told him that they’d deliberately spilled Dettol and overused phenyl while scrubbing the floors. More than 20 years later, while Cyril’s approach to his work remains the same, the budgets he now works with have changed. “I have worked on everything from no budget to the biggest budget ever,” he laughs. For director Priyadarshan’s Thenmavin Kombath (1994), he created a set for a song with a mere `13,000, and ended up winning a national award for it (one of the four he has received so far). Now, as the production designer of SS Rajamouli’s two-part magnum opus Baahubali, he is working with budgets unheard of in the history of Indian cinema. The art direction involved experimenting with materials, creating 35-foot-tall statues, outlandish weapons and armour that dented when hit. The result has been the most satisfying part of his 25-year-long career. Quite a feat for a man who never even considered himself a film buff. After completing his studies at the Madras School of Arts in the early 1980s, Cyril worked as a freelance graphic designer, eventually setting up his own agency. Out of the blue, he was called to work on a Malayalam thriller called Iyer The Great (1990). “It was supposed to be a seven-day job—it ended up taking seven months,” he recalls, with a chuckle. He jokes that the biggest irony of his job is that the better he does, the less he is noticed. But for him, the reward lies in the work itself. “The reaction you get from technicians and actors when they walk in and see a finished set… that, to me, is better than any award.”
Left: Art director Aradhana Seth. A part of the sets of the 2007 film, The Darjeeling Limited. Below: A film poster of The Darjeeling Limited. Bottom: A part of the sets of the Farhan Akhtar-directed Don (2006).
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
PHOTOS COURTESY ARADHANA SETH
AF ARCHIVE / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
radhana Seth is a production designer, who also directs, writes, and edits films. She grew up in Patna, lived in Kolkata and New Delhi, and then globetrotted to places like Vienna and Los Angeles before finally settling down at her current location in Goa. Her filmography reflects this, boasting credits as diverse as ‘Set decorator’ on Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited (2007) and ‘Production designer’ on Pan Nalin’s recent Angry Indian Goddesses (2015). She has also worked on Deepa Mehta’s trilogy Fire, Earth and Water, The Bourne Supremacy, Don (Farhan Akhtar’s version), and the British comedy, West is West. The daughter of Leila Seth, India’s first-ever woman chief justice, she grew up in an environment where books, frank conversations, and space were in abundance. “We lived in a palatial house with a ballroom large enough for us to roller-skate in,” she says, the “us” referring to her siblings Shantum, now a Buddhist monk, and Vikram, the celebrated Padma Shri-winning author of A Suitable Boy. “It made me very conscious of space and I’d always end up analysing that everywhere I went.” From a childhood spent making doll’s houses out of empty boxes, and filling scrapbooks with leaves and flowers, Seth went on to earn a Master’s degree in film-making from New Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia, and in the late 1980s, worked on her first film: In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989). A slacker comedy about final-year students in the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, it is also notable for being written by Booker Prizewinner Arundhati Roy. “We practically lived out of the School,” Seth says, adding, “That had a huge influence in my understanding of spaces.” One of the few people who has worked with Indian as well as international crews, Seth feels that there’s no choosing between experiences. “The one place where [foreign crews] totally win is that it’s very nicely structured; they bring their tools, and they come on time,” she says. “But the downside is that there’s a lot less flexibility. Here, you can tell your main carpenter, ‘Bhaiyya do ghanta aur ruk jaao’. There, you can’t do that.” Seth believes in being choosy about her projects and taking her time with them. Does she worry that the advent of CGI will make her job redundant, or, at the very least, kind of boring? “Well, if it gets boring, I’ll just do something else,” she says, laughing. “I’m not thinking about it at all.”
Left: Art director Sonal Sawant. A shot from The Fall, the 2006 Hollywood film that Sawant was the India art director for. Below: A sketch from the storyboard of Anurag Kashyap’s 2015 film, Bombay Velvet; and the completed exterior and interiors of the sets of the film’s titular nightclub.
PHOTO: ARUNA HARPRASAD
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
BOMBAY VELVET PHOTOS COURTESY TOTO NANDY; SKETCH COURTESY FIVE CREATIVE FILMS
uresh Sawant, who had worked as an art director with Raj Kapoor’s banner, as well as Merchant-Ivory productions, was not keen on his daughter Sonal following in his footsteps. “He got me to work on an Italian film as an assistant painter, hoping that my enthusiasm for art direction would die, and I’d go back to working towards becoming an architect,” she says. “What happened, luckily, was the exact opposite, and here I am.” Sawant began her career a decade ago, with her first notable art direction credit on Farhan Akhtar’s military and coming-of-age drama Lakshya (2004). She calls it “an interesting film” to work on, because it gave her insights into the tough conditions under which the army operates. “We created bunkers and army outposts on location as well as in a studio in Mumbai,” she says. Her next major assignment was as the India art director for Tarsem Singh’s The Fall (2006), a Hollywood adventure-fantasy film. A huge critical and commercial disaster (not the last time it would happen to Sawant), it nevertheless earned praise for its cinematography and production design. Terming the experience— which involved shooting in the harsh climes of Ladakh, among other places in India—as “adventurous”, she adds, “[Singh] was an impulsive and unpredictable director who kept us constantly on our toes… we didn’t know what challenges would be thrown at us.” Maverick film-maker Anurag Kashyap describes her as “meticulous to a fault”. It shows in his period crime drama Bombay Velvet (2015), famously known as one of the biggest disasters in the history of Bollywood. But if the film, with its wildly out-of-control budget, will be remembered for anything, it will be Sawant’s magnificent sets (first seen in the May-June 2015 issue of AD), which recreated Bombay of the 1960s, over nine acres of Tissamaharama, a sleepy town in southern Sri Lanka. By all accounts, Sawant took a piece of land and transformed it, over nearly 11 months, into what looked like a functioning city on screen. The film’s failure was “heart-breaking”, says Sawant, but took away nothing from the unique journey that creating it was.
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TECHNICOLOUR ‘Hybrid Modernism: Movie Theatres in South India’ is a photographic study— and the subject of a coffee-table book—of the modernist single-screen cinemas in India Writer Leena Desai . PhotograPhers sabine Haubitz and stefanie zocHe We might be a nation of movie lovers, but our stand-alone cinemas are dying a fast death. As cookie-cutter multiplexes become the norm, vanishing single-screen theatres—with their unique architecture, social relevance and historical importance—form the subject of ‘Hybrid Modernism: Movie Theatres in South India’, a photo project and a coffeetable book by Munich-based visual artists Sabine Haubitz and Stefanie Zoche. Over the course of three trips to India from 2010 to 2013, the duo travelled largely across Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh—including what is now Telangana—shooting the exteriors and interiors of these theatres. Their striking images not only capture the stately, modern beauty of the structures, but also serve as an enquiry into how architecture mediates between culture, aspiration, and environment. Haubitz and Zoche’s photos remind us how integral these cinemas are to India’s cinematic heritage, and how important it is to postpone, if not prevent, their obsolescence. Haubitz + Zoche, Hybrid Modernism: Movie Theatres in South India by Spector Books releases this month.
Annamallai Cinemas in Madurai, Tamil Nadu—visual artists Sabine Haubitz and Stefanie Zoche noticed that while the cinemas they photographed had elaborate facades, their interiors were “quite prosaic”. They realized that perhaps this helped people focus on the movies, transporting them to the worlds shown on-screen.
Jairam in Salem, Tamil Nadu—barring a few photographs in which people are seen in the frame, most of Haubitz and Zoche’s photos are devoid of people, centring the focus on the movie theatres.
Tharangam in Kollam, Kerala—Haubitz and Zoche’s study revealed that most cinemas were built after 1945 and, except for some cosmetic changes, were never redesigned. They thus retain the style of the period in which they were built.
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
Saptagiri in Hyderabad, Telanganaâ€”along with the unmistakeable influences of modernism, Haubitz and Zoche were struck by the pop colours used to embellish the facades.
Shanti in Hyderabadâ€”unlike multiplexes, which are often housed inside shopping malls, singlescreen cinemas are stand-alone structures that offer moviegoers an undiluted experience.
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
New Theatres in Thiruvananthapuram—it was the first cinema Haubitz and Zoche photographed, and inspired them to pursue the ‘Hybrid Modernism’ project.
SR Theatre in Varkala, Kerala—even in the midst of their banal surroundings, there is a certain theatrical quality about these cinemas—accentuated, perhaps, by how the facades appear as if ornamented with cut-outs.
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THE REAL INTERIOR DESIGNERS OF
Interior designers are just the tip of the incestuous iceberg of relationships that make Bollywood. And you thought your life was complicated ILLUSTRATOR JANE WEBSTER DID THEY? DIDN'T THEY? DOES IT MATTER? GOD, NO!
DIRECTED HER IN QUEEN
Kangana Ranaut DESIGNED HER HOUSE
ED RI AR M AS W
DE SIG NE D
EMPLOYED HIM TO DESIGN HIS POST-DIVORCE PAD
Riteish Deshmukh HE RH OM E
DE SIG NE D
APPEARED IN HIS OWN DIRECTORIAL DEBUT AS A PLUMP EXTRA IN A FLEETING APPEARANCE. IT’S BEEN 18 YEARS SINCE KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI AND THE PUPPY FAT HAS GONE, BUT THE SHAH RUKH LOVE IS STILL STRONG. HE CURRENTLY WRITES, ACTS, DIRECTS, AND LAUNCHES EASY-ON-THE-EYE NEWBIES.
HI SA PA RT ME NT
DESIGNED HER HOUSE
IS MARRIED TO HER
DIRECTED HER IN SHAANDAAR
S 6 KG T “1 LOS ) Karan SHESUES’? IF Johar IS LY AN , ON IMAGE IT H S Y HA OD S K IM OURONIC B EI Y H M U M B ,R HR BUT ELL ‘C NA ED P AK, DESIGNED HIS MY CH BRE OU S OFFICE LM UN OOD(CAN Y I W F LA LY S” BOL ONTH HE LY T S T M FIR SIX N NT R E T O R H NEX UE HIM Q E HE THE D SE IN GAV TE B IS SU S S AS WA SIMONE DUBASH THESE TWO CUTIES ARE BELIEVED TO BE DATING EACH OTHER. (#ALIARTH? #SIDALI?)
1. IRRFAN KHAN 2. PRIYANKA CHOPRA 3. AMITABH BACHCHAN 4. ALIA BHATT 5. PARINEETI CHOPRA
THESE TWO ARE FIRST COUSINS.
WAS DATING HER HE DESIGNED THE INTERIORS FOR HIM AND KATRINA WHEN THE TWO WERE TOGETHER.
Katrina Kaif HER POST-RANBIR HOME IS BEING DESIGNED BY HER.
WAS DATING HER
THESE TWO ARE ALLEGEDLY DATING (#RANPIKA? #DEEPVEER?)
Ranveer Singh HER FIRST BOLLYWOOD FILM HAD HER STARRING OPPOSITE HIM.
Deepika Padukone HER HOME WAS DESIGNED BY HER
ST TH AR E RIN SE G I TW NH OA OM RE I A BE DA LIE JA VE NIA D ’S TO B NE E XT FIL M.
BO T 20 H ST 12 AR HIT RE CO D IN CK T TA HE IL.
Darshini Shah SHE HAS ALSO DESIGNED THE HOMES OF THESE TWO ACTORS.
THESE TWO ARE SIBLINGS.
Soha Ali Khan
Saif Ali Khan
HE MARRIED HER AFTER A FIVE-YEAR-LONG COURTSHIP, AND THE COUPLE WILL SOON BE PARENTS TO A MADE-FOR-BOLLYWOOD SET OF GENES IN THE FORM OF A HUMAN BABY.
SHE DESIGNED BOTH THEIR HOMES (SEPARATELY).
Kareena Kapoor Khan
iercely guarded about their private sanctuaries, the who’s who of Bollywood open their homes to tinkering by a select few. Actor and architect Riteish Deshmukh was recruited by Karan Johar to design his apartment. Karan is believed to be keen on working with Kangana Ranaut post her 2015 hit, Queen, directed by Vikas Bahl, who also directed Alia Bhatt in the 2015 non-hit Shaandaar. Vikas’s wife Richa Bahl has designed both Alia’s and Kangana’s homes. Kangana might or might not have dated Hrithik, who, post his divorce from Sussanne Khan, probably decided that designer fees on top of alimony was too much to bear, and promptly hired Ashiesh Shah to design his new digs. Ashiesh had designed Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif’s pre-break-up pad, and Katrina is having her post-Ranbir apartment designed by Darshini Shah. Darshini has designed the homes of siblings Soha and Saif Ali Khan. Saif starred opposite Deepika in the 2012 film Cocktail, for which she won a number of awards; he won the epithet “uncle”. Deepika is also believed to have dated Ranbir, and might or might not still have his initials tattooed on the nape of her slender neck. Her alleged current beau Ranveer Singh starred opposite Parineeti Chopra in the latter’s first film. Parineeti’s home was designed by Shabnam Gupta, who also designed Irrfan Khan’s home, seen on the cover. Phew!
6. AAMIR KHAN 7. SALMAN KHAN 8. JOHN ABRAHAM 9. SAIF ALI AND KAREENA KAPOOR KHAN 10. SHAH RUKH KHAN
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PAWSON THE PERSON The most challenging commission so far in the career of minimalist architect John Pawson is remodelling the building that will house the Design Museum in London, to be visited when it opens on 24 November by the world’s most critical design watchers. Pawson reveals the person behind the strictures of minimalism WRITER NONIE NIESEWAND
The dining area at the home of minimalist architect John Pawson (above).
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
PHOTO: JENS WEBER
PHOTO: VIEW PICTURES/CONTRIBUTOR/GETTY IMAGES
or a purist who, in his own home, conceals everyday household objects, John Pawson is an unusual choice to create London’s new Design Museum showcasing the world’s most iconic consumer goods. The museum’s permanent collection features a Vespa scooter, an Olivetti typewriter, road signs, a Sony Walkman, laptops, a Kalashnikov, a Singer sewing machine, and Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell’s paper dress. Yet Pawson’s own house in London is so empty of things that first-time visitors ask, “Have you just moved in?” or “Have you been burgled?” >
PHOTO: GilberT McCarraGHer
perspective < “True, I’m not really big on things. If you own them and experience them every day, they become ordinary. But in such vast public spaces, it’s different.” Pawson, aged 64—wearing an ivory cable-knit sweater, white shirt and cream trousers, and seated in his almost paperless office—has a deceptively laid-back delivery. Anyone who has experienced the stark beauty of his architecture that is anything but spartan—so perfectly balanced, so harmoniously rational, seamlessly and smoothly executed— recognizes that minimalism is an exacting science. Pawson is remodelling 10,000 square metres of exhibition space over four floors beneath the swooshing curves of the parabolic roof of the 1960s-built, 1988-listed former Commonwealth Institute. When it opens on 24 November, after its £83-million makeover, it is anticipated that 650,000 visitors will come here each year. About his brief from the Design Museum’s director, Deyan Sudjic, Pawson says: “It had to be as tall and as big as possible, be neutral with nice lighting, to suppress too much distraction. Robust, tough, with white walls and a terrazzo floor. Deyan’s very clever, really knows his stuff.” The admiration is mutual. Before Pawson took over the building, you could not see outside. Now, the building is wrapped in clear glass on two sides, and opaque glass on the other two. “My mantra all the time is: ‘Could it be simpler?’ I push for things, always looking for the new,” he says.
A rendering of the Design Museum, London. Above: Hotelier Ian Schrager’s penthouse apartment in New York.
ArchitecturAl Digest|OctOBer 2016
iMaGe: alex MOrris VisualisaTiOn
UNDERSTANDING SPACE Pawson’s 35-year-long career began in 1982, designing a small Mayfair apartment for author Bruce Chatwin. His landmark structures include a sinuous bridge for Kew Gardens in London; Calvin Klein’s flagship store in New York, and Christopher Kane’s shop in London; airport lounges for Cathay Pacific; and apartments in hotelier Ian Schrager’s Miami Beach EDITION development, as well as at the W hotel in Jaffa, Israel. >
PHOTOS: ÅKE E:SON LINDMAN
This picture and above: The Baron house in southern Sweden.
< Surprisingly, for an architect with celebrity clients on the world stage, Pawson has designed a lot of houses for relatively unknown clients—his rivals in the field do far more work for corporations than individual residences. Many are homes in which you would think his pared-down style would not mix with sea and sand, swimming and sailing, and al fresco eating. Yet his ability to enrich the experience of life by trimming down to what is essential is best understood inside his holiday houses. Also, the ‘master of hyper minimalism’, as Vanity Fair billed him, relies upon an extraordinary ability to study topography. His beautiful houses land lightly in their landscape, whether located in the 16th-century Spanish baroque town of Paraty, Brazil; the fields of southern Sweden; chambers deep within the Life House for philosopher Alain de Botton on the hillside of a Welsh valley; or slim boxes cantilevered on the cliffs above the Pacific in Los Angeles. Making the most of the metropolitan view over the tall buildings of New York, he designed Schrager’s family home there in a penthouse at 40 Bond Street. This ability to build a house perfect for its location can be understood by a curious experiment in 1997 when Vogue UK asked six British architects to design a sandcastle on a beach in East Sussex. They were given buckets and spades, an assistant and one special, secret aid to successful building in sand. Pawson was the only one to design a proper turreted sandcastle, recognizable to any child, with a moat. His secret aid? The tide tables—and a >
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
< practice run with time and tide the weekend before—so that he completed the sandcastle in time for Lord Snowdon to photograph it as the tide raced in to fill the deep moat. Brilliant. Dedicated, disciplined, a purist but no killjoy—Pawson, his wife Catherine and two sons embrace all the good things in life. Their parties are as famous as the delicious food that comes out of that most personal of rooms, his kitchen. He has even designed a kitchen—and table and kitchenware, as well as a knife for Sabatier, that are in production. ICONIC STRUCTURES Pawson won the commission for the Design Museum in competition with over 100 entrants. The final jump-off pitted him against David Chipperfield. “I think Chipperfield’s Neues Museum in Berlin is the most beautiful building I’ve ever seen. So I was sitting in a car waiting to present to the jury my model, and I was terribly upset to see a huge model from David’s office being carried in by four men clad in black,” he recalls. “It was an extraordinary moment when I found out I had won. Like the time Calvin Klein walked into my office to ask me to design his flagship shop in New York and I thought it was a joke. Or the time the monks at Nový Dvur ° in the Czech Republic wrote to ask me in 1999, ‘Would you like to do a monastery?’” Their brief for the monastery was a printed book, one inch thick. “It was an extraordinarily physical brief, but then, they have the time to write and they don’t speak, having taken a vow of silence, so this document even gave me the required temperatures for each room, 14 degrees for the church and 12 degrees for the dormitory. The church was the sacred bit. You can’t but help make it as beautiful as possible.” The monks showed their enthusiasm for Inside the Abbey of Our Lady of Nový Dvůr, a monastery in the Czech Republic. Top: Pawson designed the Life House, in Wales, for philosopher Alain de Botton.
INDIA IN WAITING A personal tragedy meant that India has yet to have a building by Pawson. “I first visited India in 1966, after leaving Eton. I was supposed to help Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala, but they didn’t want well intentioned public school boys there, so I travelled down the left side of the subcontinent, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and further south, eating vegetarian food served on big leaves with my fingers, until I ended up in Colombo. This to me is the most heavenly subcontinent. The people, the landscapes, the food, sunsets outside Bombay just that bit different from the Yorkshire skies where I grew up—the heat and the haze, sandy colours. The Taj Mahal by moonlight is just breathtaking.” “An Indian client of mine, Mark Mascarenhas from Bangalore, who lived in Westport Connecticut, where he controlled cricket shown on TV, said in 2002, ‘Let’s fly out after New Year’s Eve to look at this place outside Nagpur, where we might build a tiger watch hotel.’ He was well connected, larger than life, a character who, wherever he went, you felt he owned it. We stayed in Mumbai overnight, and flew out early the next morning to Nagpur where his driver met us. The car overturned, somersaulted, and then Mark was dead, and I was alive in the middle of nowhere beneath this 10 o’clock sky. The driver who was permanently injured had half his bones broken. Mark had been thrown out and a rock had cut the roof. There was a calm smile on Mark’s face, as if he was sleeping, but clearly, he had left us. In shock, I experienced this adrenalin rush like being on top of some sort of mountain. Then the villagers turned up, a bit Apocalypse Now, but they were very nice and they decided to turn the car upright. Mark had a Catholic funeral in Bangalore, which meant there was something to stay for and not to get back on a plane.” His voice is flat. Clearly he is still traumatized. “It doesn’t seem like that long ago. Afterwards, I was physically all right, but back in England suddenly burst into tears for no apparent reason, which was shocking for people around me. I was rather surprised that life does go on. Mark left behind four kids under the age of 10.” Always an enthusiastic cyclist, Pawson sought to bury the pain by plunging into an intensive physical training programme and the loneliness of long-distance competitive cycling. In 2005, he completed the Étape du Tour, an amateur race that follows the same route for a stage of the Tour de France. In April, Phillips held an auction in London to raise over £1 million for the Design Museum with desirable designs—from a vinyl-wrapped Fiat ‘500’ by Ron Arad, to Marc Newson’s tea and coffee set, David Adjaye’s solar clock, and Thomas Heatherwick’s copper ‘Spun’ chair. The only thing John Pawson coveted was a Soviet cosmonaut’s suit. So now that he’s perfected inner space, his conquest of outer space could begin.
PHOTOS: GILBERT MCCARRAGHER
his designs by commissioning more buildings. By 2013, an entire small monastic city resulted. Pawson has also transformed the abbey at Augsburg in Germany, which had been bombed in the war and then given a stark concrete makeover in the 1970s. “That brutalist take on the baroque left the circles and shapes rather decimated,” he explains. “I cleaned it up, working with what the priests wanted for the diocese. The consecration ceremony in 2013 was amazing. After Mass, I was asked to take the pulpit and address the congregation.”
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The ceremonial doorway leading to the chamber at the New Sri Lanka Parliament building.
FINDING BAWA Thirteen years after the passing of Geoffrey Bawa, one of the most significant architects of Sri Lanka, a number of buildings he designed have disappeared; many have been demolished and some have succumbed to the tropical weather. DAVID ROBSON, who was approached by Bawa to write his first monograph, collaborated with photographer SEBASTIAN POSINGIS to turn the spotlight on the architect’s projects that ‘have survived the depredations of two decades’. Excerpted from the recently published monograph, here’s an exclusive preview of In Search of Bawa: Master Architect of Sri Lanka, featuring six of his most iconic buildings in the island country
THE RATNASIVARATNAM HOUSE, 1979
Geoffrey Bawa designed this house for a director of Aitken Spence [Hotels] at the same time that he was working on the company’s Triton Hotel in Ahungalla [in the Galle district]. The house lies hidden behind a high screen wall, which is broken only by the main entrance and the garage. The entrance opens to a long axial corridor. To its left is a doubleheight sitting room that is flanked on both sides by open-to-the-sky courtyards. The furthermost court is covered by what came to be known as a ‘Burglar Pergola’—parallel pre-cast concrete rafters that provide security while admitting light and air. An undulating wall separates this from a third court, beyond which are a pair of bedrooms. The garage and kitchen are situated to the right of the main corridor. Beyond lies a small court and the master bedroom, which incorporates a mezzanine study. A narrow staircase rises up beside the garage to a roof terrace and an independent studio bedroom. The house was neglected for a time, but has recently been carefully restored by the original owner’s son. Above: The sitting room. Right: The entrance to the house.
perspective The view, across the reservoir, of the main office block. Below: Detail of the end gable.
STEEL CORPORATION OFFICES AND HOUSING, 1966–1969
The steel mills at Oruwala [on the outskirts of Colombo] were built with Soviet aid to manufacture steel sections from imported billets. Bizarrely, following the whim of a government minister, they were located far from the Colombo port, in the midst of rubber and coconut plantations where a large reservoir was created to store water for cooling. Bawa was commissioned to design the main office building along with various staff and ancillary buildings and he advised on the design of the cladding of the main production buildings. The project architect was Anura Ratnavibushana. The three-storey office building projects into the reservoir with an outward-stepping section to provide shade and rain-shelter. The walls are formed from a matrix of pre-cast concrete units, some glazed and some open. As a result the interiors are protected from direct sunshine and filled with light and air. Seen from the reservoir bund, the building looks like an elegant Mississippi river boat moored to the shore. The factory entrance was recently shifted from the west to the east of the site where a new and predictably ugly office building has been erected, leaving the original building empty and forlorn. One hopes that it will be saved from destruction and that a new use will be found for it. Bawa also designed a staff housing scheme and a guest house to the west of the steel mills. The elegant housing is arranged in rows along the contours. Each house is entered via a projecting porte-cochère and opens into a walled courtyard garden. The long guest house is raised off the ground on a plinth and its roof tips upwards at the gables in the manner of Bawa’s earlier design for the Shell Bungalow in Anuradhapura. The neighbouring kitchen block is square in plan with a stepped roof rising to a clerestory. Both the housing and the guest house are still in use. 142|
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
perspective Painted doors by Australian artist Donald Friend (the originals are now in the Art Gallery of New South Wales) and Chettinad columns. Below: The sitting room. Right: The view from the street.
GEOFFREY BAWA’S TOWN HOUSE, 1962–1968
Bawa gave up his Galle Face Court apartment and rented the third of a row of four tiny bungalows in a narrow alley at the end of 33rd Lane in Colpetty. He created a pied-à-terre with a sitting room, a bedroom, a tiny kitchen and a miniscule bedroom for his manservant Miguel. Later, when [his neighbour] Sooty Banda moved out, he expanded into the fourth bungalow, creating a formal drawing room and a dining room. Finally, in 1968, when the other tenants showed signs of moving, he persuaded [his landlord] Harold Pieris to sell him the whole row. He then demolished the first bungalow and erected in its place a Corbusian tower, with a first-floor sitting room and guest suite and a second floor loggia and roof terrace. In its final form, the house functioned as a space laboratory where Bawa could experiment with lighting effects, induced ventilation and tricks of scenography. For a number of years, the second bungalow served as an autonomous apartment that was rented out to friends, but after closing the Alfred House office in 1989, Bawa turned this into his homeoffice. Here, working with a team of young architects, he produced the amazing designs of his final decade. 144|
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
THE KANDALAMA HOTEL, 1992
A view of the Sigiriya wing, showing the roof garden and the dining room. Above: The main stairwell with an owl sculpture by Sri Lankan artist Laki Senanayake.
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
The Kandalama Hotel was the first of Bawa’s designs to be carried through to completion after he withdrew from Edwards, Reid & Begg and set up his own design studio. He worked on it with a young and inexperienced team of assistants. When Bawa was taken to look at a proposed site near the foot of Sigiriya Rock, he rejected it out of hand, and suggested instead that the hotel be built on land overlooking the beautiful and ancient Kandalama reservoir some miles away to the south that would give distant views of the Rock. Surprisingly, his clients were willing to listen and, with some difficulty, the party drove to the north side of the reservoir and looked across the water to the cliffs where Bawa proposed to build. After overflying the site in a helicopter, the proposal was accepted. The hotel was built on a ridge against the north-facing cliff and, as predicted, it enjoys views across the reservoir toward Kasyapa’s citadel. It takes the form of a long articulated slab that is faceted to follow the shape of the cliff and measures almost a kilometre in length from the eastern tip of the Sigiriya wing to the western tip of the Dambulla wing. After travelling along jungle tracks, visitors are swept up a steep ramp to the hotel entrance that is fashioned like the mouth of a cave. A corridor snakes through the rock and leads them to an open lounge where they get their first view of the reservoir and distant Sigiriya. Below them, perched on the edge of the cliff, they discover the first of the hotel’s three magical swimming pools. The building disappears into the surrounding jungle. Its architecture is stark and understated, supporting the notion that this is not a building to look at, but a building to look out of—like a monumental hide or a giant belvedere. It is as if some huge ocean liner, with decks above and cabins below, has come aground on a faraway mountainside. After more than two decades, it continues to surprise and enthrall its guests and stands as a testimonial to the late architect.
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perspective The water tower and entrance to the outer court, 1962. Below: Architect Ulrik Plesner on the veranda, which could be enclosed by a sliding glass screen, 1962. Bottom: The inner courtyard.
THE STRATHSPEY ESTATE BUNGALOW, 1959–1960
Strathspey is situated at some 1,600 metres above sea level on the eastern slopes of Adam’s Peak [in Sabaragamuwa]. Its estate bungalow was designed by Bawa and [Ulrik] Plesner at the end of the 1950s. Here, the challenge was not to develop a new prototype, but to design one of the last examples of a building associated with a fast-disappearing way of life. Bawa took his inspiration from the Venetian villas of Andrea Palladio that he had visited in 1946 and conceived of the bungalow as a noble homestead set within a working estate on the edge of the wilderness. Traditional estate bungalows were cellular in plan and looked out across manicured lawns to distant views. The Strathspey bungalow, in contrast, was designed around courtyards and was inward looking, its plan conceived as a set of boxes within boxes. The house is entered through a large outer entrance court containing the garage and staff quarters. Its core bungalow is designed as a sequence of rooms set around an inner courtyard. The sitting room occupies the south-western corner and enjoys views out across the estate. An empty space between it and the dining room is bounded by sliding doors and can function either as an open veranda or as a link. The bungalow was built by a local contractor with walls of white painted rubble and floors of local timber and polished black stone. It is used as a manager’s bungalow and is still in its original condition, though vegetable plots have replaced its lawns; it is now surrounded by dense woodland. 148|
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The front piazza. Below: The terraces beside the members’ dining room. Bottom: The main chamber with a palm-frond chandelier and silver korale flags lining the debating chamber.
THE NEW SRI LANKA PARLIAMENT, 1979–1982
Early in 1979, Geoffrey Bawa was summoned out of the blue to a meeting with President JR Jayawardene who commissioned him, there and then, to design a new Parliament. The proposed location was at Kotte, the site of a former medieval capital of Ceylon that lay in marshland some eight kilometres east of Colombo. Jayawardene gave him a free hand, with the one proviso that the building had to be ready within three years. Bawa proposed to drain the marshes and site the new Parliament on a strict north-south axis atop an island in the middle of an artificial lake. A detailed design was drawn up and the construction was entrusted to a Japanese company by the name of Mitsui. Bawa’s designs incorporated a symmetrical debating chamber similar to that of the Palace of Westminster, ignoring the fact that Sri Lankans rarely elected two opposing parties of equal size. Bawa later justified the design by pointing to traditional audience halls such as those at Polonnaruwa and Kandy. The central pavilion contained the debating chamber under a sweeping copper roof, but the symmetry was broken deliberately by the five ancillary pavilions, each with its own roof, that were added in a seemingly random fashion around its perimeter, creating a succession of open-sided courts. The ancillary pavilions included the MPs’ dining room and a massive loggia for staging public meetings. [The debating chamber was] planned symmetrically with opposing lines of seats facing each other across the central axis of the Speaker’s chair. At the official opening of [the] Parliament, the President would proceed in state from his official residence in the city, cross the causeway to the island and arrive at the front piazza. Here a pair of vast silver doors opened to reveal a grand staircase rising up to the floor of the House. Bawa knew all the politicians of the day—Jayawardene was his brother’s school friend—and it amused him that the President would appear head-first from between the serried ranks of parliamentarians. The furnishings of the chamber were of dark calamander wood and the suspended ceiling was formed by catenaries of small aluminium bars that glittered like a tent of gold, inspired by a metal handbag that had belonged to Bawa’s mother. A huge chandelier of silver coconut fronds made by artist Laki Senanayake hung above the centre of the chamber and silver korale flags lined the galleries, reflecting the concealed lighting upwards towards the ceiling. Bawa dreamed of creating a friendly monument where people would meet their elected representatives in the ambalamas that were dotted around the landscaped lakeside gardens, and would flock to public meetings in the great open-sided hall. But soon after its completion, Sri Lanka was torn apart by civil war. The ambalamas became machine-gun posts and the island parliament took on the air of an institution under siege. In Search of Bawa: Master Architect of Sri Lanka by David Robson and Sebastian Posingis is available from Talisman Publishing for approximately `2,300.
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
TEXT © DAVID ROBSON. PHOTOGRAPHY © SEBASTIAN POSINGIS. ARCHIVAL IMAGES COURTESY DAVID ROBSON. IN SEARCH OF BAWA COURTESY OF TALISMAN PUBLISHING PTE LTD.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN THE WORLD
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TAKE A JOURNEY THROUGH SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN THE WORLD
A view of the garden and pool. The stainless steel staircase leads to Sanjay and Ina Arora’s den. The outdoor furniture is by Roda.
Sanjay and Ina Arora, of D’Decor, live in a beautifully landscaped villa in Juhu—the Mumbai suburb that’s home to the who’s who of Bollywood WRITER GAYATRI RANGACHARI SHAH . PHOTOGRAPHER BJöRN WALLANDER
The enormous windows in the living room provide uninterrupted views of the garden and the pool. All the furniture is from Christian Liaigre. A Bang & Olufsen CD changer is mounted on one column; the entire house is fitted with B&O sound systems. The fur throw was purchased by Ina on a trip to Milan. The red centrepiece bowl is from Roche Bobois.
Walls clad in Silver Travertino marble complement the colour palette of the furnishings chosen by the couple. The silk carpet was custom-made in Belgium. The coffee table is by Christian Liaigre and the black ‘Roark’ hurricanes are from Ralph Lauren Home. A piece of Japanese video art—a gift from architect Ernesto Bedmar, who designed the house—is sometimes projected on the blank wall behind the sofa.
Above: The metal partition in the living room is a set of sliding doors behind which is a small anteroom that functions as a bar and cigar lounge; the console to the left is by Christian Liaigre and the planters are from Roche Bobois. Below right: The dining table, chairs and carpet in the dining room are from Christian Liaigre; the chandelier was customdesigned and made in the UK. Below left: A favourite corner of the Aroras is this intimate sitting area next to the living and dining room; the chairs and sofa are from Poltrona Frau Group Design Center, while the side tables are by Flexform; the cotton-and-jute blended carpet was custom-made in Belgium; the large planter seen through the window was brought from Bali by Bedmar.
The four-poster bed, bench and side tables in Sanjay and Inaâ€™s bedroom are from the Maxalto collection by B&B Italia; the custom-made hanging lights by the bed are from the UK; the bed linen is by Dâ€™Decor and the fur throw is from Milan. Below: Greenery abounds on all floors of the house; the outdoor furniture in the open balcony adjoining the master bedroom is by Roda; the sofa, table and chair are from Flexform; the round coffee table is from B&B Italia; the silk carpet was custom-made in Belgium.
A hallway in the master bedroom leads to the walk-in closet and bathroom. The black-and-white paintings were a gift.
The Aroras love to entertain on the terrace, where they host gatherings around the barbecue and teppanyaki counter; wooden slats on the skylight shield the space from excess heat; the wall-mounted wood sculpture is from Bali. Facing page: An uninterrupted view of the home, where the outdoors fluidly meld with the indoors.
Sanjay and Ina at home. Left: Bedmar designed a sleek, curving staircase ringed in steel to connect the basement gym and spa to the pool and garden. Above: Trees act as a natural wall and help maintain the privacy of the house.
he iconic Mumbai locale of Juhu is home to some of India’s most celebrated movie stars, but like any other part of the city, it is hardly immune to the vagaries of urban life. Traffic, noise pollution, and the constancy of rampant construction have turned the area into a bustling, pulsating hub—a far cry from its initial avatar as an idyllic, seafront neighbourhood. Miraculously, Sanjay and Ina Arora’s three-year-old home has managed to capture some of that bygone tranquillity and languidness, despite being situated on a busy road. Inured from the chaos that flanks it, the Aroras’ five-storeyed corner property is a haven of peace. The driveway, which leads to a grand, expansive white lobby abutted by high walls, gives away little of what’s to come. Visitors stepping into the residence are immediately taken in by the dramatic 22-foot-high, floor-to-ceiling views of the garden with towering palm trees and a swimming pool. Designed and built by Ernesto Bedmar, an Argentina-born, Singapore-based architect, the multi-level home seamlessly blends the inside with the outside. “We wanted an urban oasis, a nice resort look where you come home and calm down, because, the city, as you know, is so hectic,” says Sanjay, managing director at D’Decor. One of his family’s companies, it is reputedly the world’s largest manufacturer of curtain and upholstery fabrics. “Our brief was that we need a lot of light; we need positivity and transparency,” recalls Ina, director of product development for D’Decor Exports. “I get up in the morning and I want to open my window and look at the garden.” Overlooking the verdant expanse outside, every floor has adjoining open balconies connected to the bedrooms, and a 3,000-square-foot rooftop terrace completes the feeling of being at one with the outdoors. Vertically aligned The residence melds tropical chic with a contemporary urban vibe—the Aroras also wanted the home to be “young, savvy and very Milan”, according to Sanjay. Plus, the house couldn’t be too precious, since it was a space shared by multiple generations: Sanjay’s parents, and two daughters, Sanjana, creative director at D’Decor and Sarah, who is still in school. It had to reflect both warmth and comfort. The Aroras—who had earlier resided just a few streets away in another bungalow, built by noted architects Noshir Talati and IM Kadri—had heard of Bedmar through friends. After meetings in Singapore and Mumbai, the architect, known for specializing in villas across South East Asia, came up with a design that took into account the brief, while noting the surrounding area. “This was the first time I’d designed a high-rise [multi-storeyed] home; everything was new to me,” Bedmar says. The architect recalls that the 13,500-square-foot plot came with its share of challenges. “The
limited amount of land pushed us to connect many spaces vertically, through voids, so as to achieve connectivity in between spaces, plus to block the noisy main street and to look inwards.” And look inward it does. The home is so lush and quiet that it’s hard to believe you’re in Mumbai. Each floor uses materials in neutral colour palettes, and glass that allows the natural light to project airiness and expanse. On the lower ground level, which comprises the gym, spa and salon area, Bedmar installed a large glass window overlooking a tree to allow for ample light. (It’s as far from a basement as one could imagine). On the ground floor, garden views abound in the living and dining areas, as well as in the cosy bar and cigar lounge. A large kitchen, a pantry, and utility rooms are also housed on the ground floor. Sanjay and Ina live on the first floor, their daughters are on the second floor and the senior Aroras on the third. Each level has its own den and utility pantries, complete with a refrigerator, microwave and sink. The bathrooms have skylights with slats to let in natural light. The fifth floor outdoor terrace is where the family spends much of their time entertaining around a large barbecue and teppanyaki counter that comfortably seats eight. Protective rain blinds act as a shield from the monsoons. Made to Measure The Aroras heap praise on Bedmar for the simplicity and intelligence of his designs. “Ernesto is not one of those guys who says, ‘It’s my way or the highway’,” Sanjay says with appreciation. “He took his brief from us and whatever we wanted, he would try his best to incorporate it, within reason.” Bedmar held steadfast on certain issues. The architect was the driving force behind installing a pool, as he felt strongly about having a water body in the house. He successfully argued to have the family prayer room placed at the entrance of the home, adjacent to the main living room. And while he designed different layouts for the bathrooms, Bedmar insisted on using the same materials in all of them. “The first time we heard that, it was a shock for us,” Sanjay admits. “But I think that continuity throughout lends calm to the house, from the choice of materials to the colours he used.” Ina adds, “We didn’t want a museum; but we thought for the girls, maybe some variation in the bathrooms would be nice. But Ernesto was in favour of a ‘clean handwriting’ throughout the house. He is all about sanity over vanity.” She remembers peppering Bedmar with ideas every time she travelled. “I would suggest ideas to Ernesto and he heard me out most of the time. It’s only when I was really getting carried away, he would say, ‘Mrs Arora, I can’t give you every five-star hotel you go and visit!’” Environmentally conscious, the Aroras ensured that rainwater harvesting and water-recycling technology, including for the pool, were incorporated. “We don’t have a lavish look,” Sanjay says. “We could have made a lovely banquet hall and a party place for a hundred people, but that was not what we wanted. We could have covered the whole plot. Most of the homes in this area are touching the compound walls. We were not greedy for that kind of area. What we wanted was a soothing private domain.” And spectacularly, that is exactly what they got. 165
LITTLE STAR Alia Bhatt is refreshingly grounded for someone who spends so much time in the spotlight. Her new home in Mumbai’s Juhu suburb—designed by Richa Bahl—reflects the side of her that the camera doesn’t see WRITER DIVYA MISHRA . PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER PRASAD NAIK INTERIOR PHOTOGRAPHER ASHISH SAHI . FASHION STYLIST AMI PATEL
Homeowner Alia Bhatt in a reading corner, by the living room. The cushioned seating is from Resolute Lifestyles, and the tiles are from the Heritage collection by Bharat Floorings. On Alia: Woollen sweater and cotton pants by Aarti Vijay Gupta; shoes from Jimmy Choo.
The white sofa and cushioned bench in the living room are from Roche Bobois; the centre table is from The Raj Company; the chandelier is by the Savoy House, Spain, from Cerco Lighting. Facing page: The pendant lights in the dining area are by Savoy House; the chairs are from West Elm, a furniture store headquartered in Brooklyn.
Above left: At the entrance is a custom-made bench from The Raj Company. Above right: Interior designer Richa Bahl in the living room; the leather single-seater is from Marina Home Interiors, Dubai. Below right: A seating corner in Aliaâ€™s dressing room; the pendant light is from West Elm; the framed prints are from The Bowery Company, Dubai; the blue vase is from Sanctum; the floor tiles are from C Tribhovandas & Co. Below left: The master bathroom features Devon&Devon fittings, from The Bath Shop; the tiles are from New Saral Ceramic; the tub caddy is from FCML and the candles are from The Bowery Company.
The modular kitchen cabinets are by Spar Arreda, Italy. The wooden racks were custommade. The kitchen accessories are from Crate and Barrel and Ikea. The wall and floor tiles are from C Tribhovandas & Co.
lia Bhatt has star power that is all out of proportion to her size. She is petite— fine-boned and sylphlike in that annoying way that makes everyone around her (yours truly, included) seem large and clumsy in comparison. It’s very dispiriting. She enters her living room wearing shorts and flip-flops, and even then, her entourage seems to fade into the background like so much dusty wallpaper. It’s like an invisible Moses-with-staff has gone before her, parting the seas of mere mortals so she can breeze past. (Hem-kissing, optional.) Before the lights come on, she is professional, centred, almost cold. A stylist adjusts a floppy sleeve, an attendant hands her a glass of water (with a straw, so it doesn’t smudge her lipstick)—she barely registers either. But in the seconds it takes between flipping the switch and the lights reaching complete brightness, she has gone full supernova. The impact of her twinkly-eyed, dimpled charm hits the camera head-on and I’m surprised our photographer hasn’t fallen over with his hand on his heart. I know I almost did; and I wasn’t even in the line of fire. ACTING THE PART That Alia has learnt to compartmentalize her life is clear. There is the effervescent on-screen Alia; the polite but distant Alia for strangers; and a third Alia, for family and friends. We are firmly in the second The make-up area in Alia’s dressing room; the chair is from Ikea; the make-up drawers were custom-made. Left: This seating area in the dressing room features a custom-made dress rack; the tiles are from Bharat Floorings. Above left: Another corner of the living room features a framed Neville Sukhia photograph, a light box from The Bowery Company and a chair from Sidewalks of the World, Mumbai.
HAIRSTYLIST: AYESHA DEVITRE. MAKE-UP ARTIST: ROSARIO BELMONTE. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: SANJAY KUMAR, MILONI SHAH.
category, and while smiled at prettily, are also told, with mild petulance, how we are the very first to see her new house: “Before my friends, before my family, even before my father!” We catch a fleeting glimpse of the affectionate, unaffected third as she calls out to her sister Shaheen (with whom she will be sharing this house), sweetly acknowledging her for sharing some of her tchotchkes that now sit on a ledge behind the sofa in the living room. It’s hard to believe that Alia is just 23, and harder still to reconcile her bubbly public persona with the sensible, contained young woman she seems to be off-screen. The daughter of film-maker Mahesh Bhatt and actress Soni Razdan, her first film role as an adult was in 2012’s Student of the Year, where she played a poor little rich girl in an improbable all-American-high-school-esque setting. It was the kind of launch vehicle actors dream of, and the film was a hit, but showed Alia as little more than a pretty face who knew when to pout. It was tempting to brand her then as one of Bollywood’s endless stream of ‘star kids’, born with the right surnames, and silver-screen space handed to them on platters, but with her subsequent films—among them, 2014’s Highway, 2015’s Shaandaar and 2016’s Udta Punjab—Alia showed critics that she could hold her own against the best of them. It was during the shooting of the Vikas Bahl-directed Shaandaar that she met Richa (Vikas’s wife), whom she would end up asking to design her new house. “I just liked her vibe, to be very honest. I saw the Phantom Films office, which she had done, and I really liked that. And I liked how easy-going, how cool she was,” says Alia. Although there was no real brief, she was very clear about what she didn’t want. “I told Richa I didn’t want it to be too modern. I wanted it to feel a little old, with a New York loft kind of feel. And I didn’t want anything overtly glamorous, like chandeliers, or marble floors.” She purchased the house two years ago, choosing it over two others she had seen, because of its closeness to her parents’ house. “It was really a no-brainer for me,” she says, with much more confidence than you would expect from a 23-year-old speaking of her first home. It helped, perhaps, that Alia’s grandfather is an architect, and her mother, a self-taught interior designer—obviously she’s inherited more than just her mother’s cheekbones. Once she purchased the house, she showed it to Richa, who, after her initial shock—“The place had termites! All the pipes were rotting!”—came up with a plan to design the space around the needs of the two young, first-time homeowners, who could then add and subtract things as they went along. “In fact, their mother and I used to laugh saying, ‘There’s nothing in the kitchen! They’ve no idea how to run a house!’” says Richa, like an amused, indulgent elder sister.
The palette here is surprisingly...well, mature. Alia wanted the space to be as completely removed from the glamour associated with Bollywood as possible, and even the lighting is muted, in deliberate contrast to the harsh spotlight—literal and figurative—in which the actress usually finds herself. The one thing the sisters insisted on in the house was a “tea bar”, because apparently, they’re both “really into tea. Just totally obsessed,” says Alia, sounding like a sprightly octogenarian, and I can’t help but wonder: “What next, girls? Knitting? Bingo? God help us, rocking chairs?” It’s hard to imagine anyone (young or old) comfortably drink tea while perched up on a bar stool, but the hip flask on the bar counter that reads, “I didn’t text you, vodka texted you,” indicates that other beverages might be served as well. (Hallelujah! There is hope.) Alia is interested in design, and one of the things she enjoys about going on sets is getting to see the way spaces are done up. When I ask if she’s ever been tempted to filch a prop, she sheepishly admits to once taking “a pillow, from a set I was shooting at. But I knew the decorator so he gave it to me”. In one corner of the hall stands a shelf that holds her 2015 Filmfare award for Highway, a quirky lamp, a small terrarium and some weighty books on history. “They’re my mum’s!” she clarifies quickly, perhaps sensing my incredulous assessment of her mental age. She does read though, and the books by JK Rowling, Douglas Adams and Stieg Larsson are proof that there’s more to Alia Bhatt than meets the eye. But it’s easy to forget that when you see her lighting up a screen. Alia in the corner of her dressing room dedicated to her shoes. On Alia: Dress and pumps from Gucci.
ROOM FOR MORE The renovation took around a year and a half, and the space’s four bedrooms were reconfigured to three. Richa fashioned Alia’s dressing room into a separate space to ensure the rest of the house would be private, even if the actress was in the midst of fittings. “You know, when she’s getting ready it’s not just her. There’s the stylist, the make-up artists, the spot boys, the ironing guys... it’s like a mela in there,” says Richa, in mild horror. A lobby now separates that space from the large living room, which has turned out to be a cosy mix of New York loft and Swiss chalet, with white walls, comfortable sofas, concrete-tiled floors and expansive windows that incongruously– though not unpleasantly–look out to Mumbai’s very tropical trees. 173
(FACING PAGE) ON IRRFAN: JEANS AND SHIRT FROM ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA. PHOTO: R BURMAN. FASHION STYLIST: AKSHAY TYAGI. HAIRSTYLIST: MOHAMMAD NAQI. MAKE-UP ARTIST: VIJAY SHIKARE.
In Irrfan Khan’s room and study, the drawing on the wall is by the in-house artists at Peacock Life; the lamp was sourced from artisans in Jaipur; the table and chair are from Irrfan and his wife Sutapa’s collection; the rug is by Peacock Life. Facing page: Irrfan in his living room; the swing was designed and refurbished by Peacock Life; the urns are from Irrfan and Sutapa’s collection.
In CharaCter From the stage to television to the silver screen, Irrfan Khan has established himself as an actor to be reckoned with. His latest role as a homeowner has him drop his mask Writer Raja Sen . PhotograPher Fabien ChaRuau
In the living room, the lights and sofas were custom-made by Peacock Life. The charpoys were sourced from artisans in Jodhpur. The waterbody is in a blue stone from Nepal; the urn is from Irrfan and Sutapaâ€™s collection. The mirror panel on the wall was sourced from artisans in Jaipur.
PHOTO: R BURMAN
Irrfan and Sutapa in the living room; the sofa is by Peacock Life; the side table and lamps are by local artisans from Rajasthan. Below: In the dining room, the tables and chairs are by Peacock Life and the lights were sourced from Jaipur; the mirrored panel was designed and built on-site.
In the foyer, the frames and carved panels were sourced from artisans in Jodhpur; the artefacts are from Irrfan and Sutapaâ€™s collection.
Above left: In Sutapa’s room, the bed is by Peacock Life; the table lamps were sourced from artisans in Jodhpur and the Gond art is from her collection. Above right: In Irrfan’s room and study, the centre table was sourced from artisans in Jaipur. Below: The view from the other side of his room and study; the bed was custom-made onsite; the chairs, stand and rug are from Irrfan’s collection. Facing page: Sutapa and Irrfan with interior decorator and Peacock Life founder Shabnam Gupta, who designed the Khans’ home.
INNER SANCTUM Stepping out of the lift into Irrfan’s fifth-floor apartment is like walking into an inkwell. All is dark-blue, and dimly lit—save for a pair of latticed arches with a cut-out floral motif. “So that when you enter the house from the noise outside, it changes your mindset. It brings you in,” says Irrfan, thumping his chest à la Matthew McConnaughey in The Wolf Of Wall Street, rhythmically accentuating the entrant’s journey. The Khan residence—home to Irrfan, his wife Sutapa and teenage sons Baabil and Ayan—is an intimately made one. They are not a family that call guests over often, and he doesn’t like playing host to big gatherings. Walking in through the darkness, you step abruptly—and, by dint of the contrast, almost shockingly—into a spacious house bathed in natural light. It makes the head spin. “The jhoola is a must,” he says, as he stops by a swing. A two-seater, it has a plank the size of an open newspaper, and hangs from dark-green ropes—the ornate, thick kind that could hold open a stage curtain, or disallow entry at a discotheque. This is possibly where Irrfan sits after turning down yet another Christopher Nolan offer, or ruminates over what may become the next Lunchbox. He confesses to a mirror fetish—“I always peer into them even if I’m walking by in a hurry”—dating back to well before he considered becoming an actor, and this house fulfils one of his longest-held fantasies. “I finally have an area surrounded by mirrors, where I can see myself from every angle.” His thrill at this dressing room appears endearingly narcissistic, till I remember an actor needs to be aware of every aspect of his physicality—body, costume, and look. Irrfan himself had once told me that one of his most profound acting influences was a Naseeruddin Shah film, where he felt captivated by the actor’s back, which seemed to be emoting in its own right. There are no small parts. Sutapa’s bedroom, with its floral motif and Gond art, is a more
individualistic area, standing out in a house built around varied knick-knacks, collected across far-flung travels. It comes with a tiny balcony, barely big enough to hold a round yellow table and two chairs. This is what Irrfan defines as the sanctuary of the house, a quiet space he envies. “I like her room because it is its own thing; it has evolved on its own. There is no school of design here. There is nothing synthetic about the way it feels.” DETAIL-ORIENTED We stand over the dining table and he points out a set of five black wire lamps hanging just above eye-level. Irrfan marvels about craft and symmetry, about the cross-hatched intricacy and the differing density of the wires shielding the light, and it’s clear: the man is obsessed with detail. He waves one of his trademark hand-rolled cigarettes like a crayon as he talks, and shrugs resignedly when I ask if the whole house is a smoking zone. We step through the hall into his bedroom, and he nearly trips over a stray football left behind by one of his sons. “A smoking zone and a football field,” he corrects. His new television hasn’t been delivered yet. The corresponding gap in the bedroom bookshelf, thus, has been temporarily stacked, haphazardly, with awards of every description, from GQ’s ‘Man Of The Year’ prize, to a Screen Award for Paan Singh Tomar. He’s sheepish about these awards, claiming they are only visible while things are still being shuffled into place. “They will all be put away out of sight. Hidden away.” “Where will you keep the Oscar?” I ask him. That famed trophy has been dismissively stashed away by some of its winners. Sean Connery keeps his in the bathroom, while Timothy Hutton’s lies in his fridge. Irrfan laughs. “So many awards mean so little, but that… that is an award that would change everything; it can open up every choice for an actor.” He pauses, surely, I think, aware that, as an actor on the radar of the world’s best film-makers, he isn’t too far from that possibility. “I know I won’t keep it in the bathroom,” he smiles, and then, thoughtful for but an instant, dismisses the decision-making. “If it were ever to come, it would come with its own place. It would find its own place.” Much like he has.
phOTO: r burman
On Irrfan: TurTleneck sweaTer and TrOusers frOm ermenegIldO Zegna; sandals frOm mOchI. On suTapa: TunIc by rOhIT gandhI + rahul khanna; dress frOm Zara; palaZZO panTs frOm anITa dOngre; earrIngs and rIng frOm amrapalI. On shabnam: TOp by payal khandwala; leggIngs and shOes her Own.
hen I walk into his living room on a sultry afternoon, Irrfan Khan is attempting to move a pond. Arguably the finest actor in current Hindi cinema, Irrfan has moved from a home on Madh Island—a quick boat-ride away from the Mumbai mainland—to a high-rise in Oshiwara, an area close to Lokhandwala, the suburban neighbourhood that houses many of his film and television colleagues. It is a literal hop from the fringes to the thick of it, akin to the actor’s career. Last year, for instance, he played romantic hero to Deepika Padukone, and then Aishwarya Rai. This month, his next release features Tom Hanks. Going from an off-centre idyll to a mainstream neighbourhood, he’s holding on to what matters most. “It is important for me to have a water body,” Irrfan explains, passionately (and oddly) specific, pointing to something that looks like a Turkish bathtub, a square of blue stone. “It has to have its own ecosystem, survive on its own. That fascinates me. That the fishes don’t have to be given oxygen separately, that the water doesn’t have to be cleaned or changed.” It is, literally, a livingroom pond. Shabnam Gupta, who designed the interiors, feels this pond—which was relocated from a corner to the middle of the living room—posed a unique challenge. “When he ideates, he enjoys the sound of water,” she says. “But this has to be an extremely controlled amount of sound, otherwise it gets on your nerves. Plus, he wants fishes and lotuses and reeds.”
AD50 architects Shefali Balwani and Robert Verrijt, of Architecture BRIO, designed this house in Karjat, a small town in Maharashtra.
DOCUMENTARY STYLE Set amidst an idyllic landscape, on the bank of a river that mists every morning, is a holiday home built by Mumbai-based firm Architecture BRIO for a documentary filmmaker and her family
Writer Gauri KelKar . PhotograPher ariel Huber
t the end of an hour-long journey, travelling through rain-lashed streets, narrowly missing an uprooted concrete block and delicately dipping into deep-seated potholes, the black-and-yellow of questionable ability I was riding in lumbered to a stop. Finally, I’d arrived at my destination— Architecture BRIO’s office in the buzzy Mumbai suburb of Bandra. And there it was, an absolute dream of a house, scaled down to size and on the desk of its creators—Shefali Balwani and Robert Verrijt. The real version of this model home is interesting real estate, located in the foothills of the Western Ghats, in Karjat, a small town on the outskirts of Mumbai. On a one-acre parcel of land, the house is not easily visible to prying eyes or even casual onlookers—unless they really stare at the flat grassland that resolves itself into what seems to be the roof. “The site is mostly a hill, and just at the top, the land starts flattening out into a plateau, from where you have this view of the river winding past, the mountain range surrounding the area and Matheran further into the distance,” explains Verrijt. > 183
The roof of the house merges with the hill. The drought-tolerant grass and creepers blend in with the riparian landscape, while reducing the water requirements.
A side view of the house as it emerges from the hill; a cantilevered deck projects beyond the edge of the house and a pool extends further beyond; the bamboo screen is meant to shield the house from onlookers and ensure a measure of privacy, while seamlessly blending with the landscape. Below: Two courtyards allow light and ventilation for the spaces beneath, as seen from the roof of the house. Facing page: The living room has black-and-white chequered flooring and a wooden border that merges with the deck; the galvanized-steel-framed windows provide a sense of enclosure, without hindering the expansive view.
IN THE WILDERNESS That the river and the untamed landscape dictated the way the structure would evolve was a given, and not just because nature had such a dominant voice, given the location. This project was a serendipitous coming together of the two involved parties: a client who wanted the “house to blend into the landscape, have a lot of open spaces, and a modern aesthetic”, and a firm that believed building was as much about being respectful of the surrounding landscape as it was about a strong aesthetic. “Creating a view facing the river and extending the flat land on top above the roof—those were the two dominant themes that defined the architectural language. The house sort of sits like a box that is protruding out of the land, with a very open front,” Balwani explains. “What we’ve tried to do here is similar to what you find in the Buddhist caves of Sri Lanka, where we’ve both worked,” adds Verrijt. They’d worked with architects who had practised with the legendary Geoffrey Bawa. “Those forest monasteries have a sense of enclosure on one hand and a sense of vastness on the other. The space around you is at a human scale; so you feel comfortable, but there is also this endlessness.” It’s a dichotomy that is apparent in this house. A living space carved out of the earth, literally, with a plateau of variously hued grass covering the flat rooftop—this house is a visceral response to its surroundings. “We wanted to build a house in such a way that it would be as high as possible, so that you could really look down on the river and see the expanse of it, but also not be right on top of it, as though claiming some kind of authority over it,” explains Verrijt.
And what a view it is—endless scenery; a languorous river; the kind of space that absolutely demands a wrap-around veranda, an outdoor deck and a pool. All of which was a natural progression of a design that emerged top-down. “That roof was something that we knew we wanted, then the space below followed naturally, like a box inserted in the earth. And then there was the open vista and how to protect it, followed by the veranda,” says Balwani. While the house remains open, without any sort of boundary except for wildly growing trees and bushes left alone to do their thing, the architects were conscious of ensuring a measure of seclusion. The private spaces are tucked into the earth. “That also keeps the rooms cool and close to the earth, and the roof on top extending behind, gives the impression of a cosy, cave-like space,” says Balwani. Every room has a view of the outdoors that defines it, gives it its unique character. As she puts it, “The act of looking at the outside from a particular room—the way the view is received from that space inside—is what gives the interior its unique character.” The main interior spaces are all located in the front; a set of steps leads you from the veranda into the living and dining rooms, and the master bedroom. The kitchen, flanked by two more bedrooms, leads into a light-filled open courtyard. INSIDE OUT The rooms consciously wear different looks. Like the chequered flooring of the living room, or the stone used in the bedrooms—all locally sourced and ranging from white Indian marble to black kadappa. A timber border, spilling over into the living room > 187
The pool and river as seen from the master bedroom veranda. Facing page: The rear courtyard as seen through the kitchen; the rock face that emerged during the excavation was left exposed to dramatize the connection of the house to the earth it emerges from.
The master bedroom of the house has a corner window with a view of the river and the Western Ghats; the writing desk was purchased at an antiques fair in England; the chair on the deck is from The Workshop in Bentota, Sri Lanka. Facing page: The master bathroom has glazed handmade fish-scale tiles in the shower.
< from the deck, is carried through in all the rooms, ensuring
continuity. The walls are lime-plastered to “allow them to breathe”. The homeowners’ request for different-coloured doors for each room—turquoise, yellow and red, to identify them based on colour—was also incorporated. The floor-to-ceiling windows at the front have been broken down into panels and framed with galvanized steel to prevent rusting. Given the almost completely open nature of the house, care was taken to ensure that irritants like water seepage were dealt with, beginning with the uniquely created roof covered in lawn grass and white and purple drought-tolerant fountain grass. And it didn’t take much convincing to get the clients on board. “They told us about the cooling benefits and how it would fit in with the idea of ‘blending with the landscape’. It sounded great, though we were concerned about leakage; but they really worked on it with the contractor to ensure our fears were allayed,” says the homeowner. “We used many layers to waterproof the green roof, allow for drainage, and prevent the roots of plants from puncturing the waterproofing layer,” adds Verrijt. It is this pragmatism that tempers the unusual design and offers the homeowners the opportunity to escape the city and embrace the peace of the countryside in a home that turned out to “be better than we imagined”. An inward house that integrates the outdoors and a location that defines bucolic charm, it’s a space where architectural cadence is in tune with the rhythm of the land.
If walls could talk, Karan Johar’s office—designed by Simone Dubash Pandole— would have enough stories to write its own script Writer Gayatri ranGachari Shah . PhotograPher aShiSh Sahi
PHOTO: R BURMAN
Karan Johar, a director, producer, talkshow host, and the head of Dharma Productions. Facing page: In the lift lobby, the installation of letters spelling out â€˜Dharmaâ€™ was made by interior designer Simone Dubash, with Mumbaibased lighting company, Firefly.
In Karanâ€™s office, the wall unit was custom-designed by Simone. Keeping vastu specifications in mind, gold wallpaper was used in some of the niches.
Above left: The Gilles Nouailhac Louis XV-style ‘Maintenon’ chair is from Roche Bobois; the sideboard is from Boca Do Lobo. Above right: The office is equipped with a make-up room; the swivel chair is from Lila Decor; the carpet is from India Carpets & Furnishings; the cupboard units were customdesigned by Simone. Below right: The text-and-light installation in the boardroom is by artist Shilpa Gupta; the modular chairs are from Danco Corporation and the lights are from Firefly. Below left: The tan leather sofa was made by Simone’s mother Arnavaz’s company, Leather Leisure; the centre table is by Renu Chainani from Eastern Treasure Lifestyle; the wall sconces above the sofa are by Firefly; the wallpaper is from EJ Designers and Interior Architects, and the fooring is from FCML.
Above left: A passage leading to Karanâ€™s office has framed posters of five of his biggest films; the posters were printed by Darius Surti of Prodon Enterprises; the back-lit frames for the posters are by Firefly; the chair is from furniture brand Simone. Above right: One of the cabins in the Dharma office is decorated with curios dear to its occupant; all the cabins have custom-made sideboards. Below: The cafetaria, with graffiti by Arjun Bahl and his firm Guerrilla Art & Design, has lights from Firefly, and log tables custom-designed by Simone.
n an industry where movie stars rule the roost, director Karan Johar’s stardom defies explanation. A prolific professional who juggles multiple roles as a producer, director, scriptwriter, occasional actor, TV star, columnist and designer, Karan’s fame is on par with, and occasionally eclipses, that of the big names he casts in his films. Catapulted to success with his sweeping family dramas and their all-star ensembles, his hit TV talk show, Koffee With Karan, cemented his place in popular consciousness by offering millions of viewers a glimpse of his irreverent personality. Dharma Productions was founded in 1976 by Karan’s father, the noted producer Yash Johar. The production house grew and Karan and his CEO, Apoorva Mehta, wanted a spanking new office in Mumbai. Apoorva set up a meeting with Simone Dubash Pandole, the go-to designer for some of India’s most affluent yet low-key families. Simone, well known for her elegant, clean lines, monotone interiors and use of natural materials (especially wood), had never previously designed a movie mogul’s office, but was quickly selected for the commission. The project, she says, “basically fell into my lap”. business & Pleasure “Karan was very clear about the brief from the get-go,” Simone recalls. “He wanted a corporate office that was also a fun, young space. He didn’t want it to ‘scream Bollywood, or be full of posters’. When he said that, I was relieved because I was actually scared of a more Bollywood style. Karan is dignified and simple—he likes stone and doesn’t much like beige. That’s why I came up with a colour and material palette of grey, glass and wood, and the idea of using lights to accentuate and accessorize the surroundings.” The project, which began in November 2015, and comprised designing 18,000 square feet of space, took eight months to complete. Since Karan was away on shoots during most of that period, Simone dealt primarily with Apoorva on day-to-day issues, with Karan weighing in whenever he was in town and via email. The space was divided into two sections: one for administration, finance, editing and other functions; and the other, for executives like Karan and Apoorva, as well as directors and assistant directors. Tasked with designing a business-like space that also pays homage to the film industry, Simone mixed in dramatic flourishes with an overall sombre look, resulting in a 21st-century workplace with a major movie studio vibe. From the moment one enters the 1,700square-foot office reception area—all sleek and black and highlighted by large, cinema style letters spelling out ‘Dharma’—there’s a sense of stepping into a company that’s a Bollywood powerhouse. Suspended from the ceiling, the letters—created by lighting solutions brand Firefly—form the backdrop of the massive desk. Visitors would be hard-pressed not to channel their inner movie star.
a subTle aPPrOaCH But dramatic touches like these are carefully curated. Further reception areas of both the executive and staff wings veer towards
more subdued hues. “I thought, ‘Let’s start simple,’” says Simone. “Both the executive and the other side have receptions that are quite similar. I thought to leave the walls white, use grey marble, and decorate with black and white sofas.” Comprised of conference rooms, an 18-seater boardroom, multiple smaller offices and executive office suites, what also differentiates the office are the areas designed for lounging, meeting and hanging out. These islands break the monotony of a regular workplace. Some have Hollywood-inspired wallpaper, others, unexpected pieces of furniture and lighting; each one is inviting. Working alongside her project manager Farah Darvesh, Simone says that lighting played a huge role in the overall look. “It was a big element in lending the space a film connection and highlighting it in a subtle way.” Simone consulted closely with Alinawaz Merchant of Firefly. Now, some parts of the ceiling are fitted with track lights, resembling those used on film shoots. Eschewing posters for the most part, the walls are animated with carefully chosen photos from Dharma movies and its stars, make-up artists, stuntmen, choreographers, and costumers. Simone credits Karan and Apoorva with ensuring that the people who have played a part in Dharma’s success have pride of place in the office. Another specification from the clients was to ensure that all the offices were of equal size. As a result, there are 17 offices measuring 85 square feet that essentially look similar. Among those allocated these spaces are A-list directors like Karan Malhotra, Abhishek Varman, Ayan Mukerji, Punit Malhotra and Tarun Mansukhani. birD’s-eYe VieW Importantly, the overall staff of 150 needed a place to eat and Dharma’s cafeteria is where Simone brought in the truly unexpected. “Everything else in the office is serene and clean and sober,” says Simone. “And I kept wondering how to bring in colour.” The solution? A massive brick wall was handed over to New Delhi-based graffiti artist Arjun Bahl and his firm Guerrilla Art & Design, to simulate graffiti. Light-hearted and fun, this colourful feature sets the dining area apart. Karan’s own 650-square-foot office is mostly understated. It contains a seating lounge, and a separate workspace with a large table, sofas and chairs. A few quirky elements serve as counterpoint to the otherwise muted palette. One of these is a Boca Do Lobo ‘Monocles’ console, on top of which are a series of family photos. A framed poster of his hit film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham hangs on one wall. His desk is extremely tidy, with a pile of scripts, a massive book titled the Great Indian Wedding, and trade magazines all lined up neatly. A shelving unit behind his desk holds the numerous trophies and awards he’s won over the years. Transparent, trunk-inspired tables by Renu Chainani from Eastern Treasure Lifestyle, an off-white sofa, and a carpet that lends a hint of colour maintain a look of neutrality, but it’s the black-leather upholstered ‘Bergère Maintenon’ armchair, adorned with a shock of pheasant feathers that is riveting. At a company that creates superstars, it’s a chair fit for the star-in-chief. 197
Hollywood Remake Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer enlists architect Mark Rios and designer Waldo Fernandez to reinvent a clunky Santa Monica mansion as a sleek contemporary gem Writer Rob Haskell . PhotograPher RicHaRd PoweRs Producer anita saRsidi
Film and TV producer Brian Grazer transformed a rambling and eclectic mansion in Santa Monica, California, into a crisply modern retreat for his family. Mark Rios of Rios Clementi Hale Studios oversaw the architectural work, and Waldo Fernandez of Waldoâ€™s Designs masterminded the interiors.
A large artwork by Jack Pierson presides over Grazer’s office, where a plush sofa and chair and a wood cocktail table—all vintage pieces by Jean Royère—are joined by mid-century armchairs from France (left) and Italy; the rug was custom-made by Mansour Modern. Above left: Grazer is seated near a stainless-steel sculpture by Joel Morrison and a painting by Gerhard Richter. Above right: The entrance hall floor combines stone tiles by Exquisite Surfaces and wide oak planks.
A circa-1950 Boris Lacroix chandelier graces the dining room, which also showcases an Andy Warhol painting and, on the table, sculptures by Ritsue Mishima (left) and Lauren Booth. Above left: A Richard Prince painting hangs in the main stairway, overlooking a Hans Bellmann table, a Rick Owens chair, and a 17th-century Spanish iron grille. Above right: A work by Andy Warhol is mounted above a trio of vintage chairs at the entrance to the master bedroom.
Triangular chairs by Rick Owens face the living room fireplace, which features a surround of chiselled limestone. The painting on the right is by Richard Prince; and the carpet is by Woven Accents.
A walkway leads to Grazerâ€™s office on the mezzanine level. Hanging in the living area, below, is a canvas by Ed Ruscha.
ollywood mogul though he may be, when it comes to the way he lives, Brian Grazer defies typecasting. For years, the prolific spiky-haired producer of such big-screen hits as Splash, Apollo 13, and Frost/Nixon resided in the reclusive upper reaches of Los Angeles’s Pacific Palisades neighbourhood, in a 1930s Cliff May ranch house that was decorated in a fairly traditional style. But seven years ago, after a divorce, he sold the place—to actors Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck—and resolved to make a significant change. “The goal was pretty simple,” Grazer says. “Give me the opposite of what I had.” AS A BARN DOOR A 1,114-square-metre behemoth in Santa Monica initially seemed anything but promising. Created in smorgasbord fashion, the rambling structure featured sections in a melange of styles—from English manor to Art Moderne. Crossing the kidney-shaped pool in the backyard was a bridge that led to a faux mini-Matterhorn with waterfalls descending from its summit. Grazer’s trusted advisers did not encourage him to buy. Still, he was captivated by the 8,000-plus-square-metre site, just a mile from the ocean, and with infinite views over the storied Riviera Country Club golf course out to the majestic Santa Monica In the master bedroom, Pierre Cardin lamps flank the bespoke bed, which is clad in a Moore & Giles suede and accented with a Tomas Maier mohair blanket; the pop-up TV cabinet at the foot of the bed was custom-made, as was the rug by Mansour Modern; a Jim Zivic daybed from Ralph Pucci International stands at the window. Above: The breakfast area is outfitted with an Osvaldo Borsani light fixture and a Jean Prouvé table and chairs; the painting is by Takashi Murakami. Facing page: Mark Rios pared the existing structure down to simple barn-inspired forms and clad the exterior in cedar, which he stained grey to complement the slate roof.
Mountains. Grazer saw potential in the generous spaces, which he envisioned as flexible enough both for hosting the parties he regards as an occupational hazard and for spending time with family, who now include his wife, Veronica Smiley, and his four children from previous marriages. “I enjoy being around people and energy, and yet I don’t always want to socialize,” he says. “In this house, I can entertain a crowd or open the gate and ride my bike to the beach.” Grazer’s friend Brad Grey, chairman of Paramount Pictures, introduced him to Mark Rios, founding principal architect of the LA firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios, who saw in the long, central volume at the heart of the existing hodgepodge, the makings of a sleek contemporary barn. That design conceit wasn’t an easy sell. “To Brian, the word barn wasn’t positive,” Rios recalls. “It sounded too country. Then I showed him some Swiss houses that are tied to that vernacular, but are very modern, and gradually he came around.” FINDING WALDO Rios streamlined the main body of the house, removing a number of unnecessary and visually disruptive architectural protuberances, skimming dormers and clerestories, and staining the cedar facade a colour that matched the slate roof to achieve a crisp, harmonious whole. “I wanted the house to have a tailored quality,” says the architect, “self-assured without being grand.” He also made sure there were abundant terraces for dining or relaxing and installed glass walls that could be opened wide for the breezy plein-air quality Grazer sought. “I had gone to George
Clooney’s house, and it had this wonderful indoor-outdoor feel,” Grazer says. “I told Mark that was a feeling I really liked.” On the grounds, Rios added a basketball court and a yoga platform, and he converted an existing guest house into an artist’s studio, where Grazer paints in his free time. Replacing the kitschy swimming pool is a minimalist rectangle that almost disappears into the expansive lawn. “I love big lawns, where my kids can play,” Grazer says. “When I was a kid, I always wished for a bigger one.” For the interiors, Grazer worked closely with LA designer Waldo Fernandez, a favourite among Hollywood’s elite, to fashion comfortable, sophisticated spaces that would showcase his remarkable art collection—a trove that encompasses works by Richard Prince, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, and Andy Warhol. Fernandez blended furniture of his own design with choice vintage pieces by modernist masters such as Jacques Adnet, Jean Prouvé, and Jean Royère, all in the controlled palette that is his signature. “I said to Waldo, ‘Do what you do, but make it warm’,” Grazer remembers. To that end, the designer combed the French oak floor planks used throughout with a wire brush to open up the grain and create a more rustic surface; in an otherwise cool kitchen, he gave the leather seats on the bar stools a timeworn patina; and in the dining room, he buffed out the hard gleam of a magnificent 1950s Boris Lacroix brass chandelier, rescued from a casino in Cannes. IN THE DETAILS The collaboration between Fernandez and Grazer, it turns out, was a marriage of kindred obsessives. In an alleyway behind Fernandez’s West Hollywood studio, the designer would set out chairs, stools, benches, and sofas, and Grazer would drop by during a free moment to sit or sprawl on each one to test the buoyancy of the cushion, the depth of the seat, the pitch of the back, the height from the ground. Everyday scenarios were thoughtfully considered: If he were eating dinner with his kids in front of the family room television, for example, would they comfortably be able to reach their plates and glasses on the cocktail table? “My guess is that’s the way he makes movies,” Fernandez says. “There isn’t a detail he’s not interested in.” That obsessiveness extended to fabrics, an area where Grazer gravitated towards the cosily luxurious: bouclé mohair and silk on the living room sofas and shearling on a Jim Zivic daybed in the master bedroom. For the second-floor office, Fernandez redid a rare Royère ‘Ours Polaire’ sofa and chairs in long-haired alpaca dyed a golden hue that happens to match the nearby best-picture Oscar the producer shares with his long-time business partner, Ron Howard, for the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind. The duo’s latest project, Inferno—the third Robert Langdon movie, based on Dan Browne’s books—comes out 14 October. And in February 2017, the two will co-produce, with author Stephen King, The Dark Tower, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. It promises to be a busy season for Grazer, who clearly relishes downtime in the comfort of home, “to chill, have a drink, watch a game”, as he puts it, or to enjoy a movie in his spectacular screening room, outfitted with sumptuous fabric-clad walls, giant throw blankets, and reclining chairs customized with cup holders found on a poker website. The adjacent bar not only has shelves stocked with the producer’s preferred tequilas, but also features jars filled with his favourite movie-theatre candies. “I’ve ended up with a house that completely services my emotional needs,” Grazer declares. Would a Hollywood mogul settle for less?
Setting the Scene
Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber collaborated with design firm Ashe + Leandro for Merida to transform a Manhattan artistâ€™s loft into an inviting family oasis Writer Michael hainey . PhotograPher Douglas FrieDMan Producer carlos Mota
naomi Watts’s dress by altuzarra and shoes by manolo blahnik.
Actor Naomi Watts in her dining room. Facing page: Black-and-white floor tiles by Clé provide a graphic welcome at the Manhattan duplex apartment that Watts and her partner, actor Liev Schreiber, share with their two sons; the interiors were designed by the firm Ashe + Leandro for Merida; the entrance hall’s pendant light is from Ralph Lauren Home, the 19th-century shell-back chairs are from KRB, and the painting in the stairway is by Harland Miller.
In the living room, a 19th-century Gabon mask from Throckmorton Fine Art and an artwork by Paul Morehouse overlook matching velvet-covered RH sofas, which are separated by a Ralph Lauren Home console. The coffee table is by Robert Pluhowski, the floor lamp is by Ralph Lauren Home, the side tables in the foreground are by Blaxsand, and the round leather chair on the far right is by Garza Marfa; the jute rugs are by Merida. Facing page, top: Schreiber and Watts are joined by sons Alexander (left) and Samuel around the kitchen’s bleached-walnut banquette. Facing page, bottom: A Living Divani sectional sofa is paired with a custom-made John Robshaw rug in the playroom; the ceiling lights are by Michael Anastassiades for Flos, the floor lamp is by Ralph Lauren Home, and the Norman Cherner chairs at the desk unit are by Design Within Reach.
tars—they’re just like us. Even a two-time Oscar nominee, it turns out, can fall prey to new-home anxiety. “I mean, look at this place,” Naomi Watts says. “Is it too big? Are we taking on more than we should? Maybe we should have stayed where we were? I don’t know!” And then the actor throws her arms up and lets out a lovely, nervous laugh. Watts is standing in the entry hall of the Manhattan apartment she shares with her partner, actor Liev Schreiber, and their two sons, eight-year-old Alexander and seven-year-old Samuel. Oh, and there’s Bob, too. He’s the Yorkie. The journey to this moment has been long, twisting, and fraught 208
Watts’s dress by Isabel Marant
with the kind of drama that Watts—who has three movies yet to come out this year—usually has to cope with only in make-believe. But let’s start at the beginning. CHARACTER-DRIVEN Fifteen years ago, when the Britain-born, Australia-raised Watts’s career was starting to blossom and she was looking for a toehold >
< in New York City, she bought an apartment in the Financial
District after seeing it once. “Not because I loved it, but because of the pressure!” she recounts. “I had no idea deals here moved that fast. After I closed on it, I showed it to my mother, who is a bit of a bohemian—and a super-talented decorator. She walked in and said, ‘This is horrible. No soul. No character. It’s a businessman’s apartment.’ I was crushed. But she was right.” Watts sold the place quickly. “You know, I should have kept
it,” she laments. “Now it’s worth twice what I paid.” She settled in Los Angeles, where she built her career in movies ranging from Mulholland Drive to 21 Grams to King Kong to Birdman, which won the Academy Award in 2015 for best picture. “But then I met Mr New York,” she says, “and everything changed.” Mr New York, of course, is Liev Schreiber—acclaimed for playing hardened, complex characters in films such as Spotlight and on the Showtime series Ray Donovan. “We fell in love, so I moved
Lights by Apparatus Studio hang above the dining room’s Ralph Lauren Home table and Sol y Luna chairs; the mirror and cabinet are antique, and the Tuareg carpet is vintage. Right: Images by Watts’s brother, photographer Ben Watts, are displayed above RH Baby & Child beds in the boys’ room; the pillowcases are by Ralph Lauren Home, the sconces are by Atelier de Troupe, the nightstand is by Room & Board, and the antique kilim is from Double Knot. Below right: A Ralph Lauren Home light fixture illuminates the master bath’s Victoria + Albert tub, which has Dornbracht fittings; the mirror and chair are antique, and the penny tile is by Waterworks.
here and we lived in his fantastic NoHo (North of Houston Street) place for years,” Watts says. “We started our family and were quite happy.” Like so many New Yorkers, however, they soon found themselves desiring a certain precious commodity. “We knew we wanted space for the kids to grow—and for all of us,” Watts says. So they began ‘The Hunt’. While Watts remarks that, “with New York real estate, you never get everything you want”, she and Schreiber were able >
< to create a duplex from two separate units—one had been
an artist’s loft—checking off most of the boxes on their wish list. Then, shortly after they closed the deal, Hurricane Sandy struck, and the building, near the Hudson River, was flooded. For months they couldn’t enter the property, proving another rule of New York real estate: It will test you, constantly, asking, ‘How badly do you want to live here?’ NEW YORK TRIFECTA When the couple finally got back in, the place was a mess. After taking time to weigh options, they hired an architect, but changed course several months later. Two years into owning the residence, it was raw space. “One thing I’ve learned,” Watts says, “is when it comes to big renovations, no one gets an easy ride.” Ultimately, they enlisted Ariel Ashe and Reinaldo Leandro, the duo behind the firm Ashe + Leandro for Merida, to design the interiors. That’s when things kicked into high gear. “This project was design on steroids,” Leandro says, standing in the first-floor library and screening room, which also serves as a place for Watts and Schreiber to take meetings and study scripts. “I had drawings in 4 months, and then we did the entire renovation in 10. It was insanely fast—but fun. Naomi brought a great eye and taste to the project and was a terrific creative partner.” Walking through the residence, it’s hard to imagine that Watts and Schreiber had to compromise on anything. Instead, it feels as if they got a rare trifecta: an apartment that elegantly combines features of three archetypal New York homes. The entranceway gives you the intimate, welcoming feeling of a historic townhouse, while the sweeping sculptural staircase evokes the drama of a stately uptown duplex, and the open yet private layout of the second floor has the urbanity of a classic loft. Throughout, robust design elements are balanced with graceful, softer gestures, whether the jewellery-like lights suspended above the brawny dining table, or the floral curtains whimsically offsetting the master bedroom’s masculine blues. Indeed, the home seems to mirror the union of the broad-shouldered, intense Schreiber and the delicately luminous Watts. The actor credits her mother with teaching her about great design. “From the time I was a little girl, she was taking me to rummage sales and antiques stores,” she recalls. “It was a terrific education.” All around the apartment, you can see Watts’s input—in the rugs she bought in Morocco, and in the bar’s high-gloss green paint (“I saw the colour in a home on the Upper East Side, where we were filming Demolition, and fell in love with it.”) The cosy banquette in the kitchen is another touch she insisted on. “The dining table is great,” she says, “and the bar stools are fine for entertaining, but I wanted a place where we could snuggle as a family. I didn’t want to make a show house. I wanted to make a true home for us.” When asked about her favourite thing in the house, Watts blushes. “This will sound crazy,” she confesses, “but I lie in bed at night and think, I can’t believe after all these years in New York I finally have a walk-in pantry!” Stars, they’re just like us: finding the greatest joy in a home’s most practical comforts.
In the master bedroom, an RH bed is grouped with Ralph Lauren Home side tables and a vintage Italian bench from Billy Cotton; the walls are clad in a Clarence House fabric, the curtains are of a Duralee floral fabric, and an antique Moroccan rug is laid atop carpeting by Holland & Sherry.
In the patio, all the outdoor furniture is from Abaca. The gazebo was designed by Ali Baldiwala, of Baldiwala Associates, in glass fibre reinforced plastic, a lightweight, all-weather material that mimics wood. The cascading water feature in black graniteâ€”in the centre of the gazebo wallâ€”and alternating rough and polished flooring in the foreground are from Stone Source. The lighting is by Terra Trading. The white table is from the Piero collection by Sereno. The flooring of the raised deck is from Square Foot.
Mumbai-based interior designer—and actor (of Neerja fame)—Ali Baldiwala took on his biggest role yet, when he agreed to redesign this almost-century-old house WRITER RAJASHREE BALARAM PHOTOGRAPHER RICARDO LABOUGLE STYLIST GUSTAVO PERUYERA
The base of the glass centre table in the living room—from Eastern Treasure Lifestyle— is embellished with crocodile leather and antique brass buckles; the sectional sofa was designed by Baldiwala Associates; all the columns feature a micro-concrete finish and have stainless-steel cladding below; the rafters are fitted with cove lighting and their pattern matches that of the joists in the rest of the house; matt-black vitrified tiles are used for the flooring of the entire living room. Facing page: Interior designer Baldiwala.
“I wanted to challenge standard design norms and create a futuristic design, but I didn’t want to do away with the fundamental spatial identity.” – Ali Baldiwala
n angst-driven, AK-47-wielding terrorist is not your typical idea of an interior designer. It’s a good thing I haven’t seen Neerja—the biopic in which Ali Baldiwala of Baldiwala Associates plays the aforementioned character— else I’d have reconsidered greeting him like a long-lost friend. As we approach the house he has designed, people on the street greet Baldiwala with a knowing smile. “I still can’t believe I actually got that fabulous role. Acting is my passion, but designing is my first love. I cannot let go of either,” he says smiling. Considering how good Baldiwala seems to be at both, he might not have to. NEW YORK IN OLD MUMBAI It took Baldiwala almost a year to redesign this apartment, on the ground floor of a 92-year-old, three-storeyed house in a posh south Mumbai neighbourhood. Delicate trails of vine cling to the trellis gate that opens into the patio of the apartment. The vintage gravitas of the building’s exterior, though, has no footprint inside. Instead, the house has the distinct personality of an ultra-chic New York loft, done up in clean lines and high-end minimalism. Despite the muted aesthetic, the high-ceilinged, airy living room and open kitchen exude an unrestrained, convivial vibe. “That has a lot to do with the owner,” says Baldiwala with a chuckle. “He’s a bachelor, and wants this to be an informal space where his friends can get together when they have nowhere to go to after the pubs >
< in the city ‘down’ their shutters at night. That’s why the windows
The mirror-finished bar cabinet and the veneered cigar cabinet behind it were designed by Baldiwala Associates; the pattern on the bar cabinet matches that of the rafters; the bar stools are by Eastern Treasure Lifestyle. Below: The cantilevered back-lit bar counter—in honey onyx and black Corian—also doubles as a dining table; the lights are by Terra Trading; the kitchen is by Poggenpohl; the burgundy back-painted glass adds a splash of vibrancy.
are made of non-plasticized PVC [a strong thermoplastic material] with double-glazing to make it soundproof!” Though he appears amused now, Baldiwala admits he was mildly taken aback when he was first briefed to build a robust bar counter that people could hop onto and dance. The honey onyx counter, trimmed with black Corian, looks like it can take a lot. “It happens to be the client’s favourite niche in the house,” says Baldiwala. The burgundy and shell-white Poggenpohl kitchen, on the far end of the living room, blends in smoothly with the overall subtle decor. In contrast, the mirrored door of the large bar cabinet is one of the few dramatic—even flamboyant—elements in the room. It is placed in tight proximity to a cigar cabinet with drawers lined in crocodile leather. One can’t help but notice that the eclectic choice of materials does not conform to a rigid design theme. This unorthodox styling is especially obvious in the finer details: the steel cladding at the base of the concrete pillars in the living room; the crocodile leather and antique brass buckles edging the base of the glass centre table; the brass rivets on the main door, reminiscent of old mansions of Indian aristocracy; and the abstract branched joist on one half of the living room ceiling, which forms a recurring design motif. “I wanted to challenge standard design norms and create a futuristic design, but I didn’t want to do away with the fundamental spatial identity. So I replaced the original termite-infested wooden pillars with concrete ones, and the damaged wooden joist on one half of the ceiling with a branched version.”
LASTING IMPRESSION There are other thoughtful explorations that lend depth and character to each corner. The master bedroom, for instance, has a large window that looks into the living room, creating a seamless interplay between the two key areas. A blue Bisazza-tile panel on the floor extends right up to the edge of the ceiling of the central wall in the master bathroom. The odd pillar at the centre of the guest bedroom has been smartly incorporated into the layout of the bed. “Of course, [the homeowner and I] had our share of disagreements, but we always found our way around them,” says Baldiwala. “I remember him wanting industrial design elements such as exposed air-conditioning duct pipes, but I felt that would make the ambience too similar to that of a ‘restobar’. On the other hand, I wanted more paintings and artefacts around the house, but he strongly felt that bare walls made a more powerful statement.” One of the most enchanting features of the house is the patio. At its centre is a gazebo in glass fibre reinforced plastic enclosing a cascading water body in black, ridged granite. The main conversation starter in the patio, however, is the small, craggy chunk of rock atop the sandstone centre table on the deck. Engraved with quotes by eminent thinkers, the significance of the rock goes beyond the import of the etched messages. Baldiwala informs me that it’s a piece of rock that fell off a wall in the homeowner’s factory in Vapi, Gujarat, and would have landed a fatal blow to his head, had he not been saved by an employee. Reminding him of the impermanence of life, the rock is probably the most personal element in this artfully designed house by actor-designer Baldiwala—a rising talent who embraces both roles as if he was always meant to assume them.
The taupe cantilevered wardrobe in the guest bedroom is clad in leather and embellished with rivets; the sideboard, in walnut veneer, features snake-print leather storage. Above right: The guest bedroom has a small-cantilevered desk; the recessed chair is from Tranceforme. Above left: The walls of this passage are clad in veneer from Jalaram; spare planks of wood used for the flooring—from Symphony International—were used as horizontal bands to relieve the monotony of the veneered surface; the storage—in white laminate and wood inlay— was designed by Baldiwala Associates; the leather chair is by The Charcoal Project.
DECONSTRUCT ’s SAMIR WADEKAR helps you adopt the look of the international homes in our pages with products that are available in local Indian stores
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SETTING THE SCENE PG 206-213
TOASTER WITH ONE-TOUCH CONTROL (ONYX BLACK), `8,490, KITCHENAID
‘ARGENTA ANTRACITA’ TILE BY PORCELANOSA, `520 PER SQUARE FOOT, MARMO HOME
‘FROST WHITE’ TILE, `1,080 PER SQUARE METRE, NITCO
BLACK BARSTOOL BY SUVIKA LIFESTYLES, `3,314, PEPPERFRY.COM
‘AGATE’ DOOR HANDLES, (1x6.5 INCHES), `5,000 ONWARDS, VIYA HOME
‘IQ700’ MICROWAVE OVEN WITH GRILL BY SIEMENS, `78,000, ETRE LUXE
‘ESSEX 8761-VS’ FAUCET, `93,880, KOHLER
ART DECO CABINET, `1,10,000, PHILLIPS ANTIQUES
BLACK GEOMETRY COLLECTION BY KAHLA, `1,800 (DINNER PLATE), `2,400 (PLATTER), STUDIO FIFTY4
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
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‘GYRO’ CLOCK, `4,000 ONWARDS, SAIF FAISAL
‘MATRIX’ RUG (8x10 FEET), `1,98,000, HANDS CARPETS
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‘UNTITLED 14’ LIMITED-EDITION PIGMENT PRINT ON PAPER FROM THE NEW WORLD CHRONICLES OF AN OLD WORLD COLOUR SERIES, `80,000, RONNY SEN
TEAK CHAIR BY FINN JUHL, `45,000, MAHENDRA DOSHI
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‘NOVELIST’ DESK, `37,500, THE FURNITURE REPUBLIC
BOOKS BY PENGUIN, `599 EACH, IKKADUKKA.COM
For details, see Stockists
PHOTOGRAPHERS: INDRAJIT SATHE, ANSHUMAN SEN. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: NITYA DHINGRA, KRITI VIJ.
‘DECO’ SOFA, `1,57,000, PINAKIN
*This image is used for representational purposes only
DISCOVER THE NEW MEANING OF LUXURIOUS LIVING An exclusive look inside India’s most beautiful homes, featuring the most renowned architects, celebrated interior decorators and discerning experts to create the GQ man’s dream home. Plus, a handpicked listing of the country’s top stores and retailers to make your home a space of envy. All this and so much more For more information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org Complimentary Supplement with the GQ December Issue
Sagar Chordia, Ruchi & Anshul Goel
courtesy A delicious spread
of Alto Vino
Rohit Rathi Almona Bhatia & Ajinkya Firodia
Niraj Khinvasara, Shikha & Dhiraj Kochhar with Dave Besseling
The Gentlemen’s Club – an editorial initiative to bring together India’s finest gentlemen who share a common passion – was hosted at The JW Marriott, Pune on the 29th of July with partners Ermenegildo Zegna and Audi. The evening saw some of the city’s most discerning gather for a session of engaging discussions over drinks and a gourmet Italian meal.
Deepika Rathi, Aparna Firodia & Shribala Chordia The Ermenegildo Zegna display
Dushyant Thakkar & Surabhi Negi Manish & Manisha Jaitha
Umeed Kothavala & Khodu Irani Sanjog & Sonika Shah
Krishna Mohan Jaideep Patwardhan
Mallika Chatterjee, Indraneel Benadikar & Ramandeep Marwah
Tasneem & Gaurav Gadhoke
The Audi TT
EXPERT ADVICE, DECOR TIPS, AND STYLE ESSENTIALS FOR THE CONTEMPORARY INDIAN HOME
‘Bluetooth Gramophone 2.0’ wireless speakers p with steel horns; Gramovox.com
provides sound choices for budding audiophiles with an extensive list of products to create the ultimate listening experience at home STYLIST SAMIR WADEKAR . ILLUSTRATOR ROHAN HANDE
Clockwise from top left: ‘Excite X44’ floorstanding speaker; Dynaudio. ‘LHB755W’ floor-standing speaker; LG. ‘Reference’ floorstanding speakers; Loewe. ‘Tube Audio’ (copper) Bluetooth speaker by LEFF Amsterdam; Yoox.com. Centre: ‘W95D’ full-HD TV with acoustic duct subwoofer; Sony.
ArchitecturAl Digest|OctOber 2016
Clockwise from top left: ‘Subwoofer 300’ speaker; Loewe. ‘Blaster Pro’ wireless speaker by Nixon; Yoox.com. ‘Stockwell’ portable speaker; Marshall. ‘BeoSound Moment’ wireless music system; Bang & Olufsen. Centre: ‘Athena’ electric recliner chair; Karlsson Leather.
inside Left and right: ‘360 S 25 HCS’ multi-speaker audio system; Jamo. Top: ‘Onyx’ (black) portable Bluetooth speaker by Harman Kardon; harmanaudio.in. Centre: ‘BeoLab 90’ digital loudspeaker; Bang & Olufsen.
ArchitecturAl Digest|OctOber 2016
Centre: ‘Zeppelin Wireless’ (white) speaker; Bowers & Wilkins. From top: ‘22 [tu:tu:]’ hybrid tube amplifier; 22tutu.com. ‘Mini Jambox’ Bluetooth speaker by Jawbone; amazon.in. ‘aPlay’ Bluetooth speaker by Kreafunk; yoox.com. ‘Pulse’ wireless speaker with LED visualizer by JBL; harmanaudio.in.
For details, see stockists
inside point of view
MOVIE NIGHT A tub of buttery popcorn and marathon Game of Thrones sessions in their screening room keep this Mumbai-based film-maker couple up all night Writer Tora AgArwAlA PhotograPher Neville Sukhia
ilms. Even if occasionally disenchanting, they are capable of inspiring us—to follow our dreams, choose roads not taken, and for a fortunate few, encourage fairy-tale romances that could be straight out of, well, films. Shaana Levy-Bahl and Uraaz Bahl’s story is one such romance. On their first date, they watched True Grit; on their second, they watched the Oscars, and on what is probably their five hundredth now, things follow in a similar vein. On an ordinary day, in their apartment located in a leafy south Mumbai lane, the blackout blinds will be drawn, the projector on top of their couch will whirr up, the surround-sound speakers will crackle to life, and the click of a button—on the tiniest of their seven remotes—will magically enable a white screen to descend. It’s show time. It’s almost 4pm on a Sunday and I’m in the couple’s plush three-bedroom apartment off Altamount Road. Shaana and Uraaz, however, are in her mother’s five-bedroom finca in Mallorca, in the Mediterranean Sea. Over a long Facetime call, Shaana helps me navigate through her apartment—a space designed by her interior-decorator mother Sheela Levy— with her smiling houseboy close at my heels. The house has just received a fresh coat of paint, and things aren’t in their usual places. Funnily enough, nothing looks out of place. Despite the absence of its owners, and its predominantly bold, almost Kelly Hoppen-esque black-andwhite tones, the house exudes a sense of
warmth, inviting you to sink into the off-white sofas. It tempts you to put your feet up on their coffee table, and while you’re at it, watch a film on their drop-down projector screen. Once you figure out how to use their many remotes, of course. I count seven of them in the chest of drawers. And two laminated instruction leaflets, labelled “Projector and Screen Instructions”, dutifully made by Shaana the moment they got it installed. “Our relationship started with—right from date one—our love for films,” says Shaana. The love is evident as you look around. On one side of the living room, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck are locked in a two-dimensional embrace. A windswept Brigitte Bardot occupies the wall opposite, beyond that is a tuxedo-clad Roger Moore, and by the dining table, two pensive Ben Kingsleys face each other.
TAKE TWO Uraaz is the nephew of socialite Parmeshwar Godrej. He works in real estate, but like his wife of three-and-a-half years, is extremely passionate about films. After training at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, the couple are now investing their energies in a documentary film, Ladies First—a biopic on the archer Deepika Kumari, who represented India at the Rio Olympics this year. “Through Deepika’s story, we want to highlight the bigger issues in India—the lack of opportunities for girls in a society entrenched in gender inequality,” Shaana says. But before Ladies First, Shaana hopes to see her passion project, Power—an independent film on energy security she has been involved in for the last five years— finally bear fruit. Her foray into documentary films and production was preceded by theatre
FASHION STYLIST: NIKHIL MANSATA. MAKE-UP ARTIST & HAIRSTYLIST: DANICA DREGO. PHOTO EDITOR: KIM SIDHU.
EVERY CORNER OF THE ROOM HAS PERSONAL TOUCHES, SPEAKING VOLUMES ABOUT THE WELL-
TRAVELLED, CINEMA-LOVING PEOPLE WHO INHABIT THE SPACE.
in London, and a short stint in Bollywood. Some might remember Shaana as Katrina Kaif’s friend in the 2007 blockbuster Namastey London, and in Bhoothnath (2008), where she shared screen space with Amitabh Bachchan. While Bollywood didn’t quite catch her fancy, Mumbai (or was it the blossoming romance?) did, and the Kenya-born, Zurich- and London-bred Shaana made the city her home, and film-making her profession. Fast-forward eight years and I’m walking through her living room, where the sheer curtains are drawn and just a hint of the evening sun filters in. I point to objects, and Shaana rattles off details. Lamps and lanterns sourced from different parts of the world, handmade pieces by her artist grandmother, a bunch of orchids from Switzerland, a striped rug carted all the way from Uruguay—every
corner of the room has personal touches, speaking volumes about the well-travelled, cinema-loving people who inhabit the space. This is the space the Bahls like to call their living-and-screening room, and with good reason. It is here they spend most of their evenings—eating, sleeping and lounging, after work. It is here that each night, lights are dimmed, seats (or, well, floor space between the coffee table and the sofa) are taken, dinner is eaten, and shows are watched. It is here that, a couple of years ago, their whole family gathered to watch their wedding movie. And, where, long after dinner is over, they continue watching films, a lush duvet pulled up to their chins, going through bowls of popcorn and many, many cups of warm, saffron tea. If all the world’s a stage, the Bahls really know how to set up their little corner of it. OCTOBER 2016|
SHANTANU & NIKHIL DESIGNERS
KANGANA RANAUT WOMAN OF THE YEAR
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THE ART OF FINE DINING Harsh Kapoor and Roshini Vadehra Kapoor, AD editor Greg Foster
In August, the Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) hosted a dinner for its patrons at the home of Roshini Vadehra Kapoor, co-founder of FICA and the Vadehra Art Gallery. The dinner was attended by a veritable who’s who of the Indian art world—including mega collectors Kiran Nadar and Lekha Poddar—who support FICA and art through their patronage.
The menu was curated as per guests’ preferences.
Diners were surrounded by art at Roshni Vadehra Kapoor’s home—Shilpa Gupta’s text-and-light installation While I Sleep, by the pool, and Jagannath Panda’s Bachelor on the Terrace.
Abhinav and Pallavi Khandelwal
Clockwise from left: Tarana Sawhney, Roshini Vadehra Kapoor, Parul Vadehra, Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Payal Sen
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
PHOTOS: KEDAR NENE
Lekha Poddar, Radhika Chopra
FASHION’S NIGHT.IN OCTOBER 14TH & 15TH
SHOP ONLINE, THE VOGUE WAY
Get set for two nights of a shopping extravaganza this October, as Vogue, in collaboration with Myntra, brings you the best from the world of fashion right at your fingertips, with Fashion’s Night.in!
Tote bags, Monisha Jaising
VOGUE MERCHANDISE: Buy exclusive merchandise created by two of India’s leading fashion designers. VOGUE EDIT: Vogue and Le Mill offer you a pick of some of the most eclectic brands. VOGUE CURATES: Vogue stylists handpick select wardrobe essentials. VOGUE LOVES: Up for grabs–designer wear, jewellery, bags and lots more.
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newSreel From the hottest products to the coolest launches, here’s a low-down on the latest in the market this season
Established in May 1999, Dicitex Furnishings is one of the pioneers in the home furnishings industry. DCtex Furnishings, their retail brand, constantly endeavours to create collections that will style every corner of your home. Recently launched, their new collection (pictured) consists of simple geometric patterns, pastel tones, velvet fabrics, and self-embroidered drapery. Available in a vast colour palette, their fabrics are sure to enliven your interiors. Apart from furnishing fabrics, DCtex has also launched its new collection of bed linen with exquisitely crafted, digitally printed bed sheets, duvets, comforters, and drapery. (dctex.com)
After spending 22 years designing luxury furniture for residential and commercial projects, architect Lata Valia set up Zayin Home Living in 2013. This Mumbai-based brand’s ethos of luxury and fine living is directly reflected in the furniture collections entirely designed and crafted by their skilled in-house team. The brand’s customized furniture collection—consisting of the ‘Serene’ sofa, ‘Reuben’ chairs and ‘Merzeki’ centre table (pictured)—reflects their clean, linear design language and emphasis on comfort. Their furniture pushes the envelope when it comes to design and interiors. (zayin.in) 242|
ArchitecturAl Digest|OctOBer 2016
The Asian Paints Colour Stores in Mumbai and New Delhi are not your average retail spaces as no products are sold there. These spaces are designed as platforms that encourage consumers to engage with paint—an integral part of home decor. The stores have rooms set up by designers to give customers a sense of the colours, textures and finishes, thereby helping them envision the look of a room. A range of bespoke services is available, as well as workshops with interesting activities like ‘Handmade by You’, which allows customers to personalize interiors using DIY kits. (colourstore.asianpaints.com)
Germany-based Liebherr—one of the largest construction machine manufacturers—is also known for its refrigeration and cooling appliances. Their recently launched experience centre in Mumbai introduces Indian consumers to the brand’s exclusive range of cooling appliances— freestanding premium refrigerator models, built-in appliances, wine cabinets, and more. With this experience centre, the German brand hopes to change the way high-end products are presented and sold. Customers get a first-hand experience of the premium cooling appliances on offer, and the integrated high-end features that are intrinsic to each product. These appliances are a testament to the brand’s world-class standard, and exemplify their focus on innovation. (liebherr.com)
Since 1973, New Delhi-based Tarun Vadehra Interiors has been one of the pioneers in the furniture industry, creating unique interiors and finely handcrafted furniture for the Indian and international markets. This pair of mid-19th century British colonial chairs (pictured) has elegantly turned cabriole legs, and an upholstered leather quilted back and seat, which are complemented by the decorative nail-head trim. Suitable to match a wide range of decor styles, these chairs will be the perfect addition to an eclectic space, and are sure to be the highlight with their timeless traditional lines and exquisite finishing. (vadehra.com)
Since its establishment in 2001, Anna Simona has been a leader in luxury bed linens and soft furnishings. Their Mumbai store carries an exquisite range of bed linen sets, bedspreads, quilts, curtains, decorative cushions and European shams. Intricate embellishments and subtle textures, executed with finesse and attention to detail, have given the brand its unique allure. An elegant aesthetic sense leaning towards the classical, with contemporary accents, has proved to be the brand’s trademark. (annasimona.com)
scouts COOK LIKE A PRO
The leading luxury brand for kitchens and space solutions, bulthaup stands for ultimate refinement, forward-thinking innovation and technical and material perfection. Since its establishment by Martin Bulthaup in 1949, the brand has been synonymous with the most advanced ideas for the architecture of kitchen and living spaces. The ‘b2’ kitchen (pictured) has a workbench with a work area, cooktop, and faucet and is complemented by tool cabinets to store crockery, cookware and supplies. (bulthaup.com)
The Quarry Gallery in Mumbai—a one-of-a-kind, 12,000-squarefoot, curated marble gallery—was launched with a vision to enable buyers, architects and interior designers to discover a renewed approach to marble, from the selection process to purchase and installation. The space boasts of a collection of the world’s finest marble, stone and rare onyx under one roof. With one outlet in Kanjurmarg, the brand plans to open a second gallery in London, to cater to international customers. (quarry.asia)
A creative hub for a host of luxury furnishing brands, Mumbaibased Surprise Home Linen is also known for their bespoke products and the ability to execute large-scale projects. The brand’s clear focus on mapping global trends and staying at the forefront of contemporary design is reflected in their stunning curation of brands and products. Surprise Home Linen recently introduced products from the latest home collection of iconic European fashion house Nina Ricci. The Estampe collection (pictured) consists of printed pillowcases, cushion and duvet covers, bolsters and sheets in 100-per-cent sateen. (surpriselinen.com) 244|
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
And your FASHIon FInAlIStS Are… The judges have made their selection. So are you ready to meet the new faces of fashion? Here’s what the top five fashion designers at Vogue India Fashion Fund 2016 have to say about their brands
“Lovebirds is all about striking a balance between efficiency and expression, by combining structure with fluidity.”
“HUeMN is unafraid, effortless, relevant, exciting and functional.”
AmrITA KHAnnA And GurSI SInGH
PrAnAV mISHrA And SHymA SHeTTy
“rArA Avis has an intrinsic design philosophy that redefines immortal design.”
“KANiKA GoyAL LAbeL is provocatively minimal, ever-evolving, practically tailored, democratically designed and intrinsically independent.”
“eKA has thoughtful designs in easy silhouettes that transcend the boundaries of shape, seasons and cultures.”
Art Report 2016 A definitive guide to knowing, buying and collecting modern and contemporary art Whatâ€™s on the canvas? The Art Report is Vogue Indiaâ€™s first handbook, complete with a report on some of the top Indian artists, a study across the global art market and exciting picks from upcoming auctions. Now, Vogue takes you inside undiscovered ateliers with in-depth stories and stunning photographs. Make a mark with the Art Report 2016
ON STANDS NOVEMBER 2016 www.vogue.in
22TUTU.COM: Japan 0081-92-9238235 ADDRESS HOME: India 08287263306 (addresshome.com) AKFD: 141-4068400 (akfdstudio.com) APARTMENT9: Ahmedabad 097-26841922; Kolkata 03340066697; Mumbai 02232489601; New Delhi 01132438224 (apartment9.in) ARKETIPO: (arketipo.com); at AND MORE STORIES, Mumbai 022-24931016 (andmorestories.com) ARTISERA.COM: India 07899882277 ASNAGHI INTERIORS: Italy 0039-03-627714 (asnaghi.com) BALLY LONDON: New Delhi 011-40534149 (bally.com) BANG & OLUFSEN: New Delhi 09312393123 (bang-olufsen.com) BOCONCEPT: Ahmedabad
09409631000; New Delhi 01141663554 (boconcept.com) BOWERS & WILKINS: (bowers-wilkins.net) BRABBU: Portugal 00351-915084995 (brabbu.com) CANE BOUTIQUE: Bengaluru 080-41152093 (caneboutique.com) CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN: Mumbai 022-43471787; New Delhi 011-41017111 (christianlouboutin.com) CHRISTOFLE: (christofle.com); see EMERY HOME CHRISTOPHER GUY: Singapore 0034-60-3572514 (christopherguy.com) CINNAMON: Bengaluru 080-41634220 (cinnamonthestore.com) CMYK BOOKSTORE: (cmykbookstore.com) COCOON FINE RUGS: Mumbai 022-24928647 (cocooncarpets.com) CORNELIANI: Bengaluru 080-41738170; Mumbai 02266311303; New Delhi 01146040722 (corneliani.com) DEFURN: Mumbai 02226369322 (defurn.co.in) DESIGN TEMPLE: Mumbai 022-22821001 (designtemple.com) DEVI DESIGN: Gurgaon 1244388430 (devidesign.in) DIOR: Mumbai 022-67499091; New Delhi 011-46005900 (dior.com)
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
DYNAUDIO: (dynaudio.com) ECRUONLINE.COM: Kuwait 00965-90065205 EMERY STUDIO: New Delhi 09810081810, 12, Shakuntala Farms, Mehrauli–Gurgaon road ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA: Mumbai 022-43471261; New Delhi 011-46060999 (zegna.com) ESSAJEES: Mumbai 02222021071 (essajees.com) ETRE LUXE: New Delhi 01126809771 (etreluxeindia.com) ETRO: (etro.com) F&F: New Delhi 011-25717428 (fandf.in) FENNEL: Gurgaon 1244250029 (fennel.in) FINE ART LAMPS: (fineartlamps.com) FIREFLY: Mumbai 02266608959 (fireflyindia.in) FUSION ACCESS: Mumbai 022-22154541 (fusionaccess.com) GALVAN LONDON: (galvanlondon.com) GIORGIO ARMANI: (armani.com) GIORGIO COLLECTION: Italy 0039-03-62243471 (giorgiocollection.it) GRAMOVOX.COM HANDS CARPETS: Bengaluru 080-22232223; Mumbai 022-26320609; New Delhi 011-26806475
(hands-carpets.com) HARMANAUDIO.IN: India 1-800-229-291 HEEL & BUCKLE: Mumbai 022-40223354 (in.heelandbuckle.com) HERMAN MILLER: (hermanmiller.in) HERMÈS: Mumbai 02222717404; New Delhi 01143421126; Pune 020-41418848 (hermes.com) HOUSE OF RARO: New Delhi 08527443666 (houseofraro.com) I 4 MARIANI: Italy 0039-031746204 (i4mariani.it) IDAMSTORE.COM: India 09540053303 IKKADUKKA.COM: Gurgaon 09717260192 INDI STORE: New Delhi 01169999933 (indi-store.com) INTERNATIONAL FURNITURE BRANDS: Mumbai 022-61062222, New Delhi 011-41012161 (ifbrands.in) IQRUP+RITZ: Gurgaon 09599110672 (iqrupandritz.com) JAIPURRUGSCO.COM: Jaipur 141-3987400 JAMO: (jamo.com) JAWBONE: (jawbone.com); at AMAZON.IN JOCKEY: (jockeyindia.com) JONATHANADLER.COM: USA 001-800-963-0891 KARLSSON LEATHER: Bengaluru 08880474000
PHOTOS: NEVILLE SUKHIA, INDRAJIT SATHE, ANSHUMAN SEN.
The merchandise featured in the magazine has been sourced from the following stores. Some shops may carry a selection only. Prices and availability were checked at the time of going to press, but we cannot guarantee that prices will not change or that specific items will be in stock when the magazine is published.
LALIQUE BOUTIQUE: Bengaluru 080-42110024; Kolkata 033-40071408 (lalique.com) LE MILL: Mumbai 02222041926 (lemillindia.com) LG: (lg.com) LIVING SPACES: New Delhi 011-65634375 (livingspaces.in) LOEWE: Belgium 0032-32709930 (loewe.tv) MAGNOLIA: Mumbai 022-24951020 (magnoliahome.co.in) MAHENDRA DOSHI: Mumbai 022-23630526 (mahendradoshi.com) MAISON 15: New Delhi 01124106086 (maison15.in) MARMO HOME: India 09818193161 (marmohome.com) MARSHALL: (marshallheadphones.com); at AMAZON.IN MUJI: (muji.com) NILAYA: Kolkata 09861568321; Mumbai 022-26431074; New Delhi 011-41501676 (asianpaints.com/nilaya) NITCO: Ahmedabad 07926937719; Bengaluru 080-22861866; Chennai
2963; Kolkata 033044-28152963; 40012873; Mumbai 02267302500; New Delhi 01124633685 (nitco.in) NO-MAD.IN: 09820361687
080-40962612; Mumbai 02222821143; New Delhi 01146054371 (portsidecafe.com)
OAK: Italy 0039-03-173711 (oak.it) OSBORNE & LITTLE: (osborneandlittle.com); see F&F
RAVISSANT: Mumbai 02222873405; New Delhi 01146534595 (ravissant.in) ROBERTO CAVALLI: (robertocavalli.com) RONNY SEN: India 09749826871 (ronnysen.photoshelter.com)
PANERAI: Mumbai 02222885052 (panerai.com) PARCOS: Mumbai 02223643685, No 143, White Hall, next to Shalimar Hotel, August Kranti Marg, Kemps Corner PAUL MATTER: (paulmatter.com) PAUL SMITH: Kolkata 03340004644; New Delhi 01146040734; Mumbai 02266589961 (paulsmith.co.uk) PEPPERFRY.COM: Bengaluru 080-46621800; Gurgaon 124-4206671; Mumbai 02226050203 (pepperfry.com) PHILIPP PLEIN: (plein.com) PHILLIPS ANTIQUES: Mumbai 022-22020564 (phillipsantiques.com) PIERRE FREY: (pierrefrey.com); see LE MILL PINAKIN: Mumbai 022-65002400 (pinakin.in) POLTRONA FRAU GROUP DESIGN CENTER: Mumbai 022-22614848; New Delhi 011-40817357 (poltronafrauindia.in) PORTSIDE CAFE: Bengaluru
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|OCTOBER 2016
QUARRY: Mumbai 02225774005 (quarry.asia)
SAIF FAISAL: India 07829820809 (saif-faisal.com) SAINT-LOUIS: (saint-louis.com); see EMERY STUDIO SAJAVAT: New Delhi 01141000888 (sajavatgroup.com) SALVATORE FERRAGAMO: Mumbai 022-30277087; New Delhi 011-46609084 (ferragamo.com) SCARLET SPLENDOUR: Kolkata 033-40501000 (scarletsplendour.com) SHYAM AHUJA: Mumbai 02224953435; New Delhi 01129535814 (shyamahuja.com) SONY: India 1-800-1037-799 (sony.co.in) STUDIO FIFTY4: Mumbai 022-22073351, ground floor, Jiji House, DS Marg, opposite Sterling Cinema, Fort STUDIO OBJECTRY: New Delhi 09811528390, Khasra no 539, Metro Pillar no 115, Ghitorni
TAHERALLY’S: Mumbai 022-23468153 (taherallys.in) TARQ: Mumbai 022-66150424 (tarq.in) TED BAKER: (tedbaker.com) THE BRO CODE: Mumbai 022-24901985 (thebrocode.in) THE CHARCOAL PROJECT: Mumbai 022-61936198 (thecharcoalproject.com) THE FURNITURE REPUBLIC: Noida 120-4345278 (tfrhome.com) THE GREAT EASTERN HOME: Mumbai 022-25777272 (thegreateasternhome.com) THE PURE CONCEPT: Mumbai 022-61559898 (thepureconcept.co.in) THE RAJ COMPANY: Mumbai 022-23542626 (therajcompany.com) THE TIE HUB: Mumbai 02226184660 (thetiehub.com) THE UPPER GALLERY: Mumbai 09820100494, first floor, block no 13, Laxmi Woollen Mills Estate, Shakti Mill Lane, Mahalaxmi (West) TRÉSORIE: Mumbai 02226602802, 60-A, near Arya Samaj, Linking Road, Santacruz (West) VIYA HOME: Mumbai 02266102009 (viyahome.com) WORKRITE: Mumbai 02224970208 (workriteindia.com) YAK CARPET: New Delhi 01129840922 (yakcarpet.in) YOOX.COM
PHOTO: RICARDO LABOUGLE.
(karlssonleather.in)) KELLYWEARSTLER.COM KITCHENAID: India 1-800-4190790 (kitchenaidindia.com) KOHLER: (in.kohler.com)
OPEN NOW A154, NEW MANGLAPURI, SULTANPUR,MEHRAULI GURGAON ROAD. NEW DELHI 110030 CONTACT: 07835808585 | INFO@WILLOWVIIEW.COM
1. FASHION ACCESSORY I’m always wearing my ‘Panthère de Cartier’ ring. 2. MUSEUM The Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux-de-Provence is not really a museum, but a unique way of looking at classical paintings that are projected on the gigantic walls of a former stone quarry. It’s an installation that holds you spellbound. 3. HOBBY Usually I read, but these days I am discovering the delights of walking my dog on the beach while playing Pokémon GO. 4. MOVIE Inception and the X-Men movies. 5. CREATIVE GETAWAY Goa is my favourite. I ride around all day on my yellow scooter, and ideas proliferate in my head. 6. INTERIOR DESIGNER YOU FOLLOW I follow quite a few designers like Patricia Urquiola, India Mahdavi and Kelly Wearstler. 7. WELL-DESIGNED HOTEL I stayed at the Hôtel du CapEden-Roc in Antibes, and its structure and history were simply sublime. 8. AUTHOR My favourite would be Isaac Asimov, but I don’t think a single writer has influenced me as much as a lot of wonderful concepts by diverse writers that swirl around in my mind. 9. ILLUSTRATION FROM YOUR BOOK The cover, as it has some of my favourite things in the world: my kids, a book, and an autorickshaw. 10. TRAVEL REQUISITE My reversible Hermès tote. It’s light; and, since it has two colours, I can flip it over whenever I want. —SHREYA BASU
TWINKLE KHANNA PORTRAIT: DABBOO RATNANI. PHOTOS: 1. CARTIER. 2. ERICK VENTURELLI. 4. COURTESY WARNER BROTHERS. 6. MARCO CRAIG. 7. COURTESY HÔTEL DU CAP. 8. ROWENA MORRILL. 10. ‘DOUBLE SENS 45’, HERMÈS.
An actor, film producer, writer and interior designer, Twinkle Khanna wears many hats. Mrs Funnybones tells about a few of her favourite things and interests