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THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN THE WORLD

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contents

CONTENTS March-April 2016

ON THE COVER THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN THE WORLD

AD50 architect Bijoy Jain in his Mumbai home. (‘Elementary’, pg 256). Photographer: Iwan Baan

36 38

EDITOR’S LETTER CONTRIBUTORS

PHOTO COURTESY MATRA ARCHITECTS AND RURBAN PLANNERS

DISCOVER

51

FOCUS Magnificent 13th- and 16thcentury Rajasthani palaces serve as grand backdrops for contemporary furniture and furnishings.

68

SHOPS Chosen from around the country for their unique vistas, these landscapes inspire a unique selection of products.

78

LIBRARY Recommended by five experts in their fields, these books take you on a journey through the fascinating worlds of art, craft and design

Pg 125

MARCH-APRIL 2016|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|21


contents Pg 125

92

TECHNIQUE Three international design brands utilized traditional Indian manufacturing methods— of bone inlay, metal polishing and more—to create these contemporary products.

102

AGENDA A round-up of people, ideas, innovations and events in the news.

120

INDULGE AD brings you the latest news from the world of luxury.

ANIMESH NAYAK

GEORGE SEEMON, STAPATI

Pg 230

Pg 68

Pg 68

PERSPECTIVE

24|

125

SHOWCASE In AD’s annual celebration of architecture, the 2016 edition of AD50 showcases the best architecture and design by the 50 leading firms from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, curated by our panel of judges.

192

DIALOGUE Four graphic designers provide interesting glimpses into their creative lives through their favourite medium: visuals.

200

PROFILE It’s not hard to imagine that Spain-born, Italian designer and architect Patricia Urquiola has the Midas touch when it comes to creating iconic designs. Her varied, accomplished portfolio is testament to her skill.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

Pg 68 Pg 68

Pg 68


DESIGN India has inspired designers the world over. But few know that even the postmodern work of architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, and his Milan-based Memphis group, had Indian roots.

216

SPOTLIGHT Young designers at India’s top design schools are creating some of the most innovative products in the country. AD highlights the standout projects from the class of 2015-16.

224

ACCESS The late Maqbool Fida Husain, India’s best-known and most successful modern artist, was not one to be limited by canvas. His creative endeavours spanned architecture, poetry, furniture design, and even filmmaking.

228

OPINION Six celebrated designers from around the world speak about their relationship with India—a country that has inspired, challenged and motivated them.

230

TRAVEL Traverse the country’s prominent design hubs—Jaipur, Auroville and Kochi—as AD tells you what to do, where to go, and, most importantly, what to see.

238

WIRED Advancements in computer-generated imagery have blurred the line between the real and the rendered. For architects, this presents an opportunity to see their dreams realized even before the first brick is laid. Pg 256

SPACES

28|

247

LEADING LIGHT Known to many as one of India’s greatest architects, the late Charles Correa—and his wife, Monika—spent years designing this apartment in Mumbai, which is a repository of their work and their lives.

256

ELEMENTARY Bijoy Jain—AD50 architect, and founder of Studio Mumbai—designed this complex of seven two-storey structures in Mumbai, one of which he calls home.

268

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY This New Delhi home of design entrepreneur Bina Ramani and her daughter, fashion designer Malini Ramani, speaks volumes of its owners’ love of colour and glamorous objects.

276

LONDON CALLING AD50 architect Rajiv Saini overcame major restrictions—a consequence of this London home’s listed heritage status—to design this house in keeping with his high-profile clients’ needs.

284

RENAISSANCE MAN As a pre-eminent designer, it’s fitting that Axel Vervoordt’s place of residence is this castle of considerable size in Antwerp, Belgium.

294

THE ART OF LIVING Rajan Anandan and Radhika Chopra settled into their New Delhi home with ease; all they needed was a space that was just as nuanced and multi-faceted as they are.

300

HOUSE IN ORDER Unapologetically beige, designer Kelly Hoppen’s home in West London is a showcase of her trademark style and designs.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

Pg 276

EDMUND SUMNER

208

IWAN BAAN

contents


contents Pg 330 Pg 294

Pg 330

Pg 330

Pg 330

FABIEN CHARUAU

Pg 330

Pg 344

308

MATERIAL WORLD In New Delhi, Sanjay Garg designed his home, and a retail space for his fashion brand, based on his own balanced aesthetic.

316

URBAN DESIGN It was no surprise that New Delhibased AD50 firm Urbanist designed the ideal duplex penthouse in Gurgaon for this extended family. What was serendipitous was the friendship that developed between the designers and their clients.

324

MINIMAL BAROQUE Christian Liaigre’s 18thcentury apartment in Paris is located above his eponymous store. The two spaces share more than just the designer’s furniture; they share his aesthetic.

330

WORKBOOK Samir Wadekar adapts the international styles featured in our pages for your home.

NEVILLE SUKHIA

INSIDE

30|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

337

DETAIL Contemporary furniture designs meet timeless embroidery techniques in this display of Indian artisanal crafts.

344

STYLE The Taxi Fabric project is changing public transportation with graphic art—one taxi and autorickshaw at a time. AD introduces four designers and an architectural theme to the mix.

354

RSVP An exhibition of Satish Gupta’s work at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, during the India Art Fair in January, was attended by artists and collectors.

358

SCOUTS A low-down on the hottest products and newest launches to hit the market this season.

364 366

STOCKISTS An A to Z of the stores in our pages. AD 10 Cecilia Morelli Parikh, co-founder of Le Mill, lists her essential products, ideal destinations and favourite designers.


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(Clockwise from above left) A corridor in AD50 architect Bijoy Jain’s Mumbai home (pg 256). Chairs designed by the late MF Husain (pg 224). A section of the Alibaug home designed by AD50 firm Malik Architecture (pg 132).

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Follow us on Instagram @ArchDigestIndia. You can purchase and download the digital edition of the magazine from architecturaldigest.in/DigitalEdition.

PHOTOS (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP): R BURMAN, NEVILLE SUKHIA, BHARATH RAMAMRUTHAM, IWAN BAAN

wan Baan is a busy man. Considered the most influential architectural photographer today, he jets around the world shooting the latest buildings by his friends Zaha Hadid, Herzog & de Meuron and Rem Koolhaas, among other starchitects. When AD India contacted him to shoot for our fourth anniversary issue, there was a precious three-day window in his schedule, between shooting the National Art Museum in Beijing, and Herzog & de Meuron’s Blavatnik School of Government building in Oxford. How could we persuade him to come to Mumbai in the first days of January, rather than take the Christmas vacation his family never had? Fortunately, we didn’t have to. The projects we had lined up spoke for themselves: Bijoy Jain’s extraordinary compound of courtyard houses where he lives and works, and the late Charles Correa’s personal apartment. The man who had only deigned to shoot for one other magazine in the last 12 months (our American counterpart) immediately booked his flight to India. Though Iwan has been called the Julius Shulman of our time (a reference to the legendary architectural photographer of the 1950s), we saw something different in him. He was fast and agile, working without a tripod or assistant. And he was charming and gregarious, unmasking the warmth of his old friend Bijoy and listening intently to the fabulous Monika Correa as she recounted anecdotes about her late husband. ‘The Mario Testino of architecture’ might be a more accurate description of the way Iwan operates. The images he shot are noticeably different to those we usually publish, with a documentary quality that offers a thrilling glimpse into the domestic lives of two of the greats of Indian design. Their freshness set the tone for this anniversary edition. More than any other magazine I’ve worked on, this issue is the result of collaborations with some of the brightest names in the design world. It started in the middle of last year, when we began work on AD50—our annual list of the 50 most influential names in architecture and design in the subcontinent. Already established as an industry reference, we wanted to give the list added gravitas, and called upon the formidable Balkrishna Doshi and India Mahdavi to be our panellists. They brought two very different perspectives to the table, and together, we looked at more than 150 houses and apartments—even a farm. After much debate, we narrowed the list down to what you see on page 128. Then, Rahul Mehrotra—who has designed everything from the Taj Mahal Visitor Centre to an elephant village in Jaipur—took up the challenge of playing art director for the first time, and created the window-within-a-window introduction to AD50 on page 125. We’d been longing to partner with the Taxi Fabric project for some time, and for our fourth anniversary issue, commissioned four designers to update the kitsch interiors of Mumbai’s black-andyellows. See the results in all their psychedelic glory on page 344. But perhaps my favourite collaboration of this landmark issue is the embroidery story on page 338. AD’s junior stylist Samir Wadekar had the brilliant idea of asking Maximiliano Modesti— whose factories are responsible for producing couture-quality embroidery for Hermès and Alaïa, among others—to illustrate some contemporary pieces of Indian design, using his exquisite thread work. Max loved the idea and created a series of seemingly woven pages—some in the same traditional embroidery used at Versailles, others the product of his own cutting-edge R&D. If it wasn’t for the fact that Max’s embroidery is so labour-intensive, I might have had the entire issue stitched up. Well, except for those Iwan Baan shots of course.


HERMÈS BY NATURE


contributors

IWAN BAAN

PhotograPher Iwan Baan’s first tryst with architecturerelated photography was an assignment with documenting the construction of OMA’s China Central Television (CCTV) building as well as Herzog & de Meuron’s National Olympic Stadium, both in Beijing. He has since collaborated with architects like Frank Gehry, Toyo Ito, Steven Holl and Zaha Hadid. In This Issue: Baan trained his lens on AD50 architect Bijoy Jain, and the minimalist complex he created, in ‘Elementary’ (pg 256). It offered him a chance to “capture Bijoy Jain in the space that he designed, and see how he managed to create such a nature-inspired space in the middle of a dense city like Mumbai”.

SNEHAL GADA

Writer Writing, teaching and the pursuit of architecture currently occupy Snehal Gada, but discovering the essential oneness of purpose in all of the above is what drives him. In This Issue: In ‘Elementary’ (pg 256), Gada was tasked with an assignment that appealed to the architect in him—to interview Bijoy Jain. “Here is a rare person, one who perceives everything as energy and knows the truth about love. I said as much during our conversation, and was greatly reassured when he replied that this is the real work.” 38|

MADHAV RAMAN

Writer Co-founder of the New Delhi-based, AD50 firm Anagram Architects, architect Madhav Raman is a much sought-after speaker at design schools and academic institutions, and is a regular contributor to AD. In This Issue: For ‘The Graduates’ (pg 216), Raman scoped out the class of 2016 from India’s top design schools to ferret the most interesting work created by the graduating classes. “This article was an interesting assignment. It was a good opportunity to see the spectrum of work that is being produced in schools.”

ArchitecturAl Digest|MArch-APril 2016

GAURI KELKAR

Writer Full-time writer and part-time copy editor, Gauri Kelkar is a frequent contributor to AD. In This Issue: Working on the 2016 edition of ‘AD50’ (pg 125), Kelkar found that the “experience either makes you wiser or anxiety-ridden. Having worked on AD50 last year, I figured I was armed for the deluge. I should have known better! Luckily, there was a super-efficient team at AD that did quite a bit of the heavy lifting. All the panic aside, I consider it a privilege to be able to speak to such fine minds across four countries, who are bucking the trend of cookie-cutter homes.”


contributors

MAXIMILIANO MODESTI

DESIGNER France-born Maximiliano Modesti divides his time between Paris and Mumbai. The textile and embroidery entrepreneur is the founder of Jaipur Modern, a design and craft concept store, and Les Ateliers 2M, which provides textiles and embroidery to some of the world’s leading interior designers and fashion houses. In This Issue: In ‘Designer Threads’ (pg 337), Modesti found an opportunity to do something new—create furniture-inspired embroidered tapestries: “I’m never one to shy away from doing something I’ve never done before, so creating embroidery inspired by physical forms was a challenge I quite happily took on.”

SIMAR PREET KAUR SUNIL SETHI wRITER Simar Preet Kaur began as a travel writer, then worked as the editor of an in-flight magazine before moving to the mountains. These days she writes fiction and contributes to Commonwealth Writers, a global community of writers. In This Issue: In ‘Material World’ (pg 308) Kaur found herself charmed by the New Delhi home of Sanjay Garg, founder of textile brand Raw Mango. “Sanjay is quirky and humble, a pleasure to connect with.” 40|

wRITER TV presenter, columnist and the author of The Big Bookshelf: Sunil Sethi In Conversation With 30 Famous Writers (Penguin, 2011), Sunil Sethi is a regular contributor to AD. In This Issue: ‘Leading Light’ (pg 247) and ‘Urban Design’ (pg 316) had Sethi conclude: “No two homes could be more different as modernist designs for living, yet in their own fashion, they represent individual styles, changing needs and personal histories.”

ArchitecturAl Digest|MArch-APril 2016

KIT CALESS

wRITER London-based writer and editor, Kit Caless is the codirector of publishing house, Influx Press, and is a regular contributor to VICE, The Guardian and 3:AM Magazine. In This Issue: In ‘House in Order’ (pg 300), Caless stepped into designer Kelly Hoppen’s West London home and came away spellbound. “Visiting Kelly Hoppen’s house was quite something. The size and use of the space was genuinely awe-inspiring.”

RAHUL MEHROTRA

DESIGNER An AD50 architect, urban planner, academic and author, Rahul Mehrotra has been improving city skylines with meaningful structures. In This Issue: Mehrotra designed the AD50 opening page (pg 125): “Using fragments from projects that were layered to create the illusion of a space within a space was, I believe, a good way to prepare the reader for the unfolding of rich spatial experiences.”


AGENT FOR INDIA VITA MODERNA Pritesh Modi Mob. +91 9920780590 Tel. +91 22 61270011 info@vitamoderna.in

Home at last.

GROUNDPIECE SECTIONAL SOFA design by Antonio Citterio

FLEXFORM www.flexform.it


contributors

TEAM AD

AD’s art and style departments are ably represented by (clockwise from top left) Ashish Sahi, Kim Sidhu, Samir Wadekar and Sonali Thakur. The quartet collaborates on stories and features that consistently look to set new benchmarks for the magazine with each new edition. In This Issue: ‘By Royal Appointment’ (pg 51) saw them layer two old-world Rajasthani palaces with a contemporary grandeur; it was an idea that took root in Sahi’s head almost three years ago. “When I visited Udai Bilas Palace back in 2013, I realized that we had to find a way to use the spectacular Juna Mahal in a feature. And what better issue than an AD anniversary special to showcase these stunning palaces.”

PETER D’ASCOLI

wRITER Founder and creative director of New Delhi-based Talianna Studio, a product design and marketing company, D’Ascoli settled down in India to be closer to the people and places that inspire his designs. In This Issue: D’Ascoli writes about the triumph of ideas over materialism when he visits his friends Rajan Anandan and Radhika Chopra in ‘The Art of Living’ (pg 294). “Their house is an extension of who they are as people: elegant, welcoming, and down to earth, yet sophisticated.” 44|

SUPRIYA DRAVID wRITER New Delhi-based journalist Supriya Dravid debuted as a novelist with A Cool Dark Place (Random House India, 2013). In This Issue: In ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (pg 268), Dravid visited design entrepreneurs Bina and Malini Ramani in their New Delhi home—one she found as fascinating as its occupants. “Bina and Malini Ramani are inspirational, selfmade women and their home embodies their bohemian spirit. Their house is like an oasis in the heart of Delhi.”

ArchitecturAl Digest|MArch-APril 2016

SANKET AVLANI

ART DIREcToR An art director and advertising professional, Sanket Avlani is the founder of Taxi Fabric, a project to create interesting upholstery for taxi and autorickshaw interiors. In This Issue: Avlani, and four creative professionals, collaborated with AD for ‘Road Show’ (pg 344), an experiment that was also “a huge learning curve. Focusing on a particular aspect of architecture pushed each of us to unearth different aspects of it through design.”

MALAVIKA SHIVAKUMAR

wRITER Entrepreneur Malavika Shivakumar co-founded the Chennai-based handembroidery company Vastrakala after a fortuitous meeting with embroidery experts Jean-François Lesage and Patrick Savouret. In This Issue: For ‘Design Trail’ (pg 230), Shivakumar deconstructed the lure of Auroville. “In the days I spent there, I was moved by its wonderful atmosphere and people.”


GOLDEN PYRITE TABLE www.viyahome.com MUMBAI 01/31 Kamal Mansion 2F Arthur Bunder Road Colaba M.9987879694


THE WEEK THAT WAS A new energy swept across Mumbai during the first-ever Make in India Week. Six days, over a hundred events, lakhs of visitors, thousands of speakers, companies and delegates from all around the world. The city was taken over for one of the country’s biggest events yet—a spectacular showcase of India’s manufacturing prowess.


11,000+ COMPANIES PARTICIPATED INCLUDING 2000+ FOREIGN COMPANIES

E-TOLL INITIATIVE COVERING 360 TOLL PLAZAS ON THE NATIONAL HIGHWAYS ACROSS THE COUNTRY INTRODUCED

NATIONAL CAPITAL GOODS POLICY 2016 LAUNCHED

PARTICIPATION FROM 17 STATES IN THE EXHIBITION FOR PROMOTING MANUFACTURING ACROSS INDIA

150 BUSINESS, SECTOR SPECIFIC AND CULTURAL EVENTS DURING THE MAKE IN INDIA WEEK

EASE OF DOING BUSINESS MEASURES FOR FOOD PROCESSING & MSME SECTORS ANNOUNCED 19 MITTELSTAND COMPANIES FROM GERMANY ENROLLED FOR THE CRORE ELECTRONICS DEVELOPMENT FUND MAKE IN INDIA INTRODUCED TO FINANCE INNOVATIONS, MITTELSTAND RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURING SECTOR (MIIM) PROGRAMME

`2,200


ALL THAT BUZZ AT MAKE IN INDIA WEEK

Fareed Zakaria and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the CNN Asia Business Forum

From stunning installations scattered around the city to hard-hitting seminars with key industrialists and leaders, world-class events like the CNN Asia Business Forum, Time India Awards, Hackathon, Empowering Through Design and so much more—the Make in India Week was truly a week unlike any other. Here’s a peek inside

Adil Zainulbhai

Sanjiv Mehta Ajay and Simone Singh

Rajshree Pathy

Deepak Parekh

Anand Mahindra

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at the Make in India inauguration

Mukesh Ambani at the Make in India Centre

PHOTOGRAPHS: MAKE IN INDIA OFFICIAL; CNN ASIA BUSINESS FORUM; PANKAJ ANAND; NEERAJ LELE; SANTOSH K; GETTY IMAGES

The Make in India Centre


Jay Shroff

Weaves of Banaras Show presented by FDCI. Fashion designers included: Sabyasachi, Anita Dongre, Rohit Bal and JJ Valaya Anirudh Dhoot and Neeraj Roy V Sunil and Manjit Gill

Sanjay Kirloskar, Amitabh Kant, Devendra Fadnavis, Subhash Desai and Swadheen Kshatriya at the Make in India Centre Richard Quest with Tony Fernandes at the CNN Asia Business Forum

Aditya Ghosh

Make in India magazine

Ratan Tata

Chinmai Sharma, Alex Kuruvilla, Amitabh Kant, Prakash Singh and Dipali Goenka at the Make in India magazine launch

Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis

Gautam Adani with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi


THE WAY FORWARD

PARTICIPATION FROM STATES – POLICY AND INVESTMENT PLANS ANNOUNCEMENTS •Maharashtra unveiled five new policies during the Make in India WeekMaharashtra Retail Policy, Single Window Policy, Maharashtra Maritime Industries Policy, Electronics Policy covering FAB manufacturing, Special package for SC/ST entrepreneurs •Odisha introduced Industrial Development Plan 2025 •Jharkhand unveiled the Industrial Promotion Policy 2016 •Karnataka launched key schemes of Industrial Policy and Startup Policy


OUR ROUND-UP FROM THE FRONT LINES OF DESIGN: TRENDS, PRODUCTS, STYLES, BOOKS AND EVENTS

FOCUS

BY ROYAL

APPOINTMENT lends its brand of contemporary opulence to 13th- and 16th-century Rajasthani palaces, breathing fresh life into old-world grandeur

GRAND WELCOME ‘Bougainville’ armchair; gulmoharlane.com. ‘Khotan Samarkand’ carpet; The Carpet Cellar.

LOCATION COURTESY SAMODE PALACE, JAIPUR

PHOTOGRAPHER ASHISH SAHI . STYLIST SONALI THAKUR


discover

LOCATION COURTESY JUNA MAHAL, DUNGARPUR,

THRONE ROOM (On ceiling) ‘Mughal Aamer’ fabric; Tulips. ‘Lantana-Oval (brown and mustard)’ fabric; DCTEX Furnishings. ‘Geo Clare’ cushions; ‘Geo Kilim’ cushion; ‘Invert (blue)’ fabric; Sarita Handa. ‘Aum Lime’ fabric; Nirmals Furnishings. Persian Kurdish runner; The Carpet Cellar.

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PLACE BY THE WINDOW ‘Zinnia-Ikat Damask Design (6833Dmsk)’ (yellow) fabric; DCTEX Furnishings. ‘Jackson’ side table; Pinakin. ‘Antler Décor’ centrepiece; Address Home. ‘Makhmal Adras’ runner; Goodearth. (On floor) ‘Lalbaug’ fabric; Tulips.


LOCATION COURTESY SAMODE PALACE, JAIPUR

HOLDING COURT (Clockwise from top left) ‘Butikku – Enso (Evergreen)’ fabric; The Pure Concept. ‘Seashore’ fabric; Homes Furnishings. ‘Butikku – Edo (Juniper)’ fabric; The Pure Concept. ‘Pollard’ (lime) fabric; Homes Furnishings. ‘Albano (9214c)’ (geometric pattern) fabric; Sarita Handa. ‘Kashan Silk’ carpet; The Carpet Cellar. ‘Gulmarg’ three-seater sofa; (on sofa, from left) ‘Single Row Ashok Trees’ handwoven cushion; ‘Indigo wave’ cushion, ‘Indigo Palm’ cushion, ‘Two Rows Ashok Trees’ handwoven cushion; gulmoharlane.com. ‘Lantana – Havet (Indigo)’ fabric; DCTEX Furnishings. ‘Pixel Stripe Lime’; Nirmals Furnishings.


discover PASSAGE of timE ‘Verona – Austin’ fabric from the Quartz collection; Rumors fine furnishings. ‘The Bowie’ chair by BlueLoft; Khazana Stores. ‘The Dynamic Sphere’ sculpture; Design Artifacts Haven.

MARCH-APRIL 2016|

ARCHIteCtuRAL DIgest|55


discover

LOCATION COURTESY JUNA MAHAL, DUNGARPUR

LUXE CORNERS ‘Casino Stripe Lime’ fabric; Nirmals Furnishings. ‘Verona – Verona’ fabric from the Quartz collection; Rumors Fine Furnishings. ‘Fan Coral Limited Edition’ sculpture (oxidized); michaelaram.com.


LOCATION COURTESY SAMODE PALACE, JAIPUR

WHIRL PIECE ‘Simba (50)’ (green) fabrics; D’Decor. ‘Persian Paisley Lime’ fabric; Nirmals Furnishings. ‘Davos – Dusty Rose’ cotton woven rug; Shyam Ahuja. ‘Palm’ decorative fire screen; michaelaram.com. ‘Damasque Silk’ (blue) carpet; The Carpet Cellar.

MARCH-APRIL 2016|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|57


LOCATION COURTESY JUNA MAHAL, DUNGARPUR

discover

THE KING’S LAIR ‘Simba (30)’ (blue) fabric; ‘Messaline_3 (9944) fabric’ from the Purple Passion collection; D’Decor. (On bed) ‘Makhmal Adras’ cushion; Goodearth. ‘Mughal’ woolsilk carpet; The Carpet Cellar. ‘Akash Nur Carnation’ cushion; Goodearth.

MARCH-APRIL 2016|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|59


discover

LOCATION COURTESY JUNA MAHAL, DUNGARPUR

GREEN LIGHT Ceramic stools; Kavita Singh Interiors. ‘Vincent’ centrepiece and ‘Palm’ candleholders; michaelaram.com. ‘Taper’ side table; Pinakin. ‘Purple’ carpet from the Vintage Revival collection; Cocoon Fine Rugs.


SILVER LINING (In niches) ‘Pomegranate Kosher Menorah’; michaelaram.com. ‘Modern Dining’ brass glasses; Address Home. ‘Pomegranate Celebration Cup’; michaelaram.com. Silver chairs; Kavita Singh Interiors. ‘Pollard’ fabric; Homes Furnishings.

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|61


HIDDEN GEMS Ceramic jars; Kavita Singh Interiors. ‘Theyyam’ heads; Phillips Antiques. ‘Lingam’ candle; Design Temple. (Inside cupboard) ‘Adira’ and ‘Moire’ (blue) carpets; Hands. (On floor) ‘Lancia’ rug from the Verna collection; Jaipur Rugs.

LOCATION COURTESY JUNA MAHAL, DUNGARPUR

discover


BLUE SUITE ‘Elixir Karafe Nafees Gold’; ‘Kalam – Kamdhenu and the sacred triangle’ table, ‘Kalam – The Egret on rainbow lotus yantra’ (blue) table; AnanTaya. ‘Key Profile’ chair; Pinakin. ‘Daley – Kombi Knotted’ rug; Shyam Ahuja.

LOCATION COURTESY SAMODE PALACE, JAIPUR

Photo Editor: Kim Sidhu Assistant Stylist: Samir Wadekar Production: Anomaly Production

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The Largest Woven Upholstery & Curtain Mill in the World. Recognised by Fabrics & Furnishings International

THE D’DECOR STORE

AHMEDABAD - Mondeal Retail Park S. G. Road: 69000105

BANGALORE - Kannan Building M. G. Road: 41236677

CHANDIGARH - Madhya Marg Sector 26: 5077736

CHENNAI - Nungambakkam Khader Nawaz Khan Road: 28332355

D'DECOR Galleries - DELHI - Kirti Nagar: Nirmals: 9810393010. GURGAON - M.G. Road: Mo: 4777888. LUDHIANA - Pakhowal Road: Naveen Bharat Furnishings: 2432901. JALANDHAR Opp. Lovely Street: Mansaram Mahajan: 5015805. HYDERABAD - Ameerpet: Jaydurga Furnishing: 9391049852. BANGALORE - Domlur Ring Road: Drapes Avenue: 25351550 / 40977040. AGRA - Jain Furnishing: 9319103503. Modi Enterprises: 9897961850. AHMEBABAD - S.G. Road: Raiff: 8866004222. Bharat Furnishing: 26872027. Drape Shoppe: 2686 0009. Navrangpura: Neptune House: 26565624. C.G Road: Arrow Drape: 26404648. Ashram Road: Kaypee Corporation: 26577441. Dynamic House: 40035444. AMRITSAR - Lawrence Road: Ganpati Exclusive: 9872989159. AURANGABAD - Sajawat Handloom: 2340340. Sheetal Furnishing: 2486777. BANGALORE - Domlur Ring Road: Drapes Avenue: 25351550 / 40977040. Dickenson Road: Skipper Furnishings: 41134356/41134357. Indira Nagar: Petals: 40914782. Floating Walls: 25200313. Jayanagar 4th Blk: Floating Walls: 41510419. Koramangala: Floating Walls: 41313117. Shivaji Nagar: Drapes Avenue: 25596506. Race Course Road: Petals: 22372244. St. Marks Road: Tulips: 22211113/4. Chickpet: Shah Surajmal Magraj: 22208270/22871376. Whitefield: Floating Walls: 41272961. Hebbal: Floating Walls: 40937951. Banshankari: Floating Walls: 42146747. BARODA - R.C. Dutt Road: Aavaran: 2313236. CHANDIGARH - Manimajra: Krishna Carpet Co.: 2733275. Sector 17/B: Krishna Carpet Co.: 2703001. CHENNAI - Neelangarai: Ode Interior: 24491455. COIMBATORE - R.S. Puram: Kwality :2551626. DELHI - Lajpatnagar: Jagdish Stores: 25710462. Harisons Furnishings: 45222700. Home-Saaz: 29845100. Nirmals: 29848888. Sita Fabrics: 29837562. Leela Furnishings: 29835566. Jail Road: Nirmals: 25620587. Karol Bagh: Jagdish Stores: 43056000. Pitampura: Surprise Furnishings: 27019977. Shalimar Bagh: Harisons Furnishings: 47555000. DHULIA - Seema Handloom: 233287. GOA - Panjim: Boa Casa: 2225923. Porvorim: Adore: 6655891. GUWAHATI - Fancy Bazar: Ashoka Furnishing: 2514118. G.S. Road: Ashoka Furnishing: 2457801. Vinayak Furnishing: 9085077707. HYDERABAD - Abid's Off Santosh Sapna Talkies: Drapes N More: 66787100. Banjara Hills: Mayaas Furnishings: 9246260884. Darpan Furnishings: 9866587165. Jubilee Hills: Studio Orion: 65344444. Panjagutta Near Nagarjuna Circle: Skipper Furnishings: 30621171. INDORE - MT Cloth Market: Lalchand Hassanand: 9826077553. New Grah Shobha: 2574913. Ushanagar: D'Decor Factory Outlet: 9827451510. JAIPUR - Mirza Ismail Road: Ashoka Furnishing: 5119059. Near Panchvati Circle: Goldendrape: 2604093. Vaishali Nagar:


DELHI - Lajpatnagar 3 KOCHI - Edapally MUMBAI - Bandra (W) MUMBAI - Ghatkopar (E) MUMBAI - Malad (W) NAGPUR - Ajni Square MUMBAI - Andheri (W) Nr. Haldirams: 41436677 Nr. Oberon Mall: 2809109 Nr. Kokilaben Hosp.: 65976677 Stn. Rd., Notan Heights.: 66782030 M.G. Road: 66782010 Inorbit Mall: 9321616677 Wardha Rd.: 9168652091

Jayanagar 5th Blk: Floating Walls: 22441034. SURAT - Bhaga Talao: Drape Shoppe: 9825425526. CHENNAI - Park Town: Vishvesh Textiles: 25359999. MEERUT - Begum Bridge Road: G.S. Furnishings: 9997098439. PUNE - Laxmi Road: Girisons Bed Bath & Furnishings: 24458132/33. Pimpri: Kukreja Handloom & Furnishings: 27410199. Casa Aaurum:4068333/34. KANPUR - 80 Feet Road: High Street: 3072333. KOCHI - Odds & Ends: 9846048215. Royal Furnishing - 9447665845. Panampilly Nagar: Luxrays: 9447065401. Diwaniya Furnishings: 2345672/73. KOTTAYAM - Elba : 9447179064. KOLKATA Park Street: Times Furnishings: 30285858/59. Russell Street: Skipper: 40065353. AJC Bose Road: Stellar Furnishings: 22902294/93. Homeland Mall: Mobel D'ffine: 9051027777. Ashutosh Mukherjee Road: Mobel India: 9051027777. KOLHAPUR - Riddhi Curtain Handloom House:9890803230. KOZHIKODE - Kannur Road: In-Style Creation: 4021166. Puthiyara Road: Solid: 9846095599. LUCKNOW - Huzzainganj: Monarch-The Furnishings Gallery: 4159999. MUMBAI - Bandra: Novelty Furnishing: 67896900. Foam Palace: 26428146. Borivali: Osaka Furnishings: 28612945. Dadar T.T.: A To Z Furnishings: 9833066415. Kemps Corner: Bharat Furnishing: 61456050. Gamdevi - The Home Fabric: 23823448/47. Malad: Novelty Furnishing: 28807331. Kings: 9833458044. Thane: Bharat Furnishing: 25806050. Vashi: Novelty Furnishing: 67891700. Vile Parle: Bharat Furnishing: 66804545. CHEMBUR: Daffodils: 9821226204. NAGPUR - Sita Burdi: Malik DĂŠco House: 2526787. Residency Road: Jayshree Traders: 2525911. NASHIK - Sharanpur Road: Daffodils: 9823023245. NOIDA - Noida Handloom: 9810019728. PANIPAT - S.D. College Road: Prince Home Fashion: 2635392/2644837. D'Decor Factory Outlet: 9416019493. PANCHKULA - Sector No. 11: Gagan Handloom: 3918361. PATNA - New Dak Bunglow Road: Rama: 9431015695. PUNE - Off Laxmi Road: Kejals Furnishings: 24453776. M.G. Road: Themes Furnishing & Linen: 41405200. Karve Road: Premchand Furnishing: 25456969. Nana peth: Orchid Furnishing: 26056070. Ganesh peth: Softzone: 9822092629. Baner Road: Bharat Furnishing: 25657705/06. Aundh: Tulips: 25899784. Kharadi Road: The Home Fabric: 9049148369. RAIPUR - Pandri : Lifestyle Furnishing: 2582776. Sohan Sales: 522193. SURAT - Ghod Dod Road: The Decora: 2654234. Sanskriti Furnishing: 2232099. Thrissur - Paliyam Road: Chikkus curtains & Furnishing: 9847046911. TRIVANDRUM - CFC : 9895245566. Available at HOME TOWN and other leading home furnishing stores.


D'Decor Blinds Galleries : Mumbai - Bharat Furnishing, S.J. Enterprise, S Shades, Pravin Kumar & Sons, Red Skin, The Window Seat, JC Furnishing, Furniture Zone; Pune - Themes Furnishing, Kejals, Alankar Mangal Decor; Anand - Fabric Ville; Kolhapur - Riddhi Curtains; Ahmedabad - Dynamic House, Selections, Raiff, Comfy; Aurangabad - Palette; Baroda - Aavaran; Bhavnagar - Amsons Furnishing; Nagpur - Malik Deco House, Jayshree Traders, Furnishing World; Rajkot - Worlds House; Surat - The Decora Incorporation, Saheb Krupa Home Decor; Gurgaon - M.O.; Lucknow - Monarch; Kanpur - High Street; Bhopal - Gharana; Amritsar - Ganpati Exclusive; New Delhi – Nirmals Furnishing, DWINDO, Panipat Handloom, HomeSaaz, Leela Furnishing,


Kapas Furnishings, Surprise Furnishing, Rajwada Decor; Noida - Studio Home; Jammu - Bansal Trading; Mohali - Home Square; Ludhiana - Naveen Bharat Furnishing Pvt Ltd; Jalandhar - Mansaram Mahajan Furnishing Pvt Ltd; Panipat - Prince The Designer Studio; Panchkula – High Street Gagan Handloom; Indore - Tana Bana, Grah Shobha; Dehradun - Virendra & Co. Interiors; Agra - Modi Enterprises, Meerut - G S Furnishing; Sharanpur - Janata Home Furnishing; Hissar - Madras Handloom Pvt Ltd; Haldwani - Internationals The Furnishing Mall; Bareli - Ashoka Foam; Bengaluru - Petals, Skipper Furnishings, Drapes Avenue, London Line, Vistar, Symphony; Hyderabad - Jay Durga Furnishings, Drapes & More; Calicut & Kochi - Kenz Furnishing; Coimbatore - Peacock Decor; Kolkatta - Times Furnishing; Raipur - Lifestyle Furnishing; Siliguri - Kuber Furnishing


discover SAM SAND DUNES, JAISALMER, RAJASTHAN

WANDERLUST From the dream-like expanse of Kutch’s salt pans to the undulating green of Munnar’s tea estates, picks products that best evoke our favourite Indian landscapes STYLIST SAMIR WADEKAR ‘MADIA HIDE PARK.2’ CUPBOARD, PRICE ON REQUEST, ROBERTO CAVALLI HOME INTERIORS

‘REFINE’ WALL CLOCK, `3,450, BOCONCEPT

‘CANYON’ SCREEN, `10,22,535, BRABBU ‘BLUB’ BOWL, `5,800, SAIF FAISAL DESIGN WORKSHOP

‘NOIR FIREFLY’ TRAY, PRICE ON REQUEST, OMA

‘OFF CENTRE WIRE WRAP’ TABLE, `28,188, DEVI DESIGN ‘NEIL’ FLOOR LAMP, `2,43,780, DELIGHTFULL

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‘GEM’ CANDELABRA, PRICE ON REQUEST, TOM DIXON

‘HUG’ ARMCHAIR, `1,25,975, AND ‘PEBBLE’ TABLE, `54,975, IQRUP+RITZ

HOLDING IMAGE: YANN ARTHUS-BERTRAND/CORBIS PHOTOGRAPHERS: ANSHUMAN SEN, THIRU S/WHITE LIGHT DESIGN. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: NITYA DHINGRA, KRITI VIJ.

SHOPS


Esprit

For information: Anushree SHETTY - India Business Development - anushree.shetty@venini.it - mob. +91

Venini S.p.A. Fondamenta Vetrai, 50 - 30141 Murano Venezia - Italia - www.venini.com

981 9010 708


discover LAKE TSO MORIRI, LADAKH, JAMMU AND KASHMIR

‘ELYSIAN’ CARAFE BY WATERFORD, `40,160, MONDO CASA ‘ESCAPE’ LAMP, `29,741, LZF LAMPS

GLASS SCULPTURE, `20,000, BEYOND DESIGNS

MIDNIGHT CRYSTAL ELEPHANT, PRICE ON REQUEST, BACCARAT

‘FORTUNA’ DINING TABLE BY BOCA DO LOBO, PRICE ON REQUEST, SOURCES UNLIMITED

‘SCRIBBLE YELLOW’ RUG BY FRONT, `1,20,660, MOOOI CARPETS

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

‘PIPE’ SETTEE BY SEBASTIAN HERKNER FOR MOROSO, `2,60,00 ONWARDS, LE MILL

‘AARAAM’ CHAIR, `48,500, KREA

‘CT09 ENOKI’ SIDE TABLE BY PHILIPP MAINZER, `30,196, E15

HOLDING IMAGE: MICHELE FALZONE/JAI/CORBIS PHOTOGRAPHER: ANSHUMAN SEN. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: NITYA DHINGRA, KRITI VIJ.

‘PALLADIUM’ WALL SCULPTURE, `1,07,400, THEHOUSEOFTHINGS.COM


AHMEDABAD BY DESIGN ITALIANO OPP. SINDHUBHAVAN, SINDHUBHAVAN ROAD, BODAKDEV AHMEDABAD - 380015 GUJARAT (INDIA) T. +91 98 79026328 - INFO@DESIGNITALIANO.IN CUSTOMISED INTERIOR DESIGN SERVICE

YANG SEATING SYSTEM RODOLFO DORDONI DESIGN

CREATE YOUR OWN DESIGN EXPERIENCE AT MINOTTI.COM


discover

‘OLIVIA’ FLOOR LAMP, PRICE ON REQUEST, BARONCELLI

‘ETERNITY’ (GREEN) AND ‘DESERT’ FABRICS, `3,500 PER METRE, ANITA DALMIA DESIGNS

TUMBLER, `650, SERENDIPITY

‘SEDILSASSO, SASSI’ POUFS BY PIERO GILARDI FOR GUFRAM, `3,16,742, SCARLET SPLENDOUR

CERAMIC VASE, PRICE ON REQUEST, SIMONE

‘ROLL’ CHAIR BY PATRICIA URQUIOLA URQUIOLA, `1,2 1,21,681, ,6 , KETTAL L ‘GECKO’ ‘GECKO BOTTLE O OPEN OPENER, `2 `2,079, ANAN A A ANANTAYA

‘PATCHWORK’ RUG, PRICE ON REQUEST, JAIPUR RUGS

DRIFTWOOD VASE, `15,000, MOONRIVER MEDIUM BOWL, ` 60, AND `1,360, G’ POT, `3,150, ‘RING’ BY CLAYMEN CLAYMEN, IINDELUST.COM ELUST.COM

‘MARALUNGA 40S’ SOFA BY VICO MAGISTRETTI FOR CAPPELLINI, `8,84,000, POLTRONA FRAU GROUP DESIGN CENTER

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‘JOY’ SIDE TABLE BY RODOLFO DORDONI, `98,900, MINOTTI

HOLDING IMAGE: DINODIA/CORBIS PHOTOGRAPHERS: ANSHUMAN SEN, INDRAJIT SATHE. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: NITYA DHINGRA, KRITI VIJ.

TEA PLANTATION, MUNNAR, KERALA


discover SALT PANS, THE GREAT RANN OF KUTCH, GUJARAT

‘PERSEUS’ CHANDELIER BY MARCEL WANDERS, `13,75,214, BAROVIER&TOSO

‘BEOLIT 15’ BLUETOOTH SPEAKER BY BANG & OLUFSEN, `39,990, BEOWORLD.COM

COWRY SHELL NECKLACE (SET OF 2), `27,000, MAISON 15

‘HEAVAIN’ MIRROR, PRICE ON REQUEST, MOZEZ SINGH DEZIGNZ ‘SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE’ LAMP, `63,500, MICHAEL ANASTASSIADES

CERAMIC JAR BY BROSTE COPENHAGEN, `7,382, YOOX.COM

‘JAM W’ CHAIR BY CALLIGARIS, `17,608, STUDIO CREO VASE FROM THE SIGNATURE COLLECTION, `8,900, VILLEROY & BOCH

‘450 ORIGINALS’ LOVE SEAT (HALF WHITE), `82,400, ERCOL

‘THOM’ LAMP, `30,000, ARTERIORS

‘BOBO’ SIDE TABLE, `45,000, ARIA INTERIORS

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‘GRENAT BLEU’ WALLPAPER FROM THE OXYMORE 2 COLLECTION BY CASAMANCE, `15,000 PER ROLL, F&F

HOLDING IMAGE: SOURAV SAHA PHOTOGRAPHERS: ANSHUMAN SEN, THIRU S/WHITE LIGHT DESIGN. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: NITYA DHINGRA, KRITI VIJ.

LOUNGE CHAIR, `64,000, INV HOME


discover PIR PANJAL RANGE, GULMARG, JAMMU AND KASHMIR ‘OKA’ DESK MIRROR BOX, `8,965, ANANTAYA

‘SUMMIT’ CRYSTAL SCULPTURE WITH GRANITE BASE BY STEUBEN, `3,81,000, THEHOUSEOFTHINGS.COM ‘OUTLINE’ CONSOLE, `1,56,000, ROCHE BOBOIS ‘MOON’ AND ‘PLUTO’ PORCELAIN PLATES, `5,830 AND `4,882, DIESEL LIVING WITH SELETTI

‘TWISTICK’ CLOCK, `2,150, GOMAADS

‘WUNJO’ ARMCHAIR, `4,62,600, VISIONNAIRE

‘BALLARD’ SIDE TABLE, `36,000, APARTMENT 9

‘SERENGETI’ BOOKSHELF BY FENDI CASA, PRICE ON REQUEST, ACE MAISON

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discover

BY THE BOOK LIBRARY

MALIKA VERMA KASHYAP Founder, Border&Fall

to sit and hang out in, while another barely merits walking on to? What makes one dwell in a space at ease? Which spaces foster conversation and why? As much as I continue to learn from this book, it also quantifies comfort zones and emotions— as if such things were even quantifiable. The book walks a fine line between bold and authoritative, yet invites readers to question everything for themselves. It remains timely even today—especially in rapidly changing cities where urban planning seemingly remains a mystery to the public, and its makers.”

A PATTERN LANGUAGE:

SARIS: TRADITION

(Alexander, Ishikawa & Silverstein, Oxford University Press, 1980)

“I firmly believe that the sari drape and blouse will ‘save the sari’, so to speak. Much of my experimental sari draping was supported by the references and detailed regional histories in this book. Urban India and saris are at an inflection point—one which might, all too silently, pass us by. While many might find this a dry read, it remains the most exhaustive and

TOWNS, BUILDINGS, CONSTRUCTION

“My first encounter with this book was strange, providing answers to questions I never realized I had: Why does one balcony feel more welcoming,

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AND BEYOND

(Rta Kapur Chishti, Lustre Press, 2016)

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

accessible documentation on the subject. All said and done, it’s worth it, even if only for the illustrated guides to over 100 regional drapes.”

PHOTO: ANTONIO MARTINELLI

PHOTO: NIRA KEHAR

Functioning as imagination stirrers and information banks, these books recommended by five experts in their fields are essential reading for those exploring the fascinating universe of art, craft and design

AMIN JAFFER

removed from my mind any inherited ‘rules’ about interior decoration. Who would have known that 25 years later I would be working at Christie’s as part of a team responsible for selling the contents of this very apartment? The highlight of the experience was the opportunity to host a group of collectors for lunch at this remarkable place. As we sat at the table, the butler pulled out a chair for me and said, ‘This is where monsieur Saint Laurent sat’. This volume brings to life the interiors created by Saint Laurent and Bergé and captures my quarter-century of memories.”

International Director of Asian Art, Christie’s THE PRIVATE WORLD OF YVES SAINT LAURENT & PIERRE BERGÉ

(Robert Murphy & Ivan Terestchenko, Vendome Press, 2009)

“I remember as a student seeing, in the American edition of Architectural Digest, a feature on the Paris apartment of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. The flat was characterized by a confident juxtaposition of superlative works of art—from minimalist abstract 20thcentury paintings to tribal art, Greek and Roman sculptures, to Old Master bronzes—set against sometimes simple furniture, such as calicocovered sofas. It was a revelation to see such disparate works put together. The feature

ECKART MUTHESIUS 1930: THE MAHARAJA’S PALACE IN INDORE — ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIORS

(Reto Niggl, Arnoldsche Verlagsanstalt, 1996)

“Educated largely abroad, the late Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar II of Indore displayed an interest in art from an early age. His particular predilection was for the aesthetics of the French avant-garde movement. In 1930, he >


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discover university classmate, German designer Eckart Muthesius, to design a palace. The result, Manik Bagh, was a streamlined, modernist wonder, for which works of art and furniture were acquired from the likes of Constantin Brâncusi, Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray and Ivan da Silva Bruhns. Niggl’s volume brings together designs, plans and photographs of the palace alongside images of other commissions—a royal barge, railway carriage and shikar tent complex, illustrating the high style of the period. It inspired the research for my own book Made for Maharajas (Vendome Press, 2006) and developed in me a passion for Indore’s taste that continues year after year.”

ART LOVER: A

BIOGRAPHY OF PEGGY GUGGENHEIM

(Anton Gill, HarperCollins, 2003)

“With works by Max Ernst, Picasso, Mondrian and Jackson Pollock, to name just a few, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice is a mecca for lovers of 20th-century art. I have been lucky to visit it many times: in the rain, snow and sun; as part of a small private group; and crammed together with a myriad of tourists. This volume explains how the collection was formed, through Peggy’s wily and

opportunistic shopping during World War II, her patronage of emerging talent and her close relationships with leading artists of her day. The book explains the circumstances of Peggy’s art-shopping and is a must-read for any collector.”

constant reference point—the first really comprehensive contemporary documentation of Indian crafts. It is beautifully produced, with text and photographs that not only look good, but convey a

AMRITA SHER-GIL:

A SELF-PORTRAIT IN LETTERS AND WRITINGS

(Edited by Vivan Sundaram, Tulika Books, 2010)

LAILA TYABJI Founder, Dastkar

“The two fat volumes of Amrita Sher-Gil’s collected paintings and writings were a gift from her nephew, artist Vivan Sundaram, whom I’ve known all my life. Our parents were dear friends, and Amrita was

THE KING OF THE WORLD: THE

PADSHAHNAMA—AN IMPERIAL MUGHAL MANUSCRIPT FROM THE ROYAL LIBRARY, WINDSOR CASTLE

vast amount of information lucidly and elegantly. I am so glad I was given one of the first editions, as it is difficult to obtain, and subsequent reprints have skimped on both content and quality.”

(Milo Cleveland Beach & Ebba Koch, Azimuth Editions, Sackler Gallery, 1997) close to my father, who bought one of the first paintings she sold. The evocative light and darkness of its imagery have been part of my consciousness, just as Amrita’s own life and work—vibrant, spontaneous, joyous, but also sad—reflected in these wonderful books, have become my metaphor for a liberated, creative woman.” “In 1997, like everyone in Delhi, I was mesmerized by the Padshahnama exhibition at the National Museum. I must have visited it at least half-a-dozen

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times, my nose as close to the glass as it could get. I was lucky to be able to buy the catalogue, which was in short supply, and ever since, its pages have been a magical resource for clothes, textiles, motifs and accessories. It’s a stunning showcase of the sheer beauty and style of that age.”

PHOTO: SONAL JHA

< commissioned his

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

HANDMADE IN INDIA: CRAFTS OF INDIA

(Edited by Aditi Ranjan & MP Ranjan, Mapin Publishing, 2014)

“As a craft-y [sic] lady, this is a

OLIVIA FRASER Artist

THE PASSIONATE QUEST

(Mildred Archer & Toby Falk, Alfalak/ Scorpion, 1989)

“I first came to India in 1989, clutching this then newly published book about my >


discover and James Baillie Fraser’s art and commissions in India, in the early 19th century. The book inspired my attempts to both capture and make sense of my new surroundings. In his letters home, James had written of tackling the monuments of Delhi. I decided to follow from where he left off, initially exploring the architectural elevations of Delhi’s plethora of monuments, and then diving into miniature painting.”

GARDEN AND COSMOS: THE ROYAL

PAINTINGS OF JODHPUR

(Edited by Debra Diamond & Catherine Glynn, Thames & Hudson, 2008)

COURTESY FREER/ SACKLER GALLERIES

“Stashed away in storage in a palace in Jodhpur for over two centuries, these paintings emerged to startle the world in a series of exhibitions in 2008 and 2009. I had been lucky enough to see this book in draft form the previous year, and immediately had a eureka moment for my own art practice. The backgrounds and the depiction of landscapes in the paintings in this book had an inherent modern abstraction that astonished me. Looking at these images from 19th-century Jodhpur, I felt these artists would have understood a great deal about the shapes, colours, rhythms, patterns, and sensations explored in the

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works of later Western artists like Kazimir Malevich, Bridget Riley, Sol LeWitt and Damien Hirst. Here was my guide to showing how this art form could be the bridge between the East and West, and be relevant today.”

ABHA NARAIN LAMBAH Principal Architect, ANL Associates

HOW TO BE BOTH 

(Ali Smith, Pantheon Books, 2015)

“This is an extraordinary novel about how we look at art, and how we create it. The book is divided into two sections, which tell two stories, set 500 years apart. One revolves around the imagined life of a little-

PHOTO: ROHAN HANDE

< Scottish kinsmen, William

WILLIAM MORRIS BY HIMSELF

known Renaissance painter, Francesco del Cossa; the other is a contemporary tale of a 16-year-old English girl, who is trying to come to terms with her mother’s death. The book is steeped in the consolation of art and what it’s like to paint. Having trained under traditional masters from Jaipur, in the techniques and materials that are still being used in Rajasthani miniature painting today, I was excited by the similarities with Smith’s depiction of Italian Renaissance fresco painting, and how, in fusing something from the past with the present, she created something new, relevant and contemporary.”

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

(Edited by Gillian Naylor, Time Warner Books UK, 2004)

“William Morris was a poet, novelist and translator, and, with the establishment of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in England in the 19th century, became the father of what we now know as the conservation movement. This book, which documents his life and work in his own words, deeply influenced my design ethic.” A PLACE IN THE SHADE

(Charles Correa, Penguin India, 2010)

“As an architect, Charles Correa stunned people with the sheer versatility of his

creative genius. Through his designs and writings, he constantly looked for solutions to the issues of urbanism, while also drawing inspiration from the most ordinary elements of Indian life.” BOMBAY:

THE CITIES WITHIN

(Sharada Dwivedi, Rahul Mehrotra, India Book House, 1995)

“Bombay (now Mumbai) has been my home and passion for the past two decades, but I owe much of my knowledge of it to Sharada Dwivedi and Rahul Mehrotra. Being my friends as well as my guides, they inspired me to delve into the city’s architectural and urban heritage—theirs has been my go-to book over the past 20 years.”


THE SPIRIT OF PROJECT

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discover TECHNIQUE

HOMEGROWN With the spotlight on the Make in India initiative, we have our eye on three design firms that harness Indian manufacturing for their distinctly urban practices WRITER SAMIR WADEKAR

SCARLET SPLENDOUR

‘A TRIP TO THE MOON’ CABINET A Trip to the Moon, French filmmaker Georges Méliès’s 1902 classic, is cited by scholars as the film where special effects began. It’s the film’s whimsy and fantasy that inform this cabinet designed by Kolkata-based Scarlet Splendour. To be unveiled during the 2016 Salone del Mobile in Milan, the four-drawer cabinet is distinguished by fine lines and a polka-dot pattern painstakingly handcrafted in resin inlay, and a cylindrical body topped with a slightly surreal ‘nose’. The chest of drawers is part of Vanilla Noir—a larger collection of furniture inspired by the traditional technique of horn and bone inlay—by Italian design stalwart Matteo Cibic. Scarlet Splendour’s founders, siblings Ashish Bajoria and Suman Kanodia, operate on the principle that “explosions can happen when great design weds luxury”. After a successful launch in Spazio Rossana Orlandi, at the 2015 Milan Design Week, the brand has been developing a practice that straddles contemporary and period European furniture design—partnering with designers to tear down the borders that divide and separate design. scarletsplendour.com

PHOTOS: LUCA DAL GESSO

(Clockwise from top left) CABINET OF CURIOSITIES The ‘A Trip to the Moon’ chest of drawers. Illustrations by Matteo Cibic for the 2016 Vanilla Noir collection. The assembly of the plywood and MDF frame; the resin inlay being coated and finished by hand; the surface being buffed to achieve a high-gloss finish.


discover (Clockwise from this picture) REFLECTING CHANGE Preliminary sketches for the side profile, assembly and housing case for the mirrors. The cast-metal ‘Mirror 6’ in a copper and wood frame, and ‘Kannadi Brass 10"’ in a brass frame. The mirror with its exposed rough-cast edges. The turning process of the wooden housing frame. The brass frame being milled on a CNC lathe machine. The molten alloy for the mirror.

TIIPOI

MIRROR 6 COLLECTION

PHOTOS & ILLUSTRATIONS COURTESY TIIPOI

The 10,000-odd kilometres separating them from India didn’t deter London-based design studio Tiipoi from championing Indian manufacturing. Working with small workshops and independent craftsmen, the three-year-old studio has a deep appreciation for the human element visible in ‘handmade’ production. Rather than adding to the exploding world of designed products, Tiipoi believes in adapting from existing ethnic classics. The idea, says founder Spandana Gopal, is to champion design concepts from the Indian subcontinent that are lesser known, while challenging the Western cliche that Indian design can’t be dissociated from ornamentation. The Mirror 6 collection is the culmination of a six-month alliance with the mirror-making craftspeople of the Aranmula village in Kerala. The centuriesold technique involves casting the mirrors from secret alloys of copper, brass, and glass, and then polishing it by hand until it becomes reflective. Traditionally, Aranmula mirrors hid behind excessively ornate brass frames, but for the Mirror 6 collection, the design team at Tiipoi stripped them down to their modern interpretations. tiipoi.com


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discover MADHEKE

‘RIALTO’ VALET AND ‘NORTON’ CHAIR

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

PHOTOS & ILLUSTRATIONS COURTESY MADHEKE

(Clockwise from top right) SUPPORT SYSTEM Cutting the carbon-fibre sheets; the sheet being fixed onto the chair’s frame; applying the resin; surface correction after application. Details of the valet accessories tray and hanger. The ‘Norton’ chair and ‘Rialto’ valet. Initial sketches for the pieces.

At the foundation of Madheke’s design practice is its use of luxurious materials and a reliance on specialized material crafting. According to design director Jitender Shambi, Madheke—set up by Gurgaonbased LOCO Design—strives to create the kind of enduring design that also has exceptional character. The production for the ‘Rialto’ valet and ‘Norton’ chair uses five different kinds of manufacturing techniques from leather crafting to carbon-fibre moulding. The ‘Norton’ chair legs are created from a carbon-fibre sleeve with a bronzeplated tip. The ‘Rialto’ valet’s herringbone feature is finished with a coating of scratchresistant polyurethane, offering a soft-totouch matte finish. The caveat—perfectly understandable, given the meticulous crafting—is that each bespoke piece has a production time of 12 to 16 weeks. locodesign.in


IN THE DESIGNER’S SEAT Celebrating some of the most extraordinary Indian designers, Godrej Design Lab is back with its second edition. And this time, it’s bigger and way better than before. Meet the eight artists whose creations were truly exceptional

Where innovation meets simplicity. Where form meets functionality. Where aesthetics meet manufacturability. Bridging the gap between artists, industry professionals and design enthusiasts, Godrej Design Lab was started with the desire to serve as a form of expression that would open new horizons for designers with a progressive vision.

Serving as a platform for designers to come together and create magic with everyday materials, Godrej Design Lab unlocks India’s creative potential. The result? Unique, new age works of art that are moulded into practical yet appealing masterpieces. This year the ideas have surpassed all expectations.


ABOUT A BUOY ANINDYA DAS GUPTA

Simple and convenient to use—Anindya Das Gupta’s creations are a blessing to any space. His holistic creative approach, experience in designing interiors, retail, products, installations and branding has allowed him to make products that are easy and utilitarian. This artistic lamp finds inspiration in a buoy, which bobs up and down in water. Combining a flexible light box suspended by nylon webbing from both sides, held in a metal case, the ‘Buoy’ light box can be moved high up for focused beams or lower down for a diffused soft glow, setting the mood for any occasion.

FOR THE YOUNGLINGS HRIDAY GAMI

Hriday Gami’s passion for creating fun furniture using minimal resources stems from when he was a student, where he had to implement a frugal yet innovative approach towards design. Born out of observing children and their space needs, he crafted ‘Kinderwagen’— an ergonomically designed child seat that can be used individually or joined with others for different activities. But what makes it truly stand out is its sturdy frame, made by bending a steel pipe into a closed loop, giving it the stability to be manoeuvred even when a child is sitting on it.


FROZEN IN TIME

ROOSHAD SHROFF Imagine capturing a leopard while he leaps. Or a pebble as it causes ripples in the water. Some moments have the ability to captivate even when they have ceased to move. Inspired by capturing movement, Frozen Motion—a collection by Rooshad Shroff—seizes kinetic energies in sculptural form. Carefully experimenting and understanding the properties of the clear resin and coloured pigments, he uses a specific ink consistency and a precise pouring process when the resin is nearly set to give the impression that the ink is captured by time.

GRAB A SEAT DEEPAK JAWAHAR

A believer in the ‘learning by doing’ philosophy, Deepak Jawahar’s travels around India, Europe, the Middle East and Asia have led him to develop some truly genius ideas. Experimenting with new realms of design methodologies and mediums of self-expression, the ‘Press’ seat is designed for the moment of haptic interface between the user and the seating. Made of 10x10 blocks of wood and vertical metal elements, when pressure is applied, the cubes deform, forming a pattern and also taking the imprint of the person sitting on it, giving a fresh new look each time.


CANE CRAFT AZIZ KACHWALLA

Fascinated by design, architecture and the arts while he was an engineering student, Aziz Kachwalla embarked on a journey of interior design. Now, 25 years later, he draws upon a survey that concludes apartment-dwellers in Mumbai are unhappy with large, cushioned sofas and often reminisce about their family home’s old-world furniture. Aimed to reduce this generation gap, ‘A Fresh Seater’ serves as a way to merge tradition with modernity. Crafted from wood and cane, this visually light, height-adjustable and functional armchair doubles up as a conventional two-seater sofa for a chic and modern look.

LIGHT UP MY WORLD CYRUS PATELL

A trained architect, Cyrus Patell’s creations are both detail-and concept-driven. His work mediates between multiple scales, giving interesting dimensions to each stunning piece. One of them is the ‘Peggi Light’ fixture, which is simple in design and playful in its action. Inspired by the pegboard, the lamp’s elongated conical shade is removable and adjustable at multiple heights. Better still, it can be rotated to fine-tune the direction of the glare, offering multiple shades and endless colours. The wood, metal, and finishing can be customized to match different design sensibilities.


CRISS-CROSS SAKET SETHI

After gained a degree in interior design, Saket Sethi’s unique sense of space led him to imagine that the inherent material property of an object can be abstracted or recast as something completely different. The ‘ALCrochet Table’ is a 3D-printed piece, woven around the concept of a crochet fabric, as a single continuous object. The geometries are fluidly morphed to accommodate varied user interactions. The legs are multifunctional and are meant to hold common household and decorative items like newspapers, magazines and even a potted plant.

BEHIND THE CHAIR RANJAN BORDOLOI

Growing up in a community where using handicrafts and handlooms to make objects of daily use was a way of life, Ranjan Bordoloi draws on his northeastern heritage for his work. A one-of-a-kind design, the ‘Kaathfula Chair’ is designed to resemble a big mushroom. With individual layers of foam, upholstered separately and joined together, the chair uses a combination of two types of foams to offer the ultimate comfort. Choose from different colours and fabrics to match your space.


discover AGENDA

NEWSFLASH es to know right now A round-up of events, ideas, innovations and nam WRITER MANJU SARA RAJAN

FOR LIVES LESS ORDINARY

In January, the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury, consisting of a panel that included Ratan Tata, announced its winner for 2016: Alejandro Aravena. The first Chilean architect to win the ‘Nobel of architecture’, Aravena is also the curator of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice, to be held from 28 May to 27 November this year. In his announcement of the Prize, Tom Pritzker—chairman and president of The Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award—said, “The jury has selected an architect who deepens our understanding of what is truly great design. His built work gives economic opportunity to the less privileged, mitigates the effects of natural disasters, reduces energy consumption, and provides welcoming public space. Innovative and inspiring, he shows us how architecture at its best can improve people’s lives.” Aravena is executive director of the Santiago-based firm ELEMENTAL, which focuses on public-interest projects, and most famously produced a low-cost housing development the firm called “half a good house”. The innovative design allows residents to modify and improve their homes as their own lives advance, so that a low-income house can aspire to become a middle-class home. The firm also designed the Innovation Center UC – Anacleto Angelini (pictured) in Santiago on the campus of Universidad Católica de Chile, which won the London Design Museum’s 2015 ‘Design of the Year’ award in the architecture category. Aravena’s design note on the centre talks of 102|

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employing “nothing but the rigorous use of common sense” to achieve an environmentally sound design solution for a building located in arid conditions. “The uncritical search for contemporariness has populated Santiago with glass towers that due to the desert climatic local condition have [a] serious greenhouse effect in interiors. Such towers spend a huge amount of energy in air conditioning. The way to avoid undesired heat gains is not rocket science; it is enough to place the mass of the building on the perimeter, have recessed glasses to prevent direct sun radiation and allow for cross-ventilation.” In a similarly forthright way, Aravena has titled this year’s architectural Venice Biennale ‘Reporting From the Front’, evoking metaphors of territories being conquered and the architect as a military strategist. His curatorial note explaining the title states, rather simply: “Reporting From the Front will be about bringing to a broader audience what is it like to improve the quality of life while working on the margins, under tough circumstances, facing pressing challenges. Or what does it take to be on the cutting edge trying to conquer new fields.”


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NEW TO THE FAMILY

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It was last May when Raul Rai first spoke of working on a new brand, with the same Indian craftsmanship genes as Goodearth—of which his wife Simran Lal is CEO—but still entirely different in spirit and aesthetics. Almost a year after that first mention, Nicobar is ready for its launch this month in Mumbai. While it wouldn’t be fair or accurate to compare the two sister brands, it is difficult to ignore the contrast. Like the quiet child of a hippy mother, Nicobar is soft and contemporary where Goodearth is spirited and full of nostalgic whimsy. As the note on the brand states: “Our Indianness exists as an undercurrent; it is our way of perceiving the world. It is what gives us our own voice. We weld the richness of India’s heritage with the rigour of contemporary design.” Nicobar, with its travel-inspired name, features home, fashion, and travel accessories, and is for the consumer who likes well-crafted, minimalist objects. Its aesthetic is well-considered and brilliantly timed for the changing tastes of the new Indian consumer, whose home is likely to be a mix of the local and the global. If you’re looking for elegant Indian home accessories, you now know where to find them.

THE UNMADE

Which of Charles Correa’s ideas didn’t make it off the drawing board? Beginning 15 March, the exhibition ‘Charles Correa Unbuilt Works’ at Max Mueller Bhavan in Mumbai will present a few answers to that tantalizing question. Supported by the Rolex Institute, the Charles Correa Foundation has “carefully curated content from the exhaustive archives of Charles Correa […] to unfold the repository of ideas that continue to be relevant to this day”. It is a treasure trove of the legendary architect’s ‘unbuilt’ works, and promises to offer some insight into one of the most principled minds in modern Indian architecture. There’s been plenty of focus on the subject of architecture so far this year in Mumbai, what with the megalith ‘State of Architecture’ exhibition that is on at Mumbai’s National Gallery of Modern Art till 27 March. However, for students and amateur enthusiasts of architectural design, this one promises to be far more interesting. Charles Correa Unbuilt Works 15 March–9 April Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan

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Methodus - Master Fotografie

Garbo design: Umberto Asnago

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4 CREATIVE PURSUITS MANIFEST DESIGN PUDUCHERRY

I met designer Manreet Deol recently at an exhibition in Kolkata, when I was wandering aimlessly, hoping something would make me stop. Her designs did. Just about three years old, Manifest Design is a collaboration between Manreet and her brother Samraat. Manreet used to work with accessories designer Michael Aram before moving to Puducherry to venture out on her own. The brand “strives to make everyday wearable art”—handmade creations with a personal touch. The recently launched men’s collection includes hand-forged stainless steel bracelets, which, Manreet says, “relate to architecture vis-à-vis the material, textures and clean lines, and modernist painting as well as sculptures.” manifestdesign.in

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QUIET CORNERS

COMMON OXEN BENGALURU More people should be using natural deodorants. If they were hunting for them in India, they’d discover Common Oxen Natural Deodorant Cream. The Bengalurubased company was founded by Delara Damania, a Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology graduate, and passionate believer in natural products. In addition to the deodorant, Damania has a roster of chemicalfree, beautifully packaged and competitively priced personal and household cleaning products, like soaps, laundry detergents, surface cleaners, and a dishwashing gel. commonoxen.in

NIMISH SHAH MUMBAI These baskets by fashion brand Shift are as chic and subtle as its clothes. And it has a fantastic backstory. “It’s toile waste,” says the Mumbai-based designer Nimish Shah. Over the years, Shah would use calico fabric— instead of paper—to create models in the first round of his design iterations. The material is not finished properly and fills up quickly with markings, notes and corrections, so instead of throwing the pieces out, Shah has been repurposing them into these baskets, keeping the pale natural colour, with just the addition of leather handles. shift-india.com 106|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

There are so many hotels in Jaipur that standing out, without being loud, is pretty difficult. Yet, 28 Kothi manages to do just that. This brand new property is the result of a collaboration between Siddharth Kasliwal—jewellery designer and heir to the Gem Palace legacy—and restaurateur Abhishek Honawar. Jaipur-based Lebanese designer Nur Kaoukji has put the hotel together without unnecessary drama; its whitewashed rooms are embellished with charming accessories, ethnic fabrics, and painted motifs. A two-storey bungalow located in the heart of Jaipur, 28 Kothi offers two master suites, two deluxe rooms and a single standard room. The hotel’s menu is strictly vegetarian, made with organic produce from its farm and herb garden. 28kothi.com


discover INVISIBLE IMPACT

In March, New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Spain’s Reina Sofía, along with the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, will host ‘Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, Nasreen Mohamedi’, the largest presentation of Mohamedi’s work to date. Over 130 paintings, drawings and photographs from the artist’s estate will be showcased. The exhibition is set to inaugurate the Met Breuer, built to accommodate the Met’s extensive modern and contemporary art programme. It’s a rare opportunity to examine the life and work of one of modern Indian art’s most reticent and path-breaking artists. ‘Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, Nasreen Mohamedi’ 18 March–5 June

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REDISCOVERING TRADITION

In the 1980s and early 1990s, when Kerala was still virgin tourist territory, the state was going through a period of mass destruction of its traditional architecture. Large homesteads were parcelled and torn up by families who were unable to manage these temperamental beasts, obliterating one of the most advanced systems of traditional architecture in this country. Kerala’s heritage carpentry was renowned for its scientific approach to aesthetics; entire houses were made of wood melded together by ingenious joinery work, without the use of glue or nails. Ornate tiled roofs were placed like caps on the bodies of double-storeyed structures built around one or multiple courtyards with pillar configurations of 4, 8, 12, or 16. And then, within a space of two decades, it was all gone. For those of us who love the occasional whiff of nostalgia, the best place to experience some of Kerala’s lost architectural splendour is in one of the many hotels designed by the Kozhikode-based AD50 firm, Stapati. Since the late 1990s, the team, led by principal architect Tony Joseph, has been repurposing Kerala’s architectural treasures as embellishments on hotels that now dot this state. Stapati was among the first to understand the value of what was lost, and see the potential of new life in them. Today, some of Kerala’s best and most luxurious resorts carry Joseph’s signature blend of old and new, which birthed many copycats and led to a glut of traditional hotels. To understand how a marriage between architectural opposites works together when it works well, buy a copy of ORO Editions’ Timeless Resorts, which explores the dynamics of 11 Stapati hotel projects, six of which are in Kerala. All are hallmarked by verdant locations, natural materials, the lack of artifice, and the sympathetic use of traditional elements. As architect Christopher C Benninger writes in his foreword to the book, “Stapati’s creations… are spiritual precincts, not mere locations or destinations. Each design derives from its natural context. Each retreat is inspired by its organic setting, from which it emerges from the earth. The team moulds shapes and tempers form from local materials and from the skills and crafts at hand.” Timeless Resorts published by ORO Editions 108|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

PIECING TOGETHER A LEGACY An art deco chandelier made of brass and pink glass; a classic Dutch-style Jack wood and ebony cabinet; an art deco sofa set.

INSIDE A TREASURE CHEST

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Mahendra Doshi is a Mumbai institution. And it is all due to the founder of this eponymous antiques store. Mahendra Doshi was a legendary collector, who began acquiring sometime in the mid-1970s, when he saw the casualties of a demolished bungalow. Pieces of furniture and accessories, including a Baccarat chandelier and a billiards table were being sold to jari puranawallas (rag-andbone men). His consequent sojourns to Mumbai’s Chor Bazaar ensured he built a formidable collection. This month, in a tribute to the man with uncanny ability to pick out rare antiques, Saffronart will conduct an auction of furniture, lighting and accessories from his collection. The perfect chance to claim some for yourself. ‘An Aesthete’s Vision’ 15–16 March


info@jumbo.it -- www.jumbo.it -- instagram.com/jumbo--collection -- Phone +39 031 70757


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SALONE DEL MOBILE PREVIEW ’s SAMIR WADEKAR brings you an exclusive preview of events and product launches to look forward to at the most important design fair of the year—Salone Internazionale del Mobile—on from 12 to 17 April in Milan

A sketch of a bathroom designed by Roberto Baciocchi for the Nilufar Depot

NILUFAR GALLERY

Nina Yashar will present an exhibition at the Nilufar Depot featuring three rooms designed by contemporary architects Roberto Baciocchi, Massimiliano Locatelli and Claude Missir. At the Nilufar Gallery, the ‘Nilufar|Brazilian Design’ exhibit will be dedicated to the work of six mid-century Brazilian design majors: Oscar Niemeyer, Joaquim Tenreiro, Sergio Rodrigues, Jorge Zalszupin, Martin Eisler and Zanine Caldas.

A window featuring the V&A Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa

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AT THE FAIRGROUNDS

For 75 years, the Salone furniture fair has promoted the latest and very best in design. This year, it is taking a step back in time with the ‘Before Design: Classic’ exhibition, a grand tour of Italian craftsmanship through the ages. Centred around a mock-up of the Palladian Villa Malcontenta, eight salons showcase Italian-made furniture and accessories—from 17th-century gilded baroque flourishes fit for French kings to early 20th-century British arts and crafts. The exhibition’s design firm, CQS Studios, modified shapes and sizes of some classical pieces before commissioning reproductions,“to bring them alive for a younger audience”, as art director Simone Ciarmoli explains. —NONIE NIESEWAND

SPAZIO ROSSANA ORLANDI

Anotherview is a project that blends interior design with conceptual arts. A hyper-realistic virtual window showcases—through images and sounds—a city captured over 24 hours. The window view encourages you to look at the world in a different way, and discover unique perceptions of time and space.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

The Milan venue of Fondazione Prada, conceived by Rem Koolhaas– led architecture firm OMA

FONDAZIONE PRADA MILANO Fondazione Prada announced the programme for early 2016 with two exhibitions. ‘To the Son of Man Who Ate the Scroll’ (4 February–19 June 2016), a project conceived and designed by Polish artist Goshka Macuga, attempts to formulate a methodological categorization of material and information around concepts like time, beginnings and endings, and collapse and renewal. The second exhibition titled ‘L’image volée’ (17 March–28 August 2016), curated by Thomas Demand, is a group show that questions the boundaries between originality and the replication of existing imagery. The project will focus on theft, authorship, annexation and the creative potential of such pursuits. ‘To the Son of Man who ate the Scroll’, 2015 by Goshka Macuga

PHOTO: BAS PRINCEN

During Design Week, Milan transforms itself into a grid of design districts, each with a series of curated events. The Ventura Lambrate exhibition, spread across the Lambrate district, is at the forefront of contemporary design, serving as a lively platform for international designers, design studios, institutions and labels (venturaprojects.com). Keep track of other events at tortonadesignweek.com; armanisilos.com; breradesigndistrict.it; 5vie.it; palazzorealemilano.it

From 1 April to 17 July, the Gallerie d’Italia, Piazza Scala will feature the ‘Restituzioni’ exhibition, which marks the end of the restoration Cristo Risorto by projects carried Peter Paul Rubens out from 2014 to 2015. Some of the high points of the show’s 17th edition are Egyptian bronzes from 712 BC; a 1st century BC floor mosaic; 12thcentury wooden sculptures; works by artists from the 15th–17th centuries (Perugino, Lotto, Caravaggio, Rubens), and the 20th century (Italian futurist painter Carlo Carrà).

©FOTO GIUSTI CLAUDIO

AROUND THE CITY

GALLERIE D’ITALIA


Fine Fabrics | Furniture | Artefacts

AO1, Amerchand Mansion, 16 Madame Cama Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400 001, India +91 22 7111 7700 | sales@simone.com www.simone.com

Open 11am - 8pm. Monday Closed


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MINOTTI has tied up with Italian designer Rodolfo Dordoni to create the Leslie collection, consisting of a two-seater sofa, a bergère, an armchair and a footstool. The sofa’s (pictured) refined aesthetic is defined by its trim proportions and an enveloping form. The chairs and sofas can be upholstered in variations of fabric and leather.

PORADA teamed up with Italian design icon Umberto Asnago to create this canaletto-walnut-framed mirror in an unusual, prismatic shape. The wall-mounted version has a hidden mechanism for flexible placement, while its free-standing version (pictured) features a solid wood shelf.

FLEXFORM will showcase reinterpretations of its existing lines of furniture. The ‘Eden’ sofa-bed was designed in 2010 by Italian architect Antonio Citterio. Its 2016 version is a chic take on the leatherclad original. It is an effective two-bed solution with a single bed stowed underneath.

GIORGIO COLLECTION will add to its Roman-inspired Coliseum collection with office furniture, a round dining table, a television unit, a bar, and a vanity desk. The latter (pictured) features an exquisite sunburst pattern made using a Brazilian Santos rosewood veneer.

B&B ITALIA’s vision for 2016 reaffirms outdoor furniture as an important aspect of design. Through the Gio outdoor range of chaise longues, sunbeds, armchairs and more—designed by Antonio Citterio—the brand showcases its use of form research, ergonomic study and fine quality. 116|

TURRI’s Noir collection—designed by Andrea Bonini—adds refinement to the boldness of the art deco aesthetic through its range of sophisticated furniture. Inspired by the 1930s, and the works of great masters such as Henry Tanner and Evan Owen Williams, the range features elegant details like precious metals and textured leathers.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016


THE DESIGN MANIFESTO

Discover upcoming interior trends by D y Asian Paints’ Colour Next 2016 along with an exclusive look at the Colour of the Year and Wallpaper of the Year At the turn of every year, design stalwarts and enthusiasts in India look forward to an expertly curated colour, material and pattern vocabulary by Colour Next 2016. An Asian Paints initiative, Colour Next brings India’s finest design minds to objectively study consumers’ changing behaviour patterns and their impact on decor and design for the upcoming year. Now in its 13th edition, it once again predicts four fantastic trends to look forward to.

REKINDLE

A trend, unchanged by time and yet somehow gracefully moving with it, Rekindle features colours like ‘Grand Grape’, ‘Grains of Sand’ and ‘Green Lawns’. It also showcases ‘Madder Red’, which is pegged as the Colour of the Year. With materials like teak and copper, this trend presents unique patterns of tweed and mother-of-pearl. Furthermore, for the first time in 13 years, Colour Next picks ‘Soak’—a pattern from this trend—as Wallpaper of the Year. Colour of the Year: ‘Madder Red’ There is a fire within the truer, deeper ‘Madder Red’—not the restless kind, but one that fuels new beginnings. Christened after the Madder plant (also known as Manjishtha and Rubia Tinctorum), this hue reflects intense conviction in individualism. Like a recoiled spring that holds within itself the energy to power forward, this colour has the undercurrents of an indomitable spirit. Legend has it that it has travelled the world from Central Asia to India and the Levant. In the west, Greek dyers were brought to France to recreate this revolutionary red and spies were sent to the Near East to unearth its secrets. Many a red have come and gone, but the elusive Madder Red remains eternal. Wallpaper of the Year: ‘Soak’ Part of the “Moods of Monsoon Collection” by Asian Paints NILAYA, ‘Soak’ reflects the thought process of the urban folk. A striking pattern, it works best as an accent wall, setting off the rest of the interiors beautifully.


FLOCK

Brought together by common, neutral mid-tones, Flock is a trend where all elements effortlessly complement each other. Standing out is not as important as standing together. Nothing here screams for your attention, but everything quietly beckons it. Almost white with hints of colour (purple, red, mango, pink, and green), itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where mild contours meet dreamy surfaces like marble and iridescent glassâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;much like a water colour painting.

AGE OF CREATORS

Move over mundane, a space created with the Age Of Creators trend tells stories. Revelling in the limelight, unafraid of attention, it redefines blues, pinks, blacks and greens. The materials reflect the polish of Corian tile and anodized aluminium, offset by suede and concrete finishes. With striking patterns, wall typography and more, this trend is pure visual delight.

THE EXPLORER

Drawing from eclectic experiences, The Explorer sees the beauty of impermanence. Like a seasoned traveller who is comfortable anywhere, the palette showcases neutral browns and greys. Joyfully unattached, this trend chooses birch over teak, aluminium over iron and wallpapers that feed the desire to venture out on roads less travelled.

To read the full stories or download e-lookbook, visit www.asianpaints.com/colournext


discover SOUND SCULPTING

AVAILABLE AT BANG & OLUFSEN. WWW.BEOWORLD.ORG

The ‘BeoLab 90’ is a striking new speaker from Danish electronics manufacturer Bang & Olufsen. Crafted into a near-sculptural, geometric form with a curved wooden base, the speaker weighs a whopping 136 kilograms, and stands four feet tall. Inside, things are just as impressive: 18 individual driver units, each with its own amplifier; 360-degree sound; 8,200 watts; and the technology to control the beam width and direction. The speaker’s Active Room Compensation ensures that nothing, and no one, compromises the acoustics.

Good Life

‘Flamingo Party’

INDULGE

THE

brings you the best in all things luxury

‘Jungle Love’

WRITER RISHNA SHAH

EASY RIDE

Reclaim the fast lane with this spanking new set of wheels by Mercedes-Benz. The all-wheel-drive ‘GLE450 AMG Coupe’ brings the performance of a sports coupe and the practicality of an SUV under one roof, with styling that’s just as assertive as its V6 367-horsepower engine. The car is equipped for a range of terrains with its adaptive suspension, and its 360-degree cameras help navigate both bumpy country roads and tight parking spots. The sport seats in the front provide adjustable lumbar support, so sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

PHOTO COURTESY MERCEDES-BENZ

SILK ROUTE

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

Since its first scarf back in 1937, Parisian luxury house Hermès has released over 2,000 different designs. Hundreds of artists around the world have lent their artistry to these screen-printed squares, covering them with motifs both traditional and whimsical. This spring, Hermès walks on the wild side, with two new iterations of timeless patterns. Two leopards are framed by a heart in Robert Dalet’s ‘Jungle Love’; ‘Flamingo Party’ by Laurence Bourthoumieux is a montage of wings and leaves. Inspired by tattoo art, these interpretations feature intricate monochrome detailing—and a bee motif carefully woven into the fabric, a feature first seen in 1963 on the ‘Napoleon’ scarf.


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STARRY EYED Architectural Digest: How was the Taj Mahal a starting point for you? Nirav Modi: The Taj Mahal has rich inlay work in its marble. The beautiful floral forms, the proportion, and the flow are truly inspiring. The Mughal jewels by Nirav Modi have been created in the same way as the marble inlay work that was carried out by artisans during the Mughal era. Typically, a jeweller gathers diamonds and gemstones and then arranges them into a design. At Nirav Modi, the design was created first; then the diamonds were cut to fit the design. So it’s like drawing with a diamond pencil. We specially created the petal-

PHOTO COURTESY NIRAV MODI

Inspired by the world’s most famous mausoleum, jeweller Nirav Modi explains how the Mughal collection came into being

shaped ‘Mughal Cut’ diamonds for this collection. This unique craftsmanship allows the designs to have clean [and] crisp lines, mirroring the meticulous detail found in Mughal art. AD: Why did you pick this monument? NM: Besides being an architectural and design marvel, the Taj Mahal has a beautiful message behind it—love. What caught my attention was the rhythmic flow of the motifs, the colours, the precision of the minuscule work, the symmetry, the play of light and the formation of patterns created by the carvings on the walls and pillars.

(Clockwise from below) ‘Mughal Choker’, ‘Mughal Earrings’, ‘Mughal Two-finger Ring’ and ‘Mughal Ring’

AD: What technical challenges did you face when designing this collection? NM: The greatest technical challenge was creating the petal-shaped ‘Mughal Cut’ diamonds. We are the only ones in the world to have this cut. It was important for us to remain true to the exact proportions and look of the floral motifs seen in Mughal art. After a large amount of research and [several] trials, we developed and patented our cut. This reflects the philosophy of perfection that Nirav Modi stands for. AD: What made you design the unconventional two-finger ring? NM: I wanted to create something that complemented a woman’s silhouette and femininity in an unconventional way. In the two-finger ring, the flower and leaves motifs become part of her hand, and its movements.

EVERY SECOND COUNTS

EL PRIMERO SPORT, ZENITH Fitted with a 45mm steel case, slate grey dial, rubber strap and power reserve of 50 hours, its design language is reminiscent of the original version launched back in 1969. You won’t be let down by this chronograph’s precision, either: it is accurate to 1/10th of a second.

MARINE 5823, BREGUET Featuring a guilloche dial (a Breguet standard), this 200-piece limited edition celebrates the 200th anniversary of founder Abraham-Louis Breguet’s appointment—by French king Louis XVIII—as the official chronometer-maker to the French Navy.

SPEEDMASTER WHITE SIDE OF THE MOON, OMEGA Crafted in white ceramic, this white edition—there are dark and grey alternatives—has a power reserve of 60 hours, and an uncluttered dial, with a 12-hour and 60-minute chronograph recorder at 3 o’clock and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock.

MILLE MIGLIA GTS CHRONO, CHOPARD Equipped with a mechanical self-winding chronograph movement, this signature edition has been around since the 1980s. Water-resistant up to 100 metres, the watch is available with a rubber strap for its more adventurous buyers.


Pair of Maria Gond tribal ďŹ gures by Jaidev Baghel, bronze, Ht: 80 cms

Opp. Regal Cinema, Museum, Mumbai 400001 | 022 - 22020564 | www.phillipsantiques.com


IN ASSOCIATION WITH

THe 50 MOST InfluenTIal naMeS

In aRCHITeCTuRe & deSIgn 2016 AssociAte sponsor


perspective

layers of meaning

newsmakers, opinions that matter, plus the latest in art, architecture and design

to introduce 2016’s ad50, noted architect and urban planner rahul mehrotra—himself a part of the ad50 list—designed this page for us. he wanted to highlight the importance of layering—not just colours and textures, but also ideas—in architecture. seen here are stills from projects by system architects and ashiesh shah architecture + design.


SHOWCASE

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his is the third edition of the AD50, and my first one. The feature you are about to read is the culmination of

more than five months of research and networking, much debate, and many, many

THE 50 MOST INFLUENTIAL NAMES

IN ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN 2016

T

hree judges. Over 150 residences. And five months to choose the top 50. The third edition of AD50 is an endeavour to spotlight the best in residential design across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Our carefully curated list focuses on individuals and firms whose projects represent the power of architecture to transcend functionality, create enduring spaces for its inhabitants, and define new idioms for the cities in which they are located.

meetings, both internal and external. I—and the two other judges on the panel, Balkrishna Doshi and India Mahdavi—had the unenviable task of objectively choosing 50 out of over 150 stunning entries we received. The 2016 AD50 focuses on residential projects from across the subcontinent, and the sheer variety of projects—every last one an embodiment of its region’s cultural, environmental and historical principles—has been astonishing. I was especially thrilled by the number of entries we received from newer firms. Along with reinforcing that the AD50 is now the definitive list of the 50 best firms in the subcontinent, it is proof that architecture in the region is young, intelligent, and aware. Based on the houses and apartments we reviewed, we identified four movements that became the categories for this year’s list: Visionaries, which includes designers with a strong signature aesthetic; Innovators, which refers to architects thinking outside the box; Naturalists, which encompasses the firms that incorporate nature and sustainability in their work; and Modernists, the largest section, which proves that homes in the subcontinent are likely to be elegant and minimal. We hope this list will prove useful and enlightening, and leave you with an enriched understanding of architecture in the subcontinent today. GREG FOSTER Editor, Architectural Digest India


perspective

INDIA MAHDAVI India Mahdavi — Architecture and Design (Paris)

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n icon in the Parisian world of high-design interiors, India Mahdavi has carved a distinct niche for herself. Born to Iranian and EgyptianEnglish parents, Mahdavi’s peripatetic childhood—in Iran, America, Germany and France—greatly influenced her style. With an aesthetic that is chic, sophisticated and global, she personalizes each project to the greatest extent for every client. After working with acclaimed designer Christian Liaigre for seven years, Mahdavi went independent with her company in 1999 and established her first showroom in 2003. The next year, she was named Maison&Objet’s ‘Designer of the Year’. Her designs for interiors, furniture and objects have since graced hotels, boutiques, restaurants, residences and even airplanes. She compares her work as a designer to that of a photographer, stating that residential design is akin to portraiture. “It is a case of capturing the spirit of the character inhabiting the space, creating something that corresponds to their identity and vision, while staying true to your own.” When judging the AD50 entries for residential architecture, Mahdavi was struck by how “international” the design idiom was across the subcontinent. The projects that stayed with her were those that displayed “originality, elegance, identity and creativity”. These were projects that “stood out precisely because they didn’t fit into a universal trend, but had a certain freshness and personality. These are the spaces that make you want to know their story and the stories of the people that live in them”.

BALKRISHNA DOSHI Vastu Shilpa Consultants (Ahmedabad)

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alkrishna Doshi’s impact on India’s architectural legacy cannot be overstated. As a young architect in a newly independent country, Doshi gave direction and identity to a nation seeking both. He articulated a unique vision for a country with a diverse ethos, anchored by tradition but with a dream for a modern future. Doshi deftly negotiated its pluralistic terrain and formulated a unifying narrative, reconciling an almost Gandhian concept of simplicity with global modernist ideals. His contribution as an architect is possibly surpassed only by his contribution as an academic and teacher through the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), the institute he founded. In the spirit of mentorship and guidance that is as much part of his professional make-up as his portfolio of buildings, Doshi graciously accepted to be one of the judges for this edition of AD50. His presence, needless to say, has lent heft to our search for the year’s 50. The list looks to honour architects striving to create meaningful, contextually relevant buildings that resist mainstream trends. His selection was based on the architects’ ability to create “sensible structures that made clever use of shade and natural landscapes”. Homes with a clean aesthetic that treated light as part of the material palette found favour with the visionary, whose own skill at harnessing nature imbues his buildings with a green core. From an architect who has enriched cityscapes and changed skylines, this list, perhaps, holds hope for the future.

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|127


Visionaries

sTUDio MUMBai PRINCIPAL: B i j oy ja i n LOCATION: M U M Ba i

Spearheaded by Bijoy Jain, who heads the 2016 AD50 list as the recipient of the Mercedes-Benz Excellence Award, the internationally acclaimed firm believes architecture is inextricably linked to nature. Jain’s structures look like they are inserted sublimely into their surroundings. They make a profound statement emerging as much from Jain’s aesthetic as the democratic approach employed by the firm. It ensures that all stakeholders in a project, including craftsmen and carpenters, are part of the process of creation. In this Alibag house, like in everything that Studio Mumbai does, nature is not a passive player; it directs the conversation. Made with over-burnt bricks and lime, the house has nine rooms around a large courtyard, and some smaller ones, connected by a “continuous veranda”. These independent units are unified under a plywood roof covered in a black lacquer-like sealant typically used for wooden boats. Solidly built spaces display a fluidity that allows them to adapt to a constant state of flux, and design finds appropriate expression in material and craftsmanship. studiomumbai.com 128|

ArchitecturAl Digest|MArch-APril 2016


PHOTOS: HARNEET SINGH BHATIA

PHOTO: MONTSE GARRIGA

VISIONARIES

ABM ARCHITECTS

K2INDIA

abmarchitects.com

In 2014, Sunita Kohli, co-founder of award-winning firm K2India, became the first woman to be appointed chairperson of Bhopal’s School of Planning and Architecture. Sunita’s daughter Kohelika, co-founder of K2 India, has established a strong reputation as a prolific interior designer and architect. With experience proffering a steadying hand to the spirit of innovation, the firm has built a significant portfolio of work across nations, which include Egypt, Bhutan, England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, besides India. It also works across design disciplines, from furniture, product and interior design, and restoration of heritage structures, to formulating designs for aircrafts. Reconciling a rigorous academic perspective with the practical realities of designing spaces, the firm seeks to evolve a unique contemporary vocabulary that draws as much from cultural roots as it does from the intrinsic functionality of a project. For this house in Vadodara, owned by art-collector homeowners, featured in AD’s November-December 2015 issue, Kohelika spent two years working out the finishes and details. She designed specifically customized interiors, with furniture, sculpture and art working together to orchestrate a unifying design language. The standout feature was an innovative lighting design that highlighted the artworks, while overcoming the challenges posed by the liberal use of glass. k2india.com

PRINCIPAL: A L FA Z M I L L E R LOCATION: M U M BA I When it’s a matter of scale, ABM Architects has made it a habit of being counted among a short list of architectural firms that have built an impressive portfolio of large-scale projects. These include the T2 terminal in Mumbai and the Bengaluru airport. Introducing that same sense of scale to a house is no easy task, but ABM effortlessly walks the tightrope between overstatement and subtlety, creating a rich aesthetic through material, location and brief. The firm’s design for a holiday home in Dehradun made the most of a dilapidated structure its client inherited. “He wanted to build a quintessential English country-style home. Based on that, we decided to make it visually charming and get in all the conveniences as well,” says Alfaz Miller of this house with timber floors and furniture, and a serene white colour palette. The conscious choice of slate for the roof was to prevent “the house from looking monochromatic, to take advantage of local materials”. Miller also ensured that the shortcomings of the previous structure were corrected. “The original structure had low windows, which was totally unacceptable. The house is an east-facing property with magnificent views. We expanded the windows so that the views could be enjoyed even while sitting down.” As he says, “Bad architecture can dissuade people from wanting to be in that place for too long.” With Miller’s designs, there’s no danger of that.

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

PRINCIPALS: S U N I TA A N D KO H E L I K A KO H L I LOCATION: N E W D E L H I


PHOTOS: SHAMANTH PATIL J

PHOTOS: BHARATH RAMAMRUTHAM

VISIONARIES

KHOSLA ASSOCIATES

MALIK ARCHITECTURE

Working in India is like having access to a library of architectural history for every kind of traditional material or craftsmanship. But it’s the ability to reinvent tradition and update it into something relevant and contemporary that separates Khosla Associates from its peers. Distinctive spaces that defy stereotypes have been the hallmark of this over-two-decade-old firm, endowing its work with a certain timeless quality that elevates it above passing trends. Like this Bengaluru house that sits on a 16,000-square-foot site. A homestead for well-travelled clients, the house combines vernacular elements—Mangalore tiles, sira stone, grey Kota for floors—with international style markers like Minotti, Moroso, Riva, and Poliform furniture. A striking feature of the living room is a dramatic burnt-orange spiral staircase sculpted out of a shell of mild steel and housing timber. Nature occupies an important place, with well-configured spaces ensuring that the house breathes. A wrap-around veranda, which looks into a courtyard garden, and a pebbled fish pond embellish the site. Modern, yet traditional; tailored to the location, but so global; at once contemplative, but layered with elegance—and always true to context. khoslaassociates.com

This is, for all intents and purposes, a site of lush vegetation, tranquil water channels, and wooded foliage. The house is simply incidental. And that’s just what Malik Architecture intended for this forested Alibag location: to create an extraordinary matrix of living spaces, reflective of the site landscape. This house is emblematic of the inspirations and design sensibility that have characterized the firm’s projects over three decades. Established in 1976, Malik Architecture has been providing comprehensive design solutions across a spectrum of programmes. Its penchant for defying populist trends has resulted in buildings that set precedents in evocative architecture. This Alibag house leverages nature, local materials and a client brief to reinterpret the traditional Konkan-style architecture of the region in a modern format. Several low-slung courts with deep overhangs for roofs serve as the different ‘rooms’ of the house, and have been crafted with local stone, wood, clay tiles and locally produced blocks of fly-ash. The network of living areas is united by waterbodies running through the site. This house is a modern take on tradition, an amalgam of seemingly disparate ideas. And it is brought together in a structure that looks like it emerges from its surroundings, the water symbolic of a blurred boundary separating the manmade and the natural. malikarchitecture.com

PRINCIPALS: S A N D E E P K H O S L A A N D A M A R E S H A NA N D LOCATION: B E N G A L U RU

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PRINCIPALS: K A M A L A N D A R J U N M A L I K LOCATION: M U M BA I


VISIONARIES MANCINI ENTERPRISES

MATHAROO ASSOCIATES

PRINCIPALS: N I E L S S C H O E N F E L D E R , D I M I T R I K L E I N, J T H A M I Z H A R I M A LOCATION: C H E N NA I

PRINCIPAL: G U R J I T S I N G H M AT H A RO O LOCATION: A H M E DA BA D

PHOTO: MANISH MANSINH

PHOTOS: RICARDO LABOUGLE

“We were given a precise brief including visual references in the form of a clip from a movie with Al Pacino in the lead,” says Mancini Enterprises’ principal, Neils Schoenfelder (pictured below). This Chennai home, featured in AD’s May-June 2015 issue, is a pied-à-terre that derived its aesthetic from the set design of a film, and an understanding of the client’s tastes. There could not possibly be a stronger visual reference for a design studio, or a greater opportunity to translate that into a completely new framework. The firm’s ability to provide contextual integrity to a project is evident in the way it uses available craftsmanship to custom-design spaces. The result is an enviable versatility: its projects include a visually arresting crematorium, modern office buildings and the rejigged, oldworld Madras Club. The design for this home emerged from a brief that gave clear direction. Fluid forms replaced rigorous demarcations, and the client requirement of a dark palette was balanced with light accents. A series of sliding panels open up the apartment to ensure seamless spaces, but cordon off sections when necessary. Accounting for enough daylight and dotting the space with contemporary furniture created a space that fulfilled its role as a pied-à-terre while staying deeply personal. mancini-design.in

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

“At the push of a button, this imposingly heavy stone wall cracks open, becoming an array of panels spinning gently about their centres, or sliding away to reveal a transparent cocooned interior,” explains Gurjit Singh Matharoo about Moving Landscapes, a multigenerational residence on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Visualized as an enclosure within an enclosure, moveable blocks of Bidasar stone are set within a green landscape, and hold within their kaleidoscopic folds a transparent glass core, which is the heart of this home. A RIBA fellow, the internationally acclaimed architect’s mastery over his craft, clever use of concrete, and experiments with material have led to a style that is restrained, yet singularly exceptional. Architectural Digest: What inspired the concept of ‘Moving Landscapes’ for this house? Gurjit Singh Matharoo: The idea for moving landscapes germinated after stumbling upon a stone, Bidasar Forest, that possesses an impression of a tropical arid landscape fossilized within itself. The second enclosure, along the entire perimeter, is a layer of walls made of these 4.5-metre-tall Bidasar stones. Their polished surfaces against the native verdure blurred the lines between reality and illusion. We used them as pivoting or sliding walls.


perspective PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHIX/SEBASTIAN ZACHARIAH

AD: How did the design for the house come about? GSM: Conceived as a pavilion, the house’s three wings are oriented around the margin of the site. The flanks hold the private spaces for the sons’ families, while the central area hosts the common living spaces. The residual voids created by the turning of the [Bidasar] blocks form smaller sheltered spaces. AD: In what way did the structure influence the interiors? GSM: The linear pavilion plan ensures that every space is lined with glass on the sides facing the outside—the innermost enclosure. The rest of the structure features 200-millimetrethin concrete walls, eliminating the need for any beams and columns. This saves constructed space by about three per cent, which amounts to an additional room.

PHOTO: MAXI COOPER

AD: How does sustainability factor into the design? GSM: The layer of stone panels creates a buffer between the inside and the outside, protecting the inner concrete-and-glass shell from intense sun and heat. The enclosed areas within the panels double up as passages, verandas, entrance vestibule and circulation space, eliminating the need for air conditioning in 8,000 square feet out of the 18,000-square-foot space. AD: Who do you consider your inspirations? GSM: My greatest inspiration is master architect Mies Van Der Rohe. I am also influenced by my early days in Jodhpur, where I saw large stones being chiselled and assembled into modern buildings. matharooassociates.com

NETERWALA AND AIBARA INTERIOR ARCHITECTS

PHOTOS: EDMUND SUMNER

PRINCIPALS: S U N U A I BA R A A N D P H I RO S A N E T E RWA L A LOCATION: M U M BA I

Longevity brings with it its own set of challenges, not the least of which is skilfully sidestepping complacency, and displaying a penchant for reinvention. Interior design firm Neterwala and Aibara has been a beacon of high living for three decades. It has managed to do so while preempting changing trends and staying true to its own design sensibility—of designing spaces that are a confluence of modernity, artistry and luxury. With a practice that offers everything, from interior design to spatial planning, and art consultations as well, Neterwala and Aibara has ensured highly customized design solutions across a staggering gamut of projects spanning cities. This plush apartment on Malabar Hill, in Mumbai, works as an ideal canvas to draw attention to the art collection. The contrasts—of contemporary furniture with a few heritage pieces and warm wooden floors with clean-lined interiors—have created an elegant space suitably embellished with the personality of its homeowners. neterwalaaibara.com


VISIONARIES PRISM

PRINCIPAL: V I N I TA C H A I TA N YA LOCATION: B E N G A L U RU

PHOTOS: LAURA RIZZI

“I have probably designed the maximum square footage of telecom ever,” says Vinita Chaitanya, who ironically happens to be one of the country’s most coveted interior designers for homes. The first project she did was an office space for Vijay Mallya, and found herself approached to work on offices for MNCs and telecom companies that were establishing themselves in this city. Now, Vinita is an acknowledged expert of her craft. Her glamorous spaces, embellished with Indian accents, combine high style with thoughtful design.

PINAKIN DESIGN LLP

PRINCIPALS: PA L L AV I C H O K S I A N D M O H A K M E H TA LOCATION: M U M BA I

Pinakin Patel set up a creative picture-framing shop in 1979; five years later, he launched the country’s first lifestyle and furniture store; a year later, he established his own interior design practice. He may not be involved in the minutiae of the practice he founded, but Patel’s legacy continues to thrive under the aegis of interior designers Mohak Mehta and Pallavi Choksi. Like this sprawling 45,000-square-foot house in Kolkata, cast in the design philosophy of the firm’s founder— creating distinctly contemporary spaces with a genesis in rich Indian heritage. Inspired by the havelis of old, this house has its living spaces centred around a courtyard complete with an archetypal jhoola (swing) bed. The formal living and dining rooms are a fine blend of rough-cut veneer walls, creating a dramatic visual effect. The way the structure was conceived affords an easy play of natural light. Clad entirely in Italian marble, the walls offer a sophisticated counterpoint to the richly textured interiors and the interplay of materials. Much like everything else that the firm does, this house makes a layered statement. pinakin.in 136|

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Architectural Digest: How did the site and the structure influence the interiors of this Bengaluru house? Vinita Chaitanya: It played a huge part. The architecture of the house was the most important framework for the design. The site is enormous, about 18,000 square feet, and even has a spa. It was important that the spaces pulled together in a cohesive fashion. I created complementary outdoor sculptures that led seamlessly to the interiors. For the inside spaces, the client wanted clean straight lines and a modern aesthetic. AD: How was it collaborating with the project’s architect, Andy Fisher? VC: I enjoy projects where the architecture and interior design happen simultaneously. It’s exciting to see things coming


perspective together. For this house, when I came on board, Andy was already working on the architecture and he was very clear about what he wanted; we complemented each other.

PHOTO: RAJESH VORA

AD: What material and colour palette did you work with? VC: I chose a muted palette as a base and then played with colour while choosing the art and soft furnishings. The furniture was sourced from B&B Italia, Ligne Roset, Poliform, among other brands, but I focused on colour in the selection of the fabrics.

PHOTOS: ANTONIO MARTINELLI

PHOTO: NEVILLE SUKHIA

PHOTO: TINA NANDI

PHOTO: LUCKY MALHOTRA

AD: How would you define a luxurious home? VC: The design should be comfortable and the luxury should manifest in the materials used. Comfort, aesthetic and luxury should be well balanced, but it primarily has to be about function, followed by aesthetic. If a space doesn’t have function and comfort, how can there be an aesthetic? vinitachaitanya.com

RMA ARCHITECTS

PRINCIPALS: R A H U L M E H ROT R A , RO B E RT S T E P H E N S , N O N D I TA C O R R E A M E H ROT R A , PAYA L PAT E L , RO M I L S H E T H  LOCATION: M U M BA I

To paraphrase that immortal Dickensian line, it really is the best of times and the worst of times—undeniably so for an architect practising in the extreme pluralism that characterizes India. Breaking through the clutter of chaos and confusion is Rahul Mehrotra. His approach to architecture is informed by a multiplicity of perspectives—the sensitivity of a conservationist, the objectivity of an urban planner and the sensibility of an aesthete. That is evident in the diversity of his involvement in endeavours that provoke conversations on architectural and urban-planning challenges. Mehrotra founded RMA Architects and the firm’s organic, humanist approach has enabled him, and his team, to build thoughtfully planned structures, like the low-slung Three Court House in Alibag. A series of modules connected by wooden walkways create fluidity between the outdoor and indoor spaces, and adhere to the shape of the site. The material palette ensures the house surrenders to the locational geography. Local basalt stone, Mangalore tiles and copper finishes are relieved by glass facades and large windows punching through the opacity. The outbuilding, which houses a clinic for the client, represents the connectivity between the location and the home, a seemingly porous threshold between homeowner and local residents. rmaarchitects.com


VISIONARIES requirements, which necessitated a vertical structuring for the house. To prevent it from appearing like a small residential building, we broke away from convention, enveloping the entire structure in folds. This gave it a monolithic sculpted presence, while ensuring it looked like a single home. AD: How would you define the aesthetic of the house? SP: The house is an origami-inspired sculpted volume externally, with a series of stacked volumes of varying heights within. A skylit staircase punctuates the central part of the house with split-level living and dining areas on the lower levels, and angularly located bedrooms on the upper levels. Rather than balconies or decks, the semi-sheltered spaces are incisions into the main volumes, angled to get light into the interiors, increasing energy efficiency. AD: Did your experiments with form evolve on a more subconscious level? SP: Sculpting spaces contextually forms one of our most defining design parameters. Our experimentation is always in response to the design brief and the governing factors for each project. In this case, the spaces and their eventual built-forms were derived from the need to make a vertical structure appear as an individual home while ensuring privacy.

PHOTO: VINESH GANDHI

AD: Was it difficult to execute the ‘origami’ shape? SP: The execution of the house had to be checked more often than most structures due to the complexity of the shape. Each portion’s centering was checked before the casting of the RCC skin that envelops the house. AD: What kind of materials did you use for the house? SP: The entire structure is created in concrete in this case. Materials like concrete, wood, stone, bamboo are the ones we enjoy working with the most.

SANJAY PURI ARCHITECTS PRINCIPAL: S A N JAY P U R I LOCATION: M U M BA I

There is a remarkable felicity with which Sanjay Puri fashions buildings into interesting folds. With a portfolio that spans a wide range of projects, from townships and schools to hotels and homes, Puri’s eponymous firm strives to offer innovative solutions within a sustainable framework. The Origami House is another feather in a well-plumed hat that includes the Bombay Art Society structure in Mumbai, and Jaipur’s 72 Screens corporate building. The Origami House also won Puri a certificate of excellence in 2015 in the residential category at the A&D Trophy Awards, Hong Kong. Architectural Digest: What was the starting point for the shape of this house? Sanjay Puri: The small 500-square-metre plot had extensive 138|

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AD: Has any particular period or architect influenced your aesthetic? SP: There are several projects, rather than architects. Historic places like the Sveti Stefan island in Montenegro, the Èze village in southern France, as well as some of the newer buildings. The Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Luigi Bocconi University in Milan, and the Antinori Winery in Italy have all made an impression on me because of the way they have been designed. AD: Do you think buildings should be rooted in the context and topography where they are planned? SP: Yes, buildings should be contextual to the site in terms of the design’s response to the climate and orientation of the site. Simultaneously, each building should have an identity of its own. sanjaypuriarchitects.com


VISIONARIES STAPATI

VIYA HOME

PHOTOS: GEORGE SEEMON

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PHOTO: THIRU S/ WHITE LIGHT DESIGN

In its 26 years, if there is one thing that Stapati has steered clear of, it’s ensuring that its projects don’t evoke a sense of déjà vu. The common feature across all their work is reimagining tradition in a modern context. With offices in Kochi, Bengaluru, Kozhikode and Dubai, the firm’s projects include Seychelles’ Round Island resort and the Kumarakom Lake Resort. Stapati’s designs reference the rich vocabulary of local art and culture to create spaces that feature nature as a dominant protagonist. Like the three large trees standing sentinel at the site of this six-bedroom home in Kollam, Kerala. Designed by Stapati’s Bengaluru team, comprising architects Anupama, George Seemon and Tony Joseph (pictured below), the house displays the firm’s ability to integrate nature skilfully into its design. The private rooms open out on to a lily pond from one side and a pool and lawn on the other, but the living room is set, almost like an island, on the lily pond. stapati.com

PHOTOS: PETER MURDOCK

PRINCIPAL: TO N Y J O S E P H LOCATION: KO Z H I KO D E

PRINCIPALS: V I K R A M G OYA L LOCATION: N E W D E L H I

Founder of product and interior design firm Viya Home, Vikram Goyal’s idea of opulence is derived from an inherent richness of material and context, layered with an artistic eye for detail. Goyal is known for creating spaces that are characterized by a high degree of customization, and an ethnic approach that has, according to him, evolved over the years. “I’m less India-centric in my approach; now, I bring India in through the language of its craftsmanship rather than the language of its design,” says Goyal. It is an aesthetic that is abundantly evident in the Manhattan penthouse, featured in AD’s November-December 2014 issue, that was designed in collaboration with acclaimed interior designer Douglas Graneto. “This is a fantastically located house with magnificent Manhattan views. I wanted to create a similar equation with the interiors,” explains Goyal. The design was also about being a reflection of its homeowners, which came through in the juxtaposition of Indian art with American furniture, and a colour palette that drew inspiration from an antique Persian rug. The house is an expression of Goyal’s decidedly eastern aesthetic tempered with Graneto’s western sensibility. viyahome.com ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016


INNOVATORS ANAGRAM ARCHITECTS

PRINCIPAL: A B I N C H AU D H U R I LOCATION: KO L K ATA

There seems to be an unstoppable quality that defines Abin Design Studio. It could lie in its amassing of awards—over 37, including the 2015 International Architecture Award given by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design for its Bamboo Pavilion, in Bansberia, West Bengal; or the forging of interesting collaborations, like the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art with Herzog & de Meuron. Abin Chaudhuri, in the span of a decade, has ensured his multidisciplinary studio stays in the news for absolutely the right reasons. The firm’s strength is its ability to transcend the functional requirements of architecture, as seen in the Courtyard House in Bengaluru. Here, the structure becomes a manifestation of art, and an expression of its immediate surroundings—both human and contextual, all tied together with a unique aesthetic. The balance between the outdoors and indoors is achieved through the sensitive use of materials like glass, white concrete and black aluminium. It is a design that finds “soul in the shell”. abindesignstudio.com 144|

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PORTRAIT PHOTOS: ASIM WAQIF

ABIN DESIGN STUDIO

Sometimes it takes the form of floating cubes of the Kindred House; at others, it marks its spot in the city like a thumbprint (The Digit). For Anagram Architects, its design ethos lies in not knowing what shape their next building will take. The mainstay of this practice has been to think outside the boxlike confines that urban grids demand, to experiment with materials and geometries, and script a new visual language each time. It’s an approach that has garnered attention and awards—including one for Kindred House, in the interior design category at the 2014 All India Stone Architecture Awards. With the Outré House, humble materials become the medium of narration. Handmade construction techniques ensure that the structure fits no pre-engineered patterns. Built and natural materials come together in the facade, with planters across all floors, slotted between wooden louvres. Materials like concrete and wood craft an eloquent story that experiments with curved lines and geometries. In a field where linear thought is as important as flights of creative fancy, Anagram Architects has found a way to bend structures to its will. anagramarchitects.com

PHOTOS: HARNEET SINGH

PHOTO: SAYANTAN CHAKRABORTY

PHOTOS: RAVI KANADE

PRINCIPALS: VA I B H AV D I M R I A N D M A D H AV R A M A N LOCATION: N E W D E L H I


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INNOVATORS MORPHOGENESIS

PRINCIPAL: A S H I E S H S H A H LOCATION: M U M BA I

Ashiesh Shah finds himself in demand with homeowners, entrepreneurs and restaurateurs, and his strong aesthetic, and his dexterity at reinventing tradition in a modern idiom are just two reasons why. It also has to do with the fact that his versatility and confidence in his craft allow him to deconstruct his sensibility, and reconfigure it according to client needs. This sea-facing South Mumbai house saw Shah balance the traditional with the contemporary and derive inspiration from location and client. The angular geometries evident in the entrance staircase are softened by curves. Contemporary furniture shares space with traditional dhurries; the bronzeskirting details and shape of the furniture draw inspiration from the sea; and the uniquely textured wall offers a backdrop for the homeowners’ art collection. ashieshshah.com 146|

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PHOTO: EDMUND SUMNER

ASHIESH SHAH ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN

Thirteen years into its practice, Morphogenesis became the first Indian practice to win a WAF (World Architecture Festival) award—in the ‘Best Learning Building’ category for Jaipur’s Pearl Academy—in 2009. In 2014, it was conferred the Singapore Institute of Architects’ SIA-Getz Architecture Prize for ‘Emergent Architecture in Asia’. The architecture firm’s portfolio almost keeps industry watchers from guessing what might emerge next from its laboratory of ideas. A fact that is reinforced by the Artisan House in Delhi. A splitlevel structure that adheres to the site’s “stepped typology”, the house was a conscious effort by the firm to break away from the typical aspects that define scale—fenestrations, entryways, doors. “The entire site has been arranged as a series of sequential sculptural walls—the organizing principle of the house. The space looks like several planes arranged one behind the other. All the ‘rooms’ are defined between two walls,” says Sonali Rastogi. For a practice that works on few homes, “depending on how interesting the brief is or if there is a new design impetus”, this house was a chance to walk the fine line between client preferences for texture and its own proclivity for minimalism. morphogenesis.org

PHOTOS: JITENDER MARWAHA

PHOTOS COURTESY ASHIESH SHAH ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN

PRINCIPALS: S O NA L I A N D M A N I T R A S TO G I LOCATION: N E W D E L H I


PHOTOS: FRAM PETIT

perspective

NOTE

PRINCIPALS: S M I TA K H A N NA A N D H E M A N T P U RO H I T LOCATION: M U M BA I

When you have the word ‘experiment’ as part of your name, the idea of trying new things should be second nature. For NOTE (Nature of the Experiment), it most certainly is. Set up in 2009, the architectural and design firm has a robust portfolio to its credit, with work ranging from educational and commercial, to residential, and hospitality spaces. The firm’s structures don’t follow a predictable pattern; every new brief offers a chance to rethink design at the conceptual level, and resolve ideas into a clear, unique blueprint. This time, a brief for a holiday home in Alibag led to an experiment that reinvented the Indian courtyard house in the lush green environs outside Mumbai. Architectural Digest: What made you come up with this ‘contemporary Indian courtyard home’? Smita Khanna: The courtyard ‘type’ is an amazing design element that has been part of Indian home building for centuries. Not only does it respond to Indian climatic conditions, but also allows for a division of private and public spaces. The manipulation of the courtyard in this house capitalizes on that and seamlessly connects it with the rest of the site. It also creates shaded spaces.

AD: What is the most unique feature of the house? Hemant Purohit: The form of the house is similar to a spiral. It creates a courtyard and a series of semi-outdoor spaces distributed across different levels. The unique feature is the variety of spaces created in the house to enjoy the outdoors. AD: Was there a specific reason you chose to stay away from conventional forms for the windows? HP: The bedrooms are at eye level with the foliage of the trees, and the windows were intended to be like picture frames, capturing different views and specific trees. It is not about appreciating the vastness of space, but the beauty of the wilderness in parts. Perhaps geometrically, they are an abstraction of leaves; it evolved subconsciously. AD: What role do you think materials play in defining an aesthetic for a house? SK: Material finishes are what you see, what you touch and feel. They insulate sound, react to light and become a backdrop for the artefacts arranged in the house. We enjoy crafting materials, exploring techniques of using them and exploiting skills that are part of our traditional design industry. We love natural materials since they weather well and change with time in unpredictable and interesting ways. note-d.in


PHOTO: NEVILLE SUKHIA

PHOTOS: RICARDO LABOUGLE

PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHIX – SEBASTIAN ZACHARIAH

INNOVATORS

RAVI VAZIRANI DESIGN STUDIO

ROOSHAD SHROFF ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN

Inspiration can strike anywhere and in any form. For Ravi Vazirani, it was ‘volcanic eruption’, a striking black-and-white marble, that set the tone for this house in Navi Mumbai. That and the spectacular view were the starting points for Vazirani to design a house with industrial overtones and luxurious undertones. Ever since it was set up in 2009, Ravi Vazirani Design Studio’s spaces have been similar in their distinctiveness, where the provenance of the firm’s aesthetic seems untraceable. That is the result of Vazirani not wanting to “get too comfortable with a style. Design should allow for change and flexibility,” he believes. Not being shackled to a specific style has given him the freedom to explore, and attempt something new by playing off the brief and contextual requirement. For this home, the aesthetic was achieved through the interplay of materials, and the interaction of different elements—the furniture with the decorative lights, with the multiplicity of textures used, from wood to marble to natural stone. Drama and restraint, from a design firm that excels at both.

It starts at the front door itself, a stunning jigsaw of 200 handcarved teak wood tiles, and continues through the rooms. Differing shades like beige, blue, black, white, and diverse materials—leather, marble, brass, teak—create a highly visual kaleidoscope of elements that complement each other. This apartment by Rooshad Shroff is a high-octane celebration of craft, and something of a calling card for the architect known for his stylized design aesthetic, which displays a high degree of refinement. It’s evident in the Christian Louboutin showrooms in Mumbai and Bangkok, and the variously contoured furniture that emerges out of his multidisciplinary studio. He has a penchant for leveraging intricate craftsmanship to creates results in design details that give pause, and become striking features in definitively contemporary spaces. He applies that same degree of design-centricity to this show flat in Mumbai, which extends an invitation for prospective homeowners to drop anchor in distinct luxury. That’s a lot of design for a practice not yet five years old. rooshadshroff.com

PRINCIPAL: R AV I VA Z I R A N I LOCATION: M U M BA I

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PRINCIPAL: RO O S H A D S H RO F F LOCATION: M U M BA I


iNNoVaTorS sP+a

PhOTO: edmuNd sumNeR

It takes a certain kind of versatility to shake off the phantom of a previous project, rewire the thinking and create something drastically different. In the case of Sameep Padora, principal architect of sP+a, it’s down to a flexible imagination and intuiting the undertones of a brief. The firm’s Lattice House, in Jammu, is a world away from its thoroughly contemporary Indigo Deli in Mumbai with its undulating ceiling, or the starkly beautiful basalt stone Shiv Temple in Pune. For the firm, the brief, site and client offer an opportunity to establish a new language within set parameters. The deli ceiling, for instance, was a response to space constraints, to create the illusion of generous height. A residential tower in Mumbai, 321 Tardeo, donned perforated green skin in defiance of the city’s concrete jungle. The Lattice House is, what the firm calls, “a distinct urban marker” in a place lacking an established contextual urban fabric. Its hard-to-miss facade has as much to do with drawing eyes as it has to do with the climate. The bands of wood resolve themselves into slatted lattice screens meant to insulate the interiors from the severe eightmonth-long summers. Delicate slats of hardwood, like semitransparent gauze, sieve out the unwanted. It’s this ability to achieve something unique that earned the firm recognition as one of the top 21 emerging practices in the world in 2014, by WAN 21 (World Architecture News) awards. sp-arc.net

PhOTO: mANIsh mANsINh

PRINCIPAL: S a m e e P Pa d o r a LOCATION: m u m ba i

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PhOTOS: SujITh SugAThAN

iNNOVatOrS

SDeG

PRINCIPALS: S u j i t Na i r a N D a ru Na S u j i t LOCATION: B e N G a l u ru

For SDeG’s Sujit Nair, ‘working within context’ isn’t just about blending in, it’s also about questioning it. “I like to believe that we have a varied take on context. For us, this building is very contextual, in that it talks about context by negating and defying it,” says Nair, whose prior experience includes working at Zaha Hadid Architects. SDeG’s rigorous work process, combined with its spirit of enquiry, leads to interesting solutions. Like this “UFOish-looking” S House, which seems like a pillow planted right in the middle of a rigid urban plan. Architectural Digest: How did you conceive of the structure? Sujit Nair: The structure evolved from our early observations of the neighbourhood, which had a very grid-like format. We consciously decided to create almost an object-like structure, something that could cushion the environment, negate the rigid geometry of the surroundings. We modelled it like a pillow, rounding the edges on-site by hand. AD: Was it very challenging given the unusual shape? SN: It was a huge trial-and-error process. We worked with software and even created mock-ups to achieve precision in 152|

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the rounded edges and curves. It was quite a struggle to find local labour with the skills that this job required, but the client was a big help. He works in manufacturing with materials like concrete, polymers and plastics, and we ended up using a lot of his technologies, and his workers, in the project. AD: Did the facade drive the interior design? SN: We didn’t want the outside and the inside looking like two different animals. The interiors have been completely customized; with the furniture growing along the edges. The living room, for example, doesn’t have any loose pieces. AD: The house has an almost insulated interior... SN: The client wanted complete privacy. Besides, the 1,200-square-foot site included three bedrooms, parking space and a rooftop pool. We tinted the one-way glass windows, and lightened up the house with an atrium. The skylight was reengineered and as a result the interiors are very bright. AD: What do you think homes should absolutely have? SN: As cliched as it sounds, light and air. It’s important to create moments of difference in homes; maybe through an angled wall, a staircase or a top light. sdeg.in


INTERIORS

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is curated from the wide array of the brand’s luxury range. The collection at Trésorie draws inspiration from her journeys around the world and showcases elements from the deserts of Rajasthan, the Blue Grotto in Capri, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and artists’ studios in Sorrento and Florence. So if you’re looking to spruce up your space, head to this one-stop interior hub. Available in Mumbai at 60-A, Linking Road, Near Arya Samaj, Santacruz (W) and Infiniti Mall, Oshiwara New Link Road, Andheri (W). For more information, call 022-26608042 (Santacruz) or 022-26344450 (Andheri), email contactus@tresorie.co or visit www.tresorie.co.in


INNOVATORS VIR.MUELLER ARCHITECTS PHOTO: STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON

PRINCIPALS: C H R I S T I N E M U E L L E R A N D PA N K A J V I R G U P TA LOCATION: N E W D E L H I

The ability for design to be at once extraordinary and functional, entrenched in its time and place, but transcendental, is an important cornerstone for creating meaningful spaces. And they are fundamental to the approach adopted by vir.mueller, the firm that finds regular mention on award lists. With a sensibility grounded in academia and research, the firm is always adding newer facets to its creative aesthetic. What remains constant is the material expression, the craftsmanship and the engagement of built spaces with their environments. The Stone Lantern residence in New Delhi is envisioned as a “container of sunlight”. The rooms planned around a central ‘plaza’ stay connected with the outdoors. Materials like sandblasted Gwalior sandstone for the facade, limestone for floors, plastered masonry walls and insulated glass bask in the glory cast by the house’s most capricious inhabitant—light. virmueller.com

PHOTOS: ANDRE J FANTHOME

URBANIST

If Urbanist finds itself as the chief articulator of a design sensibility for an India willing to cultivate new ways of looking at its traditions, then it’s pure serendipity. Neither of its two founders had any notion of getting into interior design. What started as a furniture-importing company graduated to a furniture design one—it even made a chair for the Dalai Lama—that customized pieces for a discerning clientele. From there it was a short jump into interior design. Today, Urbanist has become the go-to firm for customers looking to create homes that evoke high design as much as they do character. The firm’s precise attention to detail offsets an overarching narrative of comfort as luxury; where unexpected material choices add an element of quirk. This 5,825-square-foot apartment in Gurgaon says more with less, and minimal design intervention creates unmistakable sophistication. The bar area, created using smoked eucalyptus and cast resin panels, serves as a microcosm of the firm’s penchant for experimenting with material. The result is a space that bears an international style and seems decidedly ‘home-grown’ at the same time. urbanist.in 154|

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PHOTO: MANISH MANSINH

PRINCIPALS: B R I A N D E M U RO, P U RU DA S A N D K A N U AG R AWA L LOCATION: G U R G AO N


PHOTOS: SACHIN BANDUKWALA

MODERNISTS

BANDUK SMITH STUDIO

PRINCIPALS: S AC H I N BA N D U K WA L A A N D MELISSA SMITH LOCATION: A H M E DA BA D

A revised proposal to increase the floor-space index in an Ahmedabad home had Banduk Smith Studio discover inventive ways to create a “squat tower rather than a spreading villa” on a slim plot. The multidisciplinary firm, established in 2011, has become an important voice in Ahmedabad’s design landscape. The Tower House is emblematic of the firm’s penchant for providing unique sustainable solutions to important architectural questions. The layout’s transformative powers are driven by a sensitivity to the peculiarities of context and a strong academic interest in all things design. Architectural Digest: How did the vision for the Tower House evolve? Melissa Smith: The client wanted to expand his home. As the size of the floor plate was just 6.5 by 12.5 metres, he saw the possibility of experimenting with a vertical typology. This led to a decision to construct a central staircase—a vertical cut around which activities could revolve. Sachin Bandukwala: The tightly designed vertical circulation and the goal to create a climate-efficient building were the main driving forces in the project. AD: What kind of interiors did you plan for it? SB: The primary experience in the house comes from its 156|

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shifting balconies, and the relationship between the user and the changing views, along with the varying vegetation across different levels. It was important that the interior remained understated and did not detract from the experience of the outside. MS: The brown [groove-patterned] Kota flooring that runs across the balcony threshold, the plastered walls, and floor-to-ceiling doorways reinforce the notion that the balcony is an extension of the room. AD: What would you say is the highlight of this space? MS: The semi-open staircase. It dissipates heat and draws air through the house, and is the only form of circulation, as the two rooms on each floor branch out directly from it. AD: What elements do you think are absolutely essential while designing homes? SB: An essential aspect is to make the void that allows users to make the space their own, which reduces the conflict between the person and space, and brings calm and homeliness to the environment. AD: How does sustainability factor into your projects? SB: Our goal is to create buildings that are detailed to weather and age gracefully. And to respect nature, and allow the buildings to weather back into nature, or simply create the possibility to recycle them in the future. banduksmithstudio.in


perspective CHARGED VOIDS 

PRINCIPAL: A M A N AG G A RWA L LOCATION: PA N C H K U L A 

PHOTOS: PURNESH DEV NIKHANJ

Not quite a metro and not quite a small town, Panchkula, in Haryana, is a city on the cusp, gradually acquainting itself with global realities while holding on to its roots. Into this transforming landscape, Charged Voids has introduced an idiom that manifests this dichotomy. The award-winning architecture firm imbues its creations with a trademark aesthetic—Western universality overlaid with an Indian sensibility. The Eight Planes House—made for a builder aiming to create a home that would appeal to a diverse pool of potential buyers—was an experiment with spatial orientation. Instead of going with a box-like structure, the firm created a vertical plane at the ground level, and seven horizontal ones at the upper level, resulting in a free-flowing cross-section that allows for a central courtyard. Jali panels along the periphery create a porous boundary around the urbanscape. The layout, which sits in deference to vastu principles, is a nod to Eastern influences. chargedvoids.com


MODERNISTS

DIPEN GADA & ASSOCIATES A civil engineer by education, Dipen Gada set up his practice in 1993, and the first-ever project he worked on came through family, followed by a house remodelling. A decade later, Gada got the opportunity to work on a residential tower in Mumbai, and showcase his understanding of spatial configurations. An architect who learnt by studying magazines and attending seminars hosted by IIID (Institute of Indian Interior Designers), Gada has also served as chairperson of the Institute’s Vadodara chapter. His design sensibility advocates a global aesthetic rooted in the local vernacular. Gada’s recent project, Nirant is a riverside residential retreat, which combines rigorous minimalism with an enduring dialogue between built and natural spaces. The single-storey structure planned on curving land has been oriented to maximize light and air. A large blank wall facing the south-west protects the house from summer heat. The minimalist pristine interiors are contrasted by local touches, such as the use of Indian Pattern Stone (IPS) in vibrant shades. The sculptures in relaxed poses serve as a whimsical reminder of the client’s brief— to create a house meant for relaxing. dipengada.com 158|

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PHOTOS: TEJAS SHAH

PRINCIPAL: D I P E N G A DA LOCATION: VA D O DA R A


PHOTOS: ANOMA RAJAKARUNA

PHOTO: RYAN WIJAYRATNE

MODERNISTS

HW ARCHITECTS

PRINCIPAL: H I R A N T E W E L A N DAW E LOCATION: C O L O M B O, S R I L A N K A

Architecture often emerges as a physical manifestation of a city’s soul. In post-war Jaffna—a city limping back to normalcy— architect Hirante Welandawe has created a home that responds as much to the client, as to its context. Welandawe has worked across typologies and countries—including India, where she worked as a trainee at the New Delhi-based firm Stein, Doshi & Bhalla. She excels at creating meaningful spaces with a fuss-free eloquence. For this house, she had the homeowners, who had lived through the strife, dig deep within for experiences that had left an indelible mark. The result is a space that reflects their desire to turn inwards, away from the uncontrollable reality of the world they inhabited, and find solace, security, and a measure of control. Architectural Digest: What factors played a role in facilitating your vision for the house? Hirante Welandawe: We usually get clients to write a diary, to help us personalize the project. My clients had been subjected to some traumatic experiences during the war years, which had made them highly sensitive to security threats. Conversations with them helped conceptualize the house as a post-war expression of Jaffna society. AD: How did that translate into the design? HW: Pre-war bungalows in the city had street-facing verandas; this house turns inwards, into private family courtyards. Here, 160|

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the street-facing ‘closed box’ is a metaphor for an inwardfocused family. It’s an expression of the client’s observation— about how people turn inwards in the face of continued violence and politicization of society. The front door, opening out to a yard, is also screened by a wall, giving a sense of security. Toughened glass has been used for all the doors. AD: What drove the material selection? HW: We like to be sustainable and meaningful in our choice of materials. In Jaffna, the 30-year war had caused a disconnect in construction-based skills, which are usually passed from craftsman to apprentice. Jaffna’s traditional building material is coral, which is environmentally protected, so currently almost all the materials are brought from the southern regions. We wanted to use local materials as far as possible; so the cement, sandstone blocks, and timber were locally sourced. The streetfacing closed ‘box’ has local palmyra wood lining. AD: Is there a recurring element in your projects? HW: I hope not! I work hard to ensure most of it comes from the project context. I am the author, not the subject. AD: How significant was the experience of working with Balkrishna Doshi at Stein, Doshi & Bhalla? HW: Pivotal. When I first heard him [Doshi] speak about architecture, I got goosebumps. For the first time, after three years of studying the subject, I knew I was in the right place. hwarchitects.net


MODERNISTS LIJO.RENY.ARCHITECTS

PRINCIPALS: L I J O J O S A N D R E N Y L I J O LOCATION: T H R I S S U R

MATRA ARCHITECTS AND RURBAN PLANNERS 

PHOTOS: PRAVEEN MOHANDAS

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PHOTOS COURTESY MATRA ARCHITECTS AND RURBAN PLANNERS

There is a little bit of art in every kind of architecture. In the case of decade-old firm Lijo.Reny.architects, it’s the interest in art that keeps the principals inspired while designing spaces. Lijo Jos and Reny Lijo, “self-taught” artists who are also known for their site-specific installations, founded the firm in 2005. The studio has transformed the contemporary architectural language in Kerala, staying away from the mainstream to evolve insightful structures. The design for the Walls and Vaults House in Kanjirappally, Kerala bears out the firm’s relentless pursuit to achieve novelty within fixed parameters and a modern framework. The opacity of carefully chosen materials—stone on the walls and floors, and exposed concrete and teak wood—is lightened with courtyards. One is flanked by the two linear bays that host the living areas, and two more courtyards run along their exterior walls. The facade uses granite sourced from the region and has been fashioned using local techniques. The result is a home that seamlessly merges with the outdoors. lijorenyarchitects.com

PRINCIPAL: V E R E N D R A WA K H L O O LOCATION: N E W D E L H I

A continuous discussion and a lot of introspection—this is the approach that Matra Architects and Rurban Planners has for each project. It is based on the concept that the idea for a form already exists at the subconscious level. Like the final sculpture hidden in a block of marble, all it takes is an artist to carve it out. Here, the role of artist is played by the firm, set up by Verenedra Wakhloo, whose work profile includes a stint at the Balkrishna Doshi-led Vastu Shilpa Consultants. The influences are apparent in the way the firm’s structures combine material and craft to leave behind a modernist imprint on cityscapes. Working largely across north India, Matra’s work includes projects like the Gaurav Gupta store at the DLF Emporio mall in New Delhi and the Ranthambore Vatika Resort in Rajasthan. Matra designed this Noida studio, which also functions as a residence for an artist couple. It manifests the idea of a blank canvas as a spatial concept. The interiors are mostly windowless, with daylight filtering through slits in the opaque blocks. The steeland-concrete interiors and the austere structure result in a space that inspires homeowners and passers-by. matra.co.in ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016


218-222 DLF Grand Mall Second Floor MG Road Gurgaon 91.124.410 88 00/ 99 00 . info@ravishvohrahome.com www.ravishvohrahome.com

“Redefining the aesthetics of bespoke living”


PHOTOS COURTESY METROPOLITAN STUDIO OF ARCHITECTURE

MODERNISTS

METROPOLITAN STUDIO OF ARCHITECTURE PRINCIPALS: S Y E D FAWA D H U S S A I N A N D L E E NA H A S S A N LOCATION: L A H O R E , PA K I S TA N

“I believe that asking the right questions is key to any successful consultancy,” says Syed Fawad Hussain of Metropolitan Studio of Architecture (MSA). Established in 2004, the firm’s meticulous design process is anchored in deeply researched academic concepts. Its approach interprets the idea of construction “in the conventional sense of the word and as a materialization of ideas”. MSA-RI (Research Initiative) was formed by the firm to delve into areas beyond architecture, and achieve an interdisciplinary approach. The result is sophisticated design, which has a remarkable ability to slip sensitively into the cultural, social and contextual ecosystems that define them. Architectural Digest: How did you visualize the High Street House? Syed Fawad Hussain: This house belongs to a Pashtun family that was moving to Islamabad from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. My objective was to respond to their value system while situating them in a modern city—without them feeling alienated. The constant tension between the values of the family and the progressive principles that shaped the city, paradoxically demanded openness and privacy, an extroversion as well as introversion. 164|

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AD: What drove the choice of materials? SFH: I had to design a semi-detached house on a small 3,567-square-foot plot. Here, the choice of materials was both pragmatic and metaphoric. I used concrete to expand the space and make the heavier walls appear levitated. The neutral palette allows for the appreciation of nature’s changing elements, especially how light hits the concrete without any visual obstruction caused by unnecessary details or ornamentation. AD: How did you conceive the interiors? SFH: Rather than use traditional divisions, we divided the house into two sections. The basement works as a hujra, a male domain for entertaining male guests. The ground and first floors are family domains, for the women to move around comfortably. The strong sense of the public and private extends to the terrace, with openings in the concrete mass letting in the views. In the front, the glass blocks enclosing the black marble stairs retain the notion of ‘purdah’, while letting light enter the stairwell; it defines the shape of the interiors as well as the exteriors. AD: How would you define your aesthetic? SFH: For me, aesthetic is not a mathematical or rational entity. Again, it is debatable whether architecture—where practical concerns are quite dominant—is an ‘aesthetic’ discipline at all. We can probably only address it through experience. By defining it through an experiential paradigm, it’s always evolving. msa.com.pk


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PHOTO COURTESY FAIZA FAROOQ PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTOS COURTESY NOOR KHAN DESIGN STUDIO

MODERNISTS

NOOR KHAN DESIGN STUDIO PRINCIPAL: N O O R K H A N LOCATION: L A H O R E , PA K I S TA N

Take away all the embellishments, and you find that the power of architecture lies in its simplicity, or, as Noor Khan believes, in being “complete in itself”. A relatively new entrant to Pakistan’s architectural landscape, Khan set up his practice after working with acclaimed Lahore-based SR Designworks. The short span, however, belies his diverse practice, which includes the Polo by Ralph Lauren stores in Lahore and Islamabad. A thoroughbred modernist, Khan’s appreciation of minimalism has resulted in spaces that serve as evocative modern reflections of their contexts. Architectural Digest: How did you approach the design for the 6 Courtyard House? Noor Khan: Prior to this, the client’s family was living in a much smaller house, because of which they had become accustomed to close interaction—that can get lost in a larger space. I used multiple double-height spaces to achieve a visual and acoustic connection between the three storeys. To ensure absolute privacy, I designed an inward-looking house and created small courtyards, which, when coupled with my own preference for well-lit spaces with open views, led to the final design. 166|

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AD: What drove the material choices? NK: This is predominantly a concrete and brick structure merged with wood and glass. To make the design look spacious, I used a white palette, and wood to create a linear effect. AD: The courtyard has an undulating ceiling... NK: I wanted to bring in a specific kind of light into the small courtyard next to the study—to make it more thoughtprovoking. I also had to ensure a certain degree of privacy from the neighbours. I expressed both these desires, along with a play on the straight lines that I typically use. AD: How did the idea for the skylight come about? NK: I’ve always been sensitive to how the sky meets the roof in my architecture; this skylight was designed as a play on that. Since the skylight is located above a circulation space, I wanted to turn the act of moving around into a distinct experience. AD: Is minimalism a common feature across your projects? NK: I find myself gravitating towards the timeless aspects of architecture—how spaces manifest themselves through interaction with light, gravity and human activity. This produces an understanding of architecture as ‘complete’ in itself, leaving little room for ornamentation. noorkhanstudio.com


PHOTO: KRISHANU CHATTERJEE

PHOTOS: ARIEL HUBER COURTESY OPOLIS

MODERNISTS

OPOLIS

PLANET 3 STUDIO

Within the larger realm of simple, understated design, Opolis has carved an aesthetic that goes beyond just function, great form, and even topographical diktats. Each project involves a deconstruction of the complexities of a brief to arrive at elegant solutions, offering something that is both meaningful and relevant to the end-user. From the Bihar Museum—being designed in association with Fumihiko Maki’s firm Maki and Associates—to offices, set designs, and residences, the firm’s steady inflow of projects accrue from its willingness to explore, combined with a deftness of execution. Built for a multigenerational family, this weekend home in Amby Valley—a few hours’ drive from Mumbai—leverages the contoured site to let its sweeping views take centre stage. The individual villas for each family are pulled together by the outdoor spaces, common living areas and materials used— locally available black basalt stone, exposed concrete, and Mangalore tiles for the lightweight steel roof structure. It is a strong visual underscored by a simplicity that’s patently artistic. opolis.in

The maxim ‘change is the only constant’ seems to resonate particularly in the context of the predictable uncertainties of India’s urban planning. This time around, it took the form of a road-widening initiative that ate into swathes of the site where Planet 3 Studio was to build a home. For a firm known for its forward-looking designs through the canny use of material, site constraints and client brief, it’s the kind of challenge that would have been especially satisfying to overcome. The ability to balance drama with strong geometries has made the multidisciplinary studio an acknowledged force in the design milieu, garnering acclaim and awards in equal measure. Its unconventional approach and constant endeavour to experiment was the template for this Bengaluru home, with high ceilings and vast light-filled spaces, courtesy of the circular openings in its external skin. Indoor landscaping includes an under-lit, shallow waterbody in the dining room with the run-off spilling into a lily pond at the entrance porch. The restrained aesthetic is perfectly accented with contemporary furniture and sculptural lighting. planet3studios.com

PRINCIPALS: R A H U L G O R E A N D S O NA L S A N C H E T I LOCATION: M U M BA I

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PRINCIPALS: K A L H A N A N D S A N T H A G O U R M AT TO O LOCATION: M U M BA I


RAJIV SAINI + ASSOCIATES PRINCIPAL: R A J I V S A I N I LOCATION: M U M BA I

Every Rajiv Saini-designed apartment shares certain trademark features—a high degree of finesse, the way divergent materials seamlessly integrate and a design language distilled down to its essence. This Malabar Hill home is one he personally identified with. “The clients just said, ‘We love what you do; it’s your call how you want to go ahead with the design. Do what you would do if it were your space’,” he recalls. Here, besides his characteristic attention to detail, and ability to shift gears with every project, is a visual vocabulary that interprets design through the lens of a storied art collection. Architectural Digest: How much of the design was influenced by the idea of showcasing the art? Rajiv Saini: All of it. I thought about what would be appropriate for the project, and decided on a neutral palette of materials to form a backdrop for the fantastic art that would accessorize the space. Hence, a crisp white against the grey terrazzo for all the common areas. The bedrooms have lightblond wood contrasted with dark veneers, generally in small accents. The idea was to make the space as light as possible. AD: How did you choose the artworks? RS: It was like curating a show: which generation of artists do you place against what? What medium do you play off 170|

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PHOTO: NEVILLE SUKHIA

PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHIX/SEBASTIAN ZACHARIAH

MODERNISTS

against the other? The clients had possibly the best collection of Ram Kumars, which I used for the living room. A Sudhir Patwardhan work hangs low on the wall, seeming like it’s part of the conversation. AD: What drove the selection for the other rooms? RS: In the bedroom, a large canvas by [NS] Bendre hangs opposite the bed, and smaller drawings are placed behind it. I used several of the smaller works in the study, which doubles up as a guest room. It has a salon-style aesthetic with drawings, watercolours and paperworks by a range of artists, from Jogen Chowdhury to Akbar Padamsee and MF Husain. AD: Did you select the art before you started designing? RS: The only definite choice were the Ram Kumars. The other art wasn’t really firmed up until the furniture was put in place. AD: Do you decide on the decor before you begin work? RS: I think a strong shell can give you ideas. But the initial conversation with a client is also critical—it sets the tone for the project. So yes, there is a kind of image that takes shape in your head, even if not a whole mood-board. AD: What is the one thing a house must have? RS: Character. Soulless, generic spaces are showrooms, not homes. rajivsaini.com


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MODErNIStS

SPASM DESIGN

For SPASM Design, every architectural endeavour has its own destiny, and follows a unique path to arrive at it. But every project starts the same way—after elaborate discussions and a study of site specifications. SPASM’s creative process is as intuitive as it is carefully thought-out, following a ‘creation from chaos’ rule. The result is the articulation of a vision through buildings that are devoid of ornamentation yet striking, functional yet aesthetic, austere yet elegant. The firm’s work includes redefined cityscapes in east Africa and India. This remotely located bungalow at the edge of a reservoir in Deolali, a couple of hours away from Nashik, is a back-tonature intervention. Playing spectacularly off its surroundings, the design keeps the view as the locus. The top entry affords views of the reservoir from the flat roof, and the staircase at the entrance breaks down the scenery on display into individual frames. The colour palette and materials draw from the changing landscape—a flat, almost unobtrusive structure coloured in nature’s constantly changing shades. spasmindia.com 172|

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PhOTOS: PhOTOgRAPhIx/SebASTIAN ZAChARIAh

PRINCIPALS: S A N jAy PA N jA b I A N D S A N G E E tA M E r c h A N t LOCATION: M u M bA I


MODERNISTS SYSTEM ARCHITECTS

PHOTO: PRIYA JINDAL

PHOTOS: RANDHIR SINGH

PRINCIPAL: E NA M U L K A R I M N I R J H A R LOCATION: D H A K A , BA N G L A D E S H

“In this phase of the world, where all we see are horrifying realities, the softest part of a mind needs to be nurtured and inspired. If I am not inspired, I won’t be able to inspire others,” says the founder of System Architects, Enamul Karim Nirjhar, who is also a noted film-maker. Nirjhar’s creativity is centred on an innate sincerity, which results in meaningful spaces. The firm’s work includes residences, institutes and corporate spaces, like the significant 2013 project, NinaKabbo, with poems by famous Bangladeshi poets inscribed on its exterior. Displaying a similar sensitivity is this house in Dhaka, Jeebon-Anondo. It integrates an almost-lyrical modulation of materials with functional underpinnings. Architectural Digest: How did you conceive the design of this house? Enamul Karim Nirjhar: The design idea began with understanding the clients’ psychological standpoint, so that the stories of their everyday life become the reason for daily celebration. The most important factor was ensuring free movement for their physically challenged eldest son. AD: How did you achieve that? EKN: This building has an elevator that is accessible across all

PRINCIPALS: A N K U R C H O K S I , A M B R I S H A RO R A A N D S I D H A RT H A TA LWA R LOCATION: N E W D E L H I

It is not possible to pigeonhole Studio Lotus into a style. It’s a multidisciplinary firm that has made it a habit to defy easy classification, responding instead to the inherent differences of every project. What stays unchanged is the proclivity to leverage local craftsmanship and materials to create singular spaces. It’s an approach that has resulted in a diverse, awardwinning portfolio. The firm’s relentless pursuit of innovation by utilizing indigenous materials is seen in the House with a Brick Veil in central Delhi. As the name suggests, brick is the protagonist of the narrative structure woven for the house. A 345-millimetre-thick brick wall wrapped around the structure is punctuated with multiple terraces across all levels. In places, the omnipresent material gives way to courtyards that facilitate light and air circulation. The language of the exterior echoes in the interiors too, with exposed brick walls complementing a neutral palette. Strong surfaces, quiet spaces and fluid interiors—it’s a hard shell encapsulating a tranquil core. studiolotus.in

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PHOTO: ROUDRO SAKIB KARIM

STUDIO LOTUS


perspective floors. The basement is also free-flowing with facilities such as gym and theatre. We also ensured it received enough daylight.

PHOTOS: PRANAV PURUSHOTTAM

AD: What influenced the structure of the house? EKN: The box-shaped outer shell is a metaphor for the way parents protect their children. The five circular pillars in the central internal spaces represent the family of five as the backbone of the building. Since the house didn’t have any free space outside, we tried to bring spatial hierarchy internally and make the connections meaningful. AD: There are many circular windows and skylights... EKN: They represent drops: of tears, light and rain. A circle is a symbol of the moment, and a drop connects to that moment; it brings light, water, and drama into the living spaces. AD: What kind of materials do you enjoy working with? EKN: Bangladesh is a country of traditional craftsmen, so the materials we used were ones they are comfortable with. Any material that is easy to maintain and can create a feeling of attachment is one I enjoy using. Normally, we use concrete; it gives a monolithic feel to the structure, seen in rural mud houses as well. We try not to use nature-reduced materials, such as brick, which is made by burning mud. AD: Do you have to consider the environmental challenges that Bangladesh faces, like cyclones, while building homes? EKN: We do have to take into account wind pressure and other climatic factors. Climate always plays an integral part of design in Bangladesh. systemarchitectsbd.com

UNTITLED DESIGN CONSULTANTS 

PHOTOS: NK MOORTUZA AND TOWHID MUSTAFA

PRINCIPALS: A M R I TA G U H A A N D J OYA NA N D U R D I K A R LOCATION: N E W D E L H I

That touch of tradition comes up unexpectedly, but fits comfortably in its contemporary environment, creating an inviting paradox of a home. For Untitled Design Consultants, the expertise to incorporate local expression in thoroughly modern spaces comes almost instinctively. The firm, which also designs bespoke furniture, has a transformative and adaptable aesthetic. Combining a sustainable approach with new technologies has produced distinctive spaces that endure, and has also earned the firm a fair share of accolades over a relatively short span. This 50-year-old New Delhi residence was born of a brief that required creating a coherent aesthetic from the “chaos of the original structure”. The eventual design turned an asymmetric layout into a linear one and ensured optimal daylight for each of the rooms. A combination of materials— marble, Kota, granite, and limestone—serve as a neutral backdrop for distinctly Indian art and artefacts. A nuanced response to lavish living, the firm effortlessly walks the fine line between a well-designed space and a thoughtfully designed one. untitleddesign.org


NATURALISTS ARTHA STUDIO

PRINCIPALS: S AU R A B H M A L PA N I A N D A S H K A NA I K LOCATION: P U N E

PHOTOS: ROBERT VERRIJT

Somewhere between the two extreme ends of the design spectrum—mundane predictability and radical transformation—lies a middle ground. It is where wellthought-out solutions inform an aesthetic that values simplicity, yet is inspiring enough to produce masterfully designed spaces. That space has been effortlessly inhabited by Artha Studio. Since its inception in 2008, the multidisciplinary design firm has created architecture that has its genesis in the coming together of craft, community, culture and nature, elevating not just the living experience for families but enriching surrounding communities. The Farmer’s Abode in Pune, built in a style that responds entirely to location, is as contemporary as it is enduring, as simple as it is thoughtprovoking, and as much a house as a statement. Architectural Digest: Did the site pose any challenges while conceiving the layout? Saurabh Malpani: The spatial experience had to be simple and austere, and not just a thoroughfare for the dwellers or the visitors. Protecting the inhabitants from the occasional leopard hiding in the surrounding sugarcane fields, while bringing nature within the boundaries of the abode, was also challenging.

ARCHITECTURE BRIO

Gazing down from the top of a hillock in Karjat—near Mumbai, in the Western Ghats foothills—all you see is a cover of green. What it is, is the cleverly camouflaged roof of the House by a River (pictured), looking like nature contrived to place it there. For Architecture BRIO, an imprint subtly left behind in the midst of a green cover. The acclaimed creators of highly feted projects—like the Laureus Learning Pavilion (an interactive space for underprivileged children commissioned by the NGO Magic Bus), and the House on a Stream—they are known for structures that seem to emerge out of their surroundings; the latter won them recognition at the 2015 JK Cement Architect of the Year Awards [AYA]. The firm also collaborated with billionBricks, a not-for-profit enterprise that works with displaced and homeless communities, to transform Konchur, Karnataka into a model village. The House by a River is yet another reflection of the firm’s skill at integrating built spaces into their specific environments. The stone boulders discovered during the excavation process, timber, and coarse Indian limestone ensure that the house plants itself unobtrusively in its surroundings. architecturebrio.com 176|

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PHOTOS: HEMANT PATIL

PRINCIPALS: S H E FA L I BA LWA N I A N D RO B E RT V E R R I J T LOCATION: M U M BA I


perspective AD: Any particular reason why cow dung is the primary flooring material? SM: In rural sites, cow dung is used practically in every tenth household. It has great insulating properties: in winter it exudes warmth; and in summer it keeps the space cool. Its applicators are farm labourers, who have become skilful and artistic at it. The use of cow dung, in addition to other local materials and crafts, generated economic opportunities for dead and dying crafts.

AD: What is your design sensibility when it comes to homes? SM: A home should be a reflection of its owner’s character, aspirations and intuitions. The process of knowing and understanding the owner—before the designing even begins—is an indispensable first step in the journey to build a home. AD: Is there a particular architect or architectural period that inspires you? SM: I’ve apprenticed with Geoffrey Bawa and Alvaro Siza. I’ve always admired Charles Correa’s work. And, if Enric Miralles were alive, I would definitely have worked with him before starting Artha Studio. arthastudio.com

PHOTOS COURTESY WWW.ANCLICKS.COM

AD: In what way is the house contemporary? SM: We have respected traditional knowledge, but not blindly copied it. For example, the windows on the main facade are not traditional, the dining table is a contemporary creation, and the bedroom feeds the need for luxury.

iSTUDIO ARCHITECTURE

PRINCIPALS: S H R I YA PA R A S A M P U R I A , P R A S H A N T D U PA R E A N D A M I T PAT I L LOCATION: T H A N E

For the Sir JJ School of Architecture graduates who banded together to form iStudio Architecture, every opportunity to design is a call for innovation. In a short time, the firm has set the bar very high for unforgettable design. The stunning Brick House won the firm the 2015 Indian Institute of Architects’ ‘Young Architects Award’ for residential design. The client’s memory of his childhood home was the starting point for the visually striking, and completely practical, Brick House. The home’s curved roof meant that everything inside had to be customized—from the mirror chips on the wall to the louvred windows and the kitchen counter. This sustainable home was built as an “experiment in brick, interspersed with stone and ferroconcrete,” explains principal and co-founder, Prashant Dupare. Brick was selected for its “flexibility in designing” and because of its texture, which “lends itself to architecture in a way that allows one to feel close to nature. There is a sense of earthiness, tradition and age.” By combining local resources and novel solutions, the firm created a house that fits its rural site like a glove, while casting brick in a contemporary avatar, “making it a modern man’s earthy and vernacular home”. istudioarchitecture.com


PHOTOS: ROGHITHAN RATNAM AND LAKMAL GALAGODA

PHOTO: SAMITHA FERNANDO

NATURALISTS

NAREIN PERERA

PRINCIPAL: NA R E I N P E R E R A LOCATION: C O L O M B O, S R I L A N K A

In 2007, four years after setting up his practice, Narein Perera won the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects’ award for design excellence. In 2014, he won the Architecture Asia Award for Emerging Architects at the Asian Congress of Architects session in Malaysia. It’s easy to see why. Perera’s “living and building in the tropics” approach, moulded uniquely to site requirements, has enabled him to create distinct spaces where nature has a strong footprint. Like this house in the fastgrowing suburb of Pelawatte, in Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the official capital of Sri Lanka. Perera had to work off a brief that drew from the idea of ‘solis ortus’, which translates to ‘rising of the sun’. What he ended up creating was an ageless home that forges a soulful connection with light. Architectural Digest: How closely did you identify with the client’s ‘solis ortus’ idea? Narein Perera: The client’s needs for their home echoed our preferred approach to tropical living. Thus, the design interpretation was not difficult, because my work strives to achieve this factor to the fullest. The challenge was to fit it into an urban site. AD: How did you conceive the structure and design? NP: The form grew from the context. The need for ‘singlebanked’ spaces with views, and the opportunity for optimized 178|

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light and ventilation, generated the layout. The need for privacy, weather protection, softening of the structural elements, and security generated the external ‘skin’. AD: What would you say is the highlight of the space? NP: The spaces flow both horizontally and vertically, beyond the physical edges, even utilizing the sky and the borrowed landscape as their own. In most instances, the space encompassed within a functional space is the total site. AD: How did you choose the materials? NP: We looked to explore natural textures and colours, and considered maintenance and life cycle costs as well. The finishes used don’t need redoing. The use of exposed brick was governed by the circumstances, rather than stylistic reasons. AD: Why is Aircrete used as a screen wall for the house? NP: We used Aircrete [porous concrete] blocks as a lightweight alternative, and as a grey contrast to the red brick. The block dimensions were fashioned specially for this project. The screen was for privacy from the growing neighbourhood. AD: Is it important for a country to project a unified architectural aesthetic? NP: The underlying ethos of architectural thought lies in the need to build in the tropics. It can create unique solutions for a single problem. In this sense, it is possible. Building in a particular climatic context offers the greatest opportunity and challenge.


PHOTO: GAURAV BANERJEE

PHOTOS: ANIMESH NAYAK

NATURALISTS

OPEN TO SKY

PRINCIPAL: A N I M E S H NAYA K LOCATION: B E N G A L U RU

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention, an adage that has served as a blueprint for architecture firm Open To Sky. The firm was tasked with building a home in the remotely located, considerably dangerous area known as Bodoland, in the far reaches of Assam. Circumstances that required ease of access to resources resonated with the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approach of providing an innovative take on the challenges that result from contextual realities. The answers they found included giving a new spin to tea estates by leveraging the wealth of the local material paletteâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;bamboo, stone and wood. They also enabled the client to achieve his main objective: attracting well-qualified tea planters from bustling cities to his remotely located gardens. Architectural Digest: What dictated the design for this house? Animesh Nayak: The owner wanted the house to give the impression of a larger, luxurious space, while actually being small, compact and easily maintained on a tight budget. The design balances this dichotomy by treating the three courtyards and two gardens as seamless extensions of the living quarters and maximizing the use of windows that bring in light and showcase the surrounding landscape. 180|

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AD: What would you say is the highlight of this house? AN: The central landscaped courtyard: it allows one to see right through to the back of the site from the front, giving the building a much lighter and non-intrusive appearance. AD: Can you elaborate on the form of the skylight? AN: The skylight over the central portico is like a clock, keeping tabs on time by working with the moving sun to create a kaleidoscope of light patterns. The rather feminine nature of the rounded skylight set within the more brutalist nature of the exposed concrete portico creates a sense of subtle tension between being sheltered yet exposed. AD: What was the most challenging aspect of the design? AN: The rounded stones, made of locally available Himalayan river boulders, needed to be shaped by hand to create the rectilinear and tapering stone walls. Then there was the remote site, where work was often hampered due to labour issues caused by the area's insurgency problem. AD: How did the design for the interior spaces evolve? AN: The rooms, while similar in arrangement to the traditional tea bungalow, are interspersed with private landscape light wells that bring in light and air. The high ceilings increase the sense of scale and allow in dramatic views.


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PHOTOS: SEBASTIAN POSINGIS

NATURALISTS

PALINDA KANNANGARA ARCHITECTS PRINCIPAL: PA L I N DA K A N NA N G A R A LOCATION: C O L O M B O, S R I L A N K A

A site saturated with a stunning green cover was the blank canvas on which Palinda Kannangara applied the broad strokes of his design palette. The award-winning architect’s rigorous spatial configurations are tempered by an inspired play of material combinations. Here, he chose to breathe new life into an existing structure. The former space that ignored location and context, was transformed into a light-filled space, which introduced nature in its midst, keeping ornamentation to a minimum. Architectural Digest: Did the client have a specific brief? Palinda Kannangara: The client wanted a second home that would be a tranquil space for him to pursue his writings on Buddhist philosophy. His wife loves gardening and their daughter, a classical dancer, wanted a space to practise. The design also provides connections to the vast paddy landscapes on one side and into small secret courtyard gardens and ponds. AD: Did the site influence the design? PK: This is a renovation project of a 1970s house, which was located close to paddy fields, but had no connection with them. I retained the old structure, but opened up the house to the

paddies. I created an upper entrance court and a higher garden. Although the level of the paddy is almost eight feet lower, the idea was to create panoramic views from all the rooms. AD: How did the material selection happen? PK: It’s a simple material palette with local materials, which is what I do for all my projects. Rubble stone, local river rock, crushed gravel and recycled granite pavers (from demolished sites) were used for outdoor and courtyard paving. The indoor flooring comprises polished cut cement for the ground floor and local ‘kabuk’ timber for the upper level. A structural concrete wall has been used to give the living room a different texture. AD: Did the location dictate the interiors? PK: The location helped me design the interiors to reflect the exterior palette. The quietness and the temporal qualities of the shadows of the surrounding landscape have been brought inside. The living spaces are created as ‘verandah living’, taking the user closer to nature. AD: What is your design philosophy for homes? PK: Homes should offer an effortless connection between family members, while also offering them privacy. Different spaces should offer different experiences; new sensory experiences should be created through the play of light and ventilation. palindakannangara.com


PHOTOS: RAJIV MAJUMDAR

NATURALISTS

PRAXIS

PRINCIPALS: A J I T JA I N, G O PA M E N O N A N D R A J I V M A J U M DA R LOCATION: B E N G A L U RU

A firm that refuses to be pinned down, or be neatly framed within definable parameters, Praxis has the ability to constantly surprise, and be surprised, with the end product. Like the design for this farmhouse in Bengaluru’s Eagleton golf village. The firm translated the brief for a weekend home into a laid-back space influenced by its surroundings, giving the homeowner exactly what he wanted, in a way he probably didn’t expect. Architectural Digest: How did the aesthetic for the house evolve? Gopa Menon: Our aesthetic for homes is a derivative of an exhaustive methodology of problem-solving involving the clients. This homeowner had recently been bitten by the golf bug and intended to spend weekends golfing, and unwinding with family and friends at the house at Eagleton. They asked for a reasonably comfortable, low-maintenance, threebedroom weekend home. AD: Were the linear forms influenced by the site? GM: The house reacts to the views and the unbuilt vista. The 3,750-square-foot plot is a trapezium with a wide east-facing

front and a narrow west-facing rear. The rectangular block housing the rooms falls towards the southern side. The living areas occupy the northern quadrants with views towards the walled garden. AD: How did you select the furniture? GM: We used reclaimed furniture to achieve an easy, relaxed vibe. The material palette, such as the use of Athangudi tiles, evolved from the desire to promote locally available skill sets and techniques. The way we chose to use the materials was based on their intrinsic properties, ease of maintenance, and how the materials would age. AD: What materials feature prominently in your work? GM: We don’t have predetermined ideas, though we do prefer visually textured materials. In this house, if you look at the finish of the walls, the double-volumed space called for a dramatic texture, which resulted from collaborations with the masons responsible for the cement plaster. AD: One of the bedrooms has an exposed cement ceiling... GM: The jack-arch roof is a cost-effective structural roofing system common in south India. The texture of the bricks forms a part of the overall narrative. praxis-india.com


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PHOTOS: SAMEER CHAWDA

PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPHIX/SEBASTIAN ZACHARIAH

NATURALISTS

PURAN KUMAR ARCHITECTS PRINCIPAL: P U R A N K U M A R LOCATION: M U M BA I

“I don’t think I built the house; the trees allowed this house to be built,” says architect Puran Kumar, whose Mango House was the only Indian entry shortlisted in the ‘Best Residences’ category for the 2015 Inside Awards. Kumar’s organic approach to designing spaces seems to have reached a crescendo of sorts with this space, his holiday home in Alibag. A design that emerged completely from the trees inhabiting the space, the house almost serves as a snapshot of Kumar’s design sensibility. Architectural Digest: What was it about this site that appealed to you? Puran Kumar: I chanced upon this piece of land in Alibag, surrounded by lush greenery everywhere, with a view of the mountains and these majestic mango trees patronizing the plot. It’s like the place sold itself. AD: How did you visualize the space? PK: We wanted to build the house without disturbing the 12 mango trees. But they grow horizontally, with roots that spread outwards; so they defined the layout below ground as well. When we dug the ground to lay the foundation, we discovered roots in places we never imagined they would get to! That meant going back to the drawing board. We were not familiar with their growth patterns, so we consulted the locals. 186|

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AD: How did the design come about? PK: The design evolved organically. There is a strong exterior-interior connect. Nothing stops the outside from coming in. While the house serves the purpose it is meant for, it does so without obstructing its natural surroundings. AD: Do your homes have a common design scheme? PK: A common aesthetic in the houses I design is an openness—connecting with, and staying true to their surroundings. My designs don’t shout, try to dominate the space, or stamp their authority. It is important to understand how much you need to do—and not do more. AD: What drove the selection of materials for the house? PK: The Mangalore tiles were selected for the roof because they blend best in a rural context. The exposed brick for the walls emerged as an afterthought; once the walls were built, we realized that no cover was needed. We recycled timber from old bungalows for door and window frames. AD: What is the biggest change you have seen in the way homes are designed? PK: There is an international influence in almost every aspect, which is a good thing, but there was a simplicity to architecture earlier that’s now gone. purankumar.com


PHOTOS: WARUNA GOMIS

NATURALISTS

PWA ARCHITECTS

PRINCIPAL: P H I L I P W E E R A R AT N E LOCATION: C O L O M B O, S R I L A N K A

For PWA Architects, which counts Japanese masters Shigeru Ban and Tadao Ando as major sources of inspiration, nature always forms the heart of its spaces—commercial or residential. No two spaces, however, adopt a similar visual story. Because if there is one thing this Sri Lanka-based firm has in abundance, it is its ability to access an ever-changing material palette. Established in 1997, PWA ensures “that neither the integrity and language of the architecture, nor its soul, is marred by external forces”. Exemplifying this sensibility is this holiday home in Kathaluwa, in southern Sri Lanka. Overlooking a lake, it’s a glowing shell accented by light, water, and the view. Architectural Digest: Were there any specific challenges in the process of designing the house? Philip Weeraratne: Mainly the orientation that would frame the best of the site and the spectacular views of the lake. Dealing with contours and creating surprises and vistas for the visitor were also important. AD: Can you elaborate on the materials used? PW: We like using earthy, vernacular materials, but try to give them a contemporary edge. Like the slats on the side facade of this home—they have the advantage of seeming solid during 188|

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the day and translucent at night. We also consider what the material would feel like to walk on barefoot. We look at light and water as materials, which are sometimes more important than brick, plaster or concrete. AD: What made you keep the interiors understated? PW: The power of the interior lay in how it framed the outside. We wanted it to be calm and minimal, but simplicity is often harder to achieve than complexity. The careful orchestration of furniture, art and function complements the space and its views, and doesn’t take over by being too loud. AD: Do you approach holiday homes differently? PW: We can design holiday homes that feel metropolitan and city homes that look like holiday houses. A dogma based on typology can be limiting. Every project is a new start, just as every client has a different personality. We like to be collaborators just as much as we like to be authors. This is why we work so closely with our clients, treating them as codesigners and working with our collective shared ideals. AD: Is there one thing that a home must have? PW: Homes should give their occupants a sense of completion. It’s the architect’s role to find out what that is and be the medium to realize this. Serenity and tranquillity are unquantifiable attributes architecture must achieve—in addition to aesthetics. pwa.lk


NATURALISTS SHATOTTO 

PRINCIPAL: R A F I Q A Z A M LOCATION: D H A K A , BA N G L A D E S H

PHOTOS: DANIELE DOMENICALI

PHOTO: NUR E ZANNAT JUI

Every enduring structure has—at its core—simplicity, a clear vision, the seed of an experiment, and deep respect for its surroundings. Shatotto has consistently strived to reconcile the yawning gap between built and natural spaces. The results are structures that stand almost as a defiant counterpoint to the clone-like monoliths proliferating across urban centres. Like Dokkhinayon, the fourstorey residence in Dhaka, which provides a visual break from the stereotype. An exposed concrete and brickwork facade is punctuated with balconies projected outward, serving as a medium to create an outdoor-indoor connection. A modern house that invokes nature at every level, the spaces are embellished with traditional inspirations. The idea of creating a goshshaghor, a space to vent anger, is derived from a Bengali village house, and reimagined here as a rooftop terrace designed for contemplation. The groundfloor entrance area overlooks a shallow pool and features a bench, taking its cues from the subcontinental habit of elaborate farewells. Just like with its other projects, Shatotto sets the bar high for a compelling living space.

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THE ART OF ANTIQUES

If you’re looking to add an old-world charm to your home, then turn to Frangipani—the curators of ancient Asian furniture and artefacts Unique and rare traditional furniture is hard to come by. Even if you find a piece that you love, procuring it may prove to be difficult. Bridging the gap between artisans and sellers, and rekindling the love for these timeless pieces, is Frangipani—the destination for exclusive furniture and artefacts. Born out of their shared love for travel and eclectic home decor, co-founders Payal Chopra and Amrita Caprihan Kalra handpick each of the exceptional pieces at Frangipani during their travels through the bustling bazaars, hidden alleys, artisan villages and antique warehouses of the Far East. And what you get is a treasure trove of select pieces from exotic locales that can blend easily into a traditional or contemporary home. Choose from handcrafted traditional Asian cabinets, cadenzas, chests, bars, side tables, consoles, coffee tables, phone tables, end tables, outdoor furniture, murals, ceramic urns, pottery, stone artefacts and much more. With collections form Korea, China and Indonesia on display and upcoming catalogues from Vietnam and Myanmar, at Frangipani you will be spoilt for choice. For more information, call 09811851000 or visit www.frangipanifurniture.com


perspective DIALOGUE

DOODLE IT!

’s SANHITA SINHA CHOWDHURY identified four promising graphic designers, and checked in on their work–and lives. They responded in the language they know best

PRANITA KOCHAREKAR

Kocharekar’s palm-sized cards—under the label Until Next Time—put her on our radar. We love this Mumbai-based designer’s minimalist style and the way she combines typography with simple sketches.

WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN MOTTO?

WHAT, ACCORDING TO YOU, IS THE COOLEST THING ABOUT INDIA?

WHO IS THE COOLEST PERSON YOU HAVE MET IN THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER?

WHAT ARE THE THREE THINGS YOU CAN’T DESIGN WITHOUT?

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perspective TOSHA JAGAD

Jagad has experimented with graphic design, typography and apparel design. Last year, she travelled to Andretta, Himachal Pradesh to study pottery and now dreams of setting up a studio amidst the mountains.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?

WHAT, ACCORDING TO YOU, IS THE COOLEST THING ABOUT INDIA?

WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?

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NEW

THE SIMPLICITY OF SHOWER ENJOYMENT PUSH, TURN, SHOWER – ALL IN ONE

GROHE RAINSHOWER® SMARTCONTROL

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Taking modern shower control to the next level Comfortable “push and turn” operation Thermostat supports comfortable temperature presetting A new dimension of comfortable showering Concealed installation as an optional solution


perspective ANKITA SHINDE

Shinde has been drawing since the age of three and her illustration practice has evolved to include mixed media. She lives and works in Mumbai, and says art helps her make sense of life’s perplexities.

WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN MOTTO?

My design is for the community and the community inspires me to design.

WHAT DO YOU SEE FROM YOUR WINDOW?

WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG?

Men’s handkerchief postcards to send on the go! stolen coasters from various cafes

ID Proof to prove I’m 25.

Dreams and Possibilities

rubberband and paperclip sketchbooks

white musk smoky rose fragrance mist

Conversations with the self

sketchpens

army of crayons


perspective HARSHIT VISHWAKARMA

Vishwakarma is an interactive art director at Wieden+Kennedy in New Delhi. His design vocabulary is drawn from multiple media—photography, film and illustration—and he prefers to keep his art open to interpretation.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?

WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN MOTTO?

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE?


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MARCO CRAIG

WOMAN AT WORK Patricia Urquiola’s studio—filled with 20th-century Italian design classics, playful toys and a few of her own designs in prototype or production stages—above her architectural and design practice in Milan.

PROFILE

UNCOMMON S

S

With a multitude of awards under her belt and a portfolio that contains everything from rugs to real estate, designer and architect Patricia Urquiola is making the world beautiful, one thoughtful design at a time WRITER NONIE NIESEWAND

B

ehind a sombre grey stone facade in Milan, built in the Novecento style of Italian art nouveau, a courtyard opens into the colourful world of Patricia Urquiola. Between her desk and shelves, she has a plastic lizard, a robot, a wooden dog, an astronaut, stacks of books and drawings, and a large black solitaire board with pullet-egg-sized pieces made by Ettore Sottsass for Olivetti in the 1960s. The giant hooded light of Mario Bellini’s ‘Chiara’ for Flos (1967) hovers protectively behind it. “These are the rule breakers,” is her

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introduction to these maestros of Italian design. A rule breaker herself, there is her ‘Bague’ light for Foscarini (2005), designed as a perforated tote bag; her ‘Lilo’ recliner for Moroso (2015) that plumps up bolsters in a strip along a skeletal wooden frame; and the soldered iron rhomboid repeated on the ‘Emu’ chair for Moroso. Her Jellies Family range of translucent pink, purple, yellow and blue plastic acrylic champagne flutes, teacups, plates and bowls for Kartell is as intricately moulded as Edwardian crystal, but more durable at poolside parties.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

AHEAD OF THE CURVE Even her designs for walls and floors break out of the box. Her marble veneers for Budri bend, curve and climb the walls purely through their kinetic patterns. Rugs for the Spanish company Gan, shaped like leg warmers and Maltese crosses, woven and patterned with oversized stitching, are combined together to carpet a room. Gan’s Bandas collection of carpet pieces is woven by women’s cooperatives in India “on big looms, which wasn’t easy for women sitting on the floor”, Urquiola explains. “So I >


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masierogroup.com


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< changed direction to make it easier for them to do smaller pieces on 60centimetre-wide looms, rather than big rugs. Piecing them together and anchoring them with a pouf is [as per] individual choice.” Centre stage in the studio is one of the Bandas poufs with a grey, flat weave on one side, and a golden-wheat-coloured chunky purl stitched on the other. Urquiola is welcoming. “Ecco—you are here—in my room, which I share with my partner in business and in life, Alberto.” Alberto Zanone is the CEO of the company that bears her name, and her reputation as one of the most prolific designers in the world today. “We are sandwiched between our practice downstairs where a team of 25 to 30 architects and 7 designers work; and upstairs, where we share our apartment with our 10-year-old, Sophia. My 20-yearold daughter is in London,” she explains. “So pull up a chair,” she says, gesturing to the hooded carapace of ‘I Feltri’— Gaetano Pesce’s 1987 felt chair stiffened with polymer, for Cassina. Instead, I choose the wrap-around polymer contours of her ‘Rift’ chair for Moroso (2009). “Too comfortable, the Pesce chair, capito?” she asks. Her voice is as husky as Adele’s, and her rapid-fire delivery peppers her speech with Italian shortcuts. “Understood, but no, not really, the ‘I Feltri’ is too isolating, like wearing a felt parka with a hood,” I reply. 202|

She springs up to show me how she stitched small pieces of blue canvas together to make a miniature padded patchwork quilt, which gave her the idea for the incredible ‘Husk’ chair for B&B Italia. Big quilted patches jut out beyond the moulded rigid shell, sculpted to follow the same line as the quilting. Her pieces reflect this emphasis on manual expertise, recognizing the beauty of handcrafting in the industrial world. “I loved crafts as a child. I regard working with my hands as a vital process. It’s fundamental to my line of work,” she says. Running her fingers along a big horizontal wall hanging—shimmering with sequins that read, simply, “waste”—she rapidly changes the direction of all the double-sided printed sequins so that it now reads “no waste”. Limited to an edition of 10, this interactive wall hanging she designed in 2011 for the Nilufar Gallery gives no hint of the cool message it carries until ruffled. ROOTS AND WINGS Born in 1961 in Oviedo, northern Spain, with roots more Celtic than the fandango, flamenco and castanets of the south, Patricia explains: “I’m Spanish by birth, but Italian by choice. A complication. For 30 years, I have been a Milanese. I married an Italian. I have two daughters who are Italian. I am still strongly Spanish. Of course, I always feel Spanish. But if you want to see me >

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

(Clockwise from top left) DESIGN COLLABORATION The poolside at the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona, designed by Urquiola. Her Jellies Family collection for Kartell includes tableware, and wall-mounted hangers and bookshelves. The ‘Husk’ chair for B&B Italia.


perspective (Clockwise from this picture) A COMMON THREAD Urquiola’s Bandas collection for Spanish brand Gan were dual-purpose, used as floor coverings and upholstery. The ‘Lilo’ chair for Moroso. The ‘Re-trouvé’ chair for Emu, an Italian outdoor furniture brand.

< cry, just play the gaitas, the bagpipes of my hometown.” Scrolling through her iPhone, she finds a clip of a procession winding through the cobbled streets of her hometown, playing the bagpipes to a drumbeat. “Like Scotland, no?” Big projects around the world that she is currently working on include a restaurant on a cruise liner, showrooms for Panerai watches, Céline and Missoni, and three hotels—the Giulia in a new building in downtown Milan for the Spanish hotel chain Room Mate; Il Sereno on Lake Como in Italy (she also kitted out their Riva boat for guests); and Oasia in Singapore, which is scheduled to break ground this year. No cookie-cutter designer, she customizes every project to suit its location: barefoot boho chic on the Puerto Rican sands for W Hotels, posh old-school grandeur lightened with contemporary furniture at the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona. Quick to spot a talent with celebrity status, the Lodha Group in India want Urquiola to design a new apartment block in Mumbai. They have already signed up her studio to design the interiors in London for apartments at 48, Carey Street—a nine-storey residential block with 360-degree views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard, the Royal Court of Justice in 204|

Lincoln’s Inn, and the London School of Economics. Sporting a pool, gym, spa, dining rooms, wine cellars, and what are called ‘mod cons’ (modern conveniences), this juicy bit of real estate replaces a mediocre 1950s built block. “India is opening up,” Urquiola observes. “It was a closed market, but now it’s a market in constant evolution.” She first visited India six years ago with her eldest daughter on a trip organized by Axor, the bathroom design manufacturers. “We began

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

in Mumbai, where I bought some tools in a little shop, then on to Bangalore [Bengaluru] and Mysore, where we travelled in the jungle on elephant back.” First impressions? “The important thing is not to have a first impression. If you think too much, you lose it. I wanted to understand more, to capture a moment in time. All the colours, the energy, the people, and the problems are emotional time bombs. One year there is like five years in Europe.”


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FAME BROKER

Patrizia Moroso, creative director of the contemporary furniture company that bears her name, on launching Patricia Urquiola

Architectural Digest: Patricia Urquiola says you gave her credibility in her meteoric career. How did this happen? Patrizia Moroso: We met in 1998 when the field of design was a man’s world. She was an assistant design director in Piero Lissoni’s studio where she was happy, but she had wanted to make something with her name on it, even if it meant going alone. She had approached some companies with her ideas but didn’t get a good response. At that first meeting I thought this girl is special. Strong-minded, talented and presenting me with interesting ideas, a person I imagined would be close to me. I really needed someone like her in Moroso. She’s a fantastic architect and designer, and today, she is also a friend. We have the same name, and we love that. We’re both Patricias, with different spellings—a ‘c’ in her Spanish name and mine with the Italian ‘z’. I call her Patti. AD: What was her first design for you? PM: Her ‘Step’ sofa system—it was very low, almost like sitting on the floor, with mattress layers rising in steps to form the seat, arm and back. No longer in production, the ‘Step’ sofa was very beautiful. It was also the most expensive piece in our collection and not an immediate success because of the cost. AD: After the ‘Step’, what persuaded you to give her another chance? PM: Her approach to that first design showed me what she could be in the future—carrying forward the heritage of good Italian design. It was a little bit in the mood of the 1970s, in memory of the way in which she had worked with Vico

Magistretti. I discovered that she had studied with Achille Castiglioni at [Madrid’s Polytechnic] University. Her first job was as his assistant in his studio before she worked with Vico. Growing up in Milan as a student of Italian design, Patti absorbed so much and because she’s not Italian, she built on that legacy with the success she enjoys today. AD: Which designs for Moroso became commercial successes? PM: A year later, she designed one of our big ‘Lowland’ sofas and ‘Fjord’, an asymmetrical swivelling armchair. Within a few months both were successful. ‘Fjord’ today is an icon and still in the top 10 of our bestsellers. AD: How was Patricia influential in putting Moroso at the forefront of contemporary design? PM: Until Patricia joined us, Moroso produced two different kinds of furniture lines. Based upon design and research, my collection produced interesting, innovative pieces by Ron Arad and others, while the sofa division was more commercial. They weren’t bad things, just a bit conventional. With Patricia, we worked not only on the design research, but also on the main focus of the company—the sofa collection. In a few years, the attitude of the company changed from making normal, everyday sofas and crazy designer things to one making contemporary pieces—the sofas and seating that I asked her to do for us. So Moroso changed. Today, the company is no longer split between the avant-garde and the commercial.

(From this picture) DESIGN AS ART Urquiola’s ‘Step’ sofa, and ‘Antibodi’ chaise longue for Moroso.

AD: Which design best illustrates that combination of handwork and manufacturing? PM: ‘Antibodi’. Once seen, you cannot forget this sofa upholstered with flowers all over. Decoration is not important for Patricia, which makes this piece so curious and interesting. The skin of the sofa is really part of the design, not just the shape. The complete personality of an object has a lot to do with the surface, whether it’s felt, woven, or knitted. The method of construction for a woven armchair and chaise longue called ‘Tropicale’, already in production, caught her eye. Patricia said, “We can use this metal structure to make something different. I want to hang a piece of fabric from it, like a hammock, then patchwork it, so that it becomes stronger after stitching.” A triangle lets you make every shape you want, so she cut out triangles of fabric but if you have to sew triangles, one to another you waste a lot of material. One day she said, “Instead of cutting a triangle, let’s cut a circle and sew the triangle inside the circle, to give you half the petal of a flower.” Five petals brought together make a flower. That geometry is the reason behind the flowers blooming on the sofa, front and back. AD: Do her working methods—which value handcraft—translate into commercial design? PM: Handcraft is essential to her exploration of ideas. One objective we share is trying to make something important and then put it into production. That final phase is important. We manufacture with the human touch.


perspective DESIGN WWW.MEMPHIS-MILANO.ORG

THE INDIA

CONNECTION The work of architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, founder of the Memphis group, has greatly influenced the design world. But it was Tamil Nadu’s use of colour that inspired Sottsass himself WRITER NONIE NIESEWAND . PHOTOGRAPHER VINCENT LEROUX

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COLOUR BLOCK The houses in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu (seen here and on the following pages) inspired Ettore Sottsass’s designs, like the ‘Tahiti’ table lamp with its red bill and yellow neck. Michele De Lucchi, a founding member of the Memphis group with Sottsass, designed the ‘Oceanic’ table lamp.

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t a gathering of designers, in December 1980, a Bob Dylan record—Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again— looped at just the right moment. And giving it gravitas, the group leader, 64-year-old architect Ettore Sottsass found a name for the movement. The Memphis group’s debut collection launched early in 1981 with outsized and weirdly shaped tables and chairs, and pots and lights as colourful as liquorice allsorts, challenging the boring predictability of the Modernist dictum that form follows function. Memphis was an overnight sensation. Karl Lagerfeld snapped up pieces to furnish his Monaco pad even as their radical designs headlined as “a shotgun wedding between Bauhaus and FisherPrice”. Memphis had a profound impact on the design and architectural world—one that continues to this day. No designer before had attempted to wrap up a bed as big as a boxing ring—looking just like >


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‘GINZA ROBOT’ CABINET BY MASANORI UMEDA

< one with a black and white striped mattress fenced in behind ropes—as Masanori Umeda achieved with ‘Tawaraya’. Size mattered: a forest of ceramic vases stood as tall as totem poles (Sottsass’s ‘Totem’), while a small pull-along light shaped like a hedgehog and bristling with bulbs was as playful as a child’s toy (‘Super Lamp’ by Martine Bedin). Sottsass’s own designs are today the most recognizable. Towering at 196 centimetres, his ziggurat of bookshelves called ‘Carlton’— made of medium-density fibreboard laminated in lemon and coral, blue and green—stacks horizontal, perpendicular and angled surfaces above two red drawers at the base. It looks haphazard, but is based on a logical system of equilateral triangles supporting both slanted and flat shelves. His ‘Casablanca’ cabinet, a TARDIS-like tallboy of speckled leopard patterned laminates, turned storage into eye candy. His two table lamps—‘Tahiti’ with its red woodpecker bill and long yellow neck, and ‘Ashoka’ with prongs and corkscrews like forked lightning—cast new light upon the workplace. Bored by its success, and the groupies, Sottsass ended the Memphis group in 1987. Its influence was far greater worldwide than its commercial success. Few sold more than 50 pieces, but today—over 30 years after its inception—editions are revived by 210|

manufacturers like Kartell, while original pieces still go on sale at Design Miami in Miami and Basel, and art galleries still showcase Memphis. The most recognizable piece by Memphis, ‘Carlton’, is still sold in the Memphis Milano design shop for €12,230.45 (about `9 lakh). Just where such original ideas originated to change the way we slept, ate and sat was a mystery until 26 years later, when the inspiration came to light: India. INSPIRED DESIGNS Taken while travelling in Tamil Nadu in 2013, Vincent Leroux’s photographs for AD France reveal the influence of the colourful and playful houses in the south Indian state upon Sottsass and the Memphis movement. Sottsass first visited India with his wife Fernanda Pivano in 1966, invited by chemical firm Montedison to design a trade fair stand. On that first trip, the 44-year-old Sottsass fell in love with India. He was to return time and time again. A monograph—simply titled Sottsass—by Philippe Thomé (Phaidon, 2014) quotes his second wife, Barbara Radice, saying, “Ettore found India because he needed India. He looked for it and found it instinctively as animals sniff the air and go to water.” A portrait taken in 1988 shows him in his shirt sleeves and wearing a rakish turban, on a cane chair rigged up high on scaffolding,

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with the Deccan plains unfolding way down below him. Early on, a visit to the mountainous temple town of Tiruvannamalai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu was to become a major influence. One of the five elemental cities of Shiva—here, the god is worshipped in his fire incarnation—Tiruvannamalai swells every full moon with pilgrims, priests, sadhus and devotees on a purifying ritual at the Arunachaleswarar Temple. In 1964, three years after that first trip to India, Sottsass paid homage to Shiva in a series of ceramic plates called Offerta a Shiva (Offering to Shiva). As important as his discovery of Shiva was the impression made upon him by the construction of some of Tiruvannamalai’s houses. Walk east from the Sri Ramana Maharshi ashram down the rocky hills and across a few avenues where robotic lights punctuate the landscape like triffids with a crazy interweaving of power lines, and you will find the houses Leroux photographed. On a street bustling with autorickshaws and cows, children and hawkers, twostoreyed houses built in the 1940s sport crazy cut-out collages on their facades. Plunging balconies, zigzagging stairs, semi-circular capitals atop columns (as ornate as an Odeon cinema of the 1930s) conceal the traditional layout of rooms and a courtyard kitchen within. Painted in the ice cream colours of >


perspective < art deco, special effects like the grid of fine white lines battened across a rose-pink facade then polka-dotted in purple could be considered tantric art. Even the traditional carved screens designed to catch the breeze, elongated and framed in green, become decorative.

Art Imitates Li e

Parallels can be drawn effortlessly between the shapes and colours of the Memphis group’s most memorable work and the houses of Tamil Nadu

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‘BEL AIR’ ARMCHAIR BY PETER SHIRE

‘CARLTON’ BOOKCASE BY ETTORE SOTTSASS

‘LIDO’ SOFA BY MICHELE DE LUCCHI

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‘CASABLANCA’ CABINET BY ETTORE SOTTSASS

FOR THE LOVE OF COLOUR As much as the shapes that were pieced together, it was colour that caught the designer’s eye. In a chapter of his book The Curious Mr Sottsass, subtitled ‘Photographing Design and Desire’ (Thames & Hudson, 1996), Sottsass writes: “Colour keeps us company in the cosmos, occasionally reminding us of our existence. When colour fades as in the dark world of Gilgamesh, when nothing remains but dust and your mouth becomes parched by the dryness of that dust, then there is no colour and there is no life either.” Its frontispiece is a home he photographed in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu in 1978. Frostily lit by a fluorescent tube overhead, a rose-pink room divider is panelled with amber and blue glass. A pink wall is accentuated by an emerald green dado, and its dark green floor inset with cut-out squares and triangles in lime green. In 1992, I met Sottsass in the artist Piero Fornasetti’s Milan home, surrounded by Fornasetti’s designs—biscuit jars covered with Siena’s architecture in black and white, his Mona Lisa winking from a dinner plate, a leopard stalking across a cabinet. Fornasetti had recently died and Sottsass gave his friend an endearingly fitting epitaph: “He explored the idea that maybe there are messages and information behind the pleasures of putting up structures,” which could well describe his own approach. Aged 75, with a silvered ponytail, he posed for a picture on Fornasetti’s ‘Sun’ chair, decorative, crafted, so different in design from the stainless steel orbs swinging around steel hoops on the ‘Satellite’ chair in his own Memphis collection. Asked if he liked the ‘Sun’ chair, he answered shortly, “Yes.” Why? “You want to know everything, but you will never find all the answers,” he said brusquely. “Things always contain mysteries. But if you insist, first of all I like the sun; it’s the symbol of life. And with the sun comes colour. Normally Fornasetti’s work is black and white and I particularly like this sunny yellow. It’s optimistic. And I like the shiny lacquered surface and the structure, which is quite simple.” It was a good answer, but after that put-down I never did get to ask the maestro for his follow-up to Memphis.


SPOTLIGHT

THE

GRADUATES

UPPING THE ANTE Somesh Singh Grewal (left) and Akshit Dhiman designed this recliner, called ‘The Sting’.

PHOTO: PRARTHNA SINGH

In the design schools of India, those ultimate crucibles of innovation and craft, AD50 architect MADHAV RAMAN discovers the imagination and creativity that fuelled these projects, which effortlessly straddle functionality and novelty


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o the outsider, design schools might appear to be places of strange alchemy. Their hermeticism is largely because of the singular way things are taught, and learnt, here. The ‘magic’ lies in a pedagogical mix of mentorship, collaboration and fabrication. Inherently non-deterministic, these processes pivot learning away from passively receiving instruction, and towards actively pursuing open-ended arcs of enquiry. The teacher does not lead, but instead provokes and advises students, who also learn from their peers and, iteratively, from their failures. The workshop is not a centre of production, but a laboratory of experimentation and testing. Knowledge of material is acquired through its manipulation, and prototyping stretches both material and design to optimum performance. This year, we have evidence from top institutes across the country that this way of learning consistently produces excellence, beauty, empathy, joy and wonder. Whether undertaken individually or in large groups, the works of these mentored, collaborative, workshop-driven charrettes are uncompromising in ambition, scale and finesse.

THE STING

‘The Sting’, designed by Somesh Singh Grewal and Akshit Dhiman, has all the hallmarks of great postmodernist design. The quirky and iconic silhouette of the recliner— which holds the user in a lethargic position—is ironically derived from the alert stance of an ant about to sting. The structure mimics the splayed exoskeleton of the ant’s body, whose head, thorax and abdomen become the upholstered footrest, seat and backrest of the chair. Ranjit Konkar mentored the duo both in the studio and the workshop. Even though it was rapidly conceived and prototyped over an intense two weeks, no effort was spared in exacting perfect form, comfort and stability.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN(NID)

PHOTO: PRARTHNA SINGH

PHOTO: PRARTHNA SINGH

With prototypes stacked to the ceiling, the furniture and interior design lab is a repository of successes, rejects and works-inprogress, warehousing its past, present and future. “We would like to produce an iconic, patented and internationally retailed design by 2017,” says Pravinsinh Solanki, the coordinator of the department. It’s that kind of aspiration and drive that ignites the young minds at NID. These designs by the class of 2015 indicate that his ambition is no pipe dream.

ZIPP

The foldable kids’ furniture one encounters in playschools are typically miniatures of the adult versions. Their hard surfaces, complex assembly and awkward bulk render them inappropriate, if not dangerous for children. Ayushi Jain’s colourful range of flat-pack EVA foam seating, called ‘ZIPP’, addresses this with remarkable flair. A single foam sheet is smartly cut, folded and fastened with a zipper, whose seam gives it enough stiffness to take the weight of a small child. The material is also excellent for embossing, a way to introduce graphics on to the product. Guided in studio by Solanki, Jain worked with Rambhai, a cobbler near NID, to develop the prototype for this frugal, simple, intelligent design. MARCH-APRIL 2016|

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PHOTO: PRARTHNA SINGH

SYNERGY/ORIGAMI BENCH

SERA

Recreational courts or breakout spaces are de rigueur in most large offices today. Designed for the Tata Consultancy Services campus in Gandhinagar, Nupur Priya’s ‘Synergy’ offers an alternative to the usual combination of rickety chairs and rigid plinths that typically furnish such spaces. In fact, the zigzag, folded-plate aluminium bench combines the flexibility of lightweight, loose furniture with the ordered arrangements and robustness of built-in seating. Its indented form allows folks to sit face-to-face, converse and share a snack, while the faceted ends allow multiple pieces to be joined in various permutations. Stability and sizing challenges were overcome by prototyping, for which Priya relied on technical advice and production support from Minimalance, an Ahmedabad-based furniture firm.

PHOTO: PRARTHNA SINGH

“Que Sera Sera,” sang Doris Day in a comforting ode to inevitability. Ever so often, one encounters a beautiful design that encapsulates a similar sentiment by simply letting a material’s natural properties lead to the form, and refraining from the itch to over-engineer. Displaying great material sensitivity, Medha Gupta splits, notches and flexes a single bamboo culm into a delicate wine-bottle-and-glass-holder for two. Starting “not on the drawing board but with material in hand”, Gupta credits Subrata da, the resident bamboo-craft expert at NID for unrelentingly pushing her to discover, and become fluent with, the material’s inherent qualities. The form revealed itself in an inspired moment and was guided into sophistication with advice from Solanki.

CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING AND TECHNOLOGY(CEPT) To celebrate the 25th anniversary of CEPT’s School of Interior Design, rechristened the Faculty of Design, the department curated a public exhibition of their designs. The annual summer and winter schools hosted by CEPT see experts, academics, artists and craftspersons, and students partake in mentored workshops. It reflects the institute’s conviction in “learning by doing”, which is reinforced by the excellent work its students consistently produce.

PHOTO: PRARTHNA SINGH

THE MORPH

This year’s winter school module in Goa, ‘Palm to Palm’—mentored by Rachita Sareen, Nereus Drego and Mann Singh—was a “hands-on exploration of materials derived from the coconut palm”. Among other investigations of coir, shell and thatch, the ‘Morph’ is a particularly interesting foray into the wood’s properties. Looking beyond its popularity as a hardwood substitute, the authors, Bhagyashree Nene, Elsa Thomas and Radhika Sudhakar, exploit coconut lumber’s fibrous and knot-free grain, for its aesthetics as well as to generate wafer-thin sections. The surface’s triangular tile tessellation mounted on textile gives the wood a new fluid vocabulary that opens up the realm of fabric, drape and tapestry. From architecture to product design, its potential as an undulating surface render is huge.


FOLDABLE CHAIR

The greatest challenge in designing stackable furniture is to resolve proportion with structural integrity, ergonomics, scale of production and material frugality. All five come together beautifully in Priyank Mistry and Udit Parekh’s lucidly expressed design for a foldable chair. Guided by Snehal Nagarsheth, and using an intelligent, strictly subtractive manufacturing process, they carved out three round-cornered pieces from a single plank of wood. These are reattached to each other with hinge pins to create an exceptionally comfortable, light and sturdy seat. The same process extends its detailing by extracting two perfectly placed notches that assist in carrying. The result is an absolutely flat-packed, brilliantly process-efficient piece that can be easily mass-produced, through handmade as well as machine-made assembly.

This ambitious exploration of parametric design epitomizes the Gestalt adage: ‘the whole is more than the sum of the parts’. The 18 participants of the ‘Digital Craft’ module were organized into groups of 2 or 3 by their mentors, Urvashi Sheth and Rudrapalsinh Solanki. They set about separately, exploring various algorithmic techniques in computergenerated forms, structural assemblies and pattern iterations. With processes straddling both design and fabrication, the teams then consolidated their work into an ensemble installation for the department’s 25th-anniversary celebration. Stretched across a steel frame, the different weaves of fabric bands morph and bulge away from the backdrop to form a gentle canopy. MARCH-APRIL 2016|

PHOTO: PRARTHNA SINGH

WEAVE CANOPY

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INDUSTRIAL DESIGN CENTRE(IDC) A design school within the premier technological institute in the country would be expected to leverage its locational advantage to produce purely tech-heavy designs. However, the works of the students at IDC in IIT Bombay reveal a much more holistic approach, equally at ease with craft as with industrial manufacturing. The agile pedagogy here facilitates a design-led technical education that is strongly motivated by marketable value addition and social impact. These designs, from their Design Degree Show of 2015, address issues as varied—but relevant—as aesthetics, mobility, learning, and public safety with sensitivity, ingenuity and beauty.

ZUHRAH

‘Zuhrah’, meaning brightness in Arabic, is a poetic celebration of both the autumnal landscape and the traditional copper smithery of Kashmir. The referencing permeates both form and finish with the rose-tinged light bouncing off the burnished copper insides, akin to a warm afterglow, while the rough-finished exterior of crisply curved ‘petals’ strongly alludes to the gentle descent of fall leaves. With each pendant formed by three beautifully nested pieces clasping a wooden stem, the design’s modularity and simplicity also has potential as a chandelier. Midhun KM’s exceptional approach of melding studio processes, crafted fabrication and sculptural composition mellifluously into one gorgeous luminaire was guided by Sajid Wani over a month-long internship. 220|

FLOOD RESCUE KIT

Design purposed towards limiting fatalities during emergencies is truly noble. As recent floods in Chennai and Srinagar have shown, even in urban areas, lives are lost in the time it takes to mount rescues. Tushar Vijay Wankar’s lightweight, flat-pack, individual flotation device can be deployed in advance among at-risk populations or, in an emergency, airdropped. Backstrapped, it allows the user to wade or securely float in a prone position and can be anchored safely during rescue. The National Disaster Relief Force facilitated extensive primary research and review during this thesis project, which was guided by Nishant Sharma. Wankar, with assistance from his peers, rigorously prototyped and tested the design for form, material, buoyancy and build.

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SRISHTI Envisioned as a ‘community of learners’ that includes faculty and students, Srishti believes in extending design education beyond the campus and into the street, the bazaar, the city and the village. Strongly grounded in visual and liberal arts and technology, the work by its students stands apart in terms of sensitivity, artfulness and an ability to straddle the abstract and the real.

TRIPURA YOGA MAT

PHOTO: KEVAT PADH & RAJSHEKHAR KUNDU

Transition and flux are constant motifs in our urban lives. The ever-changing landscape of flyovers, facades, subways and stations blurs contexts into anonymity, giving rise to disengaged alienation. Started in 2014—by Arzu Mistry, Amitabh Kumar, Samir Parker and Agnishikha Choudhuri— and currently led by Mistry, Kumar and student-turned-facilitator Ruchika Nambiar, Art in Transit is an ongoing public art project by Srishti that creates “meaningful artistic interventions in spaces of transience”. For the ‘Peenya Pilot’, the institute partnered with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to access and engage with the large public spaces of a new metro station near a peri-urban industrial estate. The exertions of the partners, mentors and participants in devising and committing to a programme that engages with the city in a sustained conversation—in the face of time and funding challenges—is truly laudable. Their efforts have given the community and commuters a vibrant, curated cultural register and the school a matchless urban laboratory. Nineteen separate projects by students across two batches have been realized thus far, both by exploring processdriven linkages with the locality or sitespecific articulations within the station. While the ‘Peenya Pilot’ will hopefully continue to evolve and stratify, Art in Transit is seeking canvases outside Bengaluru, with another project initiated in Kandivali, Mumbai in partnership with Urban Vision.

PHOTO: AAKASH KEDIA

PHOTOS: ART IN TRANSIT PROJECT AT THE SRISHTI INSTITUTE OF ART, DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY

THE PEENYA PILOT

Shaurya Rastogi developed the ‘Tripura’ yoga mat within the ‘Impact Edge’ module, mentored by Jacob Mathew, Naga Nandini, Ritu Sonalika and Tulip Sinha. It was created as an option to the ubiquitous PVC yoga mat, which he realized is counter-intuitive to the ecologically mindful practice of yoga. He worked with the techniques of handloom weavers of Tripura to develop a rugged honeycomb weave to withstand the wear and tear of yogic practice, with a yarn woven into it for enhanced cushioning and sweat absorption. The critical challenge of giving the mat a good grip was overcome by developing a spray-on or paintable coating of natural rubber that is low cost, durable and biodegradable. This is a superlative combination of craft wisdom and design intelligence that clearly creates immense value both for the maker and the user.


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OUT OF THE FRAME

The late Maqbool Fida Husain was one of India’s most successful and celebrated modern artists, but even the most comprehensive Internet search does scant justice to his variegated body of work. In his centenary year, acknowledges his genius and versatility WRITER NAMITA A SHRIVASTAV . PHOTOGRAPHER NEVILLE SUKHIA STYLIST SONALI THAKUR

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ainting might have been Maqbool Fida Husain’s primary passion, but his work in other spheres— sculpture, architecture, furniture design, calligraphy, film-making and even poetry—deserves attention, recognition and even applause. I remember meeting Husain on his 88th birthday, when he was presenting his oil paintings (88 of them, as a nod to his years) at Cinema Ghar, the home and gallery he had built in Hyderabad. The impact of his creative work, his ideas, his multifaceted personality and his energy—remarkable for an

OUT OF THE (PAINT) BOX Dining chairs designed by the late MF Husain, seen here at Cinema Ghar, a non-commercial museum in Hyderabad.


octogenarian—left a huge impression on me. It was a busy evening with hundreds of people, and we were discussing, interestingly enough, the topic of artists exploring different mediums. Despite the many interruptions by guests who came up to meet him, I remember noticing how, every single time, he’d come back to the point of discussion. Husain’s creativity and means of self-expression were fluid. He experimented with multiple media, sometimes out of the need to express, and sometimes, to support his needs. His son Mustafa says that in the 1940s, apart from painting, Husain started designing furniture and wooden toys so he could support the family. He dabbled in it again in the 1960s and then came back to it with renewed gusto around 1994. He was at an Irani cafe in Mumbai, with his friend Jehangir Nagri, owner of The Living Room (a furniture store in Mumbai), when the conversation turned to furniture design. Despite knowing each other for many years, they had never worked together. The conversation and the chai inspired Husain to design a chair, the drawing of which he faxed to Nagri, calling it “the chair of the 21st century”. The chair was followed by several other pieces, all of them unique, and with a definite Husain-esque quality about them. “Everything was well proportioned and balanced,” says Nagri, who describes Husain as a fastidious man. THE GEOMETRY OF GENIUS Cinema Ghar in Hyderabad—which now functions as a

(Clockwise from top left) MEDIUMS OF EXPRESSION A pair of wooden chairs by Husain that bear his signature. Cinema Ghar, where he lived for a few years, featuring a black pillar, which was his characteristic stroke. In his furniture designs, the stroke was expressed through beams, seen in “the chair of the 21st century” and a floor lamp.

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perspective (Clockwise from this picture) CREATIVE SPREAD The furniture designed by Husain for Cinema Ghar; sketches of the bed and side table, and the dining table.

2007. He lived here with Mustafa and his wife Najma, along with their daughters. The angular facets of the kadappa-stone-clad exterior speak a strong geometric language, which is followed through in the black sculpted cube, tossed in the midst of natural rocks in the garden. The space is a structural representation of the mind that visualized it. A sweeping staircase leads to a dramatic foyer and a light-infused atrium, and from here, the three levels—atelier, gallery and home—can all be seen. An antique grandfather clock, almost 15 feet tall, draws attention to the high ceilings, and also to the casual relationship Husain had with time. From there, my gaze turns to the two solid wooden chairs with his signature etched on them. They are beautiful, rare and priceless. Off the foyer are large continuous spaces displaying his paintings against brightly coloured walls, each a different colour, picked by Husain himself. The corridors sport large conversation pieces; life-sized cut-outs and memorabilia from Gaja Gamini—his first feature film, starring Madhuri Dixit—which was partly shot here. Mustafa, who helped his father on various projects, says, “Baba was involved in every project from the concept to the execution, including Cinema Ghar.” The early drawings, Mustafa reveals, included the strong facade, the gardens, the atrium, a 50-seater auditorium for private screenings, an Irani cafe, living chambers, a kitchen, a waterbody and a shop for memorabilia. Najma, who ran the house and the gallery, cherished the experience of living within Cinema Ghar. “Everything in his life was seamless. Baba did not have designated places for eating, sleeping, painting or meeting friends. And he’d paint anywhere. We hosted many art events, and guests from various cities would visit us. He would say, ‘Just let me know when...’, and contrary to his reputation for not keeping [track of] dates, he turned up every time.” BUILT IN The first independent project Husain took on as an architectural pursuit was the house of an elegant couple in New Delhi. Designed in the early 1980s, it reflects a phenomenal geometrical balance and

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HUSAIN BY DANIEL ALAN HERWITZ (TATA STEEL, 1988)

< non-commercial museum—was Husain’s home from 2002 to


cubist influences. It was here that his signature architectural element—an imposing black granite pillar—made its first appearance. The entire house has a sculpture-like quality about it. Its facade is clad in a burst of browns and burnt-yellow broken stone tiles, the palette a reflection of Rembrandt’s influence on him. Around 1989, Husain got together with architect Naresh V Narsimhan, of Bengaluru’s Venkataraman Associates, to build an atelier and museum-cum-residence, which he named ‘Sankalana’ (meaning, ‘coming together’). Along with the spacious bedrooms and large walls to display art, Husain had asked for a baithak (low seating area), which would allow for musical evenings and inspired conversations. The baithak was a recurrent feature in his homes. The floor was given an unfinished look, despite using polished stones, and the walls were finished with exposed red bricks. Texture was part of the brief, recollects Narsimhan. Sankalana was a geometrically perfect structure made with a three-material palette—exposed bricks, white granite and black kadappa stone. The broken earthen pots embedded in the walls outside are common to the style used in Gufa, the art gallery in Ahmedabad, which was coming up around the same time. CAVE ART Today, Gufa is an architectural marvel of domes and caves spread over several acres. It was created in 1992 by Husain and one of India’s most renowned architects, Balkrishna Doshi. “It’s not art and it’s not architecture; Gufa is an experience we created together,” says Doshi, himself an octogenarian now. Husain painted the curved walls of the caves, treating them like large canvases, to depict stories and experiences, as he saw them. The unconventional architecture defies all expectations of what an art gallery should be. Doshi says, “We set out to create something we didn’t know existed. It was ‘crafted’ rather than built, and local tribals were called to construct it.” When Husain’s daughter Raisa first visited, she said “it felt like a womb”. The foremost element to be considered while building an art gallery is light. At Gufa, it comes through unconventional snoutshaped skylights, illuminating both the wall art, and the sculptures displayed inside. Doshi explains, “We used voluminous light; light that is reflected off the ground, making the experience mystical

PHOTOS COURTESY VSF-VASTU SHILPA FOUNDATION

(Clockwise from this picture) ART IN ARCHITECTURE The cave-like interiors of Gufa, the art gallery in Ahmedabad, created in collaboration with Balkrishna Doshi. The artist with Doshi. The walls painted by Husain.

and unique. As the light changes outside, the experience inside changes too.” The two stalwarts collaborated with no creative differences. “We were careful,” says Doshi. “Nobody had anything to lose. That’s when you achieve your best.” And adds, “I didn’t charge and he didn’t count.” ARTIST AS REBEL Husain was one of the founders of the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group, which was created in 1947, to challenge India’s existing artistic and cultural conservatism. Unconventional to the core, going against the norm was inherent in him, and his expression of it, across mediums, was understandably bold. His strong artistic style was articulated in almost everything he did. As Doshi puts it, “Husain did not think of himself as only a painter. He was interested in everything. And it was the pure experience of surprise, of expressing oneself in a different creative form that drew him to different mediums of expression.” It is the perfect epitaph for a man who knew better than to colour within the lines.


perspective OPINION

INfluence VLADIMIR DJUROVIC Landscape designer, Lebanon

India’s richness and diversity are inspiring. I am taken by the country’s approach to building with primordial materials, especially stone. For example, Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra, is built entirely in red sandstone; the walls, floors, ceilings, awnings and the carvings on the columns are poetic feats. The gardens around Humayun’s Tomb, in New Delhi, still resonate with me, as well as the early mornings deep within Kerala’s backwaters.

PIPPA SMALL PHOTO: BERTRAND LIMBOUR

Jewellery designer, England

AXEL VERVOORDT Interior designer, Belgium

I love the harmony between the physical and the spiritual in India, which is not split like in the West. I like the nobility inherent in the people; even women in the fields hold their heads up high like princesses. As far as Indian arts and crafts go, my personal taste leans towards plain, earthy and humble pieces—for example, wooden bowls. I like the 8th- to 12th-century purified objects, more than the ornate and carved pieces.

I have been hugely influenced by the artisans of India. Their extravagant use of nature as an influence—the small details of floral and bird life found in the jewellery; their respect for the ‘stone’ in their gems; and the universal symbols of fertility and life. I am also inspired by the craftsmen and women I work with—the poetic souls who so instinctively draw out the perfect proportions, harmony and balance in their designs.

PHOTO: DOMINIK BUTZMANN

They came, they saw, and India inspired. Six celebrated designers, whose work brought them to India, tell ’s LEENA DESAI what they love about the country


PHOTO: FP TETTAMANTI

MICHAEL ANASTASSIADES

CHRISTIAN LIAIGRE

Product designer, England

Interior designer, France

PHOTO: HÉLÈNE BINET

My relationship with India started with Bijoy Jain. He was always talking about India when he was working here, in the UK. When he decided to move back, he invited me to visit. There was a period of time, when I was working on projects with Bijoy, that I used to visit India four or five times a year. Later, I moved a lot of my manufacturing to India. It is an incredible place. When one is exposed to something so intense, you can’t help but be inspired.

As a traveller, I loved the nonchalance of Indian women and the colours they wore so gracefully. The light, the jewellery and the fineness of the architecture in Rajasthan— they delighted my senses. Indian arts and crafts are closely connected to Indian culture; they are a part of the Indian soul. The symbols seen in sculptures are strong and related to religion and nature. I admire this osmosis; but for me, it is not a question of doing something identical. I simply try to design an interior or furniture that is close to these aesthetics, but which has a presentday style.

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN Shoe designer, France

PHOTO: MARY MCCARTNEY

I love everything about India—the food, the colours, the traditions, the temples, the music, the cinema, the way women walk in their saris... it’s all so elegant and graceful. The arts and crafts of India exhibit the highest rank of sophistication, and, at the same time, the purest frugality in style.

MARCH-APRIL 2016|

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perspective

Design TRAIL TRAVEL

TAJ HOTELS RESORTS AND PALACES

For years, Jaipur’s pink facades, Auroville’s spirituality, and Kochi’s waterfront have seduced travellers. We love them for their rich design landscapes—a compelling balance of old and new, served by a growing creative community

Chandani Chowk, the palace courtyard at Rambagh Palace

Jaipur

Bursting with ornate palaces and imposing forts, the city of Jaipur has been a commercial and cultural hub in northern India for centuries. The capital of the noble state of Rajasthan, it is one of the world’s most important craft centres, renowned for its block-printed cottons, metalwork, hand-painted clay pottery, and fine jewellery. Known as the Pink City, thanks to its profusion of salmon-hued facades (painted for a visit from the Prince of Wales, 230|

the future Edward VII, in 1876), Jaipur is a true feast for the senses. As fashion designer Matthew Williamson says, “For any creative person, the colours, aromas, and artisanal work here are a must.” It’s a magnet for Indians seeking opportunity, too. Between 2000 and 2011, Jaipur’s population shot up more than 25 per cent to over three million. “It’s become a big city really quickly,” says Carolina Irving— Oscar de la Renta Home creative director and Architectural Digest (US) contributing style editor—who sources embroidery and researches prints there several times a year.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

“But even with the traffic and madness, it’s still incredibly charming.” The congestion is being somewhat relieved by a mass-transit system, unveiled in June 2014. But for all that, “Jaipur has held on to the feeling of old India,” says Raghavendra Rathore, a local fashion designer. “The hauntingly beautiful sound of the peacocks is one of my most vivid memories as a child, and Jaipur is one of the places where they still roam.” Peacocks are not the only animals on the loose. Weaving through the honking traffic of the city centre are elephants, monkeys, goats, cows, and camels. It’s dusty


ASHISH SAHI

COURTESY SUJÁN LUXURY

(Clockwise from this picture) Inside the ornate Samode Haveli. Interiors of Suján Rajmahal Palace. Anokhi’s in-house cafe.

and unruly, but there is beauty in the chaos. “I remember my first visit,” recalls interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. “It was all so overwhelming until I saw a group of ladies looking pristine and resplendent in pink, green, and gold saris. The intensity of the colours was riveting.” Historic citadels like the massive Amber Palace, seven miles north-east of Jaipur, and, closer in, the colonnaded Nahargarh Fort are a good reason to venture outside the capital, but royal residences are plentiful in Jaipur’s old town too. Don’t miss the never-ending pink City Palace and the Palace of Winds (Hawa Mahal), whose lattice-like exterior of sandstone and stained glass make one of the area’s most eye-catching icons. As the city has grown, contemporary spaces have also made an impact. Most prominent is Charles Correa’s 1993 Jawahar Kala Kendra, a dynamic arts complex. “The coffee house there is a real draw,” says Rachel Bracken-Singh, who with her

husband, Pritam Singh, runs the blockprint clothing and linen company Anokhi, which has a shop in town. “The staff wear uniforms with sashes and hats, and it’s buzzing with locals.” (Bracken-Singh was instrumental in setting up the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing in a gorgeously refurbished estate—a 35-minute drive out of town.) While there is a lot to be said for the charms of heritage hotels such as the drop-dead luxurious Rambagh Palace and the ornate Samode Haveli, an increasing number of places offer a compelling balance of old and new, notably the more recently opened Suján Rajmahal Palace. In the renovated 1729 structure, designer Adil Ahmad contrasts maximalist ornamentation with elegant, clean-lined furniture. A highlight is its in-house restaurant, 51 Shades of Pink, “a most extraordinary concoction of wildly coloured pink wallpaper and giant peonies,” Bullard says. Unlike in many historic cities, the

coexistence of old and new in Jaipur is supported by its residents. Contemporary jewellery is sold alongside jaw-dropping maharaja pieces at the famous Gem Palace, visited by everyone from Jacqueline Onassis to Mick Jagger. At Ridhi Sidhi Textiles, the rainbow of fabric is transformed into both homespun tents and stylish clothes, while Ayush Kasliwal of AKFD Studio offers his sleek, handcrafted furniture along with other high-design artisanal pieces at Anantaya Decor. Traditional and current also meet in the handsome luggage at Trunks Company, and the updated Nehru styles at Rohit & Abhishek tailors. The clothes are utterly chic at the multi-label boutique Hot Pink, established in 2005 by jewellers Marie-Hélène de Taillac and late Gem Palace co-owner Munnu Kasliwal in the gardens of the high-camp 1928 Hotel Narain Niwas Palace. Featured are names like Idli and the eponymous minimalist line from Rajasthan native Rajesh Pratap Singh. Taillac has since >


perspective

Auroville

On 28 February 1968, on a piece of barren wasteland approximately 12 kilometres to the north of Puducherry, young people from 124 countries poured earth from their native lands into a lotus-shaped urn. The urn, a symbolic gesture of unity, was placed in the notional centre of a future township. Auroville, a city of the future—under founder Mira Alfassa, the ‘Mother’ and spiritual collaborator of philosopher Sri 232|

Aurobindo—had come into being. Forty-eight years and 2,400 residents later, Auroville still largely operates on the principles of the original charter. Dimitri Klein, who runs the Dune Eco Resort in Puducherry and lived in Auroville when he moved to India almost two decades ago, says Auroville makes you feel like you’re “part of an important experiment that could change the world”. But if you think that touchyfeely hippie idealism is all that it’s about, think again. Amidst the artists, dreamers, and adventurers are dynamic, industrious

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

ARCHITECTURE From its inception—Roger Anger, the township’s architect, virtually designed it as a laboratory for innovation and experimentation—architects and town planners from across the globe were drawn to Auroville. Their varied styles are reflected in the buildings that make up the community: from Anger’s own legacy of non-rectilinear and sculptural buildings to the fire-stabilized mud houses of ceramicist Ray Meeker. Fabian Ostner—whose Bobby’s House is a steel and aluminium structure that can easily be dismantled and rebuilt anywhere—says that being in Auroville helps him “be connected to what is essential”, resulting in his lowimpact architecture. The larger focus on low-imprint living means you should forget about driving around Auroville. Rent a bicycle or scooter—available easily—and blend in. A visit to Auroville starts from Matrimandir, a swollen globe of gold-leaf-plated discs designed to be the town’s ‘soul’. An interesting feature of Auroville is the

MANAV PARHAWK

(Left to right) A window display and artisanal products at Anantaya Decor. Bar Palladio at Narain Niwas.

residents driving its micro-economy.

Tableware by Mandala Pottery

SHUTTERSTOCK

Matrimandir, the ‘soul’ of Auroville

restaurant at LMB Hotel is one of the top places to dive into a vegetarian thali of dals, curried vegetables, and pakoras. For all there is to see and do, a random magical factor exists in Jaipur; sometimes happenstance brings the most remarkable experiences. “The last time I was there, my guide got me into a local wedding,” recounts interior designer Vicente Wolf. “They were touched that I was interested in their customs, so they invited me in. The music, the lights, the clanging gongs, the bride carried in on a litter—it was an unforgettable thrill.” —ALEXANDRA MARSHALL

IRENO, AUROVILLE

says, “I still love spending time at Bar Palladio in the Narain Niwas gardens, which are full of birds and monkeys.” The restaurant—recently smartened up by Marie-Anne Oudejans, the designer behind the fashion brand Tocca—balances bright murals with crisp upholstery and engraved crystalware. “It reinterprets Indian style in a fresh way,” says Irving, another fan. India on the whole is a foodie paradise, and Jaipur is no exception. For traditional palace cuisine, head to Amber Palace’s rooftop restaurant, 1135 AD, which Siddharth Kasliwal, who became co-owner of the Gem Palace after his father’s death, loves for its “stunning views, rooms full of mirrors, and amazing assortment of breads”. Even some delectable (and hygienic) street-food spots are now must-dos. “Lassiwala, the kefir stand on MI Road, is the best you will ever have,” says designer John Robshaw, who works with Jaipur block-printers to create his textiles. Leafy salads made with lettuces from a nearby organic farm are safe and delicious at Anokhi’s in-house Anokhi Cafe. And the

COURTESY ANANTAYA DECOR

< stepped down from the shop, but she


number of public-use buildings that have been allowed to find form in a township with a population of just over 2,000 inhabitants. The Auroville Health Centre, Town Hall and Auroville Library are all worth a visit. CRAFT Perhaps due to its proximity to the celebrated Puducherry-based Golden Bridge Pottery, Auroville has attracted several ceramicists. At Mandala Pottery, a balance has been found between their commercially successful tableware and the more experimental range of delicately hued and organically shaped non-functional objects. In his office upstairs, Adil Writer—a trained architect turned painter and potter, and partner at Mandala Pottery—designs his own line of studio pottery. Auroville is also famous for its handmade paper. Once made exclusively with recycled paper, Auroville Papers now incorporates waste fabric from garment factories for its incredible paper jewellery and home decor objects. WELL Paper, initiated in 2005 as a Tsunami rehabilitation programme, helps over 100 women fashion quirky household accessories and bric-abrac from recycled paper, using only non-toxic colours. WELL—Women’s Empowerment through Local Livelihood— also runs a vegetarian cafe in Auroville’s forest zone, where the day’s specials are scribbled on a blackboard that stands at the entrance.

ANDREAS DEFFNER

DESIGN If you’d like to take back a little bit of

Auroville with you, Auroville Boutique at the Visitor’s Centre sells a range of locally made ceramic, jewellery and paper products, as well as incense and candles. Uma Prajapati, who founded Upasana, uses fashion for social change. Her range of organic clothing is available at Auroshilpam. Another clothing designer I like is Naushad Ali, who revives classic weaves and is currently working on a 50-piece, one-size-fits-all line that promises to be authentic and original. Ok Jeong Lee—a fashion designer from Korea—and Marc Barandard, a furniture designer from France, started the Upcycling Studio in 2014. Lee uses cassette tape to make bags while Barandard’s work is easily recognized for his consistent use of Tetra Paks, from which he makes stools, chairs and other furniture. PRODUCE Jane Mason, who, along with Fabien Bontems, runs Mason & Co, India’s first single-origin vegan chocolate brand out of Auroville, says she’s constantly inspired by the high standards set by the innovators around her. Try Mason & Co’s limited edition ‘Coconut Masala Chai’ bar—and keep an eye out for their soon-to-beopened cafe Bread & Chocolate. Naturellement Garden Café offers a delicious menu using locally sourced produce; the salads and herbs are from their own kitchen garden, the eggs and cheese from Auroville farms. ‘Martina’s Special Cake’—named for owner Martina Ljungquist—is a gluten- and dairy-free delight. As a more ‘Indian’ alternative,

Roma’s Kitchen is famous for its wholesome, freshly cooked food; the ‘Lasuni Palak’ is a favourite. ACCOMMODATION Staying in Auroville is key to finding out what makes it unique. Swap hotel rooms in Puducherry for a fuss-free guest house. Well located, Afsanah Guest House is perfect for quiet contemplation with its Zen rock garden and surrounding pathways that wind amongst the cottages. The Center Guest House is the oldest of the Auroville guest houses; its setting under an old banyan tree is magical. Gaia’s Garden is amidst a lush garden and offers spacious, comfortable rooms as well as a fully equipped kitchen. For something more nurturing, I recommend the Quiet Healing Center, a “hospital of love” set on a seven-acre beachfront property. Speak to Ute, the friendly front office manager, who will guide you through some unusual sounding treatments; the ‘Heartworks Lomi Lomi Massage’ got my attention. Ultimately, an authentic experience of Auroville will depend on how closely you live as locals do. Even then, if you still come away feeling like you didn’t completely get it, don’t fret. After all, it’s a town that belongs to everyone—and no one. —MALAVIKA SHIVAKUMAR

(Clockwise from this picture) Fabian Ostner’s low-imprint Bobby’s House. A jacket by designer Naushad Ali. Mason & Co’s single-origin vegan chocolate.


Kochi

On 12 December 2015, at the inauguration party for the third edition of the KochiMuziris Biennale, it was Jose Dominic, managing director of the CGH Earth hotels, who predicted, “2016 is going to be Kochi’s year.” Only months into 2016, there appears to be some truth in that. In January, the central government approved an integrated transportation project to improve the water transport system with jazzy boat-jetties and new-age watercraft, and improved connections between jetties and the bus and metro stations. By September, Kochi’s first metro rail network will be functional; the ambitious Smart City project, an IT park project many years in the works, will also open later this year. And finally, in December, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) will be back home. The Biennale is located in historic Fort Kochi because of the area’s heritage properties. I am particularly biased towards Pepper House, an official KMB venue. 234|

(Clockwise from this picture) An exhibition space at Pepper House, an official venue for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. The mouth of the Periyar river where Muziris is believed to have been located. David Hall, that dates back to the 16th century, now houses an art gallery and cafe.

Businessman Isaac Alexander refashioned the 400-year-old, 20,000-square-foot warehouse complex in 2012 to create a multi-use venue with gallery spaces, a cafe, a design store with fashion and accessories, artist studios, and a library of spectacular art and design books donated by KMB co-founder Bose Krishnamachari. Then there’s David Hall. Built in the 1600s by the Dutch, this cottage has an art gallery, a cafe, and an events space. It is managed by CGH Earth, and led by Mridula Jose. I asked Mridula to recommend some must-visit institutions in and around Kochi. She suggested the Mattancherry Palace Museum for its Kerala murals; the Kerala Folklore Museum that calls itself an “architectural enthnography and anthropological museum”; the 1503-built St Francis church, the oldest European church in India; the Paradesi Synagogue; the Muziris Heritage Project; and the Pattanam excavation site in North Paravur. I’d also swing by the majestic Durbar Hall. Constructed more than a century ago for the local maharaja, it was handed over to the

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

Lalit Kala Akademi in the 1990s; since then, it’s been used as an exhibition space. In 1977, Anoop Scaria and Dorrie Younger’s Kashi Art Gallery became the first home for contemporary art in Kochi. Even though they no longer run the gallery and cafe, this venue is still worth a visit. Gallery OED is a newer entrant to Kochi’s contemporary art circle. What I enjoy is its loft-like space within a quiet courtyard on Bazaar Road in Mattancherry. For looks and provenance, I like The Tower House, a Neemrana hotel; for its views and outdoor seafood restaurant, there’s CGH Earth’s Brunton Boatyard; or Malabar House, the original boutique hotel in these parts. For something more minimal and efficient, try the new Xandari Harbour, designed by AD50 firm Stapati. You must not miss Mattancherry’s antiques stores lining Jew Street. Antiquities and many old-looking objects and furniture from everywhere end up here. The big names in the business are Crafters and Heritage Arts, which also houses the Ginger Cafe. Then there’s Tribes India, a

COURTESY PEPPER HOUSE

TOM PARKER

TOM PARKER

perspective


AMIT PASRICHA GEORGE SEEMON, STAPATI RAJ RADHIKA

SREEJITH JEEVAN

(Clockwise from this picture) The interiors of The Tower House, a Neemrana property. The minimal design of Xandari Harbour hotel. Designer Joe Ikareth at work in his Bazaar Road store. Inside the renovated Durbar Hall. A sleeveless jacket designed by NID graduate Sreejith Jeevan for Rouka.

TOM PARKER

TRIFED enterprise with an exciting variety of tribal products from around the country. For a slice of Malayalam pop-culture, drop into a Via Kerala store. Designed by a collective of artists, illustrators and graphic designers, Via Kerala sells T-shirts, bags, stationery, and other keepsakes. For inspired local fashion, visit my favourite designer Joe Ikareth at his store on Bazaar Road. An NIFT graduate, Ikareth uses traditional fabrics, cutting them on the bias, reining them in with structured designs, and turning them into elegant clothes. Or make an appointment at Sreejith Jeevan’s Rouka. This NID graduate’s pieces have a dedicated following all over the country. But if all you want is a Kerala sari, then go to a Kasavukada store for an authentic goldbordered kasavu sari. To avoid dumbed-down local fare you’ve got to be selective. I asked Kochiite Annah Chakola to help me edit the vast choices in Kochi. She left Kerala as a 16-year-old student and returned as a 30-something accessories designer. She retails her free-spirited designs under the brand name, Boho Gypsy, which is available at a number of retailers, including the aforementioned Pepper House. Chakola begins a day out at lunchtime with a meal at Hotel Seagull in Fort Kochi; it’s right by the water and offers excellent seafood. Her favourite teatime place is The Old Courtyard Hotel, run by Jacob and Rose Kuruvinakunnel, whose cakes and gelatos are famous here. In the city centre, there’s the Kerala thali lunch at the Grand Hotel restaurant. “With the thali, order karimeen, or pearl spot, on the side,” says Chakola. Then there’s Fort House, which is great for a sundowner because of the glorious view and seafood selection. To sample Malabari cuisine, that is, the food of the predominantly Muslim north Kerala coast, Kochiites go to the Paragon Restaurant. For a shopping mall eatery, this place is excellent; I recommend their Kerala parotta, crispy chemmeen or prawn fry, and mutton biryani. A luxurious interpretation of local fare paired with a fantastic wine list is available at The Rice Boat, the restaurant at the Vivanta by Taj hotel on Willingdon Island. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of dolphins playing in the water by the hotel’s aptly christened Dolphin’s Point restaurant. That’s the sort of thing that makes a year memorable. —MANJU SARA RAJAN


SIGNE VILSTRUP; ERRIKOS ANDREOU; ROBERT WYATT ; SHUTTERSTOCK


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perspective WIRED

The role of virtual reality and 3D animation in architectural communication has erased the boundaries between reality and rendered spaces

(From above) sky high Two World Trade Center, aimed at revitalizing Downtown New York City, is designed to look like seven different buildings stacked on top of each other. Technopolo Bologna designed by the architectural firm OMA.

RendeRing couRtesy: Luxigon

O

ne wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the construction of an asymmetric, cable-stayed bridge makes for tedious viewing, but Zaha Hadid has proven otherwise. Her firm’s entry into the Danjiang Bridge International Competition in Taiwan last year was a virtual reality representation of both complex architectural design and technically sophisticated construction process. With dramatic landscape sweeps and soaring bird’seye views, mock live feeds, and a daily time-lapse effect for cinematic quality—the result is a video that people also enjoy watching. It was in no small part because of the visualizations of two architectural rendering firms, Morean and Mir, that Hadid walked away with the project commission. It isn’t just Hadid using innovative digital animation to represent her artistic vision. For its proposal for New York’s Two World Trade Center, BIG—helmed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels—turned to creative agency Squint/Opera. Seductively simple, the film follows Ingels through the streets of Lower Manhattan. As he gesticulates against the street facades of Tribeca—describing his vision—crisp lines trace his

RendeRing couRtesy: BjaRke ingeLs gRoup

Writer Madhav RaMan


RENDERING COURTESY: BJARKE INGELS GROUP

RENDERING COURTESY: LUXIGON

(From this picture) SHIFTING PLATES Designed by Oppenheim Architecture, Desert Lodges in Wadi Rum, Jordan, aims at shifting the paradigm of luxury. METZ, the upcoming high rise in Frankfurt, with its 'shift in the hip', is designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group

movements in sleekly spliced moving graphics, explaining the volumetric manipulations of the design. Using a classic film technique, his body is used to communicate a more humanly scaled skyscraper amongst the behemoths populating the Lower Manhattan vista. ARCHITECTURE AS NARRATIVE It’s easy to forget—now that complex animations are almost an industry standard—that architectural presentations once depended on analogue imagery. Three decades ago, before the proliferation of computer-aided design and computer-generated imagery and animation (CAD, CGI and CGA), three other proficiencies formed the lingua franca of architectural communication. Together and separately, these hand skills could communicate a wide range of conceptual, programmatic, volumetric or technical information between the designer and the user, engineer or builder. In effect, architectural draughting, physical modelling and perspective rendering captured the mind, body and soul of the design. When commercial CAD software, specifically AutoCAD, transferred draughting and modelling from table to screen, dexterity no longer limited articulation. Algorithmic computation helped designers to not only express complex form, but also, literally, find form through parametric design tools. In the 1990s, development of virtual space imagery tools to recreate phenomena essential to perception (like light, movement, texture and atmospherics) received a fillip from unlikely, and distinctly non-architectural, hands: those of ‘New Hollywood’ technophile storytellers like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and George Lucas. The film industry’s, and subsequently computer gaming’s, reliance on special effects and virtual visualizations to deliver both believability and complexity of storytelling fuelled the frenetic development of 3D modelling and material rendering software in animation studios like the trendsetting Pixar. > MARCH-APRIL 2016|

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perspective analogue techniques in photography. The power and exactitude of the image could now be pushed to greater heights through desktop compositing and editing software like Photoshop and After Effects. Not surprisingly, the minds behind both Pixar and Photoshop (John Lasseter and John Knoll respectively) were protégés of George Lucas, having cut their teeth at CGI powerhouses, Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). Today, architectural communication has not only caught up with technological advances in film-making, but matches it click for click. At the core of this convergence is the desire to construct a story. Much as in film-making, the architectural audience of user, investor and developer needs to be, in equal parts, seduced and convinced by the narrative. Zaha Hadid’s design for the Bee’ah Headquarters in Sharjah is a spectral figure hiding behind a sandstorm in the opening sequence of a commissioned film made by the young Norwegian studio Mir. As the focus sharpens, one sees sheets of sand slide off the leading edge of its dune-like form revealing a glittering undulating structure. Dusk turns to night and the building comes to life, drawing us in. It is telling that, in an interview on designboom.com, Ingels says: “The story is the goal and the drawings are a means.” BIG’s recent string of successes in architectural design contests and commissions, especially for large-scale public developments, is undoubtedly testament to their crisp clarity of vision, and also, in no small measure, to their communication finesse. BIG regularly works with avant-garde studios like Paris-based Luxigon to use photo-realistic animation and immersive virtual reality technologies to communicate their design propositions on a multimedia platform.

all told through very real imagery. There is, however, a flipside that bears notice: the pursuit of hyperrealism sometimes sets expectations far higher than reality could achieve, and with this great power to convince comes the trap of presenting unviable or unethical propositions as unassailable arguments, allowing no room for counterargument. Mir, in their manifesto titled ‘The Mir Way’, talks of sculpting the natural light in their imagery to create palpable environments that “give space for an individual experience”, and avoid “forcefully instructing the viewer in what to think and feel about the project”. This is key. CGI and CGA can create utopian worlds of entirely manipulable environments. This is problematic when the architecture it articulates glosses over the aspect of sensitivity to context. While making for excellent marketing collateral, images of unblemished material, rendered in carefully crafted ambient lighting can be misleading about the relationships of material to weathering, space to climate and architecture to light. Any manipulation could create room to distort the agency of architecture; it is indeed a fine line that needs to be trod while representing as ‘real’ what, in effect, are architectural speculations. Lasseter captured a similar dualism, between art and technology in animation film-making, when he said, “The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art.”

RendeRing couRtesy: Luxigon

< The mid-1990s was also when digital technologies replaced

BLURRED LINES For the first time, architects have the ability to weave fantastic narratives, blurring the lines between the real and conceptual. At times, these are stories of radically new ways of living and building,

RendeRing couRtesy: bjaRke ingeLs gRoup

(From above) inside story The Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts designed by Mecanoo to be the largest cultural complex in Asia. The Fox News lobby at Two World Trade Center, as proposed by the Bjarke Ingels Group.

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ArchitecturAl Digest|MArch-APril 2016


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WELCOME TO THE FRONT ROW SEATS OF THE FIRST-EVER

On December 1 and 2, 2015 at Grand Hyatt, Mumbai, India was introduced to Van Heusen + GQ Fashion Nights – a menswear event that featured a stellar line up of the country’s biggest names in men’s fashion. While designers Raghavendra Rathore, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Shantanu & Nikhil, Rohit + Rahul, Troy Costa, Dhruv Kapoor and Ujjawal Dubey showcased some of their finest work, Van Heusen unveiled its Spring-Summer 2016 collection. On the runway, with prominent showstoppers like Saif Ali Khan, Ranveer Singh, Randeep Hooda, Kunal Kapoor and Ayushmann Khurrana, the presentations focussed on slick, sharp clothes that fell squarely within the GQ Universe. The red-carpet saw a flurry of celebrities which drove shutterbugs into a state of frenzy. Setting new benchmarks in the world of men’s fashion, this event was exclusively telecasted on CNBC and will long be remembered. Showstopper Ranveer Singh for Rohit + Rahul

Rajesh Pratap Singh & Che Kurrien

Zaheer Khan, Alex Kuruvilla & Kabir Bedi

Randeep Hooda, Troy Costa & Tina Desai

Katrina Kaif

Ramona Narang, Rohit Gandhi & Pria Kataaria Puri

Van Heusen’s showstopper Akshay Oberoi

R. Madhavan

Ayaan and Amaan Ali Khan walking for Shantanu & Nikhil


Shantanu Mehra, Tusshar Kapoor, Nikhil Mehra & Manoj Bajpai Pernia Qureshi

Saif Ali Khan walks the ra mp Rahul Khanna Raghavendra Rathore & Kavita Singh

for Raghaven dra Rathore

Pranab Barua & Ashish Dikshit

Prateik Babbar, Prahlad Kakkar & Zayed Khan Dia Mirza

Dhruv Kapoor & Vinay Bhopatkar Van Heusenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s showstopper Kunal Kapoor with Vani Kanan

Ujjawal Dubey & Ayushmann Khurrana

Karan Sarin presenting a OnePlus phone to Mandira Bedi Ramita & Sahil Sani

The Van Heusen display


UNWAY ON THE R

Almona Bhatia & Shivaraj Subramaniam

llection Heusen co The Van

AD Singh Vijendra Bhardwaj

Dino Morea

tap Rajesh Pra n llectio co ’s gh n Si

llection ubey’s co Ujjawal D

Amyra Dastur & Sapna Pabbi

Simone Singh The Harman/Kardon display

ff Sahil Shro + Rahul for Rohit

hrany Moein Te sta Co for Troy

Sanjeev Tandon, Pratiti Rajpal, Manav Malhotra & Sunjae Sharma Oona Dhabhar & Mittu Chandilya

in Asif Azim

n Van Heuse ngh Manak Si u n for Shanta il & Nikh

v Kapoor r for Dhru Akshit Bra ais Acquin P r walking fo ra d Raghaven Rathore

Taapsee Pannu

The One Plus display


The BBlunt experts at work Queenie Singh, Rishi Sethia & Rhea Pillai

Backstage w ith Gautam Kalra

Aparna Behl Chunky Pandey

A delectable spread by the Grand Hyatt

Adhuna Akhtar & Jatin Kampani

Arjun Mehra

Priya Sachdev

Reena & Ashok Wadhwa Nandita Mahtani Sangeeta Bijlani

Vikram Raizada

Jackky Bhagnani

Radhika Apte & Sayani Ghose

The Ciroc bar

Cocktails by Diageo

ASSOCIATE PARTNERS

Aftab Shivdasani


spaces

take a journey through some of the most beautiful homes in the world

Leading Light

Legendary modernist architect, the late Charles Correa and his wife Monika built this home in Mumbaiâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a tangible illustration of their philosophies and lives Writer Sunil Sethi . PhotograPher iwan Baan

birdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s-EYE ViEW the dining-room window frames a flying garuda from bali, and brass and copper vessels collected by monika Correa. the wire chair is by Charles and ray eames.


woven in A view from the living room to the dining room— Monika’s loom acts as both an installation and a subtle divider. One of her art tapestries is displayed on the wall, above a rocking chair designed by their friend Charles Eames. The room’s low-level seating— the late Charles Correa’s design—is covered in blackand-white cotton ikats.

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NATURAL EXTENSION The apartment’s original front balcony was included as an extension to the living room, and features a pair of Marcel Breuer’s ‘Wassily’ chairs, a collection of votive terracotta tiger sculptures from Gujarat and a Bankura horse from West Bengal. (Facing page, from top) STANDING GUARD Behind a living-room divan, terracotta sculptures from Gujarat stand against a photograph of the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya, Ahmedabad, designed by Charles; flanking a cushion made from a Picasso print are others made by Monika from political banners of Indian prime ministers. In the foyer is a large canvas by SH Raza, a polychrome wooden sepoy from Rajasthan, and a horse sculpture in Mahabalipuram granite.


face time In a corner of the living room, a temple shrine from Rajasthan sits alongside a painted threelegged chair by Charles, made for the Bay Island hotel in Port Blair. The round-topped table is by Finnish designer Alvar Aalto. (Facing page, from top) a study of art On the bedroom landing, past Monika’s loom, hangs a canvas by Laxman Shreshtha; the drawings on the wall are by Imtiaz Dharker; a reproduction fragment of the head of Michaelangelo’s David, burnished in gold, hangs above a tin painting by British artist Peter Blake, titled Babe Rainbow. Charles converted his daughter’s bedroom into a study after he closed his office in 2011; in the foreground is an ‘Eames Wire Chair’.

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(From this picture) SQUARE MEALS Charles had a local painter recreate chiks (bamboo blinds) in a large trompe l’oeil view of a pastoral scene on this dining-room wall; the square dining table was one of the first pieces he designed after his marriage in 1961. The frieze adjacent to the kitchen door—which also features a trompe l’oeil of a chik—is a collage of memorabilia, including sketches by English artist Howard Hodgkin for his mural on the British Council building in New Delhi, images of Monika’s tapestries and a nude study by their son Nakul; the paper lamp is by Isamu Noguchi.


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harles Correa loathed curtains. He did not much care for conventional seating either, but was particular about the way spaces were lit, preferring natural light to filter through traditional bamboo blinds. As the day wore on, his attention would turn to dimmers to soften the shapes of interiors. Little escaped his exacting eye; it was typical of his creative energy that often, on entering the homes of friends, he would offer to adjust the lighting scheme. And such was his persuasive charm that he would then coax them to rearrange the furniture and objects as he imagined their placement. Inevitably, the result looked better. Many of the design principles espoused by this visionary modernist architect—who passed away last year at the age of 84—are visible in the three-bedroom, 2,400-square-foot apartment that he and his wife Monika, magical weaver of art tapestries, acquired in 1968 and where they raised their two children. It is in an early Malabar Hill residential cooperative, which Charles was commissioned to build. Despite the area’s altered appearance—and his own zest to constantly adapt and experiment—it has survived with remarkable elan. Their home brims with memories and memorabilia, the abiding love of family and friends, and the ritual of Sunday lunches, when he would whip up a chicken dish of his own invention, made with beer, vegetables and rice, triumphantly served alongside White Russians. Monika had grown up in a large family and her father had a square dining table to give equal weightage to each child. Her husband liked the idea and created his own version, five-and-ahalf feet to a side, to seat a dozen guests. “It was the first piece of furniture that moved in with us, followed by my loom. Neither has moved since,” recalls the elegant Monika, immaculate in a black-bordered white sari of fine handspun cotton. While the loom acts as a beguiling installation and natural divider between living and dining areas, on the subject of the dining table, Nondita Correa Mehrotra, their architect daughter, offers a statutory warning: “Several people have tried to copy it, but manage to get the proportions wrong. My father had [designed it] precisely for both ease of service and elbow room.” PIECED TOGETHER Like many young couples, the Correas had limited resources for furnishing. Monika remembers hanging bed sheets to keep out the monsoon rain. Inexpensive solutions—moorah chairs and bamboo chiks—may have dictated their design choices, but were a keystone of Charles’s architectural philosophy: for all the large-scale and institutional buildings he designed around the world, low-cost housing for low-income groups remained a priority. In a recessed niche, above a low divan in the living room, is perhaps the only visual image of his work: an enlarged blackand-white photograph of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram memorial (the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya) in Ahmedabad. Inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963, Charles was 27 when

he began work on what many regard as a memorable start to his stellar career. The apartment has undergone many amendments over the years, with the departure of children, change of use and gradual accretion of art and objects. They began, Monika recalls, with floor seating on mattresses with black-edged chatais rolled out like tatamis. By and by, a motley collection of chairs arrived, usually for their design significance—by Charles Eames, Marcel Breuer and a three-legged painted number with a primitive face made for the Bay Island hotel in Port Blair that Charles designed. He became interested in trompe l’oeil while working on the Cidade de Goa resort. In Mumbai, Nondita and he found a signboard painter to execute their ideas, most diverting of which is a pastoral vista on a blank dining-room wall with its recurring metaphor and emphatic endorsement of rolled-up chiks. On the opposite wall, a collage of images makes an inventive visual scrapbook that includes studies of English artist Howard Hodgkin’s dramatic black-and-white marble mural from the facade of the British Council building that they collaborated on in New Delhi; a jokey photograph of David Hockney surrounded by dachshunds that the artist presented to Monika and Charles; and a nude study by their son Nakul. LIFE IN ART For more than half a century—they were married in 1961—the Correas occupied a special place at the heart of Mumbai’s intellectual and cultural life, forging close friendships with some of the country’s leading artists. The value of the art lies as much in its intrinsic merit as its placement: a large canvas by SH Raza hangs alongside a polychrome wooden figure of a sepoy and a granite horse sculpture from Tamil Nadu in the narrow foyer; a small 1980s window painting by Anjolie Ela Menon in the dining room is placed above a naïf panel from the Andaman Islands. Most impressive is a magnificent, rare bull’s head in bronze by Tyeb Mehta that occupies pride of place in Charles’s study, formerly Nondita’s bedroom that he reconfigured after closing down his office in 2011. And thereby hangs a tale: early on in their careers the artist had given Charles some cement maquettes to store for lack of studio space. Years passed before Mehta asked for them back. The Correas were sad to see the pieces go, but not long after, as a gesture of generosity repaid, Mehta presented them with a finished bronze of the sculpture. In the haven that the Correas jointly created, the great and the good in simple, stylish design come together with effortless ease. Pomposity is pricked with spontaneous charm and comic delight; notions of folie de grandeur are flung out of the window. So much of the wit, wisdom and whimsy of daily life is concentrated in a contained space. Plain-spoken though his opinions could be, an understated sense of humour was a hallmark of Charles’s views. In a 2013 retrospective hosted by the Royal Institute of British Architects and designed by architect David Adjaye, Charles was hailed as “India’s greatest architect”. He was unfazed—his reaction, quintessentially him: “Perhaps ‘the most inventive’ or ‘the most innovative’ might have been better. ‘Greatest’ is… so definite. It leaves no room.” 255


Tucked within the belly of Mumbai is an unlikely assortment of tenements, one of which is home to AD50 architect Bijoy Jain, the designer of this enclave and founder of Studio Mumbai

WRITER SNEHAL GADA . PHOTOGRAPHER IWAN BAAN


NEUTRAL PATHWAYS The narrow ‘bridge’ that connects the two private rooms upstairs.

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the space between A double-height courtyard links the living spaces with the private quarters upstairs. Folding doors allow the interior to open seamlessly into the court. In the centre is the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Round Chairâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by Danish designer Hans J Wegner.


(From above) space study The living room doubles up as a library and study. By the entrance is a three-legged table with a round marble top designed by Bijoy Jain, combined with folding metal chairs; the colours of the walls are made of a natural pigment and cassein.

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(From above left) details that matter A glimpse from the master bedroom into the corridor that connects it to the next. A bathroom separated by simple marble shutters. Next to the entrance of the bedroom, in the corner, is a wooden stool with a marble top; against the window is the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Safari Chairâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; with a footrest, designed by Kaare Klint in 1933.


close quarters The wooden bed with two pairs of stackable side tables, and the lounge chair to the right of the window were all designed by Studio Mumbai.

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(Clockwise from this picture) SENSE AND SIMPLICITY A basic functional kitchen is situated between the entrance and the study on the ground floor, and opens into the courtyard. The bathrooms are both simple and functional. A narrow staircase from the courtyard leads up to the light-filled pathway that connects the spaces upstairs.

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(Clockwise from this picture) VIEW FROM THE TOP An aerial view shows seven units with courtyards of varying sizes in a walled enclosure; the inward sloping roof provides shelter from sun and rain. A long narrow green space acts as a street connecting these dwellings.


clear and present AD50 architect Bijoy Jain.


A

rough-hewn rubble wall punctuated by a rusty sheet-metal gate indicates a permanence that suggests disuse—unlikely as that may be on this otherwise bustling street in Mumbai. A strategically located security camera, some numbers stencilled over peeled paint, and the palm-polished handles on the gate offer the only evidence that this discreet compound contains life. On ducking through an inset doorway, I discover a tree-lined path flanked by several twostoreyed structures buzzing with activity. Surprised by occasional glimpses of sunlight and foliage where buildings ought to have been, I walk through one of several doors that open onto a paved pathway. I’ve spiralled into a world centred on a skylit court. There, seated at a circular marble table, in what might be loosely described as the foyer of the unit he inhabits, is Bijoy Jain: the man whose dreamscape I seem to have stepped into. In meandering monologues, scarcely pausing to interrupt his flow of thought, Jain displays the agility of expression that he seeks to embody in his designs. “Nature once thrived here, then someone built their home; later, it was converted into a tobacco warehouse which burnt down; then we came along to create partitions within its shell to live and work in. Someday, it could be modified into a school or an art gallery, become a warehouse again—or left to be reclaimed by nature,” he explains, “such that without changing the core, it can be free of programme. This is where my interest lies, in how one occupies a space, be it a room or a city.” To achieve this spatial suppleness, Jain plays with porosity and proportion—attributes that allow a room, by virtue of its relative dimensions, to subtly suggest an intended use, and enable it to guide the user to move, pause or collect, not unlike water. “Rooms have the potential to nudge an inhabitant on how to occupy them. The key is to maintain a functional malleability that can accommodate a place to sleep, study, paint or dine, and even account for unplanned purposes,” he elaborates, “much like an unstitched fabric that can be worn by anyone, irrespective of size.” So while certain aspects of the other components of this complex have been tailored to their owners’ requirements, this inbuilt versatility allows for easy exchange—as was confirmed in the case of one resident whose office caught fire and had to be shifted here overnight. By the very next morning, it looked like it had always belonged. shifting planes Jain extends this idea of inclusiveness to the design of these seven similar units, arranging each around a central court, though they vary significantly in terms of square footage. One of these he inhabits, another houses Studio Mumbai, and the smallest caters to common utilities shared by the other dwellings. Regardless of scale, his attempt has been to develop a response that anticipates variable idiosyncrasies in the specific surroundings of every space. “How does one make something be present without prejudice, equally aware of itself and its environment?” he asks, “If a new high-rise changes the quality of light in here, can the design facilitate a qualitative experience that remains neutral to such mutable adjacencies?”

One device that Jain employs for this purpose is the creation of contrasting views from a space, lending it a sort of rotational dynamism. To establish this, he leads me to a corner of the courtyard where my gaze is drawn upwards to a looming edifice in the background, then deflected sideways to the lush canopy of a neighbouring tree, and finally returns inwards, to rest on the shaded court. “You see? This peripheral perception of things has the ability to shift our attention away from the obvious, then back towards what is, rather than what we want it to be. Somehow the city seems more manageable.” The spiral trajectory that earlier brought me to this veranda proceeds to turn tightly around the courtyard, past the open kitchen and an alcove lined with bookshelves, then, sharply upwards through a narrow stairway and onto a bridge that connects the two sparse but graceful private rooms above. “Yes, the court is pivotal,” he agrees, then adds, “but it is also tilted like the Earth’s axis, offering further variations to this rotating landscape, similar to changing seasons,” he says. vision anD DiReCtion When I ask about how the choice of materials might contribute to this effect, Jain is quick to respond, “Look around; there’s nothing special about these finishes. This is neeru plaster; that’s reti plaster— painted in some places, left raw at others. These are Bison-board panels, non-structural and lightweight. There’s bitumen on the roof, and regular damar. The aggregate in the courtyard is to prevent rainwater from splashing, and because I enjoy watching the rain disappear, as if into a sieve.” The marble in the shutters [which separate, but do not exclude spaces] costs `35 per square foot, and I used it because it’s the most inexpensive material I could find, cheaper than glass. Of course these have a decorative quality, but that was not the priority, and if you ask me what was, I’d say everything: decoration, economy, illumination, privacy, availability. Oftentimes, I’m mistaken for being a minimalist of some kind for using simple materials, but once we go beyond our conditioning and recognize materials for their value rather than price, then it’s just a matter of how they are appropriated and applied.” On the relationship between space and inhabitant, Jain theorizes that though both are eventually physical entities, simultaneously an extension of and a point of reference for the other, the one that appears comparatively static is, in fact, the more flexible of the two. “People are not fast; externally perhaps, but our internal movement, the ability to adapt, is possibly the slowest when compared to other creatures, which are primarily guided by impulse. For example, the bats that fly over us every day, from the zoo across the railway tracks, are innately programmed to do what they do. Not to say that we aren’t intuitive beings, but we are additionally encumbered by choice, the negotiation of intuition with the intent for something to emerge.” We are walking up the lane and back towards the gate, continuing our conversation about the advantage of looking at things on the diagonal rather than directly, when Jain pauses to demonstrate this by striking the pose that mythical hero Arjuna assumed, while aiming his arrow at the eye of a suspended fish. In that moment, I realize that what Jain has been calling “intent” is in fact a stance, an attitude with which to meet the world, and his is surely a heroic one. 265


WORKING ORDER

Bijoy Jainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s firm, Studio Mumbai, is his philosophy made solid; simplicity over complexity, in both appearance and action


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bohemian Rhapsody Bina and Malini Ramani carry their distinctive vision of free-spirited glamour into their New Delhi haciendaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;along with a dose of light and air Writer Supriya DraviD . PhotograPher ricarDo LabougLe StyliSt guStavo peruyera

tropicana A young artist was commissioned to paint the walls of the outdoor seating room. The wraparound sofa seats 24.


elevation The high ceiling brings light and airiness to the living room. The antique Shrinathji Pichwai was bought by homeowner Bina Ramani in Jaipur. The bleached wooden floors are adorned with a Turkish kilim.


side note A quiet nook in the living room is guarded by a bronze horse. The wooden temple in the corner is from Bali. The mini coffee table is made from one of the many carved wooden columns that line the interiors of the house.


frame of reference The anteroom to Binaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bedroom has tiny windows on the wall, below which are Kalighat paintings in mirrored frames.


golden eye This seating area is anchored by a mother-of-pearl coffee table. The carpet is from Carpet Cellar. The pendant lamps are from Bali.


CARAVANSERAI In Malini’s bedroom, the fabricdraped ceiling—in shades of pink and orange—matches the peacock-patterned wallpaper and the gilded detailing. The chandelier was designed by Malini.


(From this picture) family style The oval pool was made smaller over time to accommodate a larger outdoor seating area; the Jaisalmermade appliquéd curtains in the background were bought at Dastkar in New Delhi. Bina and Malini Ramani against the colourful baradari that was bought in Rajasthan.

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eep in the heart of Mehrauli, in a deceptive bylane of the Said-ul-Ajaib district, and next to the sprawling Garden of Five Senses, lies the home of design entrepreneur Bina Ramani and her fashion designer daughter, Malini. It’s a hidden gem—well, until now. Bina has a penchant for picking unknown places and putting them on the map. After all, over two decades ago, she was among the first to open her store, Once Upon a Time, in Hauz Khas when it was just a village. Now, she has once again made this undiscovered stretch in Mehrauli a covetable spot for those looking for country living in the city. A cobalt-blue gate lures you onto a winding pathway enveloped in foliage. As the winter sun filters in through the arched bougainvillea, I pass by a colourful canopied baradari, a well-ventilated pavilion designed for respite from warm summers, in this case strictly used for entertaining. You can imagine it coming to life as a cultural salon at night; when lit by the moon it transforms into an atmosphere of dreaming. “When I was building this home, my contractor brought this baradari from Rajasthan in pieces, and we assembled it bit by bit,” recalls Bina. This is just the entry point into the gypset hacienda owned by the Ramanis. While Bina has worn many cultural hats in her life as an impresario, designer, and store owner, Malini has come to be known for her sexy, glamorous resort-wear worn by rock stars and royalty alike.


(From left) EVEN FLOW Water bodies of varying size and shape feature through the outdoor space. The pathway leading to the main house was made with tiles recycled from construction material.

LIVING IN THE TROPICS We move towards the main house and settle ourselves on a couch under a Bedouin-style tent. Across us, a shimmering pool tempts us to take a dip. And just ahead, billowy cotton curtains, sourced from Jaisalmer, thinly veil a lounge area with wicker couches and pouffes, and a wall painted with tropical palm trees. It feels a bit like living in the country, without ever leaving New Delhi. “I bought this land 20 years ago—it was barren and there was nothing around. The house came to life slowly; I built it as and when I could spare the money. In fact, the stones that we dug out while building the pool got used as a boundary wall for the house,” says Bina. Even at this very moment, she is busy lending the finishing touches to a sun-kissed yoga studio on the terrace. Every section of this house has a string of anecdotes attached. Bina designed the house herself, oftentimes drawing on her hand to brief the builder. “Some 15 years ago, I remember driving around Jalandhar with my sister and passing by a grand old house that was being broken. We stopped the car, ran in, and bought all the beautiful doors and windows. At the time, I hadn’t even started building this property. I just left them here thinking I would find use for them one day,” she says. Eventually, she used them throughout her house and painted them ash green to go with the tropical vibe of the house. Elsewhere, a bright blue and red spiral staircase snakes up from a corner in the courtyard. “I bought it from my contractor who begged me to use it in some form. I was keen to maintain this idea of lateral living but the second I saw this staircase, it compelled me

to build a room on the terrace for my second daughter, Gitu,” says Bina. With its terrazzo tiles, a gorgeous walk-in closet and antique furniture, the bedroom also doubles up as a homestay that Bina rents out to travellers. The only hitch: guests never want to leave. STYLE STATEMENT To describe this house would be to describe the way Bina lives her life. Quirky and eccentric, bold and unapologetic, crowded with individualistic choices, the house is a theatrical display of Bina’s curatorial eye. Nothing escapes her; Bina recalls how she decorated the bedroom upstairs with furniture bought entirely from a local scrap dealer, and updated it with chintz upholstery reminiscent of a beach house in the Bahamas. Malini’s stamp of distinction is also evident—in the cushions strewn across the house, and in her baroque boudoir, where colour and texture come together in a heady cocktail. The space reminds me of Villa Nellcôte, the Belle Époque mansion in Côte d’Azur that the Rolling Stones rented to record their 1972 classic, ‘Exile on Main St’. A chandelier that hangs from the fabric-draped ceiling, made by Malini herself, is an exaggerated candelabra stitched together with lampshades. The seating area has a mother-of-pearl coffee table with an L-shaped upholstered couch. “I am a fan of cockatoo feathers so I tend to have them scattered across different parts of my room. I’ve even added some feathers to the lampshade that I bought in Bali,” says Malini. And her prized possession? “The Jain Pichwai my mother bought me for my room. It has a calming effect on me whenever I am here,” she says. Sensual and surreal, this is a home where fantasies come to life.


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LONDON C A L L I N G For close to two centuries, Belgravia has been the address of choice for aristocrats, tycoons, British prime ministers, and international jet-setters. A Grade I listed townhouse owned by the Lodha family adds a touch of spice to the mix Writer Gayatri ranGachari Shah . PhotograPher Edmund SumnEr

A NOD TO THE CLASSIC The ground floor reception roomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wall panelling, skirting boards, cornice and fireplace were all listed, and had to be conserved without major alterations. Velvet armchairs by Dimore Studio pair up with the limited-edition, blue-glass centre table by Sam Orlando Miller. Also seen here is one of the two bespoke open cabinets that flank the marble fireplace. (Facing page) ExCLuSIvE ADDrESS The facade of the townhouse in Chester Square.


ART AND HISTORY The family room on the first floor, where an acrylic-on-canvas by SH Raza overlooks the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Tufty-Timeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; sofa. As on the ground floor, all the wall panelling, cornices and skirtings here had to be conserved. The lounger and ottoman are by Jaime Hayon for BD Barcelona.

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COMFORT ZONE The large gadda (mattress) alcove in the family room. This was originally an independent room facing the rear, but was amalgamated into the family room in Rajiv Sainiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s redesign.


(From this picture) COPPER TONES This master bedroom suite features bespoke copper side tables; bedside lamps from Christian Liaigre cast a glow on the hand-painted wallpaper. Mirrored doors in the en-suite bathroom reflect the vanity counter and free-standing bath.

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MEWS ROOM The ground floor lounge in the mews house is panelled in limed oak, and sports a monochromatic palette, and an Autoban â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Box Sofaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.


FOOD AND WATER A basement below the mews house was created to house the blue-tile-lined lap pool and a dining room. Jura grey stone lines the walls and floors, and a mirror at the far end of the pool creates an illusion of extra depth.


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hen Julian Fellowes, the master chronicler of upper crust English society and creator of the wildly popular British TV series Downton Abbey, announced that his next project was a serialized novel called Belgravia, it seemed apt. Considered among the most expensive real estate in the world, the neighbourhood, developed by the Duke of Westminster in the early 19th century, evokes London grandeur at its best. In 2010, the India-based Lodha family acquired a Grade I listed, 3,500-square-foot townhouse with an adjoining 2,000-square-foot mews house, and turned to AD50 architect Rajiv Saini to refashion it. “Our design philosophy is to select people whose work we like and whom we trust will focus on doing a great job; Rajiv is someone we believe in,” says Abhisheck Lodha. Over the years, the family—real estate developers themselves, who are now entering the London market with two landmark developments in Mayfair—had forged an excellent relationship with Saini, attempting to work on some projects together in India, although none had come to fruition. But from those interactions, they had come to admire Saini’s architectural and design vision—featuring modern, clean lines and an understated elegance. The house, located in Chester Square, and not far from where the late Margaret Thatcher lived, was magnificent, but in desperate need of an overhaul. “It was a fantastic property,” Saini remembers BRICK AND MORTAR The painted brick facade of their mews house was torn down and rebuilt. The slatted wooden door leads to a garage, while the other apertures on this facade had to comply with planning regulations.

thinking, when he first saw it in late 2010. But it came with its challenges. “Because it was a Grade I listed property, we couldn’t touch the facade, and there were major restrictions inside. The staircase had to be kept as it was; we couldn’t touch the wainscoting and mouldings. You couldn’t make or break very much inside in the main house.” An added complication was that the clients had hired a builder who had started some basic work, like breaking down walls and digging below, but then suddenly went bust. “So there I was, in this house with a few broken walls and maybe a few broken rooms in the mews,” says Saini. SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW The brief was to design a contemporary space to suit multiple generations of the family, but had an added constraint: to ensure that the new didn’t clash with the old. “When you have such strong architectural elements you can’t stray too far from them,” Saini says. “There has to be consistency. You can’t go up a traditional Victorian staircase and open a door to a Thai pavilion, or something in steel and mirrors. And of course, within the larger brief, I was trying to create a contemporary home to suit urban needs.” With client meetings alternating between Mumbai and London, the renovation took two years to complete, and had its own challenges. “Getting the contractors to deliver on the agreed timelines was quite difficult and involved a lot of following up,” says Abhisheck. The main house’s original configuration included a ground floor reception room with a smaller adjoining room; a first-floor, frontfacing living room; a room facing the back; and three higher floors with two rooms each. It was redesigned to reclaim space and make the rooms much larger. In the reception room, Saini had to abide by existing council rules, and retain many of the original architectural elements. “It felt like a restoration job in a museum…,” says Saini, with something close to horror. Since this was the first room people would enter, he wanted to use something typically English, but with a contemporary twist. He introduced a grey and white wallpaper patterned with clouds, which perfectly complemented the room’s newly restored fireplace. On the first floor, the grandest space in the house because of its high ceilings, the clients wanted a family room. Restrictions prevented the merging of the main room with the one in the back, so Saini came up with an innovative and distinctly Indian design element. “We couldn’t widen the room in the back and were bound by law to retain the door leading from the staircase landing, so I thought, ‘Why not install a gadda (mattress)?’” Immediately, the resultant alcove had an Indian context. The family couldn’t be happier; when at home, they spend most of their time in this space. Each of the three floors above was converted into a 400-square-foot master bedroom suite, one for each couple in the family, designed according to their taste. In the mews house, Saini designed a home office, a receiving room, a guest suite, and two children’s rooms. Excavating below ground, half a level down he created a kitchen, a utilities room and staff living quarters. A lap pool and dining area were installed one level below that. Altogether, both the main house and the mews house stood transformed—a well proportioned, stylishly appointed residence suited for both entertaining and living. “It wasn’t always easy, but challenges lead you to new ways of thinking, and to come up with unexpected solutions,” says Saini. Now that the space is complete, do its residents have a favourite section? “It would have to be the family room. It’s a fun space, and all of us enjoy it,” says Abhisheck. 283


Renaissance

Man Designer Axel Vervoordtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s magnanimous castle on the outskirts of Antwerp, Belgium is a testament to the talent of one of the great tastemakers of our time Writer & PhotograPher Michael Paul


PERSONAL GALLERY The original carriage room is now used for concerts and entertaining. The table is designed by the homeowner and designer Axel Vervoordt, and the treasures scattered around the room include a replica sculpture of Michelangeloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dying Slave (left), a rare 16th-century Madonna with child (back left) and an 18th-century urn (back, on plinth) by Jan Pieter van Baursheit the Younger, the architect who renovated the castle in 1745.


rustic living An Axel Vervoordt Home Collection ‘Brian 275’ sofa is combined with a selection of rough-hewn country furniture in a small sitting room in one of the outbuildings’ old beamed hayloft.


space for exhibition In the Loft Room, which hosts pottery classes, a plank and disc from the 2007 ‘Artempo: Where Time Becomes Art’ exhibition—which Vervoordt curated at the Venice Biennale—are displayed as artworks. Vervoordt designed the black slate table.

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xel Vervoordt occupies an exceptional place in the art and design world. A celebrated art collector, curator, antiquarian and interior designer, his knowledge and personal philosophy has resulted in a unique approach to design. His timeless, yet accessible aesthetic has garnered him a client list that includes Calvin Klein, Robert De Niro, Kanye West and Sting. Vervoordt’s interiors contrast classic antiques and contemporary art with rustic pieces and ethnic treasures. Centuries and cultures collide to create a dialogue between old and new, East and West. Yet his overriding penchant is for simplicity. His spaces are tranquil and relaxed and seem to have evolved naturally. Vervoordt says, “I try to create spaces that do more than please the eye, but allow for quiet contemplation and reflection. Silence is golden.” APPLYING ONESELF His 2010 book, Wabi Inspirations, in collaboration with Japanese architect Tatsuro Miki, illustrated another approach to his work. “‘Wabi’ is my interpretation of an enlightened Japanese philosophy [wabi-sabi] that values the beauty of imperfection and things in their simplest, most natural state,” Vervoordt explains. His 2013 book, Living With Light, shows the depth and 288


breadth of his company’s work and demonstrates that his interiors correspond to a philosophy rather than an expression of style or fashion. This philosophy is executed with great panache in his family home, the 12th-century medieval Kasteel van ’s-Gravenwezel on the outskirts of Antwerp, where Vervoordt showcases his work and displays art and antiques for his clients to view. Rich in history and romance, the castle has withstood wars, family feuds and the loss of fortunes. When Axel and May Vervoordt bought the property in 1984, it had undergone numerous alterations—many of which were out of character with the architecture’s integrity—so the couple undertook a two-year restoration programme. “This took an inordinate amount of time and was no easy task,” Vervoordt says. “Despite wanting to simplify things, we >

mix and match This neoclassical headboard and a Chinese vase converted into a lamp adorn the Red Bedroom in the old hayloft. (Facing page, from top) art house In the Manoir Room, a collection of 18thcentury French furniture mixes with the Axel Vervoordt Home Collection ‘Eric 290’ sofa and ‘Howard’ club chair; above the fireplace is Ida Barbarigo’s 1964 painting, Fabio Ti Buttano Per Terra; on the left wall is Lente (1968) by Jef Verheyen, and behind the shutters near the window is Work (#34) (1985), by Japanese artist Chiyu Uemae. The library dedicated to botanical books is decorated with 19thcentury French pottery.


< were very careful to respect those alterations made by previous owners that were in keeping with the original style.” A REINTERPRETATION The most recent renovations, to the castle’s outbuildings, were finally completed in 2014, precipitated by Vervoordt’s son Boris’s wedding on the estate, which underlined the need for more guest bedrooms and reception spaces. Originally comprising the gatehouse, stables, carriage houses, haylofts, grooms’ and coachmen’s quarters, these external buildings were added to the east of the castle in about 1740, when the entire structure was rebuilt as a country mansion by the eminent Antwerp architect Jan Pieter van Baurscheit the Younger. “The man was a visionary,” Vervoordt says. “His finest achievement was to demolish a dingy enclosed courtyard and replace it with a magnificent terrace and a pair of opposing stone bridges, one leading to the castle grounds, the other across the moat to the outbuildings and entrance.” Today these outbuildings are a fascinating mix of 15th- and 18th-century architecture, while providing a transition between the castle courtyard and the formal gardens beyond. At an early stage, Vervoordt added a swimming pool and pool house to the south of the old stables and original orangery. In 1986, a new orangery was created in the north end of the formal gardens to cover plants in winter and provide an evocative setting for family lunches.

green room Looking into the new orangery, an Axel Vervoordt Home Collection ‘Brian 275’ sofa sits in front of a rough-hewn country table. A 19thcentury French pottery bowl is displayed in the foreground.

SHARED LEGACIES On the ground floor, in the main group of outbuildings, a suite of large reception rooms is decorated in different styles to underscore Vervoordt’s diversity as an interior designer. In the old coach house, now used for concerts or as a large dining space, ancient urns, fragmented Roman and Hellenic statues, and medieval salvaged architectural stone relief work adorn the room. Next to the old coach house, the Loft Room, decorated in Vervoordt’s ‘wabi’ style, is used for pottery classes and is filled with antiques and a mix of contemporary and Japanese Gutai artworks. “Here time has become art,” he explains. “The beauty of its walls and contents are enhanced by the caress of the centuries and benign neglect.” The Loft Room leads to the French-influenced Manoir Room: a comfortable place to sit by the fire on one of the sofas or club chairs from the Axel Vervoordt Home Collection. This leads on to smaller living and dining rooms, all in different styles. There is also a library devoted to a collection of garden books and journals, and adorned with antique maps of the property and Provençal pottery. The top floor, where hay was stored and grooms and coachmen once slept, has now been converted into simple but comfortable guest bedrooms. As Vervoordt explains: “Under the ancient wooden rafters, where man has left his mark, you still get a feel for the practical purposes of these buildings.” Thanks not only to these intriguing outbuildings, but also to the estate’s ever-evolving collection of art and furniture, this ancient castle has taken on a new energy and modern-day relevance under the tenure of Axel and May Vervoordt. The feeling that these inspired spaces have always been part of the castle’s centuries-old legacy is the greatest possible testament to the couple’s talents. 291


(Clockwise from this picture) larger than life The 18th-century orangery windows are reflected in the new pool, which has been carefully landscaped to fit with the architectural style of the old buildings; an ancient wisteria vine—manicured for many years— creates shade over an outdoor seating area. The view in the morning, from the main terrace to the castle outbuildings across the 18th-century stone bridge built by Van Baurscheit. The view of the north tower of Kasteel van ’s-Gravenwezel and the gatehouse through the large doors of the old carriage house.


THE

art of liviNG Rajan Anandan and Radhika Chopra’s New Delhi home reflects their sensibility—which is global—and collection of art, which is distinctly Indian Writer Peter D’Ascoli PhotograPher FAbien chAruAu


wall art River Disease (2010), Anita Dubeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s claw-shaped installation of enamel eyes, covers, virtually, an entire wall in the living room. (Facing page) gallery home A fabric and wood installation by Astha Butail, titled Ever Lasting Day (2014), adorns another wall in the living room; the homeowners bought the cowhide stool in New York; the sculpture on the table was a New Delhi antique-shop find.


room for reflection On one wall of the dining room is a neon installation by Shilpa Gupta, titled Where Do I End and You Begin (2012); the chaise below the installation is an antique colonial piece with inlaid ivory and the Turkish ikat pillows are from Second Floor Studio. The homeowners found the antique teak dining table in New Delhi and paired it with classic Eames DSW chairs from America. The Persian Kazak kilim is from The Carpet Cellar, New Delhi.


(From this picture) daily R&R The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Malmo Day Bedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is from Le Mill and the Turkish ikat pillows are from Second Floor Studio; on the wall hangs a woodcut print by Zarina Hashmi titled Mapping the Dislocations (2001); the silver gelatin photograph on the side table is by Richard Bartholomew (Rati Wearing a Saree, 1954); the Persian Kazak kilim is from The Carpet Cellar. On the wall of the living room is an artwork by Pakistan-born, Bengaluru-based artist Mariam Suhail, titled Vase of Flowers (2014); the pair of cream chairs were custommade in leather; the antique Agra Jail carpet is from The Carpet Cellar.


(Clockwise from this picture) MAKING A HOUSE A HOME A Subodh Gupta food-themed canvas (Untitled #4, 2011) hangs behind the dining table, which is made of antique teak; Radhika Chopra with her daughter Maya, husband Rajan Anandan and their labradoodle, Ambassador. A series of etched drawings on handmade Nepalese paper by Zarina Hashmi, titled Home I Made/A Life in Nine Lines (1997), hangs above the ‘Strand’ bench by Vikram Goyal for Viya Home; on the floor is an antique Persian Turkmen carpet. In the passage is an old teak cupboard with LED text by Sudarshan Shetty (Untitled from ‘this too shall pass’, 2010); the kilim is an antique from Afghanistan.


w

hen I think of my friends Radhika Chopra and Rajan Anandan, I think of that old saying: ‘May you live in interesting times.’ The expression is rumoured to be a Chinese curse predicting a turbulent life; but for this couple—to call them a ‘power couple’ seems both a cliche and an understatement—it has meant embracing the epic times they live in with intelligence and grace. Without a doubt, this is a moment of historic change as the Internet and globalization transform life as we know it. With India at front and centre of these changes, they are playing key roles: Rajan as the vice president and managing director of Google Southeast Asia and India and an angel investor in the red-hot Indian start-up scene; and Radhika as a philanthropist, pioneering art patron, art collector, and entrepreneur—with her brand, No 3 Clive Road. PUTTING DOWN ROOTS Visiting their New Delhi home is like being in a comfortable gallery, and the first thing we see is a Bharti Kher bindi artwork. Turning right, I run into a Zarina Hashmi work hanging above a ‘Strand’ bench by Vikram Goyal. On the way to the salon, we cannot help seeing a large Subodh Gupta painting, and entering the living room, we find the walls dominated by installations from Anita Dube and Astha Butail. This array of art is set against a mix of antique and contemporary furniture and is, like my hosts, absent of pretence. It is this down-to-earth quality that impresses me, and I am struck by the contrast between this couple and their adopted city, which often seems preoccupied with social status and brash displays of conspicuous consumption. So amiable and modest are they that, after knowing them for some years, I must dig out facts that reveal their elite education and achievements. Rajan is from Sri Lanka and, when he was 17, went to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University; while Radhika was born in Mumbai and moved to America when she was 8. She went on to study at Wellesley College and Harvard University. It is clear that they are more comfortable speaking about family and friends, or the wide world of ideas they inhabit, rather than about themselves. “We arrived in India 10 years ago, for just six months with two suitcases, and never left; we didn’t expect to stay this long,” says Radhika of their move. “Our idea of home has, of course, changed as Maya (the couple’s 10-year-old daughter) has grown. Home life revolves around play dates, baking for the holidays, our weekends together, and Sunday family lunch with my sister and parents.” ENTERTAINERS AND ENTREPRENEURS This statement of quiet domesticity, though, belies a work and social schedule that includes much world travel and entertaining at home to support charitable causes. The past year alone has included events with guests such as movie star Frieda Pinto; journalist, editor and author Tina Brown; and rock star Chris Martin—all dinners for causes. And yet, with all these glamorous activities, the focus is never self-conscious, or about self-

promotion. It is about building projects and cultivating ideas. “India is exciting because it is a young, growing country that allows us to make an impact at scale,” says Rajan, referring to the size of the Indian population and the speed at which technology can effect change. “With Google, we are trying to change lives by getting people online.” This idea of investing and nurturing is also at the heart of Radhika’s work with art, and the launch of her brand. “I wanted to create something that is both beautiful and meaningful, and that speaks of my roots in this city—my family history,” she says about the brand that retails exclusive blended teas, scented candles, and paper products, and is named after her grandfather’s home in Lutyens’ Delhi. But it is for her work with Indian art that this former economist with the US Federal Reserve is best known. “I wasn’t happy, so I quit my job as a financial analyst in Manhattan,” reminisces Radhika. “I left without a plan and followed my passion.” AN EYE FOR ART At that time, back in the late 1990s, Indian art was a little known frontier and Radhika entered the field as an unpaid intern at the Asia Society and then became gallery director at Bose Pacia in SoHo, New York, where she began working closely with Indian art and artists. “Radhika started collecting when it wasn’t fashionable to collect Indian art,” says Roshini Vadehra of Vadehra Art Gallery, “And now she collects what appeals to her personally. It may be a cool video work, a sensitive drawing, or a neon piece that can alter a living space. It’s always something that resonates with her sensibility and unique taste.” Radhika acquired her first Husain at Bose Pacia with a credit card advance for what then seemed a small fortune, but now seems a great bargain. And when the gallery owners gave her the difficult task of getting artist FN Souza, who was living in New York at the time, to agree to a show, Radhika visited his studio, secured his commitment, and bought one of his paintings. “I wrote the cheque directly to the artist,” she tells me with the satisfaction that comes from participating in an epic event during interesting times. She continued collecting, and the couple now share a tradition of buying a work each year to celebrate their anniversary. “Radhika has an extremely personal engagement with art,” says Sunitha Kumar Emmart, founder of Gallery SKE. “She has a connection with the work and delves into it, exploring it with the gallerist or artist. There is no posse of advisors; and she does not get swayed by trends. At the same time, she is extremely conscious of supporting young and upcoming contemporary artists.” It is a matter of serendipity that several of Rajan’s investments have been with companies founded and run by women, and that Radhika has been extra supportive of women artists, a noteworthy fact in male-dominated India. “It was not a conscious, preplanned effort by either of us; it just turned out as a happy coincidence, but I did go to Wellesley,” Radhika tells me with a smile, referring to her famously feminist alma mater. And this last comment brings to mind something another feminist, Eleanor Roosevelt, once said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”


perfect balance The bespoke light in the entrance hall—the result of a discussion between homeowner Kelly Hoppen, French designer Hervé Langlais and Galerie Negropontes at PAD London— draws vertical lines that emphasize the height of the ceiling. The round mirror, originally found at a train station in Eastern Europe, was bought at the Les Puces flea market in Paris. (Facing page) wide open The vast living space in the designer’s signature neutral palette; at the far end is a Le Corbusier armchair upholstered in linen.

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HOUSE IN ORDER

For a designer who’s always on the go, a home that makes her want to catch her breath—Kelly Hoppen’s West London residence is an inspired sanctuary melding the best of east and west

Writer Kit Calesss . PhotograPher Mel Yates


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hen I bought this place, it was just windows, old office furniture, rubble and rats. As soon as I walked in, I knew just what to do with it.” Kelly Hoppen hands me a bottle of water and scrolls through her phone, looking for a photo of her home before the renovation, when it was a commercial cavity unfit for habitation. Hoppen loves a good challenge; one of her last homes was a 19th-century girls’ school in south-west London. “I’ll show you a picture, because without any partitions or floors it just goes on and on and on; it’s 9,000 square feet. I can’t count the number of times over two years that I walked into properties and said ‘No’ at the front door, because it was already finished, or it was a typical townhouse. So to walk in here for the first time, I’ll never forget that moment.” It may no longer have the promise of a blank canvas, but the first time you walk into Hoppen’s home, you’re unlikely to forget that moment either. The scale of the open-plan living-dining-kitchen area is electrifying: six-metre-long white sofas, a dining table that can easily hold 30 guests, and slatted doors that appear to run from floor to ceiling. Pictures cannot do justice to the experience of entering her home. Which is appropriate, considering how often Hoppen says: “Don’t design a look; design a feeling.” ART HOUSE The building is a former Bonham’s auction house, set close to a lively strip of west London. It’s an extremist piece of architecture. The interior, however, is classic brand Hoppen, with her trademark palette of restrained elegance and muted tones—she is, after all, the industry’s ‘Queen of Taupe’—anchored by the tactile designer’s flair for depth and texture. Hoppen likens the tone of the wooden floor downstairs to, “hairdressers putting highlights, in wood”. As we tour, I notice Indian sculptures and artefacts precisely positioned here and there: a beaten metal disc, a dhurrie in the children’s bedroom, stone bowls under the sink in the master bathroom. Given her inimitable ‘east meets west’ sensibility—and this home is liberally infused with it—I have to ask if any vastu elements have entered her work. “I use it in India and here,” she says. “We’re installing a big job for some Indian clients next week and we worked really closely with a vastu consultant. It’s much harder—and more interesting—than feng shui; we learn a lot from it. I love working for Indian clients. They have calmness, sensibility, authority and an absolute precision about certain things—where they want to pray, where their children’s bath or bed has to be.” Hoppen’s enthusiasm for her new home is charming and infectious. “As I walk in I think, ‘Oh I love my hallway!’ I love the texture and I admire the design of the door. It’s quite rare for me—because I’ve moved six or seven times—to feel this much love, still. I’m talking about real love.” It’s not hard to see why. Anywhere you position yourself in the downstairs space presents a different, unique view. Frames within frames appear—dark lines and lowlights, graphics and light grooves. From the upper level, where the master bedroom, guest bedrooms and Hoppen’s enormous walk-in wardrobe lie, the view of the ground floor is heartstopping. The columns in the centre of the house are supporting structures that had to be worked around, but they inspired a grid-andline concept that runs throughout the design. It is a precise and >


light and shadow A large bespoke Kelly Hoppen pendant light hangs over the sixmetre stone dining table that seats 30. (Facing page, from top) sense and serenity The shade of the wooden floorboards took six months to perfect. The pendant lights above the seating area, designed by Hoppen, were lowered to balance out the space.

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< systematic aesthetic. Still, the production of space doesn’t feel

cold or calculated, despite the fact that the house contains a good deal of furniture and designs from Hoppen’s forthcoming collection. What could feel a bit like a show home successfully errs on the side of ‘lived in’. “A home is a strange thing,” Hoppen tells me, as we walk back down the stairs. “When you live in it and are comfortable in it, you’ll find that guests will gravitate to the part in which you are most comfortable.” Since the 1980s, Kelly Hoppen has become a familiar name in the style capitals of the world, and her client roster has included Hollywood royalty and British new royalty (read: the Beckhams). I wonder what her creative process is. “I have the kind of brain,” she says, “that can visualize exactly what a space will look like. I lie in bed and I dream of the space and I walk around it. The whole space starts black and as I begin to design it, it all comes to life, as if someone is doing it on a computer. Everything is like graph paper and it starts to be painted as my brain is working through it. I’ll wake up in the morning and know that one space is done. Then I’ll imagine living in it, seeing if it works, and then I’ll design it—and then move on to something else.” And move she does. It is clear that for someone with the pressures of an ever-expanding empire, the quest for tranquillity at home is ceaseless. Hoppen packs her weekend bag, as I get ready to leave, saying she’s heading to her country house. It’s a long drive for a Friday night, but she points out she’s got some client calls to attend to en route. “I’m running and spinning all the time,” she says, “but it’s so right for me, this space. It really does just make me want to stop. It’s kind of mad in places, but it’s ordered, and it’s luxurious, which is exactly what I want at this time in my life.”


gavel down The study, anchored by this zebra rug, houses some of Bonhamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s old booksâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;an important part of the history of the former auction house. (Facing page, from top) fine line Naturally lit during the day, the dining room overlooks the kitchen. The television room can either be opened on to the dining room or closed off, thanks to its lacquer shutters that also offer visual impact.

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(From above) PRIVATE RETREAT The taupe vintage armchairs in the walk-in wardrobe are accompanied by two stools designed by India Mahdavi, in this instance used as side tables. The pendant lamps in the master bedroom are from Ochre; the chaise longue was designed by Hoppen for her online store.


(Clockwise from top left) ART AND ACCENT The mirror on the dressing table in the master bedroom, set against a black and white photograph from Hoppen’s collection, was sourced at Rue de Lille in Paris. The freestanding bathtub in the master bathroom, made in reclaimed marble and inspired by the petals of a lotus flower, is Hoppen’s collaboration with Australian bathware designer, Apaiser; light sculptor Niamh Barry designed the loop chandelier. The carpet in the children’s guest bedroom was sourced from India; the vintage furniture was resprayed. The quixotic glass owl, that has been part of Hoppen’s art collection for several years, adorns a bathroom.

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MATERIAL WORLD Walking the line between tradition and modernity is a delicate balancing act. Sanjay Gargâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New Delhi home, much like his designs, carries it off with the grounded flair he is known for Writer Simar Preet Kaur . PhotograPher Fabien Charuau


ObjetS trOuvĂŠS On the shelves are curios that homeowner Sanjay Garg picked up on his travels. He is not a fan of marble, but was drawn to this horse sculpture with broken legs, which he purchased in Rajasthan. (Facing page) vaniShing pOint In its original form, the pillar to the left looked like a misplaced Roman column; Garg plastered it with cement until it blended in with the wall. The pyjamas on the wall are a 150-year-old pair, made of Mashru silk.


WARP AND WEFT The lamps above the table were purchased in West Bengal, from a weaver Garg had worked with, who was earlier an electrician. The curtains are made of Chanderi fabric and the armchairs are upholstered in Mashru silk.


FRAME BY FRAME The living room is where Garg spends the most time while in the house. The Mashru fabric pieces in the frames are 90 years old, and were produced in a workshop in Andhra Pradesh. The table, inspired by a Balinese design, was made to order for the peculiar shape of its legs.


(From above) OLD-WORLD CHARM In the minimalist retail space, the sofa designed by Garg is in the traditional baithak style; an antique Naga bed serves as a table. The drape on the wall in Garg’s bedroom is an old, fine mulmul from Varanasi; an antique temple pillar from Odisha serves as the headboard.

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he words ‘Angoori Badi’ (meaning ‘garden of grapes’) evoke a bucolic setting that seems all out of sorts with a New Delhi address, but Sanjay Garg’s single-storeyed residence, in the aforementioned area, reflects the simplified, poetic aesthetic that the textile designer is known for. This Chattarpur farmhouse is where Garg, the founder of handloom sari brand Raw Mango, set up home four years ago, after several months of extensive house-hunting. He knew what he was looking for— growing up in a village defined it clearly—an independent, open space, one that would allow him to walk from office to home without encountering the fumes of traffic. “I felt an instant connection with the garden,” he recalls. “Sure, we had to negotiate a lack of grocers and home delivery services, but the windows opened out to trees—and we were still conveniently located within the city.” Now, four years later, the trees still stand, and Garg has added two rooms to the modest two that existed. The retail space, where Garg’s handwoven creations sit behind sheer curtains, is less than a minute’s walk away. As with his textiles, his office and home portray a personality that is traditional yet restrained. “I come from a family of gem merchants. Like in Banarasi or Chanderi [sari] shops, the custom was to have nothing on display. If a customer wished to see a precious stone, the trader would open a cupboard, pull out a piece of khaki-coloured wrapping paper, and unfold it carefully, revealing the gem. That is what inspired my cupboards here. I wanted the bare minimum, >


(Clockwise from right) WOVEN TOGETHER Iron is one of Gargâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favourite materials, along with glass; the iron table seen here makes way for a bonfire on winter weekends. The facade of Gargâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house. The mirror on the wall in the retail space brightens it up and makes it appear larger. Garg wanted a four-poster bed, but without the ornateness, so he had this one made to order.


NATURE STUDY Garg in his garden.

< almost boring. Mundane. I like that word.” sTILL LIFE Garg moved to Angoori Badi with a vast collection of objects that reads like a map of cultural nuances he’s consciously sought out during his travels. The house was a blank canvas, and he acknowledges the unfulfilled desire of wanting to play with its architectural foundations. While most of the objects are handicrafts—many of them antiques, bought from dealers, museums and pavements alike—nearly all the furniture is bespoke, crafted specifically to his taste for peculiar shapes. “What interior design?” he says, smiling dismissively, “I only made the house more liveable.” The story begins in the receiving room, which has an unusual visual fulcrum—a 150-year-old pair of yellow, Mashru silk pyjamas hanging on the wall. It was one of his earliest buys, from an antique dealer in Ahmedabad, and the inspiration behind one of his finest collections. “Whenever I buy a fabric I keep it by my bedside for a couple of days. I see it and I get excited, because for me, textiles are art. I put this up here and my [entire] collection turned out to be in reinvented Mashru.” Much of the upholstery is also either Matka silk or Mashru. His most prized possession, though, is an antique Naga bed from the tribal hinterland of Northeast India, carved out of a single block of wood, and now used as a table. “This, for me, is luxury. You don’t get wood like this anymore.” A curio cabinet holds more traveller’s tales, and reveals a lifelong interest in Southeast Asian craft: terracotta statues from West Bengal and Jaffna; a bronze cat from Indonesia;

a cap made of silver thread from Odisha; and earthenware from Myanmar, Japan, and Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. “You see, the sensibilities were similar, only the materials differed.” In Garg’s house, the line between the traditional and the modern is intentionally blurred. Pointing towards a crockeryfilled cabinet by the dining table, he says, “I have always appreciated the craftsmanship and simplicity of traditional Indian metalware. I think it has what we refer to as ‘modern aesthetics’ today. What distinguishes the contemporary from the old is questionable.” Amidst the collection of terracotta, copper, ceramic and glass vessels are brass utensils, a legacy left behind by his great grandmother. Some of these are kept in the living room as well. “They are made of kansa (bell metal), and we traditionally serve rabri (a milk-based dessert) in them.” The bedrooms are done up in earth tones, with some of the draperies being over 100 years old. Jamdani saris draped over bedposts complement a quilted Chanderi bedspread over a Bengali kantha coverlet; on another lies an ikat bedspread from Hyderabad. Like the other artworks in the house, Garg changes these often. His collection has grown exponentially over the years, so that it is now, literally, a living space in a state of constant transformation. The dhurries on the floor are in muted shades with minimal patterns, if any. “I got these made in Jaipur, in jute and cotton, because you don’t find the simpler things in life anymore. Carpets are too opulent; they are not inherent to us. We are traditionally a nation of dhurries.” Wallpaper, he’s convinced, is the gravest design mistake people make in their homes. “Indian homes are shrinking and the wallpaper makes it worse. There’s just a clutter of patterns everywhere. As a designer it would be easy for me to hark back to patterns from different eras, but patterns kill space. They make even the people in the house invisible.” GARDEN VARIETY The biggest obstacle in realizing Garg’s dream home has been a gang of aggressive peacocks. They rampaged through his garden, feasting on every last sprig of coriander and broccoli. And yet, they add to the charm that drew him here in the first place. The city’s seasons suit him; they influence and complement the dynamic nature of the decor. “I’d paint the house differently if I were in Mumbai, which is too humid, or Rajasthan, where the stormy weather requires that you dust everything twice a day.” The garden, with neatly planted rows of spinach, garlic, onions, tomatoes and arugula, implies that the outside space is as important as, if not more than, the inside. Besides the living room, it is in the al fresco area where he spends most of his time. Today, the low seating area under a bamboo canopy features an easy chair from Kerala, a Garuda statue from Odisha and a wooden toy from Jodhpur. Sometimes monkeys scamper in, attracted by the trees, and during the monsoons, “the occasional snake”, says Garg, much too calmly. The presence of animal figures in the house is not a conscious choice; it all came together organically. Closeness to nature is an absolute must for Garg. “I could never have lived in a flat. I need the breeze blowing through the trees to feel at home,” says the designer. A peacock motif on one of his designs flutters delicately, as if in agreement.


RUNG STYLE The entrance foyer is dominated by a cantilevered staircase in stained oak with marble treads and bronze-plated balusters designed by Puru Das and Brian DeMuro of Urbanist. The black-and-white canvas is by Rameshwar Broota. (Facing page) SOUVENIR SPACE Most of the furniture and many of the fittings in the duplex penthouse, including the lapis-lazuli-clad centre tables with brass inlays in the living room, were custom-made by Urbanist. The sofa fabric is from Atmosphere. The geometric silk carpet designed by Urbanist was made by Rugs of India. The gilded brass “coral lamp” came from Paris and accessories in the bookcase were sourced from around the world; the ‘Pair of Brass Tipped Horns’ and ‘Nautilus’ sculpture are from Global Home in New York.


URBAN DESIGN

Designing this duplex penthouse in Gurgaon was a fortuitous experience for both the designersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the New Delhi-based AD50 firm, Urbanistâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and their clients Writer Sunil Sethi . PhotograPher tom Parker


HIDE & SEEK Upholstered in distressed leather, the sectional sofa in the family lounge is by Urbanist. The centre table has a top of petrified wood. On the walls, which are sheathed in a beige grass-cloth wallpaper, is a photo collage titled Machinations #6 by Madhuban Mitra and Manas Bhattacharya. The ikat carpet was made by Rugs of India and the throw cushions are from Sarita Handa. (Facing page) CRYSTAL CLEAR The bar counter in the living room is clad in Statuario marble; the front wooden panel is in grey veneer. The stained-oak bar stool is upholstered in leather from Baron. The decanters and glassware are from the ownersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; collection.


(Clockwise from top left) art-house flair A set of four linocuts on paper by Haren Das hang above a velvet sofa in the master bedroom; the knot sculpture in aluminium on the coffee table is from Global Home. Above the dining-room sideboard in black lacquer hangs a canvas by Ram Kumar; the table lamp in antique brass is from Flair Home, New York, and the brass sculpture is from Global Home. The living-room sofa is covered in grey velvet; behind the baby grand piano hangs a serigraph by Zarina Hashmi. The guest roomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s walls are covered in horse-hair wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries; the artwork above the bed is by Gipin Varghese and the lamp on the side table is from Global Home. (Facing page) case study Curved bookcases, with decorative panels in brass, form a quiet library corner on the upper-floor landing, along with a Charles Eames lounge chair and ottoman from Herman Miller.


HEARTH AND HOME The marble fireplace in the master bedroom is flanked by bronze-pillared bookcases with eucalyptus veneer shelves by Urbanist. The zebra hair-on-hide leather rug is from ABC Home and Carpet, New York, and the silk-ribbed duvet cover in charcoal and ivory, from Shades of India, New Delhi. On the fireplace mantle, below a canvas by SH Raza, is a sculpture by Gilles Caffier, Paris.


he old established norm of the joint family has long been disintegrating throughout metropolitan India; but, across the spectrum, there are numerous instances of how the system survives and thrives in a radically changed urban environment. A classic example is this recently completed duplex penthouse in a luxury high-rise development in Gurgaon. Three generations—the owner’s parents, themselves and their two small children—moved in, and now cohabit the 11,000-square-foot, five-bedroom apartment with ease, as if it were a contemporary rendition of a beautifully composed high-end haveli—an expansive home that affords private spaces yet encapsulates the camaraderie of the undivided Indian family. There is nothing remotely traditional, however, about the apartment’s overall design, furniture and modernist flourishes that include a choice selection of Indian art. The owner, a businessman, and his wife—a former professional turned full-time homemaker—lived in a suburban villa with a garden for several years. Their needs changed as their children grew older, and the disadvantages dawned on them: neither public parks (or communal activities) for the children, nor pleasant walks for their parents. They desired an altogether new design for living—and a clear break from the old—when they opted for the penthouse with terraces and panoramic vistas. “Frankly,” says the wife, “we were also bored with our collection of colonial furniture and conventional artefacts, typical of a style acquired by our generation.” They were so impressed by the design sensibility, clean lines and modern simplicity of a friend’s apartment that they immediately contacted its designers—the duo from the AD50 firm Urbanist. Puru Das and Brian DeMuro’s company has grown—from a modest furniture-importing business when they moved from New York to New Delhi between 2001 and 2002, to a substantial enterprise in furniture-making and bespoke interiors (their own home was featured in AD India’s May-June 2012 issue). Urbanist’s co-founders are now so well established that their 60,000-squarefoot Noida factory has diversified from upholstered furniture to case goods, cabinetry and metal casting. “We don’t outsource anything and create every prototype ourselves,” says Das proudly. “We tend to obsess over designing a door handle for weeks on end.” The newest associate in the Urbanist practice is architect Kanu Agrawal who, like Das and DeMuro, had lived and worked in New York (at Robert AM Stern Architects) before relocating to India not long ago. The three found a comfortable synchronicity in the design references they admired, in particular the work of the French architect Michel Roux-Spitz, and American Rosario Candela, famous for his spacious apartments, with terraced setbacks and signature penthouses, in New York’s Upper East Side. Both Roux-Spitz and Candela represented an overlapping age and spirit in design—between late 1930s art deco and early 1940s modernism— that is eminently suited to luxury apartment living.

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EYE FOR SENTIMENTALITY The meeting between the Gurgaon apartment owners and the Urbanist team was serendipitous—no collaboration between client and designers could have been happier. From the start, it proved a marriage of minds, and Das, DeMuro and Agrawal found the

couple not only in agreement in matters of mutual taste, but also clear to a precise degree about their individual and family requirements. “I would ask for their wish list and 21 pages would arrive. They had been carefully documenting their needs, often surfing the Internet for images and references,” says Das. “My main wish was storage, storage and storage,” chimes in the wife, who confesses to being a hoarder. “I can’t bear to throw away old sentimental things.” Her husband and father-in-law are avid readers; their apparently limitless demand for bookcases, laughs Das, was a task to fulfil. But dividing the spaces into private, family and formal areas— that included, apart from bedroom suites, a library, working office and small gym over two floors—was an uncommon challenge. In Urbanist’s scheme of bespoke interiors, a design presentation—with forms and colour palette in furniture, carpets, textiles and even artworks—precedes civil drawings. Once the tones and textures of muted greys and ivories with pops of colour were decided, everything else followed. One of the exciting prospects was to link the two storeys of the apartment’s hulking great shell. The idea for a hall with an inlaid white-marble floor, and a spiral staircase soaring to the upper storey, came from DeMuro. Executing the nearly cantilevered curve required Agrawal’s engineering expertise. “It took seven months to accomplish,” says DeMuro, “That’s roughly half the time it took to complete the entire apartment.” SHARED RESOURCES As the clients’ and designers’ confidence in each other grew, the Urbanist team discovered to their delight that they had virtual carte blanche, supported by a generous budget, to choose wallpapers, lighting fixtures and artworks ‘glocally’. They were able to scour the world—New York, Paris and Bangkok—as well as Indian specialists, for subtly textured wallpapers, burnished lamps, pastel-coloured ikat carpets and curtains, and metal pieces and ceramics in sculpted shapes. It proved to be a worldly treasure hunt. Das and DeMuro accompanied the owners on a two-day visit to Bangkok to source the spectacular crystal-drop chandelier above the dining table, and to design the accompanying wall lights. “It’s when you travel with a client on a buying trip that you get their measure on a human scale. Their enthusiasm and openness were infectious. It felt like family.” Over the months, the clients reposed enough trust in the Urbanist team to help them source important works by contemporary Indian artists. As the son of the well-known author and art collector Gurcharan Das, Puru Das is adept in the oeuvre of Indian modernists. He helped add substantially to the owners’ existing collection, introducing alongside fitting works such as Rameshwar Broota’s dramatic black-and-white canvas in the hall, Zarina Hashmi’s spare serigraph in the living room and a scattering of contemporary photographic prints elsewhere. Nowadays, the Urbanist team and their clients gather for mid-morning coffee over homemade samosas and sandwiches as if they are long-lost friends, even though the apartment was completed months ago. If you venture to ask about disagreements or mistakes, they tend to dissolve into laughter over forgettable infractions. Together they present a picture of Tolstoy’s age-old beginning, “All happy families are alike…”


MINIMAL BAROQUE In an 18th-century apartment on the Rue de Verneuil in Paris, interior designer Christian Liaigre lives above his showroom, surrounded by his own designs Writer Alexey TArkhAnov PhotograPher IvAn TeresTchenko

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GOLD LINING Homeowner Christian Liaigre designed the sofa in dark-grey silk and the two armchairs in this living room, which retains its 18th-century decor. The sculpture in the cornerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;made from a single piece of woodâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is by Amsterdam-based sculptor Mathieu Nab. The portrait on the mantel, of model Natalia Vodianova, is by Parisbased Italian photographer Paolo Roversi.


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he feeling is that of French Baroque meeting art deco; the colours, Bordeaux with meringue, and coffee with cream—the latter being also what Christian Liaigre treats me to in his apartment in the 7th arrondissement. It has a separate entrance with an indoor courtyard and a private staircase to the second floor. Next to the staircase hang deer antlers (hunting trophies from his youth) and the bicycle he uses to get to his workshop, which is two streets away. Everything is close at hand. The floor below houses his showroom, his name printed unobtrusively on its windows. Seen through those clear glass windows are his understated and elegant designs: chairs, couches, beds and tables—which stand out because of their juxtaposition with nearby galleries celebrating 20th-century France’s art deco period. The pieces are contemporary—low, with Liaigre’s penchant for neutral colours, and not overtly traditional. His personal apartment mirrors this aesthetic. Ulterior Motifs Liaigre recognizes his good fortune in finding this apartment two years ago. It was uninhabited for 30-odd years as the owners, an American firm, seemingly forgot about its existence. At some point, the heirs of the company found out about it and promptly sold it. “I always dreamt of living in an 18th-century apartment,” says Liaigre, with a sense of accomplishment, “I love all these patterns, which were not mainstream then, but avant-garde. One can find so much pleasure in the smallest details!” “I maintained the original plan of 300 square metres—with a height of 4 metres—because of its beautiful proportions,” says Liaigre. He also kept the gilded stucco and the Versailles parquet floor, which had to be relaid, since all the utility lines were under the floor. But the layout of the apartment—the bedroom, the kitchen and the bathrooms—was ingeniously redesigned. Now, one side of a glass-enclosed corridor opens on to a green courtyard; the other opens into the kitchen.

old Wine, neW bottle Functionally, it is certainly not 18th century. In the main room, there is a somewhat less-used study table; a divan on which a rug is artistically draped; podiums with sculptures (created by Richard Serra and anonymous Asian artists), which Liaigre collects. Gilt-framed mirrors are a recurring motif—there’s one between two large windows, a second above the fireplace, a third behind the sofa in the living room. The neighbouring room has a two-storey walk-in wardrobe made of metal and frosted glass. “There was no space for a dressing room,” explains Liaigre. So he came up with a solution: to convert the wardrobe into an intricate sculpture. The apartment is split on two levels, and Liaigre’s personal space is on the second level. At first glance it appears to be a modest study, but turns out to be his bedroom with an attached bath. The upper floor also features a guest bedroom and a room for his son Leonard, who studies at a school nearby. I asked Liaigre about his design process. How does he maintain his aesthetic while working with the celebrities for whom he designs apartments? “I just do not interfere,” he says. “I have a signature style; the apartments of Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and Karl Lagerfeld cannot be confused with each other. I make a frame for the individual; the rest is up to them.”


around the corner In a corner of the living room, an antique table has been paired with a ‘Barbud’ chair, ‘Bazane’ stool and ‘Isle Noire’ lamp, all designed by Liaigre. The portrait of model Kristen McMenamy is by German photographer Peter Lindbergh. (Facing page, from top) creator and collector The entrance hall has an antique terracotta stag sculpture; below the mirror is a ‘Sud’ bench by Liaigre. The ‘Antipodes’ chest of drawers is also by the homeowner; the photo above it is by Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto; the Buddha statue is a Chinese antique.

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(Clockwise from this picture) PERSONAL SPACES The dressing room was previously a parlour; the sofa is by Liaigre, the side table was designed by French designer Sophie Lafont for this home. Liaigre built this two-storey walk-in closet in glass and metal. The designer in his office.

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light sleeper Liaigre designed the bed, side table and silk rug in this bedroom. The chair is a Chinese antique.


workbook

DECONSTRUCT

WOODEN CHANDELIER, `41,000, IRONWORKS

’s SAMIR WADEKAR helps you adopt the look of the international homes in our pages with products that are available in local Indian stores

RENAISSANCE MAN

MICHAEL PAUL

PG 284-293

BASKETS, `8,000 AND `5,000, MAISON 15

LAMP, `14,700, MAC-BRUZÁE

ACACIA WOOD CONSOLE, `66,150, SARITA HANDA WOODEN BOX, `11,000, MAGNOLIA

STOOL, `6,100, TRANCEFORME

GINGER JAR, `7,500, MOONRIVER FISH SCULPTURE, `22,980, TRANCEFORME ‘MOLINA’ SOFA (ASH GREY) BY CASACRAFT, `48,329, PEPPERFRY.COM ‘KEN 3060’ COFFEE TABLE, `75,100, MARINA HOME

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PHOTOGRAPHERS: INDRAJIT SATHE, SHAMANTH PATIL, ANSHUMAN SEN, THIRU S/WHITE LIGHT DESIGN. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: KRISHNA KALRO, NITYA DHINGRA, KRITI VIJ.

‘CASUAL’ ARMCHAIR, `29,250, KAVITA SINGH INTERIORS

CERAMIC JARS, `6,500 EACH, PURPLE TURTLES


HOUSE IN ORDER

PG 300-307

MEL YATES

‘DASHEN’ BED, `42,750, STITCHWOOD.COM

LONDON CALLING PG 276-283

PHOTOGRAPHERS: ANSHUMAN SEN, SHAMANTH PATIL. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: KRISHNA KALRO, NITYA DHINGRA.

‘STATUARY CLASSIC SP’ AND ‘BIANCA HELENA’ TILES BY ANN SACKS, PRICE ON REQUEST, C BHOGILAL WEST-END

‘SEVILLE’ BAR STOOL (NATURAL), `3,835, FABFURNISH.COM

METAL VASES, `7,975, CINNAMON

EDMUND SUMNER

SILVER PLATTER WITH GRANITE BASE, `27,000, RAVISSANT

‘BAROQUE MAZE’ RUG, `1,00,000 ONWARDS, COCOON FINE RUGS

WALL LAMP, `12,950, BOCONCEPT

‘NATIVE’ VASE, `2,960, HOUSEPROUD.IN

GLASS AND NICKEL HURRICANE, `6,995, GAURI AND NAINIKA

‘KM 6347’ HOB FROM THE GENERATION 6000 SERIES, `1,99,990, MIELE

‘META.02’ FAUCET BY DORNBRACHT, `82,215, C BHOGILAL WEST-END

CLOTH-BOUND NOVEL, `699, IKKADUKKA.COM CHINESE LACQUER CABINET, `90,000, FRANGIPANI

CARAFE, `1,150, AND ‘FACET’ GLASSES, `5,200 (SET OF 6), PINAKIN


workbook MINIMAL BAROQUE

PG 324-329

IVAN TERESTCHENKO

‘WING’ SCULPTURE, `38,500, BEYOND DESIGNS

ITALIAN MIRROR WITH GOLD LEAFING, PRICE ON REQUEST, THE GREAT EASTERN HOME

‘SOFIA’ CHANDELIER (NINE LIGHT), `21,391, PEPPERFRY.COM

‘DHOLAK’ STOOL, `6,580, ANANTAYA

STEEL GREY RUG (5X8 FEET), `25,000, IMPERIAL KNOTS

‘LOTUS PETAL’ BOWL, `1,737, DEVI DESIGN FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH, `9,500, SERENDIPITY

BRONZE CANDELABRA (PAIR), `30,000, ESSAJEES

‘OXFORD’ CHAIR, `41,900, MAC-BRUZÁE

‘OY’ TABLE, `28,000, JOSMO STUDIO

‘CHANTAL’ SOFA, `1,15,000 ONWARDS, URBANIST

For details, see Stockists

PHOTOGRAPHERS: INDRAJIT SATHE, ANSHUMAN SEN, THIRU S/WHITE LIGHT DESIGN. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: NITYA DHINGRA, KRITI VIJ.

‘HANS’ HIGHBACK CHAIR, `61,875, KAVITA SINGH INTERIORS


WIN

A STAY AT NIRA ALPINA, ST MORITZ, SWITZERLAND

INDIAN EDITION

THE LAST WORD IN TRAVEL FEB-MAR 2016 | 150

THE FOOD ISSUE

EAT GREAT IN BANGKOK Where to get the world’s best papaya salad & lots more

INDIA

SECRET PUDUCHERRY Secluded beaches, quaint cafés, capoeira and surfing

INDIA’S FOOD REVOLUTION

From artisanal spices to the chefs doing sexy things with them

TOP FARM STAYS

Milk a cow, pick tea leaves, make cheese, breathe easy

co mp lim fe b- ma en ta ry wi th r 20 16 issue

Destina tion Wedd i ng Guid e INDIAN

Nidhi Sunil in Puducherry

P LU S A N DA M A N S ★ S PA I N ★ KO H I M A ★ N O RWAY

2015’s mo about st talkEd nuptia ls

Exotic your d localEs fo r rEam w Eddin g

rEal a dvic rEal c E from ouplE s

EDITION


The Big, Delicious Food Special Food (noun): the most significant part of travel.

From Bangkok’s 50 best meals—the city's best pad thai stall and the fancy sushi restaurants—to India’s top new restaurants and entrepreneurs conjuring up artisanal chocolate and honey—dig into this month’s drool-worthy food special. Also in this issue: the best-kept secrets of Puducherry revealed, top farm stays to check out and of course, where to go in 2016.

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Your ultimate guide to the world of big, beautiful destination weddings. A supplement packed with the most romantic real-life wedding stories, the dreamiest destinations, the most iconic hotels, expert advice, fashion for the groom and bride and much more!

FEBRUARY - MARCH 2016 ISSUE ON STANDS NOW @CNTIndia | www.cntraveller.in


EXPERT ADVICE, DECOR TIPS, AND STYLE ESSENTIALS FOR THE CONTEMPORARY INDIAN HOME

PHOTO: NEVILLE SUKHIA. BACKGROUND: CORBIS

CHAIN REACTION Textile designer Maximiliano Modesti created the “ inside” text in red silk thread using the zardozi technique. The headline was made using a mix of lightand dark-grey silk in a chain stitch.

This two-part project is ’s way of broadening the horizons of traditional material usage. The first recreates some of our favourite pieces of contemporary furniture; the second reimagines the interiors of Mumbai’s iconic black-and-yellows


DETAIL

’s SAMIR WADEKAR collaborates with embroidery virtuoso Maximiliano Modesti to reimagine the work of four designers—with a strong connection to India—using textured canvases PHOTOGRAPHER NEVILLE SUKHIA

‘BUTTERFLY GINKGO’ CONSOLE TABLE BY MICHAEL ARAM Modesti’s Interpretation: “Each solid brass table is unique. Bringing this singularity while creating the design was a challenge. Additionally, reconciling the metallic finish of the table with its organic inspirations also had to be taken into account. The organic structure of the table was thus reinterpreted as a trellis embroidered with silk thread. The gold-and-silver butterfly motifs scattered across the tapestry represent the details on the table.”


inside ‘BM HORSE’ CHAIR BY SATYENDRA PAKHALÉ Modesti’s Interpretation: “I wanted to give the embroidery a tribal feel, by mixing leather patches with dabka embroidery, a technique that uses a looped zari thread. Here, the idea was to demonstrate that even being limited to two materials—leather and zari—can provide a sophisticated sensibility. I wanted to create something strong and raw.”

MARCH-APRIL 2016|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|339


‘C-SERIES’ CHAIR BY ROOSHAD SHROFF Modesti’s Interpretation: “I wanted to emphasize the purity of the lines and simplicity of the chair, contrasting it with an art-deco-inspired background. A fine balance of cotton and metal threads on the wood-coloured linen outlines the negative space—representing the chair.”


inside ‘MY BEAUTIFUL BACKSIDE’ SOFA BY DOSHI LEVIEN Modesti’s Interpretation: “The sofa, with its celebratory colours and shapes, was a fun inspiration. Here, the idea was to make it bright and dreamy. The clouds, which add a touch of whimsy, have been accentuated with silver thread. I used the wool felt appliqué patches to echo the felt-and-wool upholstery used on the sofa.”

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inside

BEHIND THE STITCH Maximiliano Modesti is a French-born textile and embroidery entrepreneur, design conservationist, and the founder of Jaipur Modern, and embroidery firm Les Ateliers 2M headquartered in Mumbai. Established in 1998, the company is staffed by artisans skilled in hand-embroidery techniques such as aari and Zardosi. A keen interest in Indian embroidery led to Modesti visiting the country, and offering this craft a global platform through major design houses in the West. Modesti, who’s worked with some of the most iconic luxury brands—including Hermès, Isabel Marant and Chanel— remains a passionate advocate of preserving crafting traditions by bringing them into the 21st century. The gamut of his work involves collaborations between karigars (embroiderers), artists, and architects. He ensures the artisans are educated in the techniques they employ and that they understand the value that their work adds to the end product. Modesti is also the director of Hand Design, a joint venture with the Uttar Pradesh government, which will train artisans and weavers, and help them find opportunities in the international luxury market. Taking his craft cross-country, the cities of Jaipur, Lucknow, and Agra now form an integral backdrop to his venture, which emphasizes handmade products with the highest standards of quality.

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

(Clockwise from top left) POINT OF CONTACT An embroiderer filling in the stencilled text with silk thread. Templates for the tapestries. The traced pattern featuring the ‘BM Horse’ chair by Satyendra Pakhalé placed on the fabric panel. Maximiliano Modesti sketching over the stencilled pattern. An embroiderer using the dabka technique to create the chairs. The workshop of Modesti’s Les Ateliers 2M embroidery firm. The template featuring embroidered ‘BM Horse’ chairs.


style

On the occasion of our fourth anniversary, collaborated with four artists and Sanket Avlani’s firm Taxi Fabric–which liberates taxi and autorickshaw interiors from predictable kitsch–to create architecture-inspired art for these black-and-yellows PhotograPher Neville Sukhia . StyliSt SoNali Thakur

SAFOMASI

This cool furnishing and accessories label with an illustrative edge is the brainchild of Sarah Fotheringham and Maninder Singh. While Fotheringham is the designer behind all those playful regional-inspired drawings one sees on the brand’s linen, Singh handles the business and production side of their operation. This couple likes to make their own rules when it comes to design, and believes that it is “a good platform for raising awareness, and in the right context, it can [even] change behaviour.” Detail, decoration and colour lay the groundwork for their inspirations when it comes to Indian design.


inside

ABOUT THEIR DESIGN

BOMBAY DECO: Mumbai has the second-largest concentration of art deco buildings in the world. We were inspired to pay homage to the city’s bold and expressive heritage, and looked to incorporate classic art deco motifs like sunbursts, scallops, and chevron patterns along with other Mumbai-specific elements. Part of the design of each seat has been inspired by the period’s representative architecture— from the Eros Cinema to The New India Assurance building. Since this architectural movement was such a colourful one, we thought it would be fun for us to experiment with a rainbow effect spread across the taxi: from pink and red in the back, to orange and yellow in the middle, flowing into green and blue on the front seats.

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|345


A T H E M H D D U R I N A

nd metrical a o e g , n a le often work is c ’s style of e drawings, which fy or ta h e M h er simpli Anirudd plistic lin r rofession, to form. His sim design belief: “Eith itect and invento e a p y b r e n h id g a is m rc si p a o e h c f d n e o ld o b ic o A graph with great attenti ke patterns, uph ired by the work er, he would’ve ew n n minimal, to intricate grid-li in between.” Inspn’t a graphic desig ently designing a Boards. r e a r in r im v u e p c tt sw w a lo is r ve dT he if he deve licate. Ne says that mbai-base borations, overcomp er Fuller, Mehta for ongoing colla ngboards for Mu st s lo Buckmin or an animator. A skateboards and e d n a ia c m and musi ser-cut h range of la


inside

ABOUT HIS DESIGN

AUTO CHAOS: The initial inspiration was to transform the interiors of the rickshaw using patterns, household tiles and geometric linework. I wanted to look at architecture as a broader spectrum and borrow certain elements that could be used to redesign the rickshaw interiors. I started with the roof, since it was the largest surface area. I approached it as a mural, and it became the place where I could go a little crazy and explore a certain style. Once that was fixed, I had a clear direction for what the rest would be. The simple stripes, patterns, and tessellations were all used to complement the ceiling.

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SHIFT

Fashion designer Nimish Shah describes his brand Shift’s aesthetic as “modern shabby chic”. A firm believer in the “less is more” principle, Shah wants his work to “raise a dialogue on how design can be broken down, even in the case of a uniform object or service. [The designs should] become worthy of archival material—a reflection of our times. Designs for everyday objects are not subject to frequent change—“That’s what makes the selection process so crucial.” Product designers inspire Shah, as he speaks of his interest in using design to engage a wider spectrum of society, as something that has the power to bring novelty to uniformity. When asked what he would be if not a designer, Shah wishes he could be a chef, even though he believes he’s actually a lousy cook!


inside

ABOUT HIS DESIGN

Pa:inmd

It’s an extension of Shift’s house aesthetic—modern, minimalistic, and just a little bit cuckoo. I’ve always thought of Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan as a very beautiful building, and picked elements from it for the Premier Padmini—an institution in itself. We experimented with colour blocking, as that was the key to the design. The most amount of time and resources were spent on getting it right—to accentuate the geometry [of the car]. I hope that this taxi makes people smile, and wonder what’s different about it—even if they can’t really put their finger on it.

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JATIN KAMPANI Besides being a prolific photographer, Jatin Kampani is also the co-founder of merchantsofcool.in, an online platform that facilitates connections between artists and end-users. Kampani counts artists such as Salvador Dali, Paul Gaugin and Remedios Varo among his inspirations, and Ayn Rand’s philosophies as the mainstay of his creative sensibilities. He believes India is where a lot of experimentation with mediums takes place. “What I like about Indian design is its strong sense of culture, and the harmony within the diversity,” he says. For Kampani, the basic purpose of art and design is to be thought-provoking; it needs to inspire people to interpret and carry the idea forward. “We should learn, and choose, to live out of the matrix.” His work reflects thoughtful ideas that engage a wider audience. Like this project, which harnesses a quotidian canvas to project profound thought.


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ABOUT HIS DESIGN

WE THE LIVING: I use a lot of metaphors in my work. There is also always a use of texture, space, and elements to represent my ideas. We live in pigeonholes in Mumbaiâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with a limited sense of architecture and aestheticâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; that most people spend their lifetime, and fortune, acquiring. The butterflies in my artwork represent the need to free ourselves from stereotypical ways of thinking, which imply that these acquisitions represent the ultimate goal, and are the greatest representations of security.

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ITC’s Nakul Anand with Chief Guest Vinod Zutshi, Hon’ble Secretary of Tourism, Government of India and Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Government of India

The stage setup at ITC Maurya, New Delhi

readers’ travel awards 2015

The Leela’s Rajiv Kaul

IndiGo’s Aditya Ghosh

MakeMyTrip’s Deep Kalra

Chef Manish Mehrotra

V Sunil and CNT Editor Divia Thani Daswani

CELEBRATING THE 5TH CONDÉ NAST TRAVELLER READERS’ TRAVEL AWARDS The lawns of the ITC Maurya, New Delhi, provided the perfect setting for the 5th annual Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards, which honoured the best in the industry as voted by the readers. Recognising individuals who showcase the best of India, Condé Nast Traveller India, in association with Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa and Forest Essentials, presented the Excellence Awards to chef Gaggan Anand and Motherland JV’s V Sunil. While artist Bharti Kher received the Excellence Award, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. Host Nimrat Kaur was a picture of grace and wit at the event, which ended with a sinful dinner buffet. All-in-all, it was a night that will long be remembered.

Abercrombie & Kent’s Rati Dhodapkar, CNT’s Sunaina Talwar Khiani and ITC’s B Hariharan

Condé Nast’s Alex Kuruvilla and Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar

Actor Nimrat Kaur


Marriott’s Antony Page, Chandrashekhar Joshi and Saeid Heidari

The Glenlivet ba r

SUJÁN Hospitality’s Jaisal Singh and The Oberoi’s Kapil Chopra

The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa’s Sujith Herbert

Divya Kumari of Bharatpur and Suhel Seth

Artists Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher

Chefs Dharshan Munidasa and Gaggan Anand

Condé Nast’s Arjun Mehra and ITC Wills Lifestyle’s Karan Kumar

Samrat Bedi of Forest Essentials and Karishma Manga Bedi

PHOTOS: ANKIT VISHNOI AND GULSHAN SACHDEVA

Joey Matthews and Ambika Pillai

The coveted certificates and Swarovski trophies

Gujarat Tourism’s Nityanand Srivastava

The desserts

Ecole Hoteliere at Lavasa’s Nathan Andrews

Taj’s Rajshree Bakshi with Condé Nast’s Oona Dhabhar


inside RSVP

ZEN & SENSIBILITY

During the India Art Fair in January, New Delhi’s leading artists and collectors attended an exhibition at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, where artist Satish Gupta presented ‘Zen Space: Within & Without’—a collection of his mystical, intricate sculptures and artworks

AD editor Greg Foster, Satish Gupta

Grigoria Ikonomou

Sonalika Sahay, Anita Dalmia

Alessandro Vasari, Gilles Roduit, Abhishek Basu Amrita Guha

Monica Chawla

Rahul Radhu

Tarun Sharma, Anindita Bhattacharya

Samit and Swapnil Khullar

Ritesh Kumar

Savii Kapur, Garima Jain, Shirley Tobit

Vandy Mehra

Deep Kalra, Brigit Holmes

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Anil Das

Ritu Mehrotra, Neelu Amber

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

Sharika Nath-Radhu

Rudratej Singh

Soyen Park Pa k

Anju Modi

Come Carpentier, Stijn Mols

Ute Braasch

AD’s Taruna Banerjee, Akshay Tyagi

Kohelika Kohli


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MakE YOUR DREaMS COME TRUE WITH

Back for its fifth year, the Vogue India Fashion Fund is India’s most prestigious platform for emerging fashion and accessory designers to showcase their talent.

WHaT’S nEW? This year Vogue is introducing a new category for sari designers

VIFF 2015 winner dhruv Kapoor

YOU COUlD WIn • A cash prize • Yearlong mentorship with an industry professional • Access to prominent platforms in the industry • A fashion shoot in Vogue India and editorial support

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scouts

NEWSREEL From the hottest products to the coolest launches, here’s a low-down on the latest in the market this season

LUXE LIVING

A German brand with a 90-year heritage, Nolte Home Studio is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of premium kitchens and bedroom furniture. The Nolte ‘Neo’ open-plan modular kitchen (pictured) is the perfect solution for a multifunctional space. Its dominant grey palette complements its mirrored cooking island, herringbone parquet flooring, and customizable elements. (homestudioindia.com)

TIME TURNER

Murano-based Venini is often considered a landmark name in the world of art and glassware design. The ‘Ando Time’ hourglass has been designed by Tadao Ando, a Pritzker-Prizewinning architect and one of Japan’s leading names in design. It consists of an outer glass prism with a triangular base and an inner glass cylinder in two colours. The glass parts are connected by a titanium tube, through which the sand flows. The pieces are available in multiple colour options for white or black sand. (venini.com)

LIGHT CRAFT

A Mumbai-based retailer with a spectacular collection of lights from a number of European brands, Firefly is sure to fulfil your indoor and outdoor lighting needs. ‘Curtain’— designed by Arik Levy for Barcelona-based Vibia—is better described as a lighting experience than a traditional light fitting. The LED-equipped fixture can be used in many ways, depending on the required application—as a suspended chandelier, a feature light above a dining table, or even a ceiling partition system. (fireflyindia.in) 358|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

TAKE A SEAT

One of the global leaders in high-end furniture, Roche Bobois opened a second store in Mumbai dedicated to its Nouveaux Classiques collection. The collection goes beyond constraints of time and trends with traditional pieces being reinterpreted in contemporary aesthetics. The ‘Florian’ chair (pictured) is an ideal example from this luxurious collection. The chair has a solid beechwood frame and has been upholstered in Paul Smith and Alma fabrics. (roche-bobois.com)


MODEL SUPPORT

Despite its large, 40,000-square-foot space, New Delhi store IDUS still manages to be warm and inviting. Keeping pace with evolving trends, the store is equipped with products that cater to a wide range of aesthetics—like the ‘Yannik’ chair by Cattelan Italia. The chair also serves as a convenient valet stand, with a matt black steel and canaletto walnut structure. The seat is also available in black ashwood. (idus.in)

FAST TRACK

Appreciated worldwide for rendering every item unique and luxurious, Aston Martin’s ‘V163’ reclining armchair is a great example of its elegant aesthetic. The chair combines a strong personality with excellent comfort through its aniline-leatherupholstered body and black metal base. (formitalia.it)

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

Soumya Keshavan, founder of Chennai-based brand Souk, has curated a unique collection of antiques, and traditional and contemporary pieces. This 90-year-old antique headboard from Andhra Pradesh (pictured) is made using pure teak wood and features images of Telugu actors. The Burma teak retro-themed sideboard (pictured) retains its natural finish while showcasing its beautiful grain work. (soukonline.com)

CREATIVE INSTINCTS

The rich patterns and heritage of the Aubusson tapestries of the 17th and 18th centuries still manage to fascinate carpet lovers. Cocoon Fine Rugs pays a contemporary tribute to these pieces through the ‘Reflection’ rug (pictured). The rug employs a fresh palette and hand-spun wool, giving it a beautiful finish—perfect for adding a touch of vintage glamour to your home. (cocooncarpets.com)


scouts BEDTIME STORIES

Founded in 1916 in Meda, Brianza, Asnaghi Interiors is a leading classical Italian furniture maker. Their century-long history, material choices, and design practices dictate the quality of their furniture. The Valery bedroom collection (pictured) includes a majestic canopy bed with a hand-carved headboard adorned with precious floral decorations. The collection also features a side table, dressing table, chair, pouffe and chaise longue. The delicate beige and green details convey a romantic atmosphere enhanced by the gold leaf finish. (asnaghi.com)

IT’S A SET-UP

Throughout the last decade, luxury Italian furniture maker Visionnaire has gained recognition for its unique designs. The ‘Capitol’ sofa (pictured) exudes the brand’s core values of luxurious style and superior quality. This new offering is a single-body sofa with a back upholstered in pleated fabric. The seat cushions are made using polyurethane, memory foam and feathers. In addition to Visionnaire’s indoor and outdoor furniture, and lifestyle offerings, they also offer tailor-made projects, crafted according to the consumers’ specific needs. (visionnaire-home.com)

ON THE COUCH

Italian furniture brand Longhi has established itself as a leader in contemporary living. The variety of items it offers ranges from furnishing accessories, to sliding-glass room dividers, and sofas. Comfort and functionality are key requisites for each piece. The ‘Chopin’ sofa (pictured)—designed by Giuseppe Viganò—has a beech wood structure and seats and backrest cushions in sterilized goose down. The base and feet are available in a variety of glossy and matt finishes of ebony or canaletto walnut wood. (longhi.it) 360|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016


FORM IV (See Rule 8) Statement about ownership and other particulars about newspaper AD Architectural Digest (English) as required to be published in the first issue every year after the last day of February.

LAID BACK

With its customary guarantee of timeless elegance, Formitalia presents the Granada sofa and armchair characterized by the brand’s choice of materials. Dark green stitching embellishes the high-quality leather, while the quilted backrest enhances the soft and voluptuous lines of the armchair (pictured). The chairs feature luxurious design elements such as oak veneer with a semi-glossy finish, and inserts and feet in metallic gold. (formitalia.it)

1. Place of Publication

Conde Nast India Pvt. Ltd. 2nd Floor, Darabshaw House Shoorji Vallabhdas Marg Ballard Estate, Mumbai 400 001

2. Periodicity of its Publication

Bi-Monthly

3. Printer’s Name

Deepa Bhatia for Conde Nast India Pvt. Ltd.

Nationality Whether a citizen of India? Address:

4. Publisher’s Name

Nationality Whether a citizen of India? Address:

5. Editor’s Name

Nationality Whether a citizen of India? Address:

6. Names and addresses of individuals Inc. who own the newspaper and partners or New York shareholders holding more than one per cent of the total capital

CUTTING EDGE

With a 40-year-long history, Veneta Cucine—and its range of classic and contemporary designs—is a premier destination for kitchen solutions. The ‘Dialogo Shell System’ introduces a dash of the Mediterranean, with strong colours, materials, decoration and accessories. The kitchen is characterized by the combination of white open-pore oak wood and old oak wood. The peninsular extension against the wall is a classic example of the functional triangle, with cooking and washing areas and storage units close together. (venetacucine.com)

Indian Yes Conde Nast India Pvt. Ltd. 2nd Floor, Darabshaw House Shoorji Vallabhdas Marg Ballard Estate, Mumbai-400 001 Deepa Bhatia for Conde Nast India Pvt. Ltd. Indian Yes 302, Ashoka B, Panchmarg, Versova Andheri west Mumbai-400 061 Greg Foster for Conde Nast India Pvt. Ltd. British No Flat 33, Third Floor, B Wing, Advent Building, 12-A General J Bhonsle Marg, Mumbai – 400021 1. Advance Magazine Publishers 4 Times Square NY 10036, USA 2. Conde Nast Asia/ Pacific Inc. 4 Times Square New York NY 10036, USA

I, Deepa Bhatia, hereby declare that the particulars given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. Sd/Signature of Publisher Date: March 1, 2014


stockists

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. ADDRESS HOME: Hyderabad 040-40068516; Mumbai 022-40040474; New Delhi 011-41719292 (address-home.com) ANANTAYA: Jaipur 141-4068400 (anantayadecor.com) ANITA DALMIA DESIGNS: New Delhi 09818069554 (anitadalmiadesigns.com) ANN SACKS: (annsacks.com); see C BHOGILAL WEST-END APARTMENT 9: Ahmedabad 079 26841922; Kolkata 033-40066697; Mumbai 022-32489601; New Delhi 011-43008782 (apartment9.in) ARTERIORS: (arteriorshome.com) BACCARAT: (us.baccarat.com) BARONCELLI: London 0044-20-77206556 (baroncelli.com) BAROVIER&TOSO: Venice 0039-04-1739049 (barovier.com)

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BEOWORLD.COM: India 09312393123 BEYOND DESIGNS: New Delhi 011-24335160, D-18, lower ground floor, Defense Colony BOCA DO LOBO: (bocadolobo.com); at SOURCES UNLIMITED, Mumbai 022-26201700 (sourcesunlimited.co.in) BOCONCEPT: Ahmedabad 09409631000 (boconcept.com) BRABBU: Portugal 0035191-4929084 (brabbu.com) BREGUET: Johnson Watch Co, Delhi 011-41513121; Ethos Summit, Bengaluru 080-41130611; Horology, Chennai 044-28464096; Exclusive Lines, Kolkata 033-22820626 C BHOGILAL WEST-END: Mumbai 022-61523100 (cbwestend.com) CAPPELLINI: (cappellini.it); at POLTRONA FRAU GROUP DESIGN CENTER Mumbai 022-22614848; New Delhi 011-40817357 (poltronafrauindia.in) CASAMANCE: (casamance.com); at F&F, Gurgaon 124-4307000 (fandf.in) CHOPARD: Mumbai 02222884757; New Delhi 01146662834; London 004420-74093140 CINNAMON: Bengaluru 080-41634220 (cinnamonthestore.com)

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|MARCH-APRIL 2016

COCOON FINE RUGS: Bengaluru 080-25201120; Kolkata 033-22907390; Mumbai 022-24928647 (cocooncarpets.com) D’DECOR: Ahmedabad 079-69000105; Bengaluru 080-41236677; Mumbai 022-6678 2030; New Delhi 011-41436677 (ddecor.com) DCTEX FURNISHINGS: Mumbai 022-40812222 (dctex.com) DELIGHTFULL: Portugal 00351-91-4922036 (delightfull.eu) DESIGN ARTIFACTS HAVEN: Mumbai 09820951828 (designartifactshaven.com) DESIGN TEMPLE: 022-22821001 (designtemple.com) DEVI DESIGN: Gurgaon 124-4388430 (devidesign.in) DIESEL LIVING WITH SELETTI: (seletti.it) DORNBRACHT: Mumbai 022-26853900 (dornbracht.com); see C BHOGILAL WEST-END E15: Germany 0049-6994549180 (e15.com) ERCOL: London 0044-1844271800 (ercol.com) ESSAJEES: Mumbai 02222021071 (essajees.com) FABFURNISH.COM: Gurgaon 124-6733300 FENDI CASA: (fendi.com); at Ace Maison, New Delhi

09999966702 FRANGIPANI: India 09811182782 (frangipanifurniture.com) GAURI AND NAINIKA: New Delhi 011-41055416 (gauriandnainika.com) GOMAADS: Noida 1204640300 (gomaads.com) GOODEARTH: Bengaluru 080-41738870; Chennai 044-43087878; Mumbai 022-24951954; New Delhi 011-24647175 (goodearth.in) GULMOHARLANE.COM: India 08824040096 (gulmoharlane.com) HANDS: Ahmedabad 07940191757; Simply Sofas, Bengaluru 080-22232223; Mumbai 022-26320609; New Delhi 011-26503239 (hands-carpets.com) HERMÈS: Mumbai 02222717404; New Delhi 011-43421126; Pune 02041418848 (hermes.com) HOMES FURNISHINGS: Mumbai 022-42140400 (homesfurnishings.com) HOUSEPROUD.IN: India 09699388449 IKKADUKKA.COM: Gurgaon 124-4363187 IMPERIALKNOTS.COM: Gurgaon 09650427850 INDELUST.COM: Bengaluru 080-22533250 INV HOME: Mumbai 02240020402; New Delhi 01129233122 (invhome.in) IQRUP+RITZ: Gurgaon 124-


4237613 (iqrupandritz.com) IRONWORKS: Mumbai 022-26059838 (tejalmathurdesign.in) JAIPUR RUGS: Jaipur 1413987400 (jaipurugs.com) JOSMO STUDIO: Mumbai 022-40232150 (josmostudio.com)

PHOTOS: IWAN BAAN, COURTESY SUJÁN LUXURY

KAVITA SINGH INTERIORS: Mumbai 022-26443333, 36 Turner Road, Bandra (West) KETTAL: Barcelona 003493-4879090 (kettal.com) KHAZANA STORES: Ahmedabad 079-26840378; Mumbai 022-40055264 (khazanastores.com) KREA: New Delhi 01126804444 (kreaworld.com) LEE BROOM: London 0044-20-78200742 (leebroom.com) LZF LAMPS: Spain 0034-96-2524780 (lzf-lamps.com) MAC-BRUZÁE: Noida 1204041010 (bruzae.in) MAGNOLIA: Mumbai 022-24951020 (magnoliahome.co.in) MAISON 15: New Delhi 011-24106086, Santushti Shopping Complex, Race Course Road MARINA HOME: New Delhi 011-69406060 (marinahomeinteriors.com) MICHAEL ANASTASSIADES: London

0044-20-79287527 (michaelanastassiades.com) MICHAELARAM.COM: Noida 120-4229990 MIELE: (miele.in) MINOTTI: Ahmedabad 09879026328 (minotti.com) MONDO CASA: New Delhi 011-41407200, N-12, Greater Kailash Part-1 MOONRIVER: New Delhi 011-41617103 (moonriverstore.com) MOOOI CARPETS: The Netherlands 0031-03-56282862 (moooicarpets.com) MOROSO: (moroso.it); at LE MILL, Mumbai 02265252415 (lemillindia.com) MOZEZ SINGH: (mozezsinghdezignz.com) NIRMALS FURNISHINGS: New Delhi 011-25176921, 3/4 Furniture block, Kirti Nagar OMA: New Delhi 01143597191; Mumbai 02224983133 (omaliving.com) OMEGA: Bengaluru 08040982106; Chennai 04428464092; Hyderabad 040-23331144; Mumbai 022-30602002; New Delhi 011-41513255 PEPPERFRY.COM: Mumbai 022-61576157 PHILLIPS ANTIQUES: Mumbai 022-22020564 (phillipsantiques.com) PINAKIN: Mumbai 02265002400 (pinakin.in) PURPLE TURTLES:

Bengaluru 080-41528039 (thepurpleturtles.com) RAVISSANT: Mumbai 02222873405; New Delhi 01145105500 (ravissant.in) ROBERTO CAVALLI HOME INTERIORS: Italy 0039-03170757 (robertocavalli.com) ROCHE BOBOIS: Bengaluru 080-41233336, Mumbai 022-61062233 (roche-bobois.com) RUMORS FINE FURNISHINGS: Bengaluru 080-65694949 (rumorsindia.in) SAIF FAISAL DESIGN WORKSHOP: Bengaluru 07829820809 (saif-faisal.com) SARITA HANDA: Mumbai 022-40052686; New Delhi 011-43521824 (saritahanda.com) SCARLET SPLENDOUR: Kolkata 033-40501000 (scarletsplendour.com) SERENDIPITY: New Delhi 09871640164, 238/4, Jonapur 9 (Chattarpur), Mandi Road SHYAM AHUJA: Bengaluru 080-65630468; Mumbai 022-24953435; New Delhi 011-24670112 (shyamahuja.com) SIMONE: Mumbai 02271117700 (simone.com) STICHWOOD.COM: India 09819409663 STUDIO CREO: New Delhi 011-46002100 (studiocreo.com)

TAAMAA: Gurgaon 08826847828 (taamaa.in) THE CARPET CELLAR: New Delhi 011-26808777 (carpetcellar.com) THE GREAT EASTERN HOME: Mumbai 022-23770079 (thegreateasternhome.com) THE PURE CONCEPT: Mumbai 022-61559898 (thepureconcept.co.in) THEHOUSEOFTHINGS. COM: India 08003011110 (thehouseofthings.com) TOM DIXON: London 0044-20-36964950 (tomdixon.net) TRANCEFORME: Mumbai 022-24939916 (tranceforme.in) TULIPS: Bengaluru 09341895533; Hyderabad 09346237181; Pune 020-24463894 (tulipsindia.com) URBANIST: Gurgaon 01244384071 (urbanist.in) VILLEROY & BOCH: Mumbai 022-40040014 (villeroy-boch.com) VISIONNAIRE: Milan 0039-02-36512554 (visionnaire-home.com) YOOX.COM: (Yoox.com) ZENITH: Times of Lords, Mumbai 022-23510705, Kapoor Watch, New Delhi 011-46536667, The Helvetica, Chennai 044-28490013


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10 4 CECILIA MORELLI PARIKH

The creative brain and co-founder of Le Mill, Cecilia Morelli Parikh is a health-freak and the inspiration for a character on the TV show New Girl. She tells about a few of her favourites and essentials

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1. THING YOU ALWAYS CARRY I always have my Smythson notepad and pen. I’m old-school and I write everything down. 2. FASHION ICON I love the work of Dries Van Noten. 3. MUSEUM The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I can spend days there, alone. 4. FASHION ACCESSORY I carry my saddle bag by The Row everywhere I go. 5. ARTWORK If I could own only one piece of art, it would be one from the ‘Silueta Series’ by Ana Mendieta. 6. BOOK YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s amazing, but the subject is so intense that I can only read it when I’m in a good mood. 7. GIFT FOR A HEALTHCONSCIOUS PERSON Buckwheat pancakes are the best treats. 8. INTERIOR DESIGNER My taste changes a lot, but right now, my favourite is India Mahdavi for her interesting colour combinations. 9. CITY My favourite city is Tokyo. It’s mind-blowing how design, history, pop culture and food all come together in one place. 10. PERFUME ‘Santal’ by Le Labo. I was one of the brand’s first customers when they opened on Elizabeth Street, New York City.

—SHREYA BASU

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PHOTOS: 1. SMYTHSON.COM. 2. CN DIGITAL ARCHIVE. 3. © THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK. 5. ©1980, ESTATE OF ANA MENDIETA. 6. COURTESY OF DOUBLEDAY. 8. COURTESY OF INDIA MAHDAVI. 10. COURTESY OF LE LABO.

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