Duplex Penthouse | By Studio Lagom – House of Hidden Doors , Mumbai
House of Hidden Doors
Architecture & design firm
|Principal Architect||Hardik Shah|
|Design Team||Sweta Gajiwala Doriwala, Vivek Nayani, Raj Prajapati&Kruti & Sheta-Patel(Interior Styling)|
|Structure||Hitesh Rathi(Rathi consortium)|
|Landscaping||Umesh & Prachi Wakaley (Roots Designs)|
|Carpenter||Miral Vaja, Vinod Vaja
|BMC architect||Vilas Nagalkar|
|Photographs||Photographix | Sebastian + Ira|
Luxury of space is something not many are privy to in the city of Mumbai. The owners of this duplex penthouse are among those fortunate few. The project came to Studio Lagom through previous association with the client, and was actually a corollary of redevelopment of the building — which Studio Lagom was commissioned — that the penthouse is now housed in. The larger design involvement naturally translated to greater control over the internal environment, and several aspects — such as the presence or absence of walls — could be handled at the planning stage itself. In that sense, the project became one involving interior architecture rather than interior design.
The brief from the client, having seen the studio’s work and liked it, revolved around being connected to nature, having plenty of sunlight, a clean look rendered using minimal materials, a sense of space and plenty of storage. The latter, in fact, became the driving point for the spatial program.
While the space in question was actually a duplex, the owners indicated a preference for all the primary areas being located in the first level, with the second level being devoted to the entertainment zone/guest space. Ergo, the lower level houses the living-dining, kitchen, and three bedrooms; while the upper storey has the library, guest room (with attached sauna/steam), gym and the terrace garden. Simply put, the home is actually two apartments — almost independent of each other — tied by a vertical connection.
The zoning of the lower (primary) level shows a distinct delineation between public and private spaces negotiated with the help of a long passage that actually staples them together. The long 36-foot passage is a result of L-shaped teakwood-batten wrap that camouflages extensive storage and access points, and has, in all, some 18 doors concealed in its facade — doors to the powder room, main entry and bedrooms and shutters to units that store everything from newspapers to luggage.
Configuring this element was a study of storage needs, from both, outside (the public zone) and inside (bedrooms/private zone), with a jigsaw-like strategy applied to accommodate the requirements in a streamlined fashion.
The public zone is a free-flowing seamless one that brings together functions of living, dining and cooking. It is shielded from direct view from the main door with the help of a partition — very lattice-like in elevation — that offers fragmented snapshots of the space beyond as well as serves as a display point for the family’s extensive collection of travel souvenirs and art.
The orchestration of the bedrooms was dictated by family hierarchy and the clients’ request that bedroom doors not face each other as a respect for privacy.
The vertical connection is articulated as a granite-treaded staircase with a landscaped water court at its base and a skylight overhead, a dovetailing of the clients’ request for greenery and elements of nature. The reflective properties of the water pool amplify the surrounding volume of the living-dining area. The wall of the staircase is enlivened with an enormous rendition of a Gond-inspired painting, loosely based on the Tree of Life, by Kruti Sheta-Patel.
The upper level sees generously-proportioned, well-appointed guest rooms — the owners are very caring hosts — a TV room and a gym. This way, guests enjoy a certain independence while the daily household routines continue downstairs without disturbing visitors.
The upper level also houses the terrace, a beautiful lush, lounge-like space — a rarity in Mumbai — complete with a well-equipped bar. Given their social nature, this was an important requirement for the clients.
The requirements of greenery and green views have been satisfied with the help of layering windows with planters, and internally, the landscaped water court with its beautiful reflections and the subdued, gentle murmur of water. The material palette features concrete (ceiling of the living-dining-kitchen area), granite (flooring throughout the house) and wood (mainly the passage).
|Interior||Recycled old teak wood and veneer|
|Ceiling||Exposed concrete and Gypsum|
This penthouse succeeds in giving the clients what they sought — a serene, almost resort-like habitat in the congested urbanity of Mumbai… in which sunlight, greenery, connections to the outside and within; and gregariousness and privacy in the right doses create a warm and welcoming home