Penthouse Redesigned With A Sense Of Openness And Tranquility | Traanspace
Site And Client Brief: This house is nestled on the top floor of a single dwelling per floor apartment complex designed by us. Set in a tropical high-end locality of Vadodara. Open to the view of lush natural surroundings, this penthouse was originally a four-bedroom apartment.
A developer himself, with his kids, settled abroad, the client wanted the house to be designed for a family of two. The brief laid out by the client was to design a very functional, Vastu compliant house with two bedrooms, living, dining, family seating, wet and dry kitchen on the lower level, and an entertainment area with some spill-over space on the upper level. They wanted the house to be true to their personalities, simple with a tinge of quirkiness. One of their prime requirements was of an elevator in addition to the staircase and this is where us being the designer of the building helped. Bridging the gap between the client demands and the existing planning, we redesigned the penthouse befitting the building floor plate, structure, and services.
On entering the house, one sees a clear demarcation of public, semi-public and private spaces. The foyer leads one to the central double height area carved out to bind the whole house together. This area houses the staircase and the lift. On the east side of this area are the living, family living, dining and kitchen organised in free plan with overlapping spaces to allow visual connect and constant engagement with family members. The bedrooms lie on the other side. All these spaces either open into each other, in the 80’ long north facing front balcony or standing balconies on the ulterior sides.
The upper level comprises of an entertainment room which further extends into a terrace garden. The clients being well connected and very social by nature, love to hold gatherings. To add to their convenience, this level is designed to have access from inside as well as outside.
True to its context, a decision to device an open plan house with spaces that further open out to the natural surroundings was taken. Large openings were conceptualized to frame the views around and bring in ample natural light and air. Sheltered balconies were finally designed as the connecting elements between the house and nature. With clusters of green plants and sit-out junctions, these balconies became the extended areas of the house blurring the boundaries between the interior and the exterior and keeping the main functional spaces shaded throughout the day.
White bare walls and grey floors create an overarching harmony in the house, which is then accented with highlights of blue. In consonance with this design language, blue metal details were added to otherwise simple wooden furniture. Synchronously the staircase was designed as blue wooden treads cantilevered against an exposed IPS wall. The dash of blue in furniture, staircase, and main door adds to the house’s tranquillity. The highlight of the project is not an element or space. It is the essence of one experiences. The openness, the tranquillity, the feeling the end-user undergoes while living in it.
The staircase positioned in the central double height area of the house is designed to create a space for itself in one’s mind. Its blue solid wood treads cantilevered against an exposed IPS wall keeps one held. These steps are supported by exposed cement finish folded beam on one side and hung on the other eliminating the requirement of a railing. The staircase in conjunction with the double height and the balcony framing the view next to it binds the whole house together.
Divergent from the generic chic finished sleeping areas, a conscious choice was made to keep the bedrooms of this project bare. With the exposed cement IPS walls behind the bed, plain white walls otherwise, grey flooring and wooden furniture an unfinished finished look is generated preserving the highlight of the room to be the greenery, openness, natural light and ventilation. Juxtaposition of colourful furnishings and monochromatic prints with the otherwise achieved rawness, creates cosy spaces for one to lay down and relax.
Balconies & Terrace Garden
A conscious effort was made to open out each space into balconies. Large openings were then conceptualised to frame the views around and bring in ample of natural light and air. Sheltered balconies designed as the connecting elements between the house and nature were finished with clusters of green plants and sit-out junctions. These balconies became the extended areas of the house blurring the boundaries between the interior and the exterior and keeping the main functional spaces shaded throughout the day.
With the grey acoustical panels on all walls, grey ceiling and grey flooring a dark ambience is chosen for the entertainment room. This is then broken by the huge openings developed for the terrace garden. The wooden rafters used in the ceiling to balance the otherwise grey palette continue to form hanging lights over the bar table. Rest of the lighting is kept minimal and ambient.
The addition of a terrace garden to the design makes the upper level a junction for leisure and gatherings. It breaks the dark ambiance of the entertainment room and connects it to natural surroundings. This space is completed with lush green grass lawn, shrubs, potted plants, a wooden deck, and a metal gazebo. Irrespective of dusk or dawn, one can enjoy the view while walking on the grass or sitting on the rattan furniture propped in the gazebo.
Name: The Tranquil house
Location: Vadodara, Gujarat, India
Year of Completion: 2020
Principal Architect: Ar Urvi Shah
Photographer: Tejas Shah Photography