Aatmaja : A Stunning 16,000 sqft Home, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, by Studio Vogelkop

Source: Housethome

When we first visited the site, we saw that there was a Lake towards the North, which instantly made us take the decision to have the house opening towards that side. This helped in providing shade to the landscape on the North façade. The Client needed a Modern yet rustic country-side home in harmony with nature, flowing water, tall trees with varied flora, lush green areas closely hugging the home, waterbodies and lilypond with a big balcony overlooking the landscape so that they could enjoy the beauty even while on the first floor, were the things considered when we designed the home.

Being a nuclear family and professionals, the client had a requirement of all important functional spaces on first floor and, recreational spaces (swimming pool, gym, lounge, home theatre) along with the guest rooms on ground floor, however with a bedroom premise which could be inaccessible to the staff while keeping the rest of the home open.” shares Studio Vogelkop, with the #Housethome team.

How big is it in terms of space (in sqft) and where (city and neighbourhood)? Were any major structural changes made?
The plot size is 4,000 sq. yard & the constructed area is 16,000 sq.ft. The site is located on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. As it was an architecture+interiors+landscape project, there was no requirement of any structural changes.

Walk us through the home right from the entrance to the rooms, in order of someone exploring it on foot
When one enters the property, there is a visitor’s parking on the left and a garden on the right, a little walk towards the wicket gate is canopied by plantation. An enveloped RCC structure was created for the wicket gate, as one enters, they come into a cosy courtyard with a contoured landscape where one climbs the steps into a sleek walkway to reach the first floor, here customized concrete tiles are cladded along with some concrete tiled lamps acting as wall washers. There is a huge slit in the wall which acts as a frame to a lily pond on the right. Then further climbing the steps, one enters into a RCC box which becomes a Foyer and there is a pause space between this Foyer and the Main Door from where one can enjoy views of a small court on the left and the lily pond on the right.

When one enters the vestibule from the Main Door, they see the Drawing Room on the right side which has a partition of metal grids and wooden boxes which house small artifacts, while on the left wall there are 3 antique wooden wheels mounted on a chiseled brick wall which is painted white. Moving forward there is an antique sea green console with one big pot (kothi) on either side, this passage leads you to the kitchen and dining room.

The kitchen is towards the left and the dining room on the right, another passage way on the right leads you to the bedroom section, this passage has along balcony on the right towards the north and has the dining and living room towards the south. When you reach the bedroom section, there is a staircase and lift foyer where we also have a pooja room and a store room. Moving ahead a small passage separates 4 spaces, 1 master bedroom on the right and 1 daughters’ room, 1 study/library and 1 spa room. When you comeback to the staircase foyer and climbs down the stairs, you reach the ground floor foyer which has 2 guest rooms and a studio on the left side while a gym is on the right, there is also a door on the right to reach the swimming pool.

The swimming pool is a covered space, open on either side (north and south). This was specifically designed to let breeze enter the area and gush out. This enables one to even swim even in the middle of day. Crossing the swimming pool, you reach the bar/lounge and from there you can go into the home theatre. Besides the swimming pool there is also a changing room block. On the left side of swimming pool towards South there is a margin space where we have incorporated a waterfall. On the right side of the pool, in the North, there is a hard landscaped garden leading towards the gazebo which is supported by 4 antique stone columns and metal pergolas on the top. When you walk towards the back of the house on the west, you reach a lily pond where a cantilevered deck with a big lily pond has been designed to get the best view of the house and the landscape.

Highlight an architectural and/or luxury

design trend that the home stays true to or breaks away from.
The house, being of a Modern Contemporarydesign with Rustic interiors, has many highlighting walls of exposed RCCand exposed brick.

What is the theme of the space?

The client, Dr Shetal Desaiwas inspired by the French style colonial homes in Pondicherry with louvers and burnt brick walls and antique colonial furniture which is reflected in their home.In keeping up with this, exposed brick and exposed RCC were carefully used in the architecture which supported the rustic interiors without overpowering the design.

The use of reclaimed wood and antique artifacts with colonial style furniture truly defined this countryside Indo-British look. The main door is made of reclaimed wood and reclaimed wooden block prints used in textile. The wooden chest (Pitara) in the entry foyer acts as a console and an antique window frame is hung with ropes in the formal drawing room, while its centre table is also made out of reclaimed wood. Kitchen walls are cladded with exposed brick. The dining table and the chairs are made of old Burma teak wood. Rustic matt tiles are used in flooring throughout the house.

Give us a quote on which part of the space did you enjoy designing the most? And which did you find most challenging?
We loved designing the swimming pool area and it was the most challenging as well. We wanted a seamless look for the pool area ceiling and as it is a 40×35 feet area, we did not want any columns or beams in that span. So, a series of inverted beams were incorporated to give a seamless exposed RCC ceiling. The whole area is supported by just 4 columns of 3×2.5 feet.

Another challenge was to pre-plan the hard landscape. Huge boulders had to be brought into the northern garden and because of earth filling which had to be done for a garden on first floor level, there would not have been enough space to get the vehicle in after the construction was finished. So, the hard landscape was pre-planned and the boulders were set to their exact place where they will be staying permanently.

What is your design philosophy? Which aspect of this space showcases your signature style?
Our design philosophy is quite simple, we believe that a house should be designed around the clients’ needs and it should never make the them feel bored of the interior spaces. So, there is subtle use of colours which can be easily replaced whenever required, example throws, cushion covers, rugs, paintings and artifacts.

Have you stuck to one theme throughout or have you experimented with design, decor ideas?
The basic theme was to make a Modern yet Rustic home with keeping in sync with the client’s need of  Indo-French look, with a blend of industrial style of interiors in some of the spaces.

Tell us about any sustainable/green features in the home

We have extensively used reclaimed old teak wood for door frames and window frames as well as in the interiors, we have also made sure that each space has natural cross ventilation to bring in fresh air.


Project Name : Aatmaja

Clients                          : Dr.Tushar Desai / Dr.Shetal Desai / Jaanvi Desai

Name of Practice         : Studio Vogelkop

Structural Design        : Shreeji Structures

Hard Landscape         : Studio Vogelkop

Soft Landscape          : Dr.Shetal Desai and Mr.Dipan Kharidia

Photographer  Credits : Photographix India



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