By Marina Correa
Photography: Courtesy the architect
Pop art colours juxtaposed against achromatic backdrop; Rajasthani jaali and hand-cut railings; earthy materials and rustic textures interspersed with contemporary fittings coalesce to furnish an eclectic and lived-in feel at the Gawande residence in Pune…
“Colour is the major driving force throughout the design process of this home,” informs principal architect Shabnam Gupta of The Orange Lane, a lady known for designing ‘happy’ interiors as vibrant as her personality! She uses colour here, as an effective tool to anchor diverse elements; whether to highlight or neutralize them into the background.
However, when she began refurbishing the interiors of this two-storey home, lack of a strong exterior architectural character posed a challenge. The client’s requirement of enclosing the first floor open terrace into a den-cum-study provided her with an avenue to overcome this.
By using clay tiles on the sloping roof and creatively applying bricks in and out of form to build parapet walls, she enhanced the façade of the vernacular elevation.
Spread over 4,000 sq ft, communal areas like the living, dining, den and kitchen occupy the ground floor, whilst the study, son’s and daughter’s and master bedroom enjoy privacy on the upper level. Peppering the house with alcoves - treated with intricate jaali designs, outbursts of colour – the home allows the homeowners spaces to relax or revel in.
Although Shabnam’s signature style is about using a medley of paraphernalia to design a home, she always customizes them in context to the client, site and climate. For instance, warmth is induced through a variegated material palette viz. cement tiles and wooden flooring; exposed brick and terracotta colour painted brick walls; Mangalore and glass tile roofing; river-washed Shahabad stone with blasted granite borders in outdoor spaces, etc. While for soft furnishings, Shabnam’s personal preference for organic fabrics like jute, linen and cotton comes through.
Mood lighting figures high in the schematic with antique lamps, candles and highlighters; graciously adapting to the needs of the residents. The final result beautifully captures the amalgamation of old-world charm with a modern aesthetic.