By Savitha Hira
Photography: Sameer Chavda; courtesy the architect
Ar. Harish Lakhani plays on a restricted colour palette and an understated material palette to usher in simplicity, expanse and comfort into Dr. Ramakrishna and Dr. Sunita’s home in Hyderabad…
When a high-profile working couple seek refuge in their home, however little their waking hours here are, they almost naturally opt for serenity, comfort and a pleasing ambience. This doctor couple too had a similar straight-forward brief.
Uncluttered, wide expanses, functional, comfortable and aesthetically appointed, their apartment on the 21st floor in Kukkatpally is an exercise in simplicity and keeps all aspects of relaxing and socializing in mind. Enveloped in a shroud of white - walls, flooring, furniture as well as the works of art – the home comes alive like a breath of fresh air; glossy surfaces juxtaposed with matt soft furnishings; mirror and glass vying for equal attention as wooden surfaces; clean straight lines cutting across soft contours… in a shell that plays upon a colour palette of blacks, grays, and browns, and of course, the ubiquitous white; with understated splashes of bright hues anointing select artifacts and soft furnishings!
Working with the provisions of the builder, which included the flooring, toilet fixtures and finishes, some part of electrical fixtures, air conditioning system and automation systems integrated, the biggest challenge that the architect faced was creating the expansiveness, since the structure was primarily made of shear walls (RCC), which cannot be touched and very few walls were done in brick masonry. However, keeping interventions to a minimum, the original home theatre room is now the open dining area, which extends to a niche bar space too. Living area is divided into two pockets; facilitating comfortable grouping while entertaining.
The entire living area with its set interludes of functionality enhances the spaciousness and highlights the magnificent view of the skyline via an oblong deck spa in the balcony. Not only does this add an element of interest to the apartment, it also serves as the perfect relaxation therapist for the homeowners.
The apartment, which boasts of a luxurious feel strikes its ultimate note through its choice works of art – a cement mural of Kalpavriksha, the Tree of Life with silver leaves in the private lift lobby; a stone Radha Krishna mural and a intriguing eye-shaped mirror installation in the formal living areas, apart from others in the bedrooms and that flanking the dining area. What stands out is whilst we generally observe colour stealthily entering the ambience through the works of art, here the use of colour is minimal and the art too, follows the neutral tonality of the entire schematic.