By Marina Correa
Photography: Ujjval Panchal and Jayshree Soni; courtesy the architects
Standing loftily against the otherwise nondescript skyline on the outskirts of Ahmedabad is the classically-designed Himalaya Mansion, whose façade is emboldened by a magnificent dome, arches and several towering statues…
With enormous space being a natural advantage, Dilip Soni Architects have designed and built this 17,000 sq ft, ground-plus-one residence that follows the classical style of design and décor to fulfill the client’s notions of a grandiose architectural and interiors vocabulary.
The imposing façade sees a series of verandahs opening towards the lush front gardens, whilst arched openings anoint the back gardens; both lawns tastefully adorned with sculptures, fountains, flowerbeds, water bodies and a swimming pool.
The interiors are as splendidly romantic as they are European classic in complete sync with the architectural exterior. A central entry via a majestic dome is the most magnificent feature of the home as arched corridors from the central dome connect all the spaces together.
The entire mansion is steeped in lavish settings that shows upfront in the stately façade, elaborate paintings, faux fireplace, grand statues, carved balustrades, timeless furniture, ornate chandeliers and mirrors, exquisite table lamps, four-poster beds, chaise lounges, plush headrests... inevitably centered around one focal point in each of the spaces.
As with all classically designed homes, which are based on tenets of order, balance, and perfect symmetry, this residence too follows the same principles. Nature-inspired colours form a significant component of the schematic; the palette boasting of teal blue, olive green, trunk brown, cement grey, rock ochre, etc., while the use of fabrics such as silk, satin and linen exude a commanding look and feel.
Taking a marginal diversion from the thematic is just one bedroom that opens its doors to modern classic with a dark palette and contemporary styled interiors. However, a nuanced approach speaks volumes for the architect’s skill set as he diligently effects the transition, which although bold, tends to comfortably blend into the archetypal set up.
Unifying all the spaces is the polished and marble inlay flooring, which is generously covered by opulent rugs. A majestic white facade, bright white moulded ceilings, arches and doorways form a perfect back drop to formal tidings in this classically splendid home.