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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ancient Indian architecture revisited!

By Savitha Hira with inputs from Rutvi Ashar
Photography: Sameer Chavda; courtesy Kinteriors  
Read Time: 2 mins

Entrance
Entrance

Interior designer, Kanchan Fagwani’s recently completed Bharatnatyam Academy is an experiential space, seeped in quintessential Indianness...  

Old-world charm characterises Mantra Academy of Arts set in a quiet and heavily landscaped lane of suburban Mumbai; anointed with archetypal details viz., Mangalore tiled roof and wooden fretwork roof trim, seemingly-double-main door, carved architraves, glass and mirrored wall expanses, wooden windows, tiled heritage flooring, coloured glass and abundant views that open up the interior to the outside in a bungalow-like feel, referencing select elements of ancient Indian architecture.

dance academy - Mantra
Ground Floor

Vernacular charm is integrated into the spatial feel with the flow from main dance area (carefully selected wooden flooring to complement the dancers’ spectacular footwork) to the adjoining spatial pockets that subtly remind one of the traditional space division “kattu” of Chettinad architecture.

Play of different flooring references zoning
Play of different flooring references zoning
Variation in floor levels enhances interest
Variation in floor levels enhances interest
Etched glass juxtaposed harmoniously with heritage tiles and art
Etched glass juxtaposed harmoniously with heritage tiles and art

Criss-crossing angular structural members are dealt with beautifully by mirroring flooring and ceiling grids and providing cosy corners for sculptures and other artefacts sourced from local artisans in South India.

wall-to-wall mirror doubles up the space
First Floor

The ground plus one structure is a harmonious medley of a perfunctory entrance lobby, dance studio, pantry and parents’ waiting area below; while the upper floor houses another dance studio, green room, library and terrace. Functionality seeps through contemporaneous elements keeping intact the theme of Indian Classical tying up the academy in a holistic thematic. This quality of juxtaposing the classic (Burma teak and natural stone - Jaisalmer) with the modern (approach, mindset, finesse and functionality) maintains the delicate balance that any classical art form exponents in the present age.   

Bespoke traditional elements
Bespoke traditional elements

It is a treat for both, dancers and their audience; this collaboration of designer-client that goes beyond its obvious framework via a diligent study of the subject. In fact, it is hard to believe that this structure was infested with termites and leakages before team Kinteriors intervened with their conceptual development, space planning and shaping the sheer experience of the Academy!

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