The project designed by VPA Architects is as unique in its massing as it is in planning with interesting play in heights and cantilever slabs and material and colour.
The project is located in a developing suburb of Ahmedabad and the plot had many mature trees on site; along the periphery as well as inside. The ones of the periphery were various trees like bamboo, cherry blossom and neem, while the ones in the plot were chickoo and mango trees. This sight made the architects and the client fall in love with this piece of land. The aim was to sustain all the existing trees. In today’s time we usually let concrete disrupt the nature, this project led us to plan around the nature without disturbing it. And the name is interestingly derived from the beautiful green patch of plot.
A very interesting specification in the client’s brief differentiates this project’s planning from the rest. The client wanted to separate the dining and kitchen area from the rest of the house. The architects treated the house as two different masses; one with the kitchen, dining and puja and another with the four bedrooms, living room and formal sitting room. Both these masses are connected with a passage, with a courtyard on one side and a verandah on the other. The built-up of the house ends up somewhere close to 7200sq ft.
On one approaching the site, one is welcomed into an entrance courtyard with a screen on one side and parking on the other. The entrance courtyard leads to the wooden cladded slab structure which is the house entry. One enters the house in a double height vestibule. The formal sitting room mass sits near this vestibule, giving this area its much-needed privacy from the rest of the house. This glass mass is surrounded by water body and landscaped garden, making this room feel like it is inside-out.
Walking ahead, one comes across the linear flight of stairs, with a backdrop of exposed concrete wall, sitting in the passage. This passage leads to the double height living room, which sits in the centre of the house, connecting well vertically and horizontally. A guest bedroom with an attached dress and toilet is placed nearby. The master suite is also located on the ground floor. The master bedroom gets its private verandah and back garden surrounded by large existing trees. This back garden is pleasant throughout the day, thanks to the overhanging balcony and green foliage.
The double height living room is connected to the kitchen and dining mass via a passage. The passage is made interesting with a courtyard on one side and a verandah extending into the landscaped garden on the other side, making feel like one is well connected to the outdoors. Here-on one enters the second mass of the house; the open kitchen and dining space, along with puja area. The puja is located such that it is in a clear horizontal axis of the house, making it clearly visible without any distractions. The kitchen stays connected to other ancillary structures such as an outdoor kitchen, servant quarters, store area and wash-yard. The dining space is a glass cube looking towards the landscape, following the same principles of the formal living room.
Walking up the stairs, one arrives on the first floor. The passage takes to two bedrooms; for both the children. The girl wanted a more private setting, thus having small and intimate openings. Whereas the son wanted a bedroom with a connected balcony, which in this case overlooks upon the back garden. Both the bathrooms on the first floor have small courtyards, penetrating ample amount of natural light throughout the day.
This house is as unique in its massing as it is in planning. The interesting play in heights and cantilever slabs makes this project interesting. Another element that adds on to the elevation is the play of material and colour. Exposed concrete has been used along with texture paint painted in two various colour shades. An experimental and bold choice to use a tint of brick red along with grey, makes this house stand out in its green surrounding.
The interior is as engaging as the exteriors. The client wanted a mix of modern and contemporary design in the house. Thus, Kota stone was used in the flooring. The rooms and larger spaces are done in mirror finished grey Kota, giving it a seamless look. The passages are dutifully done in multicoloured Kota stone, playing around with different sizes and finishes, making for an interesting play in pattern. The drawing room is engulfed in furniture with warm colours. The solid wood ceiling with customized filament bulb light fixture in the centre of the room, completes the welcoming ambience.
The staircase is simplistically done in metal plate, cladded with solid wood. A captivating sculpture in red sits below the staircase adding vibrancy and authenticity to this place. The double height living room is robust in its use of colours. The lounger sofa is a cool teal and the lounge chair a tint of lilac with playful cushions completed this room. A more neutral dining and kitchen balances the playfulness and subtleness in the house.
Each bedroom is made unique with the furniture and colour palette. The master bedroom is finished in tints of grey and tan, with a very interesting headboard panelling for the bed made out of solid wood. This design element makes this room stand out. The daughter’s bedroom is more contemporary in style with a low-height four-post bed and solid wood and metal furniture. The material palette in this bedroom makes it a perfect amalgamation of contemporary and modern, with its straight-line solid wood furniture. The son’s bedroom is more modern in its outlook. Solid wood furniture along with shades of ochre yellow and grey gives it its identity.
All the furniture in this house has been designed and customised for this specific project. Thus, everything goes hand-in-hand and looks like a part of the house. Each piece is diligently designed and its fabric specifically selected to get that perfect look and feel. This house is intricately designed such that client gets the best of both worlds; contemporary and modern.
Photo Credits: Inclined Studio
Project: The Foliage House, Ahmedabad
Architects: VPA Architects
Project Architect: Ronak Patel
Project Interior Designer: Naiya Patel
Project Landscape Designer: Jinal Patel
Plot Size: 22800sq ft
Gross Built Area: 7200sq ft
Year of Completion: 2020
By: A+D Team