Gaston Bachelard wrote, “The house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” This is especially true of our busy urban life today, where we seek a space for dreaming, away from the hustle-bustle of everyday life. In case of the Mansukhbhai’s residence, this space of their own is a 10, 000 sq.ft family residence for six, on a suburban plot in West Ahmedabad. This lush-green neighbourhood became the perfect place for this family to work with Avasiti Design firm on their dream home. The client’s brief was a simple functional house where they could host several guests and gatherings spanning various activities on different floors of the house.
Project Name: Mansukhbhai Residence
Firm Name: Avasiti Design, Ahmedabad
Design Team: Bipinchandra Chauhan , Bhavin Soni , Bansari Patel
Photography Credit: Shilpa Gavane
Text Credit: Niharika Joshi
The house is envisioned as a single-unit , set in a 18,000 sq.ft plot , with a large front yard and garden area. The openness of the front garden balances the built-mass, and allows for extended gatherings and family events. At first glance, two massive cubes, in brick and exposed concrete catch the eye, while a large overhanging plane completes the frame of this contemporary house. The space framed by the large exposed brick columns creates a front deck-like area, where the family spends time on pleasant mornings and evenings. Natural stone flooring gives one an earthy feeling , seamlessly transitioning between outside to inside.
While inside, the relatively simple plan layout of the home takes precedence, and one is connected to the living ,dining and lounge areas on the ground floor. The most striking feature through these spaces is the presence of ample natural light, which is both used and celebrated to give the home a warm and fresh feel.
According to the client’s taste, timber and timber-finishes are used throughout the home, especially in the ceilings to create interesting focal elements. The ground floor is transparent with timber elements in the ceiling and a marble floor to bring the essence of nature inside the house. The living room is a blend of classic &contemporary elements, with interesting off-centred objects such as the wall clock breaking the symmetry. As one glances around, the edges and seams of walls and beams are furnished with timber panels, with the eye resting on pendant lights in each space. Clean edges and crisp lines do define spaces in this home, but it is through vibrant artwork and careful selection of ambient light that this house is transformed into a home.
Opening into the common dining area, the metal staircase with wooden treads is not only a transition space, but also a work of art in itself. Crisp attention to detail and commitment to clean lines is carried forward and upward into the upper levels of the house. Here, in the bedrooms too, various requirements of the residents, depending on their age and preferences have been addressed. From elaborate and comfortable headboards to a fully functional study desk, all these aspects seem to have been taken care of. An evolved understanding of the designer is visible in the careful planning of heights and dimensions for beds and furniture for each family member. Some walls have become feature-walls, holding memories and photographs of a happy family, with comfortable single-couches to relax and relish the sense of togetherness.
From a low platform bed with a side-deck , to a well-detailed master-bed with elongated side-tables, the designers have attempted to address all possible combinations to create comfortable spaces! Interesting play of planes and solids is seen in the bedrooms, where the study desk intersects with the storage, which in turn is part of a cosy window seat. Ofcourse, while timber and its finishes are predominant in the space, this look is offset by bright, vibrant choices of fabrics in the curtains, tapestry and panels. The mini-library in the study too is conceived to provide classic functionality, except for the bright yellow box which immediately catches one’s eye and breaks monotony. In the family area with a home theatre, connected low seating acts as an informal , inviting space for gatherings and easy evenings at home. This house is a great testament to ideas of simplicity, combined with effortless elegance. It is also a cheerful gesture in what it means to create , to dream and to rejoice together, as a family!