Burgeoning developments of luxury farmhouses pepper outskirts of South Delhi. Nestled in expansive lush enclaves far from the chaos of the city, these homes are a rebellion against the concrete demands of a bustling Urbania. As such, the term ‘Farmhouse’ has come to represent an idiosyncratic canon of architecture that revels in its own particular definition of escape.
Project Name: Panther House
Studio Name: Aparna Kaushik
Location: South Delhi
Photography: Atul Pratap Chauhan
The Panther House was a similarly aspirational endeavour by architect Aparna Kaushik to create an oasis away from the city. The 15,000-sqft home is organised into independent wings with cascading roofs that emerge out of rich greenscapes. Keenly aligned with Vastu principles and awash with natural light through out, as desired by the clients, the home balances both modernity and tradition inherently. Leveraging expansive square footage, Aparna creates a deconstructed Rubik’s cube layout that ensures the outdoors is visible from every section of the home.
As you enter the villa through the majestic high doors with gold leafed handles, there is a waiting area on the left, followed by the formal living room, both of which open to the outdoor pool deck on the other side. At the end of the corridor lies the staircase, and the second wing of the villa extends towards the left enveloping the pool. An expansive dining room, a kitchen and a cigar room are located in this wing with glazed windows offering a peaceful view of the pool. The cigar room opens to the pool side and a garden, making it an ideal spot for entertaining. The ground floor also houses a guest bedroom, a powder room and a home theatre. A family lounge and four bed rooms are organised on the first floor.
Working synergistically with the client who wanted a five-bedroom home with double height entrance, Kaushik envisages a welcoming and comfortable home that also boasts a bold and captivating design signature. For instance, the bespoke interiors of the cigar lounge feature the silhouette of a panther elevated on a black mosaic wall.
An emerald green crystal shines through the eye of the panther, with the ambient lighting controlled using automation creating a subtle mood. A metal and stone book leaf design bar table echoes the inventive use of polished materials. In contrast and balance, a coconut shell panelled ceiling and mahogany floor impart warmth and elegance.
In the waiting area at the entrance, a real street lamp stands incongruously poignant against a floral chaise and oversized black planters. The interiors follow a neutral pastel scheme, highlighting the luxurious white marble flooring, rich materials and exquisite décor details. Unexpected touches like the exaggerated lights and quirky artwork in the dining room add surprise elements.
The bedrooms are conceived in disparate moods in accordance with their inhabitants. The master bedroom denotes a subtle classic style with delicate mouldings over a dull vintage wallpaper, andhanging chandeliers on either sides of the bed. While one bedroom features a vaulted ceiling with a paisley design as backdrop, the other two take on a more contemporary look.
Aparna elevates bathrooms to artful places that leave a lasting impression. The master bathroom is immersed in period charmas its pristine white interiors play up the intricate details, while the round bathtub brings focus to the domed ceiling from where hangs a vintage chandelier.
In the powder room on the ground floor, a mirror is substituted with a print of Rene Magritte’s The Son of Man. The surrealist self-portrait, symbolic of self-reflection, urges you to stop and take a close look. And the juxtaposition is thematic of the home’s sweepingly dramatic design ethos as well as its occasional playfulness.
Panther House thus exudes a disparate amalgamation of styles and aesthetics that ultimately make it the structure it was intended to be – an immersive escape from the typical.