ifj https://ifj.co.in The Indian review of world furniture, interiors and design Wed, 20 Oct 2021 03:59:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.14 https://ifj.co.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/IFJ-Favicon.png ifj https://ifj.co.in 32 32 Staggered balconies for Bengaluru commercial complex https://ifj.co.in/ifj-likes/staggered-balconies-for-bengaluru-commercial-complex/ Wed, 20 Oct 2021 03:59:34 +0000 https://ifj.co.in/?p=21401

Bengaluru-based AJ Architects has designed the Staggered Screen, a small commercial complex spread over 22000 sq. ft. The client wanted to improve their living and working conditions, while enhancing the surrounding landscape, natural light and ventilation. They also wanted to maintain Vaastu principles at the forefront and a congregation of small offices on all floors that can be combined to build larger office spaces. The firm placed the service core on the southern side of the building, which buffers heat gain. Being a west-facing property, open terraces are planned along each floor along with a rooftop landscaped garden.

The projected wedge-shaped balconies or terraces on the western side protect the employees from direct exposure to the harsh sunlight and overall heat gain, reducing the carbon footprint. Concrete-finished panels symbolises interconnections of the outdoor and inside, while the wooden finish adds to the façade’s grandeur. Open terraces lend breathing space and biophilic intervention, and the façade has a complementary material palette of steel, timber, concrete and engineered glass. Solar panels on the rooftop harness ample solar energy, which provides energy-efficient lighting for the public areas.

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Experiential design for Mumbai skincare clinic https://ifj.co.in/ifj-likes/experiential-design-for-mumbai-skincare-clinic/ Sun, 17 Oct 2021 17:57:53 +0000 https://ifj.co.in/?p=21385

Photography: Ricken Desai

Mumbai-based Urban Zen has designed the Nava Clinic, which is a skincare clinic spread over 5000 sq. ft. The client wanted a state-of-the-art and experiential design built in levelled ceilings, stretch fabric lighting, wooden angled patterns and concrete tiles with brass and terrazzo inlay. During the day, the space is illuminated by large glazing behind a cluster of planters on the pebble bed. At night, the stretch fabric ceiling replicates sunlight to keep the space ambient and bright. Terrazzo combined with lightwood veneer and concrete is widely used, with tan leather sofas and short armchairs.

The entrance features a terrazzo flooring with concrete and brass profiling, while the well-lit stretch fabric ceiling illuminates the space along with the recessed track lights. Palms, ferns and leafy plants along with moveable wooden partitions add privacy between the waiting area and consultation rooms.  The Managing Director’s cabin has large windows that allow in the natural sunlight, with concrete and terrazzo flooring.  It also has brass profiling, veneer panelling, storage in pastel shades and surface recessed linear lighting in the ceiling.

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French-Indian fusion for Mumbai apartment https://ifj.co.in/ifj-likes/french-indian-fusion-for-mumbai-apartment/ Fri, 08 Oct 2021 03:41:54 +0000 https://ifj.co.in/?p=21364

Mumbai-based RSDE has designed the European Majesty, a 4BHK residence spread over 5000 sq. ft. The Jaipur-based client wanted a villa-like ambience in the city, and had the erstwhile 5BHK home converted into a 4BHK apartment that reflected the art and nature of Rajasthan. Coming to the entrance, the ceiling replicates the Sistine Chapel and palatial splendour.

Following a French-Indian fusion, the firm has designed the entrance, living and dining spaces. A glass partition decorated with French architectural details in fibre-reinforced plastic and a sculptural pillar adds privacy between the entrance and living room.

The guest room acts an extension to the living room during parties, with the al fresco painting of a landscape as the backdrop of the dining space. The master bedrooms are planned with walk-in wardrobes, and nature is incorporated in all corners. A life-size tree cast with a glass bench divides the bedroom and bathroom, the latter of which features green walls and chiselled marble steps resembling a natural spring. The mandir is inspired by the Ranakpur temple, along with the appropriate casting, logistics and HVAC.

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Sustainability in Architecture https://ifj.co.in/expert-opinion/sustainability-in-architecture/ Sun, 03 Oct 2021 18:35:37 +0000 https://ifj.co.in/?p=21351

Text: Mitu Mathur, Director, GPM Architects and Planners, New Delhi

The Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated the need to rethink architecture and design for the upcoming challenges, and adopt an environmentally-conscious lifestyle. We must focus on sustainable urban development as it is a conscious step to ensure a livable environment for us and our future generations, such as low-carbon future in changing urban scenarios. We must incorporate climate-responsive strategies that improve indoor air quality and microclimate by introducing greens and using renewable energy resources and local materials.

Incorporating energy-efficient design strategies creates a healthy and comfortable environment, while natural elements conserve resources. Also, they consider the building’s operational costs and reduce pollutants and waste. AAC blocks are a sustainable alternative to traditional bricks that reduce environmental impact, which is a less polluting factor in construction. Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs) promote alternative energy generation for lighting backup and landscape lighting, along with internal finishes made from low-volatile materials and heat-reflective paint to reduce heat gain.

Balconies and open areas within residential towers are necessary to ensure the inhabitants’ physical and mental well-being, apart from offering community advantages. For large-scale commercial developments, we have the open-to-sky high-street ‘haat’ model with multiple galleries, piazzas and landscaped courtyards to reinforce the users’ connection in nature – as seen in ‘Sapphire ‘83’.

We constantly face the question of how rapid urbanization has impacted mass house and the construction industry in India, which highlights the need for sustainable design and development policies. Architects and developers must redesign their work to accommodate sustainability concerns, as seen in the Ananda Mangalam. Here, the residential units maximize cross-ventilation and natural light, which minimizes the reliance on electricity and HVAC. Low-rise blocks also minimize structural costs, while creating a sustainable housing solution.

Thus, we must have environmentally-conscious design that minimize the building’s negative energy impact and enhance their livability.

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An analysis of luxury https://ifj.co.in/expert-opinion/an-analysis-of-luxury/ Tue, 28 Sep 2021 19:14:07 +0000 https://ifj.co.in/?p=21339

Des. Nikita Pathak, Founder, Design21, Gurugram

Architecture and interior design are open to interpretation, but the definition of luxury remains personal to the inhabitant and built form. Depending on the context and timelines, opulence is a boundless concept and is achieved through both the external and internal arenas.

Natural ventilation and daylight are critical to achieve luxurious design, while well-planned space promote areas for comfortable rest and functionality. We must demarcate the zones using varied textures, partitions and barriers. Luxury also uses light, shadows, solids and empty spaces to attract the audience’s attention, which includes walls and wall furnishings. Options must be carefully chosen to avoid a ‘gaudy’ look, but walls are perfectly complemented with artworks and photographs.

Opulence is expressed in expensive materials and upcycled finishes, but the right lighting greatly influences the space’s ambience. It highlights the focal points, cancels the problem areas and prevent dysfunction with its location, intensity, colour and shape. Large open spaces and greenery are preferable indoors and outdoors, which are portrayed through the front and backyards, balconies, planter boxes and indoor plantation.

Furniture and accessories are equally important to handle negative spaces, which also includes wall furnishings. The size, shape, design and material finish bring in the luxury, along with flooring coverings and ceilings. Coming to the external façade, one must use the right material and finishes according to the theme. Obvious service lines must be covered for a seamless exterior, and the project must blend in with its surroundings.

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Bespoke design for Gurugram home https://ifj.co.in/ifj-likes/bespoke-design-for-gurugram-home/ Mon, 27 Sep 2021 04:26:40 +0000 https://ifj.co.in/?p=21325

Gurugram-based Essentia Environments has designed the Magnolias, a 4BHK residence spread over 6000 sq. ft. The client wanted a bespoke home with high expectations, which is why the firm had to think of innovative ways to incorporate shapes colors, textures, lights and patterns. The artworks and furniture are curated customized by the firm respectively, set for the client – the couple, two children and elderly parents. The layout comprises the entrance foyer, living and dining area, kitchen, family lounge, four bedrooms, bathrooms and a powder room.

The entrance foyer is separated from the living area with glass partitions the maintain a seamless look, while the living room features Vietnam white marble with brass inlay. The floor inlay pattern imitates the wall paneling, and there is a Nero Saint Laurent marble column with brass highlights. Moving to the dining space, one would a geometric inlay flooring with brass highlights.

The family lounge has a customized cabinet where round and oval shapes come together to form a statement furniture piece. In the master bedroom, one would see a statement light, tufted bed, Bulgari grey marble flooring and furnishings from Sarita Handa. On the contrary, the children’s bedrooms are done in neutral colors and clean lines.

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Mithila inspiration for New Delhi home https://ifj.co.in/ifj-likes/mithila-inspiration-for-new-delhi-home/ Thu, 23 Sep 2021 20:11:04 +0000 https://ifj.co.in/?p=21314

New Delhi-based Amaze Spaces has designed The Mithilanchal Quest, which is a functional, comfortable and aesthetic home based on the Mithila art of Bihar. Raw textures and contemporary elements come together to create the space, which is a modern and youthful design to the inhabitants. Two entrances mark the apartment; while one is from the living room, the other is from an exclusive private passage that takes one into the 3BHK home overlooking the Ashoka trees. It is conceptualized for a nuclear family, with separate areas for each purpose.

Apart from the beige-coloured walls, the living room features Italian marble flooring, brown and grey-grained ceiling and wood and white being the primary shades. Matte-polished wooden battens in the ceilings lend a traditional yet contemporary ambience, while the beige accent wall with a natural stone art piece represents the stone-cut architecture of Bihar while retaining the decluttered look. The TV unit has powder-pink French panelling and a dark oakwood console, and the living and dining spaces are divided by a geometrical partition for storage.

Coming to the dining room, the dining table features pure sheesham wood and an onyx Makrana marble tabletop with Persian blue and faded teal chairs. The arch divides the dining and mandir areas, combining Indian and Morrocan architecture, along with a false ceiling and wooden fan. On the opposite wall, one would see a lime-coloured floral wallpaper and Mithila paintings done on silk, bringing together a tropical colour palette and greenery in the backdrop.

The master bedroom has a stone-clad wall with wooden panelling against the bed, with champagne glass side and a chamfered false ceiling. A deep-green velvet bed adds texture and colour to the room, which denotes royalty. The daughter’s bedroom features a contemporary French design with blush salmon pink and castor blue accents, along with terventino and Italian marble classing, a neoclassical a framed fresco from Michelangelo’s collection. A relatable bedroom is design for the younger son, with a quirky wall art. Olive-green walls, a dark oakwood console and a white study table.

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Redefine Bathroom Luxury with Colston’s New Design Center coming soon in Mumbai https://ifj.co.in/news-ifj/redefine-bathroom-luxury-with-colston-new-design-center-coming-soon-in-mumbai/ Tue, 21 Sep 2021 19:42:07 +0000 https://ifj.co.in/?p=21299

Leading Indian bathware brand Colston Bath & Spa will launch its first Design Centre in Mumbai along with a new product line on 24th September 2021. This marks Colston’s second showcase store in India, which comes after its flagship live centre in New Delhi.

The centre is located on the Shakti Mills Lane in Lower Parel, South Mumbai, with an expansive floor layout with eight bathroom design lounges. Each lounge replicates the brand’s different themes along with the operational modes of their latest products and technology. Examples include the Live Shower walk, the High Street Display Lane and the Swimming Pool Zone.

The launch will be attended by esteemed members of the architecture and design community, along with panel discussions on the future of wellness design. Colston would be unveiling the De Banos bath product collaction, which include designer bathtubs and Jacuzzi.

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Curated art design for New Delhi home https://ifj.co.in/ifj-likes/curated-art-design-for-new-delhi-home/ Sun, 19 Sep 2021 18:22:02 +0000 https://ifj.co.in/?p=21285

New Delhi-based Aparna Kaushik has designed the Residence, which was design for a client who had a curated collection of art pieces and paintings. Two L-shaped partitions comprise the layout, with the larger one forming the living quarters while the smaller one serves as a cabana for social gatherings. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows, brick and cement walls remain the design palette, which allows the natural sunlight to penetrate through the house. The built-in bar unit has an agate stone countertop with a bevelled mirror mosaic façade.

A warm and inviting double-height foyer welcomes the visitor, along with Thota Vaikuntham paintings along the Victorian-style carved silver furniture. Gold leafing and a customised chandelier decorates the ceiling, while glass windows allow uninterrupted views of the living room and bar pavilion. The dining room is a visually floating space, as it is surrounded by a water body on two sides. The other two sides are surrounded by an L-shaped courtyard with foliage, complete with dining furniture.

Due to the interconnecting rooms with several long corridors, black and white marble is flanked by large glass windows. At the end of the pathway, one would find a decorative water body and a bar opening out to the pool area. Wrought-iron handrails are inspired by the 18th-century Art Nouveau movement. An open-sided stone-clad structure with wooden lattice framework and climbing plants are the focal point of the garden and pool.

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The Potential of Self-Redevelopment of Housing Societies https://ifj.co.in/expert-opinion/the-potential-of-self-redevelopment-of-housing-societies/ Thu, 16 Sep 2021 20:04:12 +0000 https://ifj.co.in/?p=21281
Ar. Rahul Kadri, Partner and Principal Architect, IMK Architects, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Text: Ar. Rahul Kadri, Partner and Principal Architect, IMK Architects, Mumbai and Bengaluru

While Mumbai grew spectacularly as an urban centre in the years following India’s independence, the geographical constraints of the island city have caused serious problems today; with a premium attached to limited land and space, real estate prices have skyrocketed. Apartments in newly constructed buildings and housing societies, a product of urban development driven by builders, are unaffordable to most of the city’s population. For instance, for a middle-class family with an average annual income between Rs. 5,00,000 and 7,00,000, buying a 600-square-feet apartment that would cost about Rs. 2.1 crores –– almost thirty times their average annual income –– is nearly impossible.

On the other hand, a considerable percentage of the city’s existing housing stock lies dilapidated and offers unsafe and poor living conditions. According to data from the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), 14,000 buildings in the city are in dire need of remediation, with 25,000 to 30,000 housing societies having expressed a desired interest in redevelopment.

Builder-Led Redevelopment
Redevelopment, however, isn’t a novel concept and has been promoted by successive governments over the past few decades. Traditionally, a housing society would enter into an agreement with a developer, who would be liable to hand over the apartments to their respective owners upon construction with pre-established benefits such as a 10 percent increase in area or a given amount of corpus money. To achieve this, the developer would utilize the balance plot potential by constructing and selling additional apartments and shops as per approval from statutory bodies. This was and continues to be a lucrative venture for developers –– working without oversight and at their own discretion, developers can sell the additional real estate at exorbitant prices and earn huge profits.

However, housing societies and residents would often be left with poorly designed and/or constructed buildings, subjected to inordinate delays, and sometimes, even the abandonment of the project by the developer. Consequently, a framework for the regulation of such power was put in place under the RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) so developers couldn’t divert funds from one project to another and thus, increase risk. But that wasn’t enough –– a new and better model of redevelopment was needed.

The Case for Self-Redevelopment
In September 2019, the Maharashtra government introduced the self-redevelopment scheme for co-operative housing societies with a Government Resolution (GR). The aim: empowering residents to take control of the redevelopment process through its entire timeline –– from commissioning a suitable architectural or contracting firm and managing construction to selling the additional real estate constructed and sharing the final profits. The autonomy of the process guarantees merit in all respects; society members would reap the benefits of good quality construction, modern amenities and infrastructure, and time-bound and cost-controlled construction.

Additionally, with the developer removed from the process, there would be no risk of fraud, delayed construction, or loss of area; in fact, residents could expect up to 40-50 percent increase in carpet area compared to 15-20 percent through the traditional process. Most importantly, however, self-redevelopment would bring down the cost of the surplus apartments built (as opposed to the price inflation that occurs when a developer who is driven by profit margins is involved) creating a ripple effect in the market and ensuring housing remains affordable to the masses.

To promote the scheme, the government said that it would offer 10 percent additional FSI (Floor Space Index) over the permissible figure, concessions in TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) and other construction premiums to housing societies opting for self-redevelopment. Additionally, the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank (MSCB) was appointed as the nodal bank to work through the district central co-operative banks (DCCBs) to provide loans to societies at relatively lower interest rates of around 12.5 percent as opposed to around 18 percent offered to developers.

A Critical Link Severed
However, in September last year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) refused permission to Maharashtra’s state and district central co-operative banks (DCCBs) to finance self-redevelopment of co-operative housing societies, stating that such projects would fall under the category of ‘commercial real estate,’ and hence, outside the banks’ primary purview of lending for activities related to agriculture and rural development.

For the Maharashtra government, which was banking on support from the state’s co-operative banking ecosystem, this is as a huge blow to a scheme it had presented in 2019 as the solution to the state’s, and more specifically, Mumbai’s housing crisis. Meanwhile, with over Rs. 1,350 crores sanctioned and another Rs. 17 crores disbursed in loans for such projects, RBI’s decision leaves the Mumbai District Central Cooperative Bank (MDCCB) and several housing societies with an uncertain way ahead. Moreover, housing societies will have no choice but to go back to the vicious builder-driven model of redevelopment. There is an urgent need to bridge this gap.

The Way Forward
The decision from RBI has some pretty obvious loopholes and deserves questioning. What happens, for instance, if a district co-operative bank serves a completely urbanised area? The MDCCB is the perfect example; local housing societies own a majority stake in the bank, and its area of operations, which extends from Colaba and CST in southern Mumbai to the neighbourhoods of Dahisar and Mulund at the city’s northern periphery, doesn’t house any farmers or agricultural land.

The MSCB, therefore, must immediately file an appeal with the central banking regulator to reconsider and/or clarify its decision publicly. Meanwhile, private investment firms and financial institutions must come in and participate too; self-redevelopment can yield returns on investment (ROI) of as much as 12 percent. This transparent and democratic model that enables people to carve their own sustainable future needs to be safeguarded if we are to solve Mumbai’s housing crisis.

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