Architectural Group: Dipen Gada & Associates
Client Name: Mr. Patel
Principal Designer: Dipen Gada
Design Team: Shruti Patel & Shalini Pereira
Project Location: Mangala, Baroda, Gujrat-India
Project Year (Duration): March 2009 (12 months)
Project Area: 1,oo,000 sq.ft.
Built-Up Area: 3000 sq.ft.
Project Type: Residential
Photography: Tejas Shah
Text: Shalini Pereira
When the clients, Mr. & Mrs. Patel approached DGA to design the interiors of their farm house, they gave the firm a complete free hand. Their only request was to make it a place where the entire family could enjoy the quiet beauty of nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When working on the concept for the interiors, the firm drew inspiration from the rural setting as well as the existing structure of exposed brick. On the whole the house was conceptualized as one with a rustic feel that maintained a contemporary edge. Very early on a decision was taken to use as much natural materials as possible and this can be seen in the abundant use of Kota and Jaiselmer stone as well as teak wood.
One approaches the house via a long driveway lined by trees on either side. One can occasionally catch a glimpse of the house through the foliage and this adds a sense of mystery and drama which is accentuated especially at night. The driveway opens out into a large open space which serves as a parking area. This has been painstakingly paved with cobble stones in a pattern custom made for this home.
The first structure one sees as one follows the driveway is the pooja area which is detached from the main house. The Jodhpur stone paved pathway to the pooja area is bordered on either side by bottle palms. The room, with its glass white marble flooring and white walls, creates a serene environment which is ideal for prayer and meditation. The murti rests in front of hand carved wooden paneling. Even the windows have shutters of hand carved jail work panels.
The entry porch, with its rustic Kota stone terrazzo floors having pebble inlay gives a hint of what one can expect once one enters inside the house. The arched doorway with its wooden paneled door has a mantra hand carved into it, welcoming all to the house. The small foyer with its bright Jaiselmer flooring and wooden ceiling forms a buffer zone to the living area. There is a motif of terrazzo tile work inlayed into the Jaiselmer floor, reminiscent of inlay work seen in old manor houses.
The foyer opens out into a living room that offers panoramic views of the sprawling garden and pool area. The centrally ridged sloping roof has been treated with polished rough wood planks to give the effect of rafters. This ceiling treatment together with the rough Kota flooring and exposed brick work follow the rustic theme while the contemporary furniture with soft furnishings and accents in an eclectic mix of Indian colours of magenta, rani pink, orange and green provides a touch of the contemporary kitsch.
Adjacent to the living room is the central courtyard which is the heart of the house. It also acts as a transition space between the more private bedroom areas and the living and dining areas. The courtyard was originally open-to-sky, however wooden pergolas were added and for security reasons, the area was covered with clear glass panels. Terracotta tiles have been used in the flooring and the blue china mosaic border highlights the terracota as well as Jaiselmer used in this area. Subconsciously the blue also reflects the blueness of the sky above as well as the element of water in the planter which sits in the center of the courtyard. A beautiful Adenium tree sits in the center of the planter with its branches seemingly reaching upwards to the sky.
The formal dining room also lies adjacent to the courtyard. Here also the ridged sloping roof is treated with rough wood rafters. In this room the dining table takes center stage. The custom made teak wood table with tile inlay dominates the room. A bay window to the one side of the table allows warm golden light to flood the room and also offers a fabulous view out onto the pool area and garden. Both the dining and the living room open out onto a large verandah space. Special pieces of furniture have been personally selected by Dipen.
The kitchen area also follows the rustic theme with its antique looking tiles and teak wood cabinets that compliment the exposed brick walls. Rough Kota which has been used throughout most of the house is continued into the kitchen space.
Separated by the courtyard are the guest bedroom and the master bedroom. The rustic theme is continued in both bedrooms. However, there is a marked change in the ambience of both rooms. The materials used are richer and both bedrooms have a distinctly romantic feel.
The bed is dressed totally in white and the bright pink and orange cushions exaggerate the whiteness of the bed linens. The dark wooden flooring compliments the brick work and adds warmth to the room, while the white linen on the bed and canopy gives a feeling of airiness. At the head of the bed hangs an original Madhubani painting by Bhava Devi which has been selected by Dipen.
In the master bedroom also, the bed is the central element with its plush bed linens, rich silk drapes and soft furnishings. The soft lighting creates a truly romantic space with an almost sensual feel. The river polished Kota bed back and exposed brick work is in stark contrast to the softness and richness of the fabrics used.
The master bathroom is one of the best spaces in the house. Rustic brown tiles used on the walls and floor compliment the robust looking Jaiselmer basin counter with stone basin. A Jacuzzi is set into a Jaiselmer platform that is the focal point of the bathroom. Just off the bathroom is an outdoor shower area complete with rain shower.
“This project was truly a labour of love from both the client’s as well as our side. It is rare when the client’s and the designer’s ideas about a house seem to be in total synchrony,” says Dipen.