Conventional methods, unconventional approach
The Design Source | Oct - Nov 2006
IDEAS & INFINITY, set up by three fresh graduates Pushkar Pingle, Shoaib Qazi and Neha Sivaprasad from Sir JJ College of Architecture stand apart from the flock for their wonderfully refreshing approach to design. Although in practice for just two years, the trio shows a remarkable capability for soundness in design basics and material handling.
The home in question belongs to a businessman from Mumbai, who lives a full and dynamic life and whose son, who is in his twenties and in the family business, also lives with him. The compact flat is located next to the plush, seven star, ITC Grand Central hotel in Parel, in the heart of Mumbai.
The design of the home keeps in the space crunch and is therefore very minimalist in its approach, thereby making space, which is at a premium here, amply available to the residents. The living room itself uses very little furniture, where a lowered window cill and an Indian baithak against it form the main area of seating. This helps to avoid visual clutter in the narrow confines. A concise dining-bar falls back from the wall, displaying artful wall treatment as a back drop. This serves as a diner for two. The light-weight chairs can be shifted as desired when the table is folded back up. Even though the room has close to no furniture, every regular need has been met, subdued mood lighting to a shelf for the family deity at the entrance area. The use of sunny yellow along the longer wall and the splashes of red in the dining chairs help brighten up the room and open up its volume.
The kitchen repeats the yellow and orange combination, which is visible through the frosted glass which separates it from the living room, thereby muting the brightness of such a combination. This maturity in the use of bold colours can be seen all over the apartment. When asked about their style in colour choices, the trio had this to say- “Colour-science plays a major role in arriving upon the correct and most suitable colours for any habitable space .For example warm colours are suitable for the living room and cool colours for the bedroom. Shades of yellow are suitable at study areas.”
But besides the choice in colours, the passion that these youngsters feel for design is seen in the smallest of details. They explain this by taking us through their design process- “We do residential, corporate, and retail interiors. But we really love to design homes since there’s a lot of creativity and design input that’s required. Here, the challenge was to design a very small apartment with a lot of requirements. At the same time the look had to be modern and stylish.
All the inputs from the family like their likes and dislikes, choice of colours, lifestyle etc. Were carefully analyzed and built into a design model. Then the detailed designing began with consultation and constant interaction with their client.”
The bedroom is also a combination of good use of materials, colours and placement of furniture. The combination of aubergine and lemon, with vast backdrops of steel grey, gives the right blend of bold and subtle lights, which play up the positive elements while setting back the negative spaces. The pull out double bed and the floor seating allow for ample floor space, which would have been unavailable if the conventional double bed had been used. What is interesting is the use of conventional and easy to maintain materials to achieve the desired result. This trend can also be seen all trough the apartment.“The design approach varies with type of project and the client’s brief but the basic fundamental constants are user-friendly and low maintenance materials, attention to detail and keeping the cost low.” We have used glass wherever possible as glass lends a lot of openness and visual expanse to any space. The apartment was small and we had to give it a really spacious look.” Another easy way to add an element of design to any interior is to play with the wall surface, which is the largest interior area of any home. Most designers make the mistake of ignoring this huge canvas. But not so with the Ideas & Infinity team-
“Wall treatments like textured wall paints, bright colours or niches etc. Add a character to the overall aesthetics without losing out on any space.” And yet, the bottom line in this straightforward design does not waver from the functionality of the components like carpentry and civil works. While most of the furniture is custom made to fulfil the requirement while taking into account the small confines of the apartment, no excessive tampering has been done by way of civil work. This in itself is refreshing to see in the design of designers so young. Their sound basics shine forth in this statement, which best sum up their approach to any design- “Plumbing and electrical modifications are necessary according to layout. Structural modifications are out of the question they weaken the structure (building)”
Kudos and keep it up!