The Hill Haven, Saattal
The Architect's Address, New Delhi
Crafted for conversations- the formal living space marks itself with the key element, being the bar which is placed in a corner with large panes of sliding folding corner glazing that blurs the inside- out boundary and connect the indoor living/bar space to the green outside seamlessly; a large balcony faces the green of the covered nallah outside, works as a gradation between interior and exterior. Exploring materiality in design, the expansive living, dining and family lounge has a ceiling covered in pinewood that traverses across the length of the house, helping increase the sense of openness and expanse, while augmenting the material palette with a warmth. The Dining area has the dining table as the key accent, done in red stain wooden finish with statement dining chairs along with an earthy pendant light above. The blinds and the artwork have been kept subtle in black and white to keep the table as the key feature. Bookshelves laden with travel curious add a warm, and personal touch to the space.
Designed as a multi-functional space that can be expanded by means of the sliding folding doors, the family lounge can be converted to become a guest room when required. All the spaces have a bay window (the architect’s favourite) which makes for a cosy seating space, and can be used for reading or relaxation, whilst also adding another degree of illumination to each space. The house has been planned keeping in mind flexibility in the future, which allowed for the creation of living spaces vis a vis multiple smaller rooms. Even though the balcony, the formal living space, the dining and the family lounge are all individual spaces, they all read as one.
The Master bedroom follows the same stylistic aesthetic as the rest of the house, with exposed brickwork, wooden flooring and grey walls together creating a warm environment. Another Bay window makes for a cosy space to sit and enjoy the green outside, while the brickwork behind the bed adds texture and contrast to the room. The furniture is simple, with vintage fabric and the hanging lights, all adding to the quaintness of the space. The dresser and the toilet have been kept fairly simple and utilitarian with plenty of storage and plenty of natural light. The daughter’s bedroom is designed with an animal theme with colour diversity and fun upholstery. The furniture is kept muted, painted in white and grey with wooden flooring and yellow that flows in from the bathroom adding to the warmth of the room. A stepped black board wall gives the child enough wall space to freely explore their creativity. The study tables have been designed like a house, where the child can role play and explore fantasies. The bay window also creates cosy little spaces with fairy lights and the sheers drawn. The bathroom is done in bold yellow, white and grey with accent hardware. With an intent to reuse and recycle, the ceiling is designed from the pinewood excess that was left from the living area.
The powder room has a modern Indian theme in a grey palette with a feature wall in cement tile that is crafted with Indian motifs and colours of ink pottery. The vanity has a rustic wooden top placed on a metal frame and a cement basin while the Kitchen is designed as a minimalistic and functional space. Bright blue cabinets, a white backsplash, and wooden tiles create a bold and impressive scheme, with sufficient natural light and a kitchen garden outside.
Amalgamating traditional materials and craft, the house has a rustic, yet modern feel, with exposed brick continuing from outside, cast in-situ terrazzo flooring, wood and hues of grey as the core material palette. The consistency of coupling greys with brass is carried out in the doors that are painted grey with highlights of brass studs and hardware. The furniture language throughout the house amalgamates the Indian craftsmanship and aesthetic with modern functionality- Clean lines with subtle Indian design elements, cement tiles, woodwork in furniture, cane weaves and the fabrics.
At the entry, there is an artwork with a console below set inside a red niche highlighting the artwork. The two large paintings – Ganesha and the Krishna one are done by the architect’s mother, symbolic of the passion for traditional art and of course, augmenting the legacy while adding a personal touch. The photographs on the walls are mostly travel picture or family photographs, amalgamating personality with design. The artefacts and curious are collected during the various travels during the years. Indoor and outdoor plants help in reducing the pollutants in the air while an Edible garden, demonstrates the larger intent to connect with nature.
A masterful stroke in an aesthetic and functional spatial design, amidst the chaos of the metropolitan that is Delhi, the design of the architect’s address is a breath of fresh air, whilst being an impeccable blend of Indian and modern contemporary design, optimizing cost and materiality. The use of materials such as terrazzo, cement tiles, brass, exposed brick and pinewood ensures that everything is recyclable or eco-friendly. Openness and fluidity were kept in focus as the designer carved out sanctuaries in the home that one could meld into. Despite its relatively open design, there is a sense of comfort and privacy, which often goes missing nowadays due to the modern architect’s obsession with transparency and blurring of outside and inside spaces. The architect’s personal statement and passion for open planning, multifunctional use of space, natural light & detailing- are all manifested in her own home. Truly representative of the design ethos of the studio she runs, the house lives and breathes the design philosophy.