OCI Architects create a resplendent Italian classical and contemporary residence for a Chennai based client which spells pure luxury and displays the common vocabulary for design and materials.
Nestled in the heart of bustling commercial quarter-T Nagar of Chennai city, the GR residence has been designed as a peaceful realm. Sprawling over an area of 16,000 sq.ft, the bungalow comprises basement, ground, first and second floor. The architecture and design of the bungalow have been done by renowned architect couple Oscar and Ponni Concessao which is influenced by an Italian classical style luxury home on the exterior and a contemporary interior.
Talking about the design details of the bungalow, Ar. Ponni said, “The client wanted a design which is very personalised and should reflect a combination of memories, individual aspirations, and a lifetime of unique experiences. As the clients were widely travelled and sophisticated people who spent a great deal of time in Italy over the years and admired the art, architecture and history enormously, they had felt a deep connection to reflect the Italian culture in the exterior architecture of their new home.”
On the exterior we see majestic setting features of an Italian style luxury house with mature trees and beautiful vertical garden landscape at the entry portico.The porch is the beginning of a sequential design experience of the urban oasis which is the concept of the house – a vertical garden and a waterfall.The imposing metal and wood gates lead on to the flamed granite paving of the entrance porch. The porch welcomes the visitor and commences the contemporary design experience of the residence. The roof has wooden rafters and has one side flanked by a vertical garden complete with a hanging garden and waterfall while the other side has a large entrance wood and stainless steel inlaid door with sidelights. The exterior facades are wide and sprawling making the house appear larger than it really is. Its basic footprint is rectangular, narrowing from front to back, allowing natural light to permeate the house, giving it a warm translucence.
All interior spaces right from the entrance to the services area of the rear of the house has the strong thread of ultra-modern design with traditional materials. The entrance to the home is through a porch with a vertical garden opposite to solid teakwood door of contemporary design. This leads to a foyer with linear design elements of furniture, lighting, Italian marble inlay and steel inlaid sliding door which leads to the formal living room. The formal lounge has contemporary leather sofas with ultra-modern artefacts, entertainment units and paintings done by Architect Ponni.
The colour scheme is predominantly beige with green highlights. The formal lounge leads to the double storeyed family area overlooking an elaborate Poona area and is characterised by an elaborate wooden ceiling. The dining area also has a wood ceiling and Italian marble is used throughout. The bedrooms are voluminous and each has a separate lounge and bed area. The daughter’s bedroom for instance is more vibrant with the large red bean couch and a cuboid metal chandelier. The designer has effectively achieved the princesslook for the daughter’s room with the help of headboard and the wooden panelling above it.
The master bedroom has two distinct areas – a lounge and bedroom area separated by a semi-open wooden partition. The bed headboard has exclusive silk and wood panelling. The bay window next to the bed is a cosy area done up in lime green silk panelling and the entire interior is integrated and unified by a large wood and gyp false ceiling reflecting the contemporary feel of the home.
Each space – be it a toilet, bedroom, dining or living is distinctly different with a common material vocabulary of materials and design.All bathrooms are finished with exclusive Italian marble designs along with different layouts and inlay works. The master bathroom boasts of a showcase and chandelier mirroring the client’s exclusive tastes in artefacts. The foyer is welcoming and the furniture such as the console table was exclusively designed along with the stainless steel inlays of the doors of which had a similar marble inlay in Thassos white.
The formal living room is cosy with wood ceilings, Italian leather sofas and double shaded silk curtains. The floor lamps were designed with metal and wood elements all combined to give a contemporary Zen feel. The Great Hall or the family room is double- storeyed with a soaring wood ceiling highlighted by elegant tear-drop ovoid chandeliers.
The most interesting artefact of the residence is the multi-coloured Hindu panel of deities mounted on the wall at the entry of the dining hall. The pooja mandir is modern with the doors depicting the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. The metal artefacts and a large Rajasthani painting of Lord Krishna and green colour Italian furniture complete the warm yet majestic feel of the Great Hall.
The dining and kitchen area follow the same design philosophy as the rest of the house. The huge metal mural of a tree and painting of Anna Lakshmi along with the custom designed furniture and showcase as well as the hand wash area gives a warm ambience to the dining room.
In short, the architects have successfully achieved the contemporary feel and plush appeal for the residence by effectively incorporating the traditional décor along with the use of common vocabulary for materials and design.
Project Name: GR Residence
Project Head: Ponni M Concessao, Architect
Design Team: Oscar & Ponni Concessao
Location: Chennai, India.
Budget: Rs.3 crore
Photo Credits:Santosh, Foto Zone, Chennai