; We Design Studio revives the elegance of the Mango Orchard House

Homes

Displaying a lyrical connection with nature, Saahil Parikh and Nupur Shah of We Design Studio revive the elegance of form and function in this exceptionally well-laid out Mango Orchard House in Karamsad, Gujarat

JAN 25, 2023 | By Ankita Rathod
Blurring the lines between inside and outdoors with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, this living room has furniture from DeMuro Das, carpet from Jaipur Rugs, ceiling pendant from Davide Groppi and wall lights from iGuzzini illuminazione; Photography by Kunal Bhatia
Nestled among 300 trees, this space has breakfast tables and pebble seats from Artemis Crete Shop and outdoor dining and lounge chairs from Triconville; Photography by Kunal Bhatia
A band of flame finished granite marks the physical extent of this outdoor space and acts as a border around the grey slate floor, armchairs from Triconville, concrete centre table from Gulmohar Lane and outdoor carpet from The Rug Republic; Photography by Kunal Bhatia
With white bougainvillaea planted in the surrounding to provide natural shade, the steel canopy tops the cobble stoned drop-off in this outdoor area; Photography by Kunal Bhatia
This seamless informal lounge has a carpet from Jaipur Rugs and art from Vrindavan Solanki; Photography by Kunal Bhatia
The dining area is separated from the lounge by elegant arches, dining table by We Design Studio, dining pendants from Louis Poulsen, ceiling lights from iGuzzini illuminazione and carpet from Jaipur Rugs; Photography by Kunal Bhatia
The gorgeous outdoors with ample of greenery around; Photography by Kunal Bhatia
The entertainment room’s entryway is through a large set of fluted glass doors with a floor lamp from Hatsu; Photography by Kunal Bhatia
With an island bed and centre table in this bedroom designed by We Design Studio, armchairs from Phantom Hands and carpet from Jaipur Rugs, the bedroom has muted hues ; Photography by Kunal Bhatia
The island bar in this spacious living room is customised by We Design Studio with art by Yashwant Deshmukh, ceiling pendant from Davide Groppi and side tables from Gulmohar Lane; Photography by Kunal Bhatia
The furniture purposely made to face the outdoors so as to enjoy the view in this living room; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

Nestled amidst 400 mango trees, the Mango orchard mansion in Gujarat’s Karamsad city spans an impressive 14,000 sq ft of built up space.  The entryway to the residence is led by a 150 ft cobble stoned driveway that ends in a cul-de-sac and leads to a mild steel entrance canopy that connects to the main structure of the house. “The intention was to respond to the natural context to the best of our ability. You’re looking at a house in the middle of a lush, mature mango orchard. The goal was to create visual links between indoors and outdoors, blurring the line between them,” explains Saahil Parikh and Nupur Shah, Principal Architects at We Design Studio.

The outdoor area has armchairs from Triconville, concrete centre table from Gulmohar Lane and outdoor carpet from The Rug Republic; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

As you enter the residence through a steel canopy permeated by white bougainvillaea, the interplay between the permanent building and the ephemeral landscape becomes defined. The ground floor features the living, dining, kitchen and guest bedroom, while the upper floor houses the three primary bedrooms. A freestanding staircase made of mild steel connects the two floors. The living room, which features double-height ceilings and access to the verandah, serves as a visible and physical link between the ground and upper floors.

With minimal planters from Artemis Crete Shop, the house opens up to multiple courtyards to allow natural sunlight and ventilation; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

The clients approached the award-winning architects with the original request to renovate a home built by the owners’ parents approximately three decades ago. Upon closer investigation, however, it became apparent that the property did not match the splendour of its surroundings, which included hundreds of luscious mango trees. Therefore, “We decided to demolish the existing structure and build anew, sparing the surrounding trees,” explained Saahil. The new building’s footprint was limited to equal that of the old one, and the road was planned to wind its way through the existing forest to help accomplish this goal. 

A bold free standing mild steel staircase with lights from Paul Matter; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

The home is perched precariously above its surroundings due to the careful sizing of its apertures, which optimises the mass to void ratio. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows maximise the visual connection between the interior rooms and the exterior landscape. Moreover, as a direct response to the region’s severe temperatures, the house was constructed exclusively from locally produced cavity brick walls. “The cavities work as an effective insulator and shield the covered spaces from the harsh Gujarat climate,” shares Saahil, an alumni of the prestigious AA School of Architecture in London. The five courtyards allow for cross-ventilation and natural light, and the double-height living room serves as the home’s centrepiece by providing a panoramic view of the trees all around. 

With an open-to-sky courtyard in this bathroom, the bath fittings are from GESSI, sanitary ware from Valdama Italian Sign and carpet from Jaipur Rugs; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

What’s endearing is the sparse use of material finishes, which creates a neutral palette and sets the stage for the homeowner’s priceless art collection, which hangs on the walls with grace. “We wanted the mango trees to be the protagonist here. The brilliance of the green needed to be experienced,” articulates Nupur about the design moodboard. This inspired the material selection; limiting the colours to white, grey and black. “A light grey slate runs across the floor and bathrooms of the home. The walls are finished in a textured white paint. The doors are made in recycled Burma teak stained black. The windows are from Schueco and finished in a textured black powder coating,” says Nupur about the home lit up using state-of-the-art decorative pieces from all over Europe and is a significant value add to the spatial experience. 

The art in the entrance lobby is from the homeowner’s private collection, bench from Phantom Hands, carpet from Jaipur Rugs and planters from Artemis Crete Shop; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

When asked to name a feature that represents elegance, workmanship, and sustainability, Saahil cites the “locally made mild steel free-standing staircase” as a highlight. This staircase serves to connect the two levels. The staircase serves as a focus point and can be seen from many rooms thanks to its sleek black finish. The stairs, in an interesting twist, were built in three distinct pieces: the upper and lower flights, and the intermediate landing. These were then painstakingly assembled on-site with the assistance of a compact crane and welded together. As Nupur summarises, “it needed substantial preparation and resources.”

The children’s room has a quirky edge to it along with an island bed placed to grab the view of the mango trees outside; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

Evidently, the Mango Orchard home, according to Saahil’s description, is an attempt at harmony between indoors and outdoor. Unusual seating configurations, interactive lighting fixtures, and last but not least, the iconic artworks ranging from commissioned works by Yashwant Deshmukh and Vrindavan Solanki to pieces from Japan and the client’s private collection are a visual feast for all! A variety of spatial gestures create visual passages between rooms and through interior spaces to the trees and the landscape beyond, despite the house’s initially monolithic façade. 

The bathroom has shower fittings from GESSI and shower partition from GOODLUCK GLASS; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

 

The powder bathroom facing the open courtyard features art from Vrindavan Solanki, carpet from Jaipur Rugs and planters from Artemis Crete Shop; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

 

Basin counter in this bathroom being an exotic marble top from Classic Marble Company, wall lights from Buster + Punch, sanitary ware from Valdama Italian Sign and plumbing fittings from GESSI; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

 

With large fluted glass doors, this master bedroom has a couch from Red Blue & Yellow, armchair from Phantom Hands, wall lights from iGuzzini illuminazione and carpet from Jaipur Rugs; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

 

This outdoor breakfast area lies east of the living room with cast stone table from Artemis Crete Shop, dining chairs from Triconville, lighting from Foscarini; Photography by Kunal Bhatia

You may also like: The confluence of nature and art makes this lavishly appointed villa, planned by Tushant Bansal Design Studio, a restful getaway