Envelope designed by Studio IAAD converges art and architecture in this home for a cinematic dignitary
JUL 9, 2021 | By Kashish Kaushal
A home is a reflection of your personality—turning this adage into a breathtaking reality is Rachna Agarwal, Founder and Design Ideator, Studio IAAD. Conferring Envelope, a 12,000 sq ft contemporary residence located in Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, with a unique identity, Agarwal says, “The studio’s design approach towards the project stemmed from selected artworks often forming the focal point, around which each space is conceptualized.”
Belonging to a respected luminary in the cinematic industry, the client is also a connoisseur of art pieces and sculptures. However, space devised by Agarwal also manifests his enthusiasm for world cinema. Evident through understated, subtly layered luxuriance and bespoke art experiences, Agarwal manages to craft a flawless and close-knit family abode.
While Studio IAAD has augmented its existing structural and architectural framework, the initial architectural design for this residence had been first completed 11 years ago by New Delhi-based practice Morphogenesis. “Even after a volumetric addition to the home, the massing and character of the prototypical built form remain unchanged. The intervention seamlessly builds upon the spatial program, with the existing character of the house unmarred”, further divulges Agarwal.
The decision to use premium quality materials in muted, pastel tones is based on their timeless qualities. The neutral palette is sublimely offset by subtle experimentation with accent colours and textures.
Envelope is distinctly private in its appearance, with a sheer monolithic wall screening the approach, strategically punctuated by minimal cavities within. These rectangular punctures are reminiscent of picture frames designed to capture the outdoors as idyllic vistas pictured from within.
A cantilevered timber-clad canopy greets the visitors. It spans across the porch, resting at the main door. Almost injecting itself into the ground floor living spaces, the iconic canopy dramatically draws the eye inwards all the way from the outside.
With a perfectly balanced mix of customised and upcycled furniture and luxurious interiors, the basement and ground floor fuses art, architecture and recreation spaces. The ground floor encompasses a formal living and dining area, the kitchen, an open court and a bedroom tucked away in the rear quarter of the house.
Playing a vital role in defining the character of the interiors, art has directed the design process at many instances in the house. Colour palettes, surface treatments, and interior finishes have been reversely conceptualised to meld with sculptural or crafted masterpieces.
One such instance is reflected in the spacious den and entertainment area with a quirky and contemporary bar.. A playful, eccentric collage surrounds the bar counter featuring a montage of framed shots from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Moving further, a dramatic linear staircase serves as a focal point of the lower floors, transitioning to the quieter living spaces of the upper floors. The first floor comprises a primary bedroom, a kids bedroom, and a family lounge, replete with tailor made furniture, soft furnishings, and art pieces.
Ascending the level above, the second floor consists of a bedroom with an attached bath, a well equipped gymnasium, and a puja room flanking a terrace that opens up towards the sky. What we love about this home is that at its heart, it is built to forge a connection with nature.
Fabricated using laminated wooden panels with rhythmic perforations, the trellis emerges as a unifying element for the residence. It takes the form of a horizontal skylight along the path of the staircase and spreads to encompass the terrace, transforming vertically as a screen to afford a degree of privacy to the second-floor bedroom.
Talking about the challenges faced while designing the abode, Agarwal reveals, “The most challenging as well as rewarding part of our design process was creating cohesion between the refurbished first floor spaces and the newer volumetric addition of the second floor. The result is resplendent—a crisp external visage designed to protect the sanctity of a warm, inviting interior ambience, as if the house was always supposed to be this way.”
While Envelope exemplifies a place of refuge and urges us to revel in art influenced interiors. its zenith lies in its ecological interventions. The south-facing front facade with a high barrier wall at the entrance and deeply recessed massing is designed to reduce solar radiation for ambient living spaces in the summer months, The terrace remains shaded through the day. Glare-free daylight is encouraged into the spaces, while a perforated trellis screens the bedroom, preventing direct light ingress from the west.
“Homes are like authored biographies, and to truly animate a client’s vision, one must begin by understanding them. Translating their requirements into reality while ensuring the solution entails tastefully stylized spaces that elevate their aesthetic sensibilities—that is the true objective of the architect”, concludes Agarwal.
If this contemporary urban refuge captured your heart, we bet you will love this weekend home by Studio Onedot6!