Let the light in: This Isprava mansion in Goa designed by FADD Studio is a symphony of nuanced elegance and contextual sophistication
DEC 19, 2023 | By Ankita Rathod
Nestled amidst verdant foliage and tranquil meadows, we are greeted by the majestic presence of sentinel banyan trees, with gnarled roots and outstretched branches serving as a poignant reminder of the ephemerality of time. As we approach the grand entrance of the Estate de Frangipani mansion, the trees appear to extend a subtle invitation, beckoning guests to enter a dreamlike realm where the harmonious convergence of multiplicity and grace, palpably meld with nature.
We are referring to probably the largest Isprava mansion—standing tall against the lush backdrop of the Assagao fields in Goa, owned by investment banker Varun Talukdar and his wife Pooja Gupta, former Miss Universe.
Spanning a massive one acre plot, the estate boasts a spacious 9,000 sq ft of living space designed by the EDIDA-winning design atelier, FADD Studio of Bengaluru.
Filled with a plethora of breathtaking outdoor amenities, including a sprawling lawn, a serene yoga deck, a lavish swimming pool and a picturesque glasshouse— the home offers serenity from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
And, the interiors are just as grand, with an elaborate livingand dining room, a macaron-floor study, and two elegantly appointed guest bedrooms, in addition to the couple’s personal chambers on level two.
The design language is a symphony of delicate elegance and contextual sophistication. Stately Renaissance-era aesthetic of the architecture is juxtaposed with the cutting-edge, modern flair of the interiors, creating a melodic blend of past and present.
“While the exterior of the home exudes colonial grandeur and palatial splendour, the interior design brief called for a decidedly modern sensibility,” reveals Dhaval Shellugar, Principal Designer at FADD Studio, which he co-founded with Farah Ahmed Mathias.
Every detail—from the multi-material main entrance featuring a striking door to the magnificent foyer adorned with mirrored consoles and unique ceiling mouldings has been carefully considered in the design process.
“The idea was to add a touch of understated opulence. So we decided to go with a grand arch in the living room ceiling and marry that with a flat diamond ceiling, combined with a refined selection of accessories, niches and fabrics, boasting of vintage lights and tribal art as a testament to the careful attention to detail,” shares Dhaval, a design graduate from the prestigious Rachana Sansad School of Interior Design.
Interestingly, despite the use of a variety of materials and styles, the skin of the home is imbued with classic details. Where cloudy beige walls meet crisp white ceilings, an all-black fireplace is surrounded by modern furniture, and a beautifully defined ballerina stairway connects the home’s floors.
Even the two bedrooms above and below are crafted with a discerning selection of colours and materials. The flooring is consistent throughout with simple and neutral wood, broken only by a rug style patch courtesy printed tiles from Bharat Floorings, evoking a sense of tastefulness.
The most fascinating part of the house according to Farah is the ‘spine’ which is a long, narrow, and ethereal passage, constructed with a soothing lime floor, putti waxed walls, and a curved ceiling that appears to reach for the heavens. “We call it the passage to heaven!” she says of the celestial pathway, tastefully adorned with tribal accessories in specially carved out niches to add to the mystical ambiance of the passage.
“Indeed, it is the unexpected opulence that truly astounds,” Farah observes, adding how the unified aesthetic is achieved through the judicious selection of a muted and rather mature colour palette. “We had a very controlled palette, you can see most of it is beige, black, camel, brown, hints of navy blue. In fact, the outhouse, which serves as both a study and a guest chamber, is the only area in the house where we have gone wild, with a macaron floor and colourful furniture, and it truly stands out as a visual delight.”
Crafted from the ever-so-delicate macaron tile, the flooring in the study is a symphony of pastels, perfectly complementing a mustard sofa-bed and a coral bookshelf.
With his characteristic wit and playfulness, Dhaval on the other hand describes this room as ‘the Black sheep’ of the household, yet seamlessly blending in, much like the multi-coloured member of a familial unit.
Overall, the colour scheme unites even the most vibrant elements of the home, creating an eloquent aesthetic that is both soothing and zen-like. Estate de Frangipani is an oxymoron in its own right, exuding palatial grandeur while embracing simplicity, offering both openness and intimacy and striking a perfect balance between minimalism and opulence.
This Neoclassical shell, when combined with contemporary art and furniture, creates a one-of-a-kind and unparalleled sensibility, much like the Frangipani flower after which it is named!