A rustic weekend villa in Ahmedabad by DPA Design Studio blends tropical modernism with Balinese elegance
DEC 15, 2023 | By Virender Singh
Sequestered from the urban mayhem, an equatorial calm steals over dense plantations and fruit trees enveloping a cluster of luxuriant homesteads in Bavla, Gujarat. Daydreaming under a pergola, afternoon cat-naps on deck chairs and even getting your hands dirty in a greenhouse — it is almost too incredible to believe that such a languorous existence could be possible just 40 minutes out of Ahmedabad.
Nonetheless this is how most weekends transpire at Forrest Trails, an artisanal farmhouse township developed along Adroda Road by the real estate visionaries of Pacifica. One of these small holdings, sprawled across approximately 9000 sq. ft. in plot area, becomes the canvas for a bewitching tropical retreat by Dhaval Patel of DPA Design Studio in the antiquated Balinese typology.
A preliminary round of discussions with his client yielded two seemingly opposite goals for Patel: “to harmoniously integrate with the surrounding natural environment, while offering lavish comforts and amenities one would expect from a top-tier resort villa.”
The challenge lay in creating a sense of expansiveness within a compact landscape. This was masterfully addressed through dense plantations and a shrewdly labyrinthine configuration imbuing mysticality to this oasis that doesn’t yield its secrets all at once.
A feeling of serene expanse
As soon as you enter, a pebbled cobalt walkway weaves around this sculptural stone birdbath smothered with lily pads, unfurling into luminescent terracotta flooring that sets the tone for a peerless experience.
Cocooned among a menagerie of quaint horse figurines and curated lawn installations polished with beeswax, you arrive at the focal point of the outdoor space, which is an alang-alang thatch roof gazebo. Whether you want to read a book in unperturbed solitude or host an intimate soirée, this storybook hideout lends character and cultural ambience.
For the interiors, Patel envisaged a rustic chic prototype that consorts with a neutral colour palette and bespoke wooden décor sourced from local Asian markets.
The interconnected layout underscores a signature linearity to regulate mobility across common areas. Panoramic windows usher in supple daylight, revealing a living room full of collected artefacts and textural beauty.
Tallying for a semi-arid climate, the Michael Angelo marble flooring and breathable limo coat plaster on the walls embody an insular commitment to creating a space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally conscious.
High vaulted ceilings of red oak veneer with PU finish add to a sense of richly grained durability, unlikely to warp or split over time, keeping up an ageless sophistication.
Episodes of turquoise and rattan
The back-to-nature artistry invades further into the kitchen, rattan shutters set within veneer frames for storage cabinets and a foldable dining ensemble pay obeisance to cutting-edge ergonomics. A central corridor leads to the bedrooms, each adorned with ensuite bathrooms, all of them overlooking a shimmery pool.
The serendipitous blue polish on headboards, woven cane lampshades and handpicked accents purloined from the vernacular lend a pleasantly bohemian touch, seamlessly integrating with the surrounding greenery.
In terms of sustainability, the villa orchestrates a fluid overture of natural ventilation and lighting, while enclosed water bodies aid in circulating cool air. Patel’s design intent dwells upon a curious intersection between radical self-reliance and boutique hospitality, coalescing Balinese traditions and tropical modernism into an unforgettable Arcadian anchorage, where birdsong and sibilant breezes transport you to a magical realm.You may also like: Whispers of the Dunes, Mumbai home by O’Nest Interiors is where simplicity reigns the chart