by Zohra KhanApr 15, 2020
A congruent influence of Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret informs the furniture, art and muted green interiors of Ash Abode, a duplex residence designed by Bengaluru-based FADD Studio. Located in Gurugram, India, the dwelling hosts high ceilings and modern furniture pieces, displaying a home grounded in simplicity, clean lines and solid colour blocks. Bold Japanese elements create additional Zen and drama in the residential design by FADD Studio founders Farah Ahmed and Dhaval Shellugar.
Designed for a family of four, Ash Abode is spread across 464.5 sqm, and consists of four bedrooms, an earthy study room and a plush living and dining space. The client’s brief was simple yet challenging - they wanted the house to have a ‘modern and minimalistic look and feel’. The double-height central living area expands the duplex and gives the house more volume. All walls are treated in a soothing, cement finished greenish grey tint, which gives the interiors a distinct, classic and earthy feel. The rust coloured floors present a striking contrast to the sage walls. “The focus is on the textural quality of these materials and colours to achieve a sober and minimalistic look. The furniture is neutral, with natural and earthy materials like cane and teak, as opposed to the bedrooms which observe more colour,” says Ahmed.
Ahmed and Shellugar share that while designing, they were “deeply inspired by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret – their deep sienna passage of the Villa La Roche, their Chandigarh series and the general polychromatic feel of some of their work.” Corbusier’s purist canvases led them towards the sombre colours for Ash Abode’s shell. They continue, “We wanted cement finishes for the whole home and surprisingly, the clients were very open to that. The marble floor needed covering so poured cement was not only a cost-effective solution, but also one that gave a large palette of colours to choose from”.
One design decision FADD Studio was adamant about was to not employ white in the duplex. The sophistication of the space is informed by the unusual palette of the cement finished grey, sienna and sage colours, akin to the colour blocks observed in Villa La Roche. The walls, ceilings and floors although rendered in different hues have a matte material commonality. The large connecting passage is painted in a refreshing leafy green, while natural brown and green coloured fabrics are intentionally used to preserve the sobriety of the residential architecture. Hints of copper are seen as accents to the space – the copper main door, bedroom doors with copper borders and a few bedroom lights.
Woven mid-century modern furniture in wood and leather spans across the Ash Abode, to further synchronise its restrained interiors. The hallway sees armchairs similar to the ones created by Corbusier and Jeanneret for Chandigarh. The bedrooms create a more intimate, homely atmosphere. One of the children’s bedrooms observes colours in putty finish, in the presence of a soft lilac bed with a geometric backdrop. The other one has a hand painted floral abstraction by a local artist. The master bedroom is done in an elegant grid in grooved putty as well. “The furniture is a mix of imported brands and locally customised. The natural colours and materials of the furniture design stand out vibrantly against the textured grey walls of the house giving the otherwise serious shell a dash of drama,” says Shellugar.
FADD Studio says that because the interiors present an unfussy, matte shell with a cement texture, they wanted to bring in bold silhouettes and glossy textures to present a contrast. This role was taken up by the larger-than-life central chandelier that focuses the eye without distracting the understated aesthetic of the double-height living room it is set against. Similarly, the dining room light is made up of a black wire that begins at the wall, hinges on the ceiling and drops a modest black shade that softly illuminates the table. “Less is more and it was all that was needed with this set up,” says FADD Studio.
Ash Abode’s refined lighting helps create softness in its clean, stylised spaces. In order to attain intimate lighting for the bedrooms, the designers decided to use materials that would create more shadows and add drama. Wooden slated shades sit comfortably with the stripes on the bed fabric in the guest room; metal and paper lights are used in the children’s bedrooms to create a contrast to the solid bed upholstery; the cane headboard in the master bedroom is complemented by stone and paper lights; a hanging light in the corner of the study adds subtle dynamism while the family room enjoys pretty floor lamps made of cane.
The entrance sees a simple disc in wood "to emulate an eclipse just above the Chandigarh bench. This completed the Zen-meets-mid-century modern look and gave the foyer a burst of life. This home exudes a peaceful and understated vibe, representing the client’s personality in just the right way,” concludes FADD Studio.
From the lighting to the furniture and the soothing colour palette, everything that makes up this stunning duplex design complement one another in the process of bringing out each other’s individuality, much like a harmonic performance by a classical orchestral ensemble.
Name: Ash Abode
Location: Gurugram, Haryana, India
Area: 464.5 sqm
Year of completion: 2020
Architect: FADD Studio
Principal Designers: Farah Ahmed Mathias and Dhaval Shellugar
Project Designer: Dheeraj Dhamu
Art: Nishi Nitya