MS Design Studio delivers an intimate urban sanctuary in the Blue Aperture House

Tucked within a tight neighbourhood in Vadodara, India, this contemporary five bedroom residence possesses an elusive sense of seclusion and old world charm.

by STIRworldPublished on : Mar 22, 2021

Within gated complexes and their tight seated clusters of dwellings, designing a home and ensuring the privacy of its inhabitants is tough - a dilemma architects Manav Patel and Shivangi Patel of MS Design Studio were faced with while working on a five-bedroom house for a client in Vadodara, India. In tackling the constraints imposed, the duo conceived the Blue Aperture House. Completed in January this year, the home serves as an oasis of solitude and a breezy piece of architecture beautifully crafted with exposed brick and perforated screens (jaali).

An exposed brick facade blends in with the context while standing apart from it |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
An exposed brick facade blends in with the context while standing apart from it Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

While local regulations limited the extent of elevation modifications, as per the architects, the project owing to an early start and the site area being an amalgamation of two units of the society gave them free rein in planning and design of the facades. In striving for a home that would blend in yet stand apart from surrounding houses, the front edifice consists of an imposing brick wall against a soft grey background. "Nothing else can beat the timelessness of an exposed brick façade," asserts the designer duo. To accentuate its materiality, a full-height slit window with a perforated yellow screen is added to provide a pop of colour.

Spill-out spaces shield the interiors from public view | MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
Spill-out spaces shield the interiors from public view Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

In addition to five bedrooms, the client had requested a living area, a home theatre, and a garden. To safeguard them from prying eyes, the building's main spaces have been oriented towards the picturesque garden that occupies the property's northeastern corner, with spill-over spaces that conceal them from public view. "On the ground floor,” explain the architects, “these spill-over spaces became the buffer between the garden and the main living spaces, while on the first floor, they got a little colonial makeover through the blue aperture screen". Consisting of louvered windows crowned by ornamental arches, the residence's namesake features functions like a semipermeable screen that regulates visibility inside the home while framing exterior views for its inhabitants.

View of entrance |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
View of entrance Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

The access to the site is through its northern face where a series of steps approach the entrance foyer that lies adjacent to a parking space for two vehicles. Inside, a louvered metal partition featuring lotus motifs hides a staircase leading to the upper floors.

  • The living area overlooks a garden |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
    The living area overlooks a garden Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project
  • Madhubani paintings break the monotony of the panelled backdrop wall |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
    Madhubani paintings break the monotony of the panelled backdrop wall Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

An expansive living room overlooks the garden through a set of sizeable glass doors on its eastern wall. The backdrop wall for this scene - panelled in Jaisalmer stone patta -  is adorned with traditional Madhubani paintings to break its monotony. Upholstered chairs and a stretched-out, L-shaped lounge face a cement finished screen that subtly sequesters the space from the passage and lift lobby.

The kitchen features a perforated white screen |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
The kitchen features a perforated white screen Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

An eight feet-wide passage flows behind the cement screen into a combined kitchen and dining area. A perforated white screen segregates the two zones, continuing the design's recurring use of such elements as space dividers. Bathed in light from an opening that overlooks the garden, the interiors feature beige surfaces interspersed with wooden inserts.

View of floating staircase |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
View of floating staircase Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

A floating concrete staircase sits next to the guest bedroom on the ground floor. Topped with delicate wooden treads and handrails, this transition space ushers you to the first floor where daylight permeates the space through a gracious light well and reveals the home’s most striking installation - a fluid mural created by a local artisan.

  • View of master bedroom |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
    View of master bedroom Image: Ishita Sitwala Courtesy of The Fishy Project
  • A set of arched glass doors lead to the shrine |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
    A set of arched glass doors lead to the shrine Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

A set of arched glass doors compose the entrance to a temple at the end of the first-floor passage. Adjacent to this space, the master bedroom reveals itself, highlighted in an antique brass jaali as part of the bed’s wooden backside erected against a royal blue backdrop. A cozy lounge chair and dark tile flooring complete the space, giving it a formal albeit relaxed ambience.

  • The mother’s bedroom tends towards earthy tones |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
    The mother’s bedroom tends towards earthy tones Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project
  • Terrazzo flooring, macrame artwork and geometric motifs combine in the children’s bedroom |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
    Terrazzo flooring, macrame artwork and geometric motifs combine in the children’s bedroom Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

On the opposite side of the passage is the mother's bedroom, characterised by softer, earthier palette, pale grey walls and dark wood furniture. This space is linked to the master suite by a spill-over area, veiled by the blue aperture screens. Terrazzo flooring, powder blue walls, handpicked ceramic and macrame artwork, and geometric motifs imbibe a playful vibe inside the children's bedroom.

View of guest bedroom |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
View of guest bedroom Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

The guest bedroom on the top floor sports a back wall with a grid of small ogee arch niches that inject a traditional Indian aesthetic into an otherwise contemporary space.

An intimate private sanctuary screened from public view |MS Design Studio| Vadodara, India | STIRworld
An intimate private sanctuary screened from public view Image: Ishita Sitwala, Courtesy of The Fishy Project

Embodying MS Design Studio's focus on detailing, the space is at home within its context while retaining a contemporary outlook that is strikingly unique. Shaped by site conditions and client requirements, the Blue Aperture House is an intimate sanctuary in a tight-knit, bustling neighbourhood that marries contemporary elegance with a sense of old-world charm.

Project Details

Name: Blue Aperture House
Location: Vadodara, India
Site Area: 3400 sq ft
Built Up Area: 5500 sq ft
Architect: MS Design Studio
Year Of Completion: 2021

(Text by Jerry Joe Elengical, intern at STIRworld.com)

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