by Jerry ElengicalSep 08, 2021
Right off the bat, one can see the intent of designing charmingly expansive and subtle spaces within VS House, a family home built on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India. The four-bedroom residence was actually built seven years ago, but has now been skillfully retrofitted into a three-bedroom apartment by Studio Saransh, an architectural studio based in the same city. They inform that the previous house was stripped clean of all its finishes and redesigned from scratch, along with transforming and tweaking the interior spaces and services, to meet the current needs and aesthetic values of their clients Vaibhav Shah and Shivani Rajpurohit; the initial letters of their names lending to their house’s title.
While seeking inspiration, Studio Saransh looked toward the value of simplicity in the works of John Pawson and Norm Architects, along with following a minimal design tone, with a “hint of Indian features to contextualise the overall design”.
We attempted to create effectively simple spaces that sit in delicate harmony, as a stage for the play of light and shadow, while allowing the materials and finishes to be the protagonists. – Malay Doshi, Design Lead, Studio Saransh
Instead of adding more elements, key emphasis has been given to the nature of the materials used to create an intended pacific ambience across the house’s two levels. The largely monotone material palette comprises stone flooring in shades of soft grey, lime wash for all the wall surfaces, and warm, reclaimed teak wood, topped with hints of subdued blue that are used in the furnishings. “We focused on the individual’s visual and tactile journey through the house,” shares the design team. Even the lighting and furniture pieces placed within the roomy private residence highlight its materiality in their modest, bare forms.
Built across a site area of 622 sqm, the residential design occupies a corner plot, which meant that there was surplus space compared to other houses. Studio Saransh decided to include an independent gym finished in black Kadappa stone and hosted in a glass and wood finished pavilion like room, and a wooden jacuzzi spa deck to make educated use of this extra space. The entrance was also redone entirely by adding high boundary walls along with adding a massive parking space with overhead cover. One of the bedrooms was transformed into a roomy private lounge and the service terrace was incorporated into the residence as a study room.
To slightly break the monochromatic look of the grey floor, a combination of leather finished and mirror polished grey Kota stone with intricate patterns has been integrated in its interior design. The same stone continues in linear fashion in the circulation spaces such as corridors, while herringbone patterns dominate the formal living space. Diagonal leather finished black Kadappa is employed in the dusky dining area, and larger pieces of the same are used in the private lounge. Seamless polished surfaces are seen in the kitchen, and wood inlayed with patterns cosy up the bedrooms, courtyards and the study room floor with their warm tones. “A majority of the wood used in the project is reclaimed and the walls are all finished with lime wash. This entire palette has been chosen keeping locally available materials in mind,” mentions the design team.
All the bathrooms have similar patterns done in other coloured Indian stones to complement the visual palette of the entire house. Grey is sustained in the walls and ceilings as well, and this makes the wooden furniture and small coloured elements like cushions and curtains stand out in the softest way. The study is planned as a warm wooden box, recreating a feeling of entering a light filled den isolated from everything else, and is hence, done entirely in timber, from the furniture to the walls and the ceiling.
VS House’s exteriors also harmonise with the interior colour and textural palette. Along with four sit out spaces, the outside includes a wooden jacuzzi deck, a grey Kota stone verandah outside the formal seating and a similarly finished terrace right outside the master bed, and a larger sit-out space near the courtyard, which is finished in brown Kota stone, a material used often in India.
Studio Saransh believes in showcasing the intrinsic qualities of all the materials that they use, in their best and most original form. “In order to achieve this, we always look for the simplest possible design solutions. We attempt to create spaces that correspond perfectly to the needs and tastes of an individual, from the ingress of sunlight in a room to the material used in the façade. With VS House, we have tried to focus on a visual as well as a tactile experience, bringing brick and mortar to life,” they conclude.
Name: VS House
Location: Ahmedabad, Guajarat, India
Area: 464.5 sqm (Built area), 622.45 sqm (site area)
Year of completion: 2020
Architect: Studio Saransh
Design team: Malay Doshi (Design Lead), Kaveesha Shah, Dipti Kotak, Khyati Pankhania, Aashna Khetan, Punit Jain
Landscape: Rachana Creation
HVAC: Airstage Engineers
Lighting: Crystal Palace
Brands/ Products: JC, Jaquar, The Brick Store, Nordic Furniture, Studio Smitamoksh, Pepperfry, Options, Artemis Cast Stone