A private bungalow at Ahmadnagar, it is a small yet beautifully executed design. The only brief received from Parvez Damania before beginning the design was that beside his immediate family, consisting of his parents and his brother Vispi, we had to house his prize collection of contemporary Indian artists.
Located at the core and in the midst of a courtyard is the double height circular skylit staircase drum around which the house has been conceptualized. This is the symbolic soul of the house acting as a living and meeting space. Radial passages from here traverse the courtyard to broaden into bedrooms. The free form of the pool between the bedroom wings helps to soften the rigid geometry of the stone and blend harmoniously the landscape and the building through a multitude of reflections.
Before starting the interior work we were given a basic brief, " I don't want anything flimsy or frilly, the furniture must be sturdy, strong and masculine. "Furniture and flooring must compliment as well as dramatize the spatial form. Trying to follow this philosophy we chose Art Deco furniture, for this seemed to suit the style of the architecture best. A considerable amount of research and a number of meetings with Mrs.Dubash who was coordinating our loose furniture finally proved fruitful and we managed to achieve something practical sturdy and masculine like the client wanted and simultaneously make a bold statement, like the architecture.
In the dining room the 14 seater dining table and side units in solid teak and black granite resemble a FLW design with its clean straight lines and austere look; while a set of specially designed armchairs in velvet and black lacquer in the living room are reminiscent of a 1930's setting. The wall sconces in copper and black which were specially designed, an antique Art Deco table in the dining lobby and Mackintosh chairs at the entrance all enhance the look. Adding a splash of colour to this predominantly black and tan ensemble is Awachats colourful clown above the dining table while 10 feet of Laxman Shrestha dominates the living room wall.
The portrait of a drinking woman in green by Sunil Das proclaims the bar, also, here marble breaks way for a teak floor. An antique Art Deco unit doubles up as the bar with green leather upholstered bar stools, sofas, green stained wood paneling and skirting carving out a man's comer in an already very manly house.
The circular drum provides the perfect backdrop for the sweep of the staircase along one half of it with its double height panels of lead jointed stained glass in subtle shades of browns, yellows and greens and simultaneously doubles as gallery housing a series of black and white paintings by Badrinarayan and Imtiaz Dharker. Hussain. Hirlekar and Jatin Das adorn the walk of the bedrooms which branch from the drum.. The three family rooms are on the ground floor and the guest bedrooms on the upper floor.
The three family rooms are occupied by Father Cawas, Brother Vispi and Parvez himself. Each bedroom suite is complete with dressing rooms and toilets, the design of each being individualistic within the parent Art Deco style, with its grooved bands, solid wood paneling and multi-coloured wood inlays.
The flooring throughout the house is a combination of white and green marble with accents in red and black with more elaborate patterns in the staircase drum and entrance lobby, thus playing up the geometry of these spaces.
Finally what becomes apparent in the design is that it is not only a juxtaposition of masses but, each mass is a three representation of its function in plan without any ambiguity or pretentiousness.