Studio MAT Architects, spearheaded by Harsh Soneji, conceptualizes and designs a serene and plant-filled apartment dubbed- Urban Grove- for a nature-lover client in Mumbai. The architect got inspired by the enthusiasm and love that the client had for the gorgeous plants that she had cared for almost 4 years. "That's when we decided them to be a center stage for the apartment, and our design would just imbibe those values and highlight them furthermore," says Soneji. The project redefines the relationship of the interior spaces with the outdoors. Its planning is free-flowing and open in nature, such that the spaces flow from the living to the dining to the kitchen without any walls or partitions, giving it a seamless feel. SURFACES REPORTER (SR) finds this home a true jewel amidst the lush greenery. The design team has shared more details of the project. Scroll down to read. Also, don't forget to take a virtual tour of the entire house through the video shared at end of this post:
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Feel The Rustic Minimalism
Overlooking the majestic eastern waterfront, you can see the link flamingoes at a distant salt pan in all their glory. A large part of designing the apartment was about redefining the relation of the interior spaces with the outdoors.
To create spaces and environments that appreciate the outdoors. One of the ideologies common while designing was to keep the feel as serene and simple as possible. The shell can be described as minimal with a rustic feel. The rustic leather finish travertine wall gives the whole space a character that imbibes our clients' love for nature and the outdoors.
The huge balconies welcome the view of the eastern waterfront and lush green mangroves making the inside-outside connection so very seamless. This becomes a space to ponder and lookout. This travertine contrasts with the teak. The materiality of these two elements is the highlight of the house. We can see the material consistency of this combination flowing even in the bedroom.
Bold Furnishings Add Quirkiness
The furniture and decor in the space have their own character and attitude. The bold prints of the chair, rugs, bench, and cushions accentuate the shell even more. In contrast to that, the sofas are kept muted and understated.
The bold prints of these furniture pieces have been curated to add an element of quirk and unexpectedness to the house. It comes off as a pleasant contrast to the very understated and rustic shell.
As you enter the house you feel like you are entering an urban jungle, you are greeted by the Draco-Dracaena Draco that has its own presence in the living room. The ponytail palm - Beauharnais recurvata gives the space an exotic feel, the devil's ivy- Epipremnum aureum casually drops off the top ledge beautifully complimenting the travertine on the back.
These plants are backed by rugged travertine; stone sculpture gives the space a very enchanted feel. Zanzi, Aglomana, Broken heart, Pepero mania, Money tree, Moss stick- money plant, and Figs are just a few more members of the plant family that have to hound their place in the house.
Also Read: Rooted in Wabi-Sabi Philosophy, Malabar Hill apartment by Ashiesh Shah Is An Art Gallery | Mumbai
Eclectic Design Style Defines The Interiors
The decor in the house is eclectic. Each item has been curated over time by the client from her travels, heirlooms, experiences and memories, all have found a place in the house giving it a very unique feel.
The wall paintings are very inspirational pieces of art by Shrinivas and Ravi. These two pieces not only add the color element to the house but also is a constant inspiration to people looking at them.
The sketch artwork is a gift, especially for the house by artist Sandeep Nalawade. This artwork accentuates the bare and rustic feel of the travertine wall setting a background for the stone sculpture.
An Elegant Combination of Old and New
The decor strategy was a combination of old and new. The old stone chakki, brass vessels and utensils that had been worked on by the ladies of the house were passed down to the client and found a place in the decor of the house.
These pieces are special and each has a story behind them. They become a storehouse of memories and an object of pride for the client.
The box of memories, le serene, the wild and the tamed, enchanted abode, and the elegance of the rustic are some of the characteristics of this urban grove. It's a piece of oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city.
A Tranquil Apartment By Studio MAT Architects in Mumbai
Architecture Firm: Studio MAT Architects
Principal Architect: Harsh Soneji
Design team: Harsh Soneji, Pratha Bhagat
Area: 1200 sqft
Location: Crescent Bay, Parel, Mumbai, India
Completed: Feb 2022
Photo Credits: Kshan collective
Contractor: Bhagwati interiors Instagram: @bhagwati.interior
Plant curation: Vibhava Sawant
Rugs: Jaipur rugs
Chair and Center table: Magnolia
Floor lamp: Pepperfry
Cushion covers: India circus
Side table: Freedom tree
Charcoal Painting: Sandeep nalawade
Bedding: Sarita Handa
Sculpture: The Bombay store
Yellow chair: IKEA
Plants: Passion green
About the Firm
Studio MAT focuses on creating contextually appropriate designs . The nature of the practice has been to use the immediate local canvas to our advantage to craft spaces that are ecologically sound and naturally beautiful. Their forte is attention to detail and customisation. Honesty to design, client satisfaction, and sustainability are the driving forces, along with the ability to constantly explore & evolve. The firm is dedicated to unique design approaches adapted to each project, and achieving a balance between functionality & aesthetics, context, climate, material, cost & time frame.
Pratha Bhagat and Harsh Soneji, Studio MAT Architects
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