-This isn't a newly built house,yet none of the 1000 odd guests at the inaugural bash could believe it was the same structure that had stood there since the 80's.
When we were approached by clients about 4 yrs back for this project,they almost gave us a carte blanche. They were ready to bring the house down and rebuild as they had made the most of the old house (built by the previous generation with Victorian column embellishments and a grand circular marble spiral staircase) and wanted a completely contemporary look.
Instead of starting off with a new design,to challenge ourselves we thought why not try and work with what we have and see what we can come up with ? We gave ourselves two months to try and work on the old plans to bring them up to speed with new requirements (failing which we would have started developing plans for a new house), and at transforming the character of the house. What followed was an intense period of 'editing'- additions and deletions that eventually make up this 12,500 sq feet home.
Additional rooms got cantilevered over existing structure ( for example the copper clad gym overlooking the front garden is a newly added cantilevered steel structure,as are the guest rooms and the steel and glass study attached to the master suite ) , redundant spaces got axed / demolished, new spaces were created wherever possible ( the new dining room was created by enclosing a part of the rear garden ) ,the grand spiral marble staircase fell a victim to the reorganizing,replaced instead by a sleek metal and stone one, in a different part of the house. The 10' diameter hole left in the sloping slab as a result of this got transformed into a skylight, and the roof got sheathed in a layer of black slate !
At the onset the clients had expressed their preferred palette of materials- adding to that further,we worked with a range of materials such as grey granite,silver-grey travertine,white marble ,blonde woods, steel and glass,to create a bespoke house that imparted a 'fresh' and 'cool' ( Hyderabad has a 'hot' dry climate) feel. The large garden too underwent a complete make over with the addition of a new pool and a pavilion with it.
As a designer,my greatest reward was when my client on returning from a long holiday to NY exclaimed that no fancy hotel anywhere in the world now gives her as much enjoyment as the comfort of her own home !
Designteam: Rajiv Saini & Associates