Located on the outskirts of the busy metropolis of Mumbai, India, Airavat provides a welcome respite from city life. The home is situated in the Sahyadri Hills, the Western Ghats, a mountain range that covers an area of some 160,000 square kilomentres and there are sweeping views of the landscape from every direction.
As with every good design, the surrounds have informed the design of Airavat. With natural terracing below, the home is perched on the highest point of the land and this is where the visitor arrives. The concept for Airavat was as ‘a home in the clouds’ and the architects have indeed realised this idea.
The design is a simple intersection between steel and concrete. Two parallel concrete walls act as the main axis cutting across the house to seamlessly connect all the space.
There is a steel bridge that houses the public and entertaining spaces that is suspended between the common areas to the north and the residential block to the south. By inserting a bridge into the design, the natural terrain below is undisturbed.
A triangular courtyard in the centre of the home connects every space and provides a more intimate human scale to the design.
Materiality has been chosen with care, with glass and steel for the public spaces and slate stone for the private areas and these are both anchored into the concrete spine of the house. The materials also inform the colour palette and the natural hues of greys and sand are ever-changing – depending on the time of day or season.
While the design of Airavat is linear and contemporary, the interior is furnished with a cool, clean aesthetic.
A single carved chair or statuary by a wall, intimate furniture groupings for entertaining and relaxing and feature pendant lighting as detail. A simple perforated metal stair leads to the upstairs and appears to float in mid-air, rather like the house itself. An in-ground rectangular pool has also been included in the design, positioned half under the structure of the home and extending to the outside.
This is a home of understated luxury that is perfectly placed in the landscape. It is a place of calm and relaxation certainly, but a design of beauty that pays homage as much to nature as to great design.
As an exemplary practice, reD Architects works across architecture and interiors within the residential, commercial, institutional and healthcare sectors.
Established in 2004, the practice incorporates a process-orientated approach to design to meet a client brief surpassing trends and offering a more enriched spatial experience.
With a team of 30, reD Architects creates projects that are appropriate to place and client, and in Airavat, the design exceeds expectations and delivers a unique lifestyle for the residents.
Architects – reD Architects
Photography – Fabien Charuau