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Home > With a Stark Palette, Soft Curves & Hints of Azul Blue, This Mumbai Apartment Sure Makes a Statement

With a Stark Palette, Soft Curves & Hints of Azul Blue, This Mumbai Apartment Sure Makes a Statement

DIG Architects uses Nordic design as a base from which to craft a Mumbai apartment for a family of five

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The entire apartment works on the principal of a greyscale offset by the crystal white marble floor and Oak wood elements. A touch of blue (Azul) was added in a bid to mark spaces and act as points of interest

Design Firm: DIG Architects
Location: Mumbai
Size of the plot: 2100 square feet; 195 square metres
Number of bedrooms: 4
Date of completion: 2022
Lead Architects: Amit Khanolkar and Advait Potnis
Photography by: Sebastian Zachariah       

The client wanted a simple and calm space with Nordic roots that allows an atmosphere for other people to come together at the social level

When we think of Nordic design a very clear image forms – a space that at its core imbibes minimalism and understated design. The language is complemented by a palette of soft neutral colours, light wood and warm metal accents. This 4-bedroom apartment for a family of five showcases the characteristic minimalism of Nordic design that has been flipped on its head by a dark colour palette of greys and black. The starkness has been softened by introducing seamless curved geometry, the warmth of wood and a hint of ‘Azul’ to the palette.

The entrance alcove creates an arresting visual, giving the visitor a sense of what is to come 

On entering, one is greeted by an alcove – a space to pause. The niche creates an arresting visual with a light wood bench, a minimal wall art installation and the curved geometry of the walls and ceiling. The bench is a doubly curved surface which emphasizes its geometry and builds upon the language of the soft curves.  “We used soft curves as a design tool and started scooping out spaces to create thresholds.  We have tried to continue this design language into the small bits of product designs – coffee table, bar console – where these geometries then continue to generate their form. Extending further, we created wall art installations that have a better dialogue with the primary design language rather than going for market ready, off-the-shelf options,” Amit Khanolkar explains.

The entrance to the apartment
The house has been articulated in a way that the passage has become a transition from one space to another

The home, which started out as a bare shell of two adjoining apartments, required thoughtful restructuring to weave spaces in a way that would sit well with the existing structural grid of beams, columns and services. The architects made use of the false ceiling as the unifying element that extends from the social areas to the private ones to create thresholds between the inside and outside. “It demonstrates that while the house is divided into rooms by walls, the movement of bodies and infrastructure follows the logic of a landscape, extending and contracting spaces to connect daily practices,” Khanolkar says. 

The living room
The living room has a long cross-sectional Hampton corner sofa accompanied by the Veneto arm chair both from Bo Concept. A custom designed coffee table connects these two along with a hand knotted grey rug by Weavers Knot spanning the entire area.
A custom designed bar counter sits on the wall of the room while lighting from Lightbox and accessories and art by Jagdish Suthar elevate the vignette

The entrance alcove leads to the social areas of the home with the living room on the right and dining area on the left. The two are separated by a linear, vertically slatted partition. Explains Khanolkar, “(One) challenging space was the dining room. By virtue of placement, the dining room has no direct source of natural light as it’s wedged between living and bedroom space. The challenge was to get the natural light into the space. This issue was resolved by having a slatted partition that extended the entire length between living and dining space.” 

Wedged between the living room and the private spaces is the centrally located dining room featuring furniture by Tonon and Molteni&C

Due to its central location, the dining area becomes the apartment’s main transitional space connecting the social areas with the bedrooms. “The strategically placed soft curves create niches that smoothen the flow across spaces to follow the crux of overall planning,” he continues.  

Following the flow from the dining area, one is subtly led to the master bedroom, which is preceded by the curvilinear temple space. “At the heart of the house, this object was designed in a way to create privacy and at the same time give a hint of the space within.”  

The master bedroom
The master bedroom features a soft Scandinavian material palette, furniture from Meroni & Colzani and Bo Concept as well as lighting from Lightbox
The master bathroom features a walk-in closet area and insitu MOP cement tiles throughout the volume

The master bedroom is characterised by subtle visuals with one interesting accent being the fluted panels on opposite sides of the room. Awash in a palette of grey and wood, a pop of blue in the wall art creates a delicate yet striking effect. A pared back, almost industrial-style four poster bed adds a layer of understated grandeur. 

One son’s bedroom sees a long curving veneered wall accompany the entrance; a large artwork with unitary curve, charcoal grey ceiling and black metal skirt help frame this long entity
The second son’s bedroom is a long cuboid with a sleeping space on one end and a lounging/seating space on the other. A long console runs the length of the window and transforms into a headboard
In the daughter’s bedroom, a platform bed made of Oakwood spans the length and features a built-in headboard with slatted panel

What’s remarkable about the design is that even though the home is dominated by darker colours there exists a sense of lightness to the language. “We set out with our design process to do justice to the Nordic genre by practicing control and consistency throughout the space. We hoped to create a (home) that was fluid, seamless, soft, functional and unique,” Khanolkar concludes. 

The original layout of the twin apartments
The architects thoughtfully transformed the two apartments into one that worked with the original structure
Final layout of the home


Story by Nadezna Siganporia


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