An Open Studio

Komal Vasa


The project is located in the western suburbs of Mumbai. The site is well lit, with large windows on the northern, eastern and southern exposures. It became crucial to filter this light in and not to lose the cross the ventilation in the space. The builder provided a typical 3 bedroom attached bath layout with lots of selling real estate elements. The clients brief was a complete opposite of the given layout, so a gutted renovation was required to achieve the design. They owners are a young couple with two kids, a daughter who is 10 years and the second child who is 5years old. All four of them are very simple, down to earth, love nature and like to explore and travel. The brief from the first time home makers was really challenging. They had never lived independently and also had never been through any kind of construction work before. Jashvi (the wife) and Komal Vasa were school friends, so from the beginning this project has been close to the designer. They laid out all the physical requirements, but when it came to explain their aesthetical preferences it wasn’t easy to judge. “I don’t like a hotel looking house”, “I want it bright and homely”. This is how far they could describe what they wanted. Komal Vasa and her team provided them with lots of artworks to look at and ask them to simply mark what they felt. Once they had their feedback, it was much easier to understand their visual preferences and what inherently creates and emotion in them. This was a great exercise to allow the client and us to understand what truly moves them. The client also provided a huge list of astronomical elements that they believed in and space needed to incorporate the same without compromise. This was beyond Vaastu and the first for the design team. The concept was to create a sensuous, free flowing space having a powerful impact but in a subtle and textural way inspired by Indian nuances. The design team created a series of Mies inspired panels, to segregate the rooms, either openable, movable or sliding. The need for a shelving system to house their musical instruments and related books etc. was looked into by making a movable bookshelf which also acted as an enclosure to the guest cum art room. The typical builder 3 bedroom apartment has now become an open studio type space with one private room: the master bedroom. This allows enough space for free flowing ballet dance sessions, jugalbandi between father and daughter whilst playing musical instruments, and for the younger daughter space to ride her tricycle – while the mum can be a part of everything in her open kitchen.