– Co-authorded by Esha Pandya Choksi and Aashni Pandya Kumar (for Studio Flamingo)
Paying homage to the rich Goan-Portuguese architectural tradition, Isprava’s Fairview Estate in Goa finds itself in the midst of beautifully landscaped gardens leading to uninterrupted views of untamed farmlands.
Complete with 4 ensuite bedrooms, this charming structure opens up into balconies, verandahs, sprawling lawns, and a swimming pool merging into lush greens. The design language we chose for the interiors of this holiday home strives to create a rendezvous between the old Goan-Portuguese architectural details and contemporary India under a discreetly luxurious guise. The home comes alive with handcrafted design details, customised furniture, curated antiques and walls punctuated with earthen art installations by Indian artisans. While this theme sets the tone of the home and dominates the visual experience of the space, the design concept at the heart of this project makes an impact on the subconscious mind on two levels.
One, we aimed to invoke a deep sense of the charmed past to generate the emo-tion of nostalgia. We find that nostalgia has the power to engulf, transport and break one away from the daily hum-drum of life, much like a holiday home is meant to do. However, our endeavour was deeper than planting heritage pieces of furniture and details in the space. Instead, we masqueraded known heritage furniture pieces and design details by presenting them in a more streamlined minimalistic manner. By adopting this technique, we not only ensured that the form reminded one of the past but also ensured that the fresh modern presentation took one by surprise and made way for intrigue.
Further, we included the dying crafts of pottery and cane weaving into the space. Apart from helping us further infuse the old world charm, the inclusion of these was a deliberate attempt to use the walls and pieces of furniture as canvases and message boards to promote and celebrate traditional Indian arts and crafts that are increasingly threatened by the onset of factory made foreign goods. Especially with respect to pottery, we used familiar products like bowls and pitchers and planted them where one would not generally find them to be – on walls as art installations. By doing this, we ensured that these elements would not go unnoticed, and perhaps a dialogue would ensue.
Secondly, our goal was to enable the experiencer to transport across two ends — from the chaotic world outside to the quiet transcendental world inside. Human beings have an innate desire to seek connection with all of nature, and in creating a space that supports this inner longing, the design intent was achieved. The interior layout is planned such that upon interaction with any space of the home, the experiencer is usually faced with an opening to connect him or her to the natural world outside. Further, building materials and their forms of expressions were curated with great precision to not only evoke a visual response, but more importantly to ensure that tactile experience was enhanced.
The choice of materials for this space is rustic, earthy and rich in texture, which impresses a sense of belonging upon the subconscious mind. While we celebrated these materials in the space, we were cognisant of the fact that the manner in which these materials interacted with each other needed to be controlled in order to achieve the desired end goal. This idea prompted us to adopt a technique of repetition – a set of architectural details, building materials and a tone-on-tone colour scheme echo intermittently throughout the space bringing a sense of rhythm to the home, and calm to the expe encer. The exercise of maintaining a balance, between the old and the new and between man made elements and nature, ultimately converged into the physical identity of Fairview Estate.
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