This apartment in Bengaluru is inspired by the aesthetic of modern India
It’s not often that people who live in townhouses choose to move into an apartment. But for Pradnya and Prakash Naik, this shift was driven by the need for more community, a lack of which may have been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic. “Because we were living in an independent house, it was difficult to meet people with whom we had common ground,” says Pradnya.
In June 2020, the Naiks found a seventh-floor apartment in Bengaluru within a gated residential complex. The project was within city limits and met the family’s need for both community and connection, but it was the overlooked lake that sealed the deal. Prakash, who works in construction, realized that because of the lake, no buildings would ever be built there to ruin the view. “We said yes!” First time we saw him! Pradnya remembers laughing.
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To design the house, Naiks enlisted Anand Rao Kurudi, Kajal Gupta, and Adhiti S Gautama from the Motley Fool studio in Bengaluru. “We had worked together in the past, so Prakash was familiar with our rooted approach to materials and craftsmanship,” says Anand. Because the apartment was an abstract structure, the architects were attracted to the idea of being able to “control and modify the design response in a more holistic sense.”
The Nykes Architects’ brief was for a simple house with few traditional elements. Anodized floors were a common thread in Pradnya and Prakash’s grandparents’ homes, where they spent summers as children, and this was the only specific request they had of the architects. The studio began work on the project in December 2021, and two years later, presented the Naik family with a home they have since fallen in love with.
Walk through this 2,770 sq ft apartment in Bengaluru and it’s easy to see why. Studio Motley’s design is confident and clutter-free, setting the stage for lake and light. Beige walls, wood frames and concrete floors lead to rooms where clean-lined furniture shares the spotlight with speckled terrazzo floors (a nod to Carlo Scarpa’s Olivetti showroom). In almost complete contrast to the chaos of the city outside, here, sheer white curtains flutter in the breeze while the light coming through the large windows creates a sense of calm.
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Since the apartment was intended for the Naiks family of three (Pradnya, Prakash and their 11-year-old son Darsh), the architects converted one of the four bedrooms into an office, separated from the living room by sliding wooden doors. A second set of sliding doors opens the living room itself onto the huge balcony overlooking the lake. The Naiks love to entertain and it is not unusual for their parties to extend to this balcony where guests gather to enjoy the weather and view.
A wooden swing, designed specifically for this space, makes this one of Pradnya’s favorite places in the house. “It’s nice and breezy on the porch, and usually, when everyone is home in the evening, the hammock is where we gather,” she says. And oxide floors? The architects inverted the concept and used it as a finish for bathroom walls, with terrazzo as a flooring. “It was like a mixture of old and new, and we said, ‘This looks so much better!’” says Pradnya happily.
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