Private green space is at a premium in every city. In a colossal metropolis like Mumbai, with a population estimated at 20 million, it’s like gold dust. You have to be inventive if you want to carve out your own little sanctuary, particularly if you fancy living in the swanky Altamount Road neighbourhood, where many of India’s richest families have their homes.
Inventive is certainly the way to describe this property, a bright, airy, single-storey dwelling surrounded by a spacious terrace with views to die for, right in the heart of a district famed for its beautiful gothic and neoclassical buildings. How was it possible? Architect and interior designer Jannat Vasi explains: “I was asked to design this apartment as an add-on to the rooftop of one of the heritage buildings in this part of South Mumbai. To maintain the existing old-world charm, we haven’t changed the façade. The contrast and the contextual placement makes this modern home very interesting.”
Load-bearing constraints meant one of the main challenges was creating a light-enough framework for the new house. The existing water tanks and air-con units on the roof also had to be relocated and concealed within the design. With these issues solved, Vasi could turn her attention to the look of the apartment both inside and out. The owners, a couple who work in real estate and fashion, had put good storage, plenty of daylight and a strong connection with the garden at the top of their wish list.
Vasi was happy to oblige. She started with the garden, devoting half of the rooftop to three terraces – a large one on the west and an even bigger one on the east, with a slim one running along the southern edge to link them. East and west have generous seating areas, with plenty of space for alfresco dining. The former also has one particularly striking feature: “The clients had asked for an awning to partially cover the terrace just outside their bedroom,” says Vasi
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