Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Studio Mumbai's installations at Swiss Embassy

Architecture was the main theme for the Swiss Embassy's 50-year celebrations. The Embassy building built soon after the Chandigarh experiment, at the time when the India International Center was taking shape; is a landmark in the modern Indian design aesthete. Only understandable then, that Studio Mumbai was invited to demonstrate the building blocks of its design thought process, as a stellar example of contemporary Indian architecture.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Finds at ACETECH Mumbai 2013

ACETECH Mumbai just got over today. I wasn't sure what I was going to find there this year but here is what I came away with...

The VIP enclosure special installation was quite neat
A SICIS mirror can add a lot of drama to a plain powder room.
Though not totally new, these ornate tiles at Bhogilal Westend are impressive.

Kohler has these new gold plated faucet sets. In three finishes,  these plated faucets come with a 12 year guarantee. 

I think the previous picture with gold plated faucets came as an addition to this gold, black embellishment on a vintage look basin set, also by Kohler.
An installation for people to sit around and chat. 

Vitra's Istanbul collection by Ross Lovegrove. Seen here is the wc and the shower cubicle.

The washbasin of the Istanbul collection- moulded all so gently!

Vis-a-vis concept installation won them the Gold award
what's a garden setting without some light...
The stall was a show stopper
Wooden wash basins...anyone?
Shower tub from Colston
Klove, the lighting designers now have an addition- that of stone installations
Trust some talented designer to turn things around!
The Armani collection at Kohler, very new & fresh!
Double fired clay which forms these bathroom smarties has bakelite tops in exactly the same finish...Armani at Kohler
3D effect on stone- from Klove
Backyard pools for kids have come a long way from the inflatable ones.
Underlit semi-precious stone floor
A covered outdoor kids' pool
Vis-a-vis installation was hard to put out of mind!
Howz this for a shower cubicle with three jets on either side!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Villa Maya: A new fusion restaurant in Trivandrum

 Fifteen years ago, I had seen this building as a Maruti workshop. Not the swanky posh ones of today, but the dirty grimy dingy ones of yester years. It made me so sad to see a beautiful old building with blackened walls and its heart loaded with crude heavy machinery to lift the cars for servicing etc.  It had drums of oils and grease scattered all over the place as the mechanics used the premises at will.
A few months ago, traveling across Kerala for my forthcoming book, I was delighted beyond words and explanation to see that the same building, an Ammaveedu on the then outskirts of the city, resurrected to be easily one of the most charming restaurants of the country. It is as if the building has finally got what it deserved, having completed the karmic cycle! The three leveled, more than a 100 year old structure, has alfresco as well as multiple indoor dining options. Food served is fusion and the service is in perfect harmony with the elegance of the historical structure. It helps that Preeti Muthoot runs her SKYCHEF Kitchen from the adjacent building and was totally involved in the restoration design work done with the help of a local designer Vinod Thatchen.
An artist's rendition of  these two trees at the entrance is repeated on the front wall inside.

Patios surrounded by water bodies have been added to the structure.

Good enough to take you into another world

The double layered tables have one section that can be pulled up at the time of meals and
otherwise be used as a coffee table

Drool worthy 
Seating is relaxed and pretty much follows the way it was meant to be used as in a dwelling.

The outhouse became the Reception block, simple on the entrance and vibrant on the restaurant side
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All pictures are by Bharath Ramamrutham courtesy Villa Maya

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cool Ideas

As I sit in front of my machine, trying to sort out 1TB data (yes! its been telling me to make room!) I am stumbling upon fun design ideas hoarded behind antiquated dates. Last night I sorted a folder of pictures taken at a Show visited some years ago, before the smartphones came in. Some of the ideas are easily doable and still hold good; I am sharing those today.
Warning: these pictures were taken by a non-fancy phone camera. The quality is not good but the ideas are interesting.  Enjoy!