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Beach Beauty

Posted by
on March 28, 2014 at 06:09 PM

Architect Kayzad Shroff with his architect wife Maria I J Leon owns a firm called ShroffLeon which was set up in Ithaca, New York in 2008 and later moved to Mumbai. ShroffLeon projects span across scales - from small residential projects, architectural installations or artifacts, to large urban schemes – with each project geared towards maximizing inherent latent potential, performance and value through fine-tuned work methodologies. Featured here is a beach house refurbishment project in Alibag, done by the architect duo – which Kayzad shared with The Future of Design.

© Courtesy of ShroffLeon

A young and dynamic creative studio with a burgeoning reputation as a professional organization known for its innovative solutions, the ShroffLeon practice thrives on energy, enthusiasm and fresh thinking. The design methodology is characterised by a deep inquiry and an intellectual collaborative exchange: the design work being informed by intensive research and an experimental approach. The firm continually strives to create environmentally responsible design solutions whilst creating spaces that establish healthy connections; fluid exchanges between inhabitants and their environments. We tend to view even the most demanding and complex client needs as opportunities to create truly innovative architectural solutions that are intended to meet and habitually surpass client expectations. The strength of their studio lies in inspired conceptual thinking, backed by the demonstrated experience, skills and technical expertise to competently translate abstract ideas into reality. 

Situated on a heavily contoured site boasting of views overlooking the ocean, the project involved primarily the refurbishment of an existing bungalow with a major emphasis on the landscaping. This holiday home belonging to a Mumbai-based business family comprises but three bedroom suites. It finds focus in the creation of multiple outdoor zones of relaxation and entertainment, each with their own character, ambiance and usage protocol.

The opening up of the existing fenestration makes for a feeling of complete openness, hinting at a redefined programmatic flow. With the programmatic re-alignment of the swimming pool as the new hearth of the home, each of the spaces opens onto the deck area, forging a blurring of the boundary between the insides and the outside. The creation of spatial pockets within the 100 foot long deck allows for micro zones though the placements of sun loungers, day beds, swings and planters. 

An extension of this deck, taking advantage of the existing site geography creates an open pavilion that sets focus on the linearity of the white pool, and a viewing deck opening on to the water-body beyond. 


A breakfast patio in the entrance courtyard on the side opposite to the pool connects the front  to the primary living area though the living, with the three merging seamlessly into each other upon the opening up of the doors. A corten steel feature wall in conjunction with an existing stone wall forms a semi private enclosure outside the family room, for smaller gatherings, with an ambiance enhanced by the sound of water.

At sundown, the space magically changes - with the lighting used to both define, and enhance different zones; and the pool takes on a dimension of its own, with close to a 1000 fibre optic lights; selectively illuminating its various facets.

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