Salaam Mumbai

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July 28, 2010
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  Working within the restraints of the sometimes-severe Mumbai weather and around the city's great architectural varieties, not to mention the existing coconut palms and banyan trees, architectural firm Khanna Schultz constructed a 27,000-square-foot-plus, seven-unit modern apartment building with a striking open-air base. At front is the street-side boundary wall made up of a stone base and a planter on top, which is meant to fill in with foliage over time. The curved base of the building is cantilevered about 10 feet. "This has to do with zoning and fire codes," notes Schultz. "But since you don't see the columns, it seems like the whole building is floating."

    Working within the restraints of the sometimes-severe Mumbai weather and around the city's great architectural varieties, not to mention the existing coconut palms and banyan trees, architectural firm Khanna Schultz constructed a 27,000-square-foot-plus, seven-unit modern apartment building with a striking open-air base. At front is the street-side boundary wall made up of a stone base and a planter on top, which is meant to fill in with foliage over time. The curved base of the building is cantilevered about 10 feet. "This has to do with zoning and fire codes," notes Schultz. "But since you don't see the columns, it seems like the whole building is floating."

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  The perforated aluminum cladding surrounds the lower-level public area, which contains the pools and gym for the tenants. Khanna and Schultz played with the idea of using stainless steel, but found that aluminum had the appropriate strength for the building's needs. "With the lights glowing from inside, it turns the whole building into a big lantern at night," says Schultz.
    The perforated aluminum cladding surrounds the lower-level public area, which contains the pools and gym for the tenants. Khanna and Schultz played with the idea of using stainless steel, but found that aluminum had the appropriate strength for the building's needs. "With the lights glowing from inside, it turns the whole building into a big lantern at night," says Schultz.
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  The entrance leads to an open walkway, sitting area and mail area beneath the open-air public floor of the building.
    The entrance leads to an open walkway, sitting area and mail area beneath the open-air public floor of the building.
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  Somewhat by chance, the apartment building's aluminum core references the perforations of the house next door; its interior breezeways also echo those of the neighboring structure.
    Somewhat by chance, the apartment building's aluminum core references the perforations of the house next door; its interior breezeways also echo those of the neighboring structure.
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  The aluminum cladding was left its original silver color; Khanna and Schultz note that it reflects the surrounding colors and can read anywhere in the spectrum from blue to white.
    The aluminum cladding was left its original silver color; Khanna and Schultz note that it reflects the surrounding colors and can read anywhere in the spectrum from blue to white.
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  A view from the street reveals the front and side elevations of the building, with somewhat of an architectural refrain of perforations running up the side of the apartments. The balconies, made from a recycled Indian railway hardwood, employ closely linked slats whose gaps widen as they go up, to allow breeze and light in. To their right are the apartments' bedrooms.
    A view from the street reveals the front and side elevations of the building, with somewhat of an architectural refrain of perforations running up the side of the apartments. The balconies, made from a recycled Indian railway hardwood, employ closely linked slats whose gaps widen as they go up, to allow breeze and light in. To their right are the apartments' bedrooms.
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  An angle showing the interaction between the new building and the house next door, as well as the numerous trees on-site.
    An angle showing the interaction between the new building and the house next door, as well as the numerous trees on-site.
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  "Up until recently the neighborhood had been freestanding houses, but the general development in Mumbai means more and more are being replaced with apartment buildings, which keeps the scale of this project pretty small—coconut palm and banyan trees are still taller," says Schultz.
    "Up until recently the neighborhood had been freestanding houses, but the general development in Mumbai means more and more are being replaced with apartment buildings, which keeps the scale of this project pretty small—coconut palm and banyan trees are still taller," says Schultz.
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  Looking back from the lobby area toward the street; the sidewalk is just beyond the wall at rear. At right is a bench for the residents; at left are the mailboxes, for which Khanna and Schultz chose a bright orange. The pair worked with Forethought Design Consultants on the landscaping, which will eventually grow more lush and provide additional privacy. "In this climate, within a year, it will be completely filled in," says Schultz.

    Looking back from the lobby area toward the street; the sidewalk is just beyond the wall at rear. At right is a bench for the residents; at left are the mailboxes, for which Khanna and Schultz chose a bright orange. The pair worked with Forethought Design Consultants on the landscaping, which will eventually grow more lush and provide additional privacy. "In this climate, within a year, it will be completely filled in," says Schultz.

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  A mirror near the mailboxes in the lobby gives the illusion of more space. A team from Lighting Planners Associates, based in Japan, added the uplights behind the bench for effect. The architectural firm left the ceilings raw concrete to make the space "more enigmatic," says Schultz.

    A mirror near the mailboxes in the lobby gives the illusion of more space. A team from Lighting Planners Associates, based in Japan, added the uplights behind the bench for effect. The architectural firm left the ceilings raw concrete to make the space "more enigmatic," says Schultz.

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  The sliding-gate entrance to the residents' private, 4,900-square-foot pool and gym area.
    The sliding-gate entrance to the residents' private, 4,900-square-foot pool and gym area.
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  The aluminum casing creates a play of light and shadows as the sun moves across the building. A lap pool, at right, spills over into the main pool.
    The aluminum casing creates a play of light and shadows as the sun moves across the building. A lap pool, at right, spills over into the main pool.
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  An interplay of geometries in what Khanna calls "the belly of the building." Uplights create new angles of light, raw concrete retains a rough edge and square pool tiles add texture and color while offsetting the perforated circles. The dropped ceiling at right is part of a small balcony overlooking the pools; beneath it is a sitting area.
    An interplay of geometries in what Khanna calls "the belly of the building." Uplights create new angles of light, raw concrete retains a rough edge and square pool tiles add texture and color while offsetting the perforated circles. The dropped ceiling at right is part of a small balcony overlooking the pools; beneath it is a sitting area.
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  The pull-down scrims over the lap pool move with the breeze within the public space.
    The pull-down scrims over the lap pool move with the breeze within the public space.
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  The owner's apartment, which incorporates a double-height space in some areas, has teak floors, whereas the other units have more industrial concrete floors.
    The owner's apartment, which incorporates a double-height space in some areas, has teak floors, whereas the other units have more industrial concrete floors.
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  Khanna and Schultz introduced a deep, cantilevered overhang to the owner's terrace, which has a pool and a view of the city and the Arabian Sea.
    Khanna and Schultz introduced a deep, cantilevered overhang to the owner's terrace, which has a pool and a view of the city and the Arabian Sea.
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  The side elevation of the building shows the seven 2,500-square-foot apartments, including the owner's two-level penthouse apartment, stacked above the common area downstairs. Image courtesy Khanna Schultz.

    The side elevation of the building shows the seven 2,500-square-foot apartments, including the owner's two-level penthouse apartment, stacked above the common area downstairs. Image courtesy Khanna Schultz.

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