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This colourful mansion in Dahod, Gujarat, India designed by DA Architects belongs to a family of Dawoodi Bohras, a small trading community within the Ismaili branch of Shia Muslim. It’s a first-of-its kind home tour featured here; the bungalow’s interior design is deeply rooted in the cultural beliefs of the family and the architectural legacy of a community.
Expect to see liberal use of solid teak wood, Moroccan patterned tiles, carved jaali doors, tinted glasses and arches reminiscent of the Mughal era.
About the project:
Who lives here: A Dawoodi Bohra community family of 5 members. Murtuza & Zehra along with their 2 kids (younger son & elder daughter) & father.
Location: Dahod, Gujarat, India
Year Built: 2018
Type: a private bungalow
Size: 4,500 sq.ft comprising 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms
Designed by: Dhara Desai & Atri Shah from DA Architects
Brief: interiors reflecting traditional Islamic style with all modern technological implementation. on a limited budget.
Design aesthetic: Islamic style interiors
The Bohras (or Vohras) were once known for the magnificent, ornamental European style mansions they built in the towns of Sidhpur and Kapadvanj in Gujarat. The large wood-brick and plaster houses were believed to line the main streets in a symmetrical grid fashion. A lot of thought went into the architecture and the small horizontal footprint on which the houses were constructed given the unforgiving heat and cold of the region.
The family wanted the home to be built in traditional Islamic style. It was a journey ofdiscovery and exploration for the architects; to learn about the patterns and colours that will reflect the style. They chose to use wood throughout the home that would prove to be a blessing and a challenge.
It was quite challenging for carpenters to work with wood in Dahod. They are quite accustomed to working with engineered board (ply) for all interior projects. Working with solid wood was quite new for them initially. But, once they adapted to the techniques, they enjoyed the versatility and beauty of working with wood.
Dhara adds, “We decided to use reclaimed wood instead of new wood. So, we approached a local guy who dismantles old houses & sells those 80- 150 year old original teak wood that were used for column & beam. The advantage of using reclaimed wood is it is seasoned. This approach also helped to minimize the impact to mother nature and client’s budget.”
The layout of the bungalow is built on the tenets of privacy with public spaces like a parking space, and community hall with utility occupying the ground floor. The first floor comprises of all semi private space like living, dining, kitchen, and one bedroom. The remaining three bedrooms are housed in the second floor.
An external staircase from the ground floor opens up into a large entrance foyer on the first floor. The floor is clad in beautiful traditional blue & brown Moroccan pattern tilers. the front door leading to the living room is a majestic wooden door with inlays of intricate carvings of floral patterns. It’s an open plan layout. On entering, one sees the living, dining, bedroom door & staircase to second floor.
A poster bed with white net curtain, a truss styled influenced wooden member ceiling with hanging light makes the room look dreamy. The blue themed room has ‘colonial blue’ colored bed back wall with a water color painting from architect and Moroccan patterned light blue carpet/floor with blue colored glass on door.
The entire room a floor, ceiling, mezzanine floor & book shelf everything is from pine wood which gives a classic look to the space. Lower level space will be used as study area with a balcony sit out in the front side elevation.
A monkey ladder mezzanine floor bed compliments the highly energized child of the client.
A room with fairy lights as bed back design with study table in opposite wall of the bed detailed with wood & iron as primary material. A lush green plat near window gives a fresh look to the bedroom & an elliptical mirror at the end of study tables completes all the functions of daughter’s room.
A space for a community to congregate is a must-have space for any Bohra community house. This is a large hall with highlighted arch aisle, and rest kept to sit on floor. A heavily worked galicha & mirror on the ceiling gives a royal look to the space.
Lights: Great White & Fancy lamps
Paints: Royale, Asian Paints
Furnishings: D’Decor(sofa & bed back) & FabIndia(curtains)
Sofas: Custom made
Floor – Ceramic & Vitrified tiles
Furniture – Reused & Reclaimed teak wood with combination of seasoned Pine wood
Glass – Tinted patterned glass
Image Courtesy: Photographix India