“I walk slowly but I never like to go backward, and on the rare occasions that I do, it is for a long jump. I would like to be focused always”, utters Dipen Gada.
Dipen Gada and Associates, popularly known as DGA, began as a very self-effacing interior design firm. The principal designer and founder of the firm, Dipen Gada holds a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from M.S University, Vadodara-Gujarat. Gradually with time and every project accomplished, DGA evolved from an exclusive interior design firm to a civil and architectural planning firm and attained the position as one of the respectable firms of Baroda. Since its inception in 1993, DGA has made its presence felt through innovative and timeless designs.
The core team at DGA consists of qualified and driven professionals comprising of Architects, Interior Designers and Engineers who create versatile body of work ranging from architecture, interior and landscape. Their small size team enables them to service their clients closely and gives them the flexibility to adapt to changing scenarios in the design world. The firm strives to maintain a balance between aesthetics and functionality in all its designs. A trusting relationship between the designer and the client is crucial for the success of any project; DGA maintains a close working relationship with its clients for the smooth functioning of all projects undertaken.
Dipen says, “We do not believe in the separation or specialization of skills. Each designer in the office works through all phases of a design venture. The process of working on every project involves multiple possibilities on design development which is followed by vigorous decision on technology, climate, relevance on site, material and so on. Along with giving a fresh interpretation to the project, there is the spirit of DGA that comes into the design”.
The Wall House, Bharuch
The wall house, situated in Baruch, a city in the state of Gujarat, is conceptualized as an interior-architectural project, where the two have been seamlessly merged to attain best results.
The structure is bisected by a wall that physically demarcates space as well as influences the character of the interior spaces. Due to the narrowness of the plot, the wall house was conceptualized as a linearly planned structure partly bisected by a 34 feet high wall that also forms the main exterior façade of the house and is its main focal element-The Wall. This wall is clad with raw, unfinished kota, a stone indigenous to the Rajasthan region. The play of sunlight on this uneven surface creates interesting patterns of light. This wall runs through much of the interior spaces and influences the character of these spaces.
The living room is minimally treated. The concrete slab has been kept exposed and one of the walls has been treated with simple smooth plaster which has been left raw and unfinished.
Light washes this wall from a pelmet finished with a cement board that merges with the plaster. The living area has a calming, serene feel especially with the light wafting through the sheer fabric curtains that cover the french door that opens out into the lawns of the garden.
The dining area is set back from the living area. The dining area overlooks an outdoor sit-out that appears to dramatically float over a water body. The passage between the living and dining areas opens out onto this sit-out through a large French door. These glazed doors allow for a dialogue between the interior and exterior space.
The transition from public to private spaces is marked by a change in the flooring. The white mirror polished Italian marble seen in the foyer, living and dining areas gives way to an earthy, mirror polished kota stone. Physically also these spaces are bisected by the kota wall. On the other side of the Kota wall, adjacent to the dining space is a home theatre space which doubles as a more informal living space which is used mostly by the family as a space to unwind. One of the walls has an artwork that is a mural of a foot print.
In India worship is a very important aspect of one’s day. A special area for prayer or ‘pooja’ is just off the home theatre space. Here the back drop to the platform where the idol is placed is clad with scoured white marble.
Next to the pooja room is an internal courtyard. Although this area has visual connectivity with the pooja area it is slightly secluded from it. A custom made swing hangs in this space. This covered, internal courtyard further emphasizes the dialogue between the inside and outer areas.
The bedrooms are large and lends privacy to the occupants. On the first floor the younger son’s room opens out onto a private terrace garden overlooking the kota wall and the garden. The bedrooms are done in warmer tones. Here wooden floors and ceilings have been use to add warmth and depth to the space.
Care has been taken to make this house environmentally friendly. Openings have been placed to maximize the inflow of breeze, while reducing direct sunlight. Compact fluorescent lamps have been used in most of the spaces to reduce energy consumption and green rated air-conditioning systems have been used. While designing this house there was no distinct architectural phase and interior phase and both have almost a symbiotic relationship with each other. This was the main aim of the design, to avoid unnecessary and superficial embellishment.