In suburban Mumbai, the architecture and object design studio STUDIO UF+O has completed Oak Home, an apartment for a family of four bringing together tradition and innovation while respecting spiritual, contextual, and functional conditions.
The project borrows its name from the oak wood that is the focal point of the materials used along with subtle finishing tones.
In the fast-paced city of Mumbai, the studio managed to create a space of tranquillity with a muted color palette highlighting the essence of the oak and white marble.
The 4-bedroom, 230-square-meter apartment in suburban Mumbai, is designed for a family of working professionals.
The clients desired the home to be a quiet space to retreat to at the end of a hectic day, visually removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.
This conceptually prompted STUDIO UF+O to work with limited materials and follow clean minimal lines of the design.
While the spacious living and dining room invites the family and visitors to spend time together, all other rooms offer possibilities for individual contemplation.
Every uniquely designed bedroom as well as the home office is connected to an individual bathroom, allowing for comfort and privacy.
The main feature of Oak Home lies in the combination of warm-toned oak with cool tones of marble.
The color scheme is prominent in the furniture and objects as well as the floors, walls, and ceilings.
This visual experience is framed by a few outlines of dark aluminum and subtle highlights of brass.
With Oak Home, STUDIO UF+O wanted to create an aesthetic of “quiet luxury” with the heavy regional stone material and wood being turned into something lightweight and discreet.
Contrary to common Indian aesthetics that often results from layering accents and accessories, STUDIO UF+O’s approach became to edit out absolutely everything that was not essential to the space and requirement of living.
Oak Home’s refined selection of materials follows the required functionality devoid of unnecessary embellishments.
With the elegance of a muted color scheme and minimalistic design, Oak Home thus attempts to retreat from the fast movements, vibrant colors, and loud sounds that constitute everyday life in Mumbai.
As is characteristic of STUDIO UF+O’s work, all of Oak Home’s interior design pieces are custom-made on-site with regional materials and local craftsmen – from floors, frames, and paneling to tables, chairs, and even décor items.
The elegant finish of the designs proves the architects’ ability to elevate regional materials and crafts to an innovative form.
“Some of our sculptural objects follow a back-and-forth process of making involving lively discussions with our craftsmen, while they have run their workshops for generations they often have never seen a request like ours before but then again they know best how to process their material. So there is constant feedback during the fabrication and growth in the shared knowledge of making between our formal education and their informal experience,” says Vineet Vora, founder of STUDIO UF+O.
The name-giving oak wood, which appears in the furniture, as well as the doors, bedroom floors, and walls, bears a particularly flowing grain that matches the futuristic shapes of the other designs.
Additionally, the apartment is punctuated by functional sculptures from the series +Objects, designed by STUDIO UF+O as a material exploration exercise in solid stone.
Particularly eye-catching are the side tables that were carved out of single blocks of marble, creating elegantly curved shapes with a pale, almost glassy finish.
For this, the Studio used Banswara and Makrana Marble, two different types of uniquely patterned white marble, both originating from Rajasthan, India.
In Oak Home STUDIO UF+O plays with different repetitive forms and colors, intertwining diverse elements with each other to create a feeling of peace and unity– just like essential family values.
When planning Oak Home, STUDIO UF+O was working under the restrictions of the ancient Indian Vastu principles of building, that address a mindful and healthy living situation for the owners.
As is common in Indian architecture, they were given clear instructions – for example, where which room should be located and which direction the beds should be oriented in.
Within these boundaries they managed to design Oak Home in a way that brings together tradition and innovation, respecting spiritual, contextual, and functional conditions.
“In this case, we were very lucky that the Vastu rules for room positions in plan matched how we intended the daylight to move through the day in the house,” says Prachi Parekh Vora, founder of STUDIO UF+O.
Oak Home is a striking example of STUDIO UF+O’s approach: It is on one hand fulfilling the cultural instructions and rules and on the other hand it shows their own creative and ecological perspective.
Project: Oak Home
Architects: STUDIO UF+O (Studio Urban Form + Objects)
Carpenter: Ramjee Bhai Jangid
Masonry Works: Kishankumar Kumbhavat
Photographer: Suleiman Merchant