Villa In The Sky by Abraham John Architects

Villa In The Sky by Abraham John Architects

Architects: Abraham John Architects
Location: Mumbai, India
Year: 2011
Area: 3,500 sqft
Photo courtesy: Alan Abraham

The brief called for the complete remodelling and combining two separate apartments on the top floors of an unremarkable building into a refined 3,500 sq ft contemporary penthouse suitable to the favourable tropical climate and the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Bombay.


The shared vision of the client and the architect is seen in the minimal layout integrated with landscape, lighting, refreshing earthy colours and natural textures.


A limited palette of complementary materials ensures consistency in design and minimises maintenance, adding warmth and texture through light and shadow. The interiors are finely detailed with custom-made furniture. The flooring pattern enhances the line of sight and continues from the indoors to the outdoors: dark-stained wooden floors and teak wood deck.


The home fits within its tropical seaside context and encourages sustainability: reclaimed sleeper wood for garden screens and pergolas, natural stone, recycled tiles, high efficiency mechanical systems, durable engineered wood and natural fabrics; automation with mood lighting, power saving and curtain control, solar heaters and evergreen terrace gardens. Interior solar shades and large double-glazed sliding windows allow natural ventilation, uninterrupted views and access to landscaped areas, while cutting down on solar radiation and air-conditioning load.


The design approach took advantage of orientation: the sea is now visible from all rooms of the house, including the master bathroom. Previous cave-like rooms are turned into optimal, unusually large living spaces for Bombay standards.


The living, dining and kitchen areas merge into one big lounge connecting views of the Arabian Sea on the West to the trees on the East.


The open kitchen with a brushed SS island platform is complemented by an enclosed kitchen specially designed for traditional Indian cooking. A teak tree forms the dining table and seating.


A balcony space was converted into a cantilevered wood and steel staircase set against imposing double-storey windows, visually and physically connecting the upper and lower volumes that were previously disconnected.


The master bedroom suite includes a private sea-facing terrace, a lavish walk-in wardrobe and an open plan spa bathroom – a fluidity of private spaces that retain total privacy while blending with the landscape.


The hi-tech glass walled media room with a large projector screen, AV and automation is a dynamic and versatile space. It overlooks the ocean as well as a spacious wooden deck with a walk-on glass skylight. The luxuriant garden terrace serves as an expansive outdoor entertaining area with artful illumination and an open bar.

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