How Indian heritage inspires contemporary design
Commonhouse - Sattva Lounge
Svasa Homes first began as an idea by the Machani Group, to create a heritage-inspired residential project in the heart of Bangalore. While most residential projects are influenced by Spanish or even Greek design, Svasa Homes is an attempt to redefine luxury and contemporary design that is rooted in Indian Heritage. The Commonhouse or clubhouse, as it is more commonly known, was designed by Niels Schönfelder and J.T. Arima of Mancini Enterprises in collaboration with CORE Experience. Niels Schönfelder describes it as “a contemporary interpretation of Vedic living.”
Having completed his education in Germany and being involved in projects all over the world, Niels Schönfelder found himself drawn to India. Today, he is the founder of the design firm Mancini Enterprises. “I’ve always found the challenging diversity of projects to be a driving force for me. I never claim to be a specialist in only one area. I’ve always felt that repetition causes one to create habits, and old habits don’t bring new perspectives."
Contemporary Design Inspired to Enable Community Interaction
Svasa in Sanskrit means breath - the act of giving and receiving. Naturally, the vision was to create a Commonhouse for the community to continuously interact with each other in this space. “There is an underlying vibration that builds on the heritage but finds expression in very contemporary forms. Our chief concern was to create a harmonious overall atmospheric quality of the space. We considered it even more important than individual elements,” said Niels.
Mancini put careful thought into creating private moments as well as moments to celebrate as a community. The clean lines, the seating areas, the screening between the seats, the connection to the outdoors, the potential area for food and drink coming in are all elements that create this overall atmosphere.
“The most enjoyable for us is the lavish openness of space, nothing beats an easy flow of deep views into gardens from anywhere you sit. We wanted to create spaces that give the residents multiple reasons to come together, as well as the functionality to do so keeping in mind the various scales of their requirements.”
Praana And Dhyana Towers
The Commonhouse is spread out across two towers, Praana, inspired by physical energy, and Dhyana, by mental energy. “Having two lobbies in each tower that are different from each other and serve different functions provide the residents with a reason to change from one building to the other.
Not only do they create a sense of calm and welcome when you enter your residence, but they lead you to use them according to your purposes. When you have people flowing seamlessly from one tower to the next across the garden, it creates a sense of shared ownership of the property. It is no longer defined by the thought, “this is my tower, that is your tower, and we never meet.’’
Luxury and Indian Heritage Take the Lead
Throughout the Commonhouse the aesthetics of interior design alter vary slightly, but what they all have in common is that art is a key element. This modern design itself respects the fact that these are families who enjoy inspiration, tradition, and the interpretation of that tradition for their contemporary life.
“We put in a considerable amount of effort into the details of our design and I felt there was a connection to how many families can appreciate beauty. Some give more attention to the details, rather than the overall picture. Like when you think of jewellery or sarees, the important moments in our lives are captured, defined, and memorized via those objects. That’s where the design for the surfaces, the lighting, the acoustics, start to contribute.”
Commonhouse Floor Inlays Inspired by Tridevi
“We collaborated with the design company CORE Experience and a selection of South Indian independent artists to shape the process from the start. We provided subtle contemporary style backgrounds in areas where heritage art would take the lead.
We stepped up the detailing where space and interspatial connections would lead. You can see this when you transition from the common spaces to the lift lobby. If you look up at the ceiling mural you see an artist’s depiction of mythical times gone by.
We wanted to create the opportunity for the residents to appreciate a moment of pure visual delight in their home and in areas where you cannot do anything but wait. We’ve always felt it was important to highlight or structure the way through the building with art and moments to appreciate.”
Apartment Type B - Living Room
Svasa Homes is unique in a way that the space as a whole delivers a sense of care and concern for families’ needs. This type of design thinking goes beyond the number of square feet you may require to live your life. It’s more concerned about what should be the mood and what should be the quality of your life, above and beyond your daily routine.
“For me, it’s a project where a lot of human attention has been lavished on different spaces and details, and that gives an overall sense of being respected and cared for. It takes you seriously as a multifaceted being that not only needs shelter, supplies, hot and cold water, but also, beauty, repose, reflection, festivities, and things that we remember our lives for. And that is very precious.”