This relatively small condominium is the third project for Marvel Realtors, but the first residential. It is in Koregaon Park, the prime old colonial neighbourhood in the north-east of Pune and consists of 12 storeys with three large 3.5 and 4-bedroom units per floor. The typical floorplan has been organised into distinct structural bays with the living and dining areas sandwiched between the main bedroom wing and the kitchen/core wing. This ‘slicing’ of the building creates the impression of nine vertical towers, lending character to the façade.

The project addresses the challenge of building in this environment with its intense light and heat, and its distinctive cultural identity. By alternating the double-height terraces, cross-ventilation is optimised while maintaining privacy. But it is the aluminium screens cladding the bedroom blocks, which epitomise HB Design’s response. These are functional in the way they provide privacy and filter light. But they also animate the façade and provide an aesthetic dimension, casting delicate shadows into the interiors, while transforming the building into a lantern when viewed from outside at night. The aluminium screens, perforated with flower patterns, also represent a placemaking strategy because they reference the traditional carved stone jali screens which serve the same functions. The screens are operable, allowing control of light and selective editing of views.

The layering, which the screens provide is amplified by the large 45 square metre, double-height terraces which extend the living experience from the double-height living/dining spaces to the outside. Each terrace provides a protective canopy to the terrace below and features a small jacuzzi at the front.