Luxury Through The Intersection Of Art And Architecture With Architect Ajay Patil
- 24 Jan '23
- 11:31 am by Sneha Shah
With a craft-centric approach across architecture, interior, and art domains, Mumbai-based studio, Prime Facie redefines modern luxury through equal emphasis on creativity and functionality. “Every design is a different story!”, expresses Ajay Patil, Founder and Principal Designer at Prime Facie. A polymath with a slew of hobbies, he talks about what drew him to design. “Growing up, I was always interested in drawing and colours. My father would always say – ‘OBSERVE’. Also, the outlet to the world back then was international magazines, so the beautiful far-off places, and the buildings in them always fascinated me. Subconsciously, that is when it all began! I find architecture, design, and art immensely attractive and delightful.”
The ethos of the firm is deeply rooted in the confluence of details and veritable styles that reflect the relationship between Prime Facie and the client. The overarching belief of the team is that every client is an individual, and every project is a reflection of that individual, with nuanced elements integrated into every design. “Every client has a unique personality and putting their ideas together you have to create a value system of design that makes them not only proud but also different,” explains Ajay, on his approach.
“The instant response as a designer, I feel, is to gratify a client’s need. But, I feel my process is based on the need to create a lasting impression which is beyond that immediate response. As a good designer, you are doing a combination of both, living / functional spaces and at the same time, it is also an instantaneous reaction to the Stimuli (client).”
Reflecting Ajay’s eye for detail and structured in simple decadence, the setting of this ‘Darjeeling Villa’ infuses old-world charm with regal influences. The characteristic features of the plaster, the railing, the grills, and the internal mouldings all are sacrosanct to one form of architecture. The studio collaborated with diverse craftsmen to develop this space as an amalgamation of luxury, design, and craftsmanship.
The evocative architecture complements the interior design, characterised by mouldings, bespoke furniture, and a soft colour palette. The arches, the central colonnade, the skylights, and the balustrades are designed to exude a classic yet contemporary storyboard through artistic expressions and materials.
Running through this classical home in black steel is the central staircase, designed as a modern sculpture and highlighted against a backdrop of black and white marble slabs. The landscape and pops of green within the space complete the aesthetic vision.
With an emphasis on glamour, ‘The Royal Halls’ of the NSCI complex designed by Prime Facie in Mumbai, make an opulent statement, complete with Gatsby-esque details. An expansive corridor with vaulted arches and Art Deco-style chandeliers leads into a 30,000 square feet space, envisaged in marble from Antolini Italy, brass accents, and customised wall drapes.
“A glamorous aspect in the past could be considered quaint today, due to our perception of it at the time. I see luxury as anything with good detail, wherein the cost is irrelevant. Today, an idea of luxury is the story your design tells,” adds Ajay
Going out of the box with the use of more varied surface materials, the bespoke jewellery studio, ‘Umrao’ in Mumbai is designed keeping in mind the client’s personality. The identity of this studio is highlighted through robust double-height ceilings, exposed brick and rustic concrete walls; marrying luxury with raw materiality.
Through this Bali-themed bungalow, Ajay brings forth a slice of tropical paradise with ample use of natural stones and raw elements like jute ceilings, distressed marble, and brass inlay wood floorings. Embodying the aesthetics of a quintessential Bali resort, the front facade is carved in wooden panels; while the lawns, the pool, and the outhouse are an extension of the main house design, bringing the outdoors in.
Shedding light on the emerging trends, Ajay concludes, “Today’s day and age is about globalisation of design! Social media has created a catastrophe of design and the question is, how we face it using constraint and choosing carefully through this visual kaleidoscope. Today, trends are a rapid ‘succession of ideas’! I think this flicker of styles that is so rapid and ever changing, is today’s trend.”
In addition to his celebrated practice as a designer, Ajay’s art is also an exploration of where he is and where he has come from. Through art, he aims to nudge people and that is the joy he looks for!