#DPExclusive – This Richly Textured Mumbai Apartment Was Designed To Be A Dopamine Driver

  • 30 Nov '22
  • 5:48 pm by Beverly Pereira

Sitting high above the bustle of ‘the city that never sleeps’, this sprawling apartment is the absolute antidote to banal urbanity. An entirely different realm, this 6,000-sq-ft space located in a residential tower in Worli, Mumbai is akin to a gallery with artfully designed social spaces, soul-stirring furniture and objects, and the well-considered infusion of greenery. Dubbed Monolith, it is an ode to nature and earthy forms, even as it emanates a profusion of ultra-modern and incredibly dapper style—which is fitting, really, to soften the industrial ambience of an apartment encased in a high-tech residential tower.

Designed by the Mumbai-based architecture and design practice MorphLab, the four-bedroom apartment radiates from a living, breathing tree that grows within an expansive living room. The idea of fluidity is central to the apartment’s design which features an open-flow format. The sprawling social space houses a formal living area, a cocktail lounge, dining room, open kitchen and a casual den.

Conceptualised to suit the needs of the client—a couple with a love for entertaining—the home is peppered with a profusion of artistic details and cleverly designed social spaces that quite effortlessly merge to accommodate a large party of guests. At the same time, both the private and social spaces carry design details that allow for a comfortable and joyful family life.

Even in all its stateliness, there’s a certain rustic rawness with inimitable style to the formal living area. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala

Upon entering this apartment, a formal living room with a stately grey sofa beckons. A Molteni&C modular hanging shelf system designed by architect Jean Nouvel fits into this entertaining area with ease against the breathtakingly beautiful wall surface by Alex Turco inspired by the textures of a rock.

A duo of cocktail tables by Roche Bobois and a sculptural console-cum-bench lend a contemporary and chic touch to this cocktail lounge. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala

The formal living room merges with even more seating space that organically accommodates the gentle curves of the iconic Infinito sofa by Natuzzi Italia. The formal living room and the chic lounge are adjacent in their placement yet distinct by design. A sculptural, handcrafted bench also serves as a console here, while a duo of Roche Bobois cocktail tables adds an avant-garde sensibility.

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Evocative of an anthill, a statement Bocci light fixture appears to float above a stone dining table and Poliform chairs. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala

Evidently designed to be a talking point, the social space has the power to uplift, be it the family or a party of guests. Invoking intrigue, these spaces tie into the next, whether one considers the open flow of the social spaces or the nod to the natural world in the form of custom consoles, benches and walls evocative of the earthy form of rocks, stones and caves. 

A focus was also placed on Indian craftsmanship and the abundant use of richly textured local materials like mint stone, wood and concrete. Highlighter hues add pops of colour to the otherwise sombre palette of greys, browns and blacks, and this, says MorphLab’s team comprising Sahil Jain, Komal Jain, and Ajinkya Manohar, “elevates and ties together the overall theme to unlock the concept that is dopamine design.” 

“This project is focused mainly on object-based elements. Against the industrial palette, all these elements act like art within the apartment. The home in itself is like a gallery,” says Jain. 

A central tree with fluid seating space. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala

A living, breathing tree adjacent to the dining area overlooks an open kitchen and bar. Breaking the monotony of the pieces of furniture, the tree acts like a central island that provides a break between the main social space and a more casual den. “So that’s how we started planning this apartment. It was designed in such a way where the tree sits in the middle of the house with its fluid seating and the open kitchen next to it becomes the central focus. The entire living space extends throughout the whole floorplate to create an extensive space when you enter the house,” says MorphLab’s Sahil Jain, principal designer on the project. 

“We designed the tree in such a way that the steps can also be used as a seating space for around 15 people to gather together like in an amphitheatre of sorts during bigger parties,” Jain explains. 

The sleek open kitchen and bar was customised on site with a curved and rather futuristic silhouette. Image credit – Ishita Sitwala

Aside from socialising, the client, says Jain, enjoys cooking. “With the kitchen, the whole idea was to create a space within the social space, where the living area could serve as an extension of this live kitchen-cum-bar. Again, the metallic island kitchen has been designed by us to be an art piece that appears to float from two pillars on either side of the island counter. The panels of the Ernestomeda cabinets at the back of the kitchen open up and convert into a bar,” says the designer. 

A comfortable B&B Italia sofa in an earthy shade of rust enlivens the casual den. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala

The social areas—the formal living area, lounge and dining area—flow into yet another space, a casual den with a rust sofa. The central tree with its fluid seating space unifies yet separates these zones, as do the pristine white etched ceiling and wooden flooring of the den.

A deep shade of teal and orange add a punch of style to the older son’s bedroom. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala

The living area is flanked by three out of four bedrooms on left and a guest bedroom on its right — all bringing in exceptional city views. A bedroom for the older son carries an intentionally minimal look, save for the injection of colour in the form of a bed in a deep shade of teal and yet another curiously designed seating space. “We have taken the idea of fluidity into each space and every room. In the son’s bedroom, we designed the fluid seating in a way that cantilevers from a column. The whole space looks very artistic,” says Jain.

Brighter shades are sporadically introduced throughout the apartment in a well-considered manner, this time in the younger son’s bedroom. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala
Leather detailing adds a sleek touch to the younger son’s bedroom. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala

Colour seeps into the younger son’s bedroom too, where the same shade of teal is paired with orange and punctuated by black and white accessories and bed linen. Leather, wood and a teal accent wall lend a dapper look to this room. 

Plants find their way into many nooks and corners, including the master bedroom. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala

The master, on the other hand, is a picture of elegance with an accent stone wall and a dramatic dark stone flooring. A plush velveteen headboard, metallic surfaces, a smattering of décor objects and planters add a stylish but timeless element to this room.

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A rich olive-green veined stone adds to a hint of drama and elegance to the master bathroom. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala

Every facet of the four bathrooms—from counter-tops to accent walls—was custom designed to pack a punch just like the rest of this very stylish Mumbai apartment. Brazilian stone, ceramics and exotic stones were thoughtfully selected by the team at MorphLab to lend these spaces a distinctive ambience. 

Every bathroom, including that of the older son, carries highlighter shades to break the monotony of the greys, browns and blacks. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala
Teal gives a bright and airy appearance to the younger son’s bathroom. Image credits – Ishita Sitwala

With its fine attention to detail—be it in the choice of richly textured materials, custom-designed furniture or the intriguing colour schemes—this apartment is truly like a gallery of sorts, intentionally designed to emphatically uplift and entertain the senses. 

Interior Styling by Meetu Swani.