New in luxury apartments: Designer lobby, in-house spa

MINT - 01st May 2018

New in luxury apartments: Designer lobby, in-house spa

BY- Madhurima Nandy

Bengaluru: A dramatic overhead atrium draws the eye into the lobby, itself imbuing a fresh and cool ambience to residents with use of marbles sourced from across the world. Light installations shine, seating is classic with a subtle twist and a lounge bar welcomes with a richer palette of decorative screens, tonal sofas and rich wooden trims.”

That’s how Martin Kemp of Martin Kemp Design describes the entrance lobby of K Raheja Corp’s upcoming Artesia project in upscale Worli, Mumbai, which the London-based firm has designed along with the show apartment and common areas. Artesia is a 45-storey tower with 3,000 sq. ft, four-bedroom homes, priced at around Rs30 crore, and is being sold by-invitation only. It’s the design studio’s first venture in India and Kemp said, “…In the design of Artesia, Martin Kemp Design has brought a blend of European detail combined with international style.”

The new series of luxury projects coming up across cities have two unique features in common—entrance lobbies by designers and in-house spas. Luxury homebuyers, shelling out Rs5-30 crore for an apartment, want their homes to look and feel like a luxury hotel, say developers.

A part of its luxury collection, Lodha Group’s portfolio of high-end residences in Mumbai and London, Lodha Altamount’s lobby, designed by Rajiv Saini + Associates, was conceived as an elegant public living room. An original Pablo Picasso artwork—a 1937 piece painted by the artist at Mougins, France, and acquired through a Christie’s auction—graces the lobby.

“Despite the pessimistic view on the economy, luxury homebuyers are evaluating the right product and services. November onwards, there has been good demand and we sold out the six duplex penthouses in Trump Tower (4,000 sq. ft each, for Rs20 crore) in just a matter of time,” said Arvind Subramanian, regional CEO, Lodha Group.

High-end projects have gone through various phases over the years – with sprawling penthouses, gyms and clubhouses to jacuzzi and private pools often being the selling point for developers.

In Raheja’s Vivarea project in Worli, the luxury spa and salon chain Warren Tricomi was brought in to run the in-house spa. At Artesia, too, there is a spa.

“There is a band of buyers today who want high-class homes. They are global travellers and have high expectations,” said Kishore Bhatija, managing director–real estate development, K Raheja Corp.

Pune’s 219 BoatClub project, being developed by Dubai’s Merint Group, which has just ten duplex penthouses at Rs17.5 crore upwards, the lobby (designed by Studio Hinge) has a glass sculpture made up of 361 hand-blown LED lights that create a sense of movement and an entrance canopy by architecture firm ADND.

Bengaluru’s Prestige Group is building residences at Hermitage, a city-centre project that shares its entrance with Conrad Bengaluru a luxury hotel by Hilton, also built by Prestige. It has 23 floors with an apartment per floor of 7481 sq ft, including a 500 sq ft private lift lobby. There’s also a common entrance lobby designed by Morph Design Co. and a spa. At Rs 19-20 crore a home, sales are by invitation.

“This project is all about exclusivity and the buyers are handpicked by the management. Indian buyers want comfort and amenities while NRIs want exclusivity and security, they want to know who their neighbours are. Money isn’t a concern but they want the entrance to be grand which is why they have a shared entrance with the hotel and we have a luxurious lobby for the project as well,” said Ankit Shukla, cluster head-luxury projects, Prestige Group.

In the heart of Delhi, Gianni Versace S.p.a of Italy and local firm Unity Group have launched a project with two towers where the interiors, including the lobby and apartments, will be designed by Versace Homes.

Even in a traditionally middle-class residential suburb like Thane, projects now attempt to give buyers a sense of high-end living. In an upcoming residential tower, Sheth Group has brought in interior designer Suzanne Khan for the lobby and clubhouse. It also has a library, spa and mini banquet.

Ashwini Kumar Sharma contributed to the story.

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