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Updated: June 29, 2013 02:00 IST
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How can we adapt landscaping for apartment living?

Nirthya Rajan
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Noshir D. Talati
The Hindu Noshir D. Talati

Noshir D. Talati of Talati and Panthaky Associated, Mumbai, architect of Palais Royale in Mumbai, touted as the country's tallest residential building, talks to Nirthya Rajan about contemporary design

We at Talati and Panthaky love to include plants in our design. Indoor plants not only add to scenic beauty but also increase oxygen levels. Having flowering plants or just foliage plants in balconies or any corner where sunlight is available is like having a pet at home. However, choosing the right plant is a challenge, since longevity and maintenance needs to be kept in mind. Outdoor spaces can have walls with creepers and potted plants; also the client should experience and enjoy nature and greenery outside their windows also, hence including it as a part of overall planning is extremely important.

What do you keep in mind while designing an apartment?

While designing a structure, we always keep in mind the function and circulation of the structure, the form comes later. The design needs to serve the purpose the structure is being built for, and needs to balance the lighting, air flow, and privacy needs. For example, in Palais Royale, we have designed each floor in such a way that one can enter their own apartment by turning right or left immediately after walking out of the elevator rather than having to cross their neighbour’s house. Flexibility in the layout is another important criteria that has to be given to residents, and ample freedom while planning the interiors of the house so that a person can turn two rooms into one if required. Satisfying these needs will satisfy the buyer more than just buying a flat.

What are your views on green buildings?

Green buildings are a necessity today and in the future. Keeping in mind the current environmental issues, green buildings play an important role in keeping degradation in check. India has the largest number of green buildings registered with the IGBC, which I think is incredible. Each buyer can add to this, maintain the flat well, with proper garbage disposal, efficient use of water and electricity. If they are staying in a green building, by just using the facilities right, they contribute to society. The practical aspects of an idea improve the aesthetic pleasure one gets from it.

What does the new-age client want?

Large apartments, if bungalows are not possible, with spaciousness and landscaping, life in the lap of luxury, a high quality of life and good community living. I strongly believe in ‘what works good is better than what looks good’, hence you should choose a property that caters to your needs and that improves the environment.

How can we bring about a sense of community in urban India?

I feel having amenities such as club house, swimming pools, indoor and outdoor games etc, are a great trend as they induce community living, which is a dying culture. Today, buyers expect these to be a part of any high-end building. Due to the lifestyle that people have today, it is also a bonus to have these amenities in the building itself. Such places can be far away and there is no need to go to a club when you have access to the same amenities, if not more, within your building. I feel all buildings, even if it’s a small apartment complex, should encourage these facilities to create a healthy environment.

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