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Pinakin Patel’s minimalist red-stone villa in Alibaug is all about the luxury of slow living

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Failure

 

Twenty years ago, it would have been considered by many a foolhardy move. But for Pinakin Patel, it was an enlightened choice to indulge in some soul-saving reverse-migration and moved out of hyperactive Mumbai to Alibaug, a smaller town of spare space and sparse population. Clearly, in this overturned reality 20 years later, it was a decision of uncommon prescience. But at the time, Patel essentially wanted “to get some social distancing from the city”. He laid roots on a plot of land in Alibaug’s Chondi village and built a house of free-flowing spaces hidden behind lush landscaping. Then, he went on to build the Dashrath Patel Museum in tribute to the underrated artist on the same parcel of land.

And now, with Privé, he’s consolidated his presence with a manifestly minimal yet patently fantastical villa design, also on the same premises (with a separate entrance).
 

Pinakin Patel laid roots on a plot of land in Alibaug’s Chondi village and built a house of free-flowing spaces hidden behind lush landscaping. In this seamless, free-flowing space, the minimalism is not just in the fact that accessories and ornamental additions are barely there; it is apparent in the clean lines, long-limbed geometries and simple curves—of the architecture and the custom-designed furniture. “It had to be a fantasy-inspiring space—what people would be scared to plan for themselves, but in shorter stays, appreciate that you don’t have to choose between free imagination and real life,” he says. According to him, Privé is a space meant to be contemplated, not just inhabited. Here, the silences are heard, the carefully selective art and barely-there decor are perceived through a new lens—and the satisfaction of solitude is felt deeply and compellingly.

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Pinakin Patel’s Privé Villa - A Coastal Retreat 

“It had to be a fantasy-inspiring space—what people would be scared to plan for themselves, but in shorter stays, appreciate that you don’t have to  choose between free imagination and real life,” he says of the dusky-pink hued low-slung structure that perches ever so gently on the ground. 

That Privé is pared down to its most salient architectural requirements is not just a hallmark of Patel’s approach, but also a notion that spaces that inspire comfort and visceral human connections are those that let you look inwards. “Privé has been designed on a minimal aesthetic only for one reason, which has nothing to do with trend or fashion. It is to give you much-needed space to contemplate and to breathe,” he explains.
 

A beautiful swing design with acrylic hangs in the verandah - Beautiful Homes

A jhoola created out of acrylic in the verandah overlooking the landscape area of the villa.

Minimalist living room design with diwan, custom artwork wall decor & side tables - Beautiful Homes

The living room features a custom-designed contemporary gadda meant for comfortable seating, and custom artwork on the walls.

Metallic sculpture at the entrance court of the villa design - Beautiful Homes

The entrance court features dramatic black-and-white vitrified chequered tiles that offset the Dholpur red stone, which leads into a concrete space featuring a sculpture at the centre.

Pinakin Patel’s Privé Villa - Shades of Minimalism

In this seamless, free-flowing space, the minimalism is not just in the fact that accessories and ornamental additions are barely there; it is apparent in the clean lines, long-limbed geometries and simple curves—of the architecture and the custom-designed furniture. “The starting point was an architectural model that establishes straight lines and smooth curves in a fluid indoor-outdoor language.”

The light touch is also evident in the very restricted use of materials which, as Patel says, “is primarily three shades—I wanted a colour that would work with green (landscape) and blue (skies).” In a departure from the norm—a not-unusual position for Patel to find himself in—he decided to use Astro turf instead of good old-fashioned, albeit “water-guzzling”, grass. The turf wraps around the garden, seating and bar (including the bar stools), thus “saving water to balance its plasticity”.

And offsetting this green and blue meant an equally strong colour that would blend and hold its own. He found it in the red Dholpur stone, the more dramatic for its singular use. “Once chosen it was complemented by the same paint colour in and out to create a seamless space.”

It might seem like an impossibility to achieve harmony between the striking black-and-white vitrified tiles of the entrance court and pool areas and the dusky pink of the structure. That it does, speaks to Patel’s crafty design instincts and a keen sense of knowing what works—as unlikely as it may seem on the drawing board.
 

Pinakin Patel's minimalist red-stone villa in Alibaug is donned in artifacts. “Art lives in the soul, not acquired interests. I put in art to contribute life in a bare shell, not graphics on a bare wall", says Pinakin. The villa has Nigerian wooden masks placed in the living room, and the beautiful Mathura-based papercraft cutting sanjhi creations in another room. His accumulated works from Crafts Council in Delhi are framed to work as small window shutters so that the strong southern backlight made the cut-outs glow like stained glass.


Pinakin Patel’s Privé Villa - Art Works

This amorphous boundary between the inside and the outside that Patel orchestrated also ensured another canny colour play; the blue and green landscaping serve an almost decorative purpose within the space. It eliminated any unnecessary decor, heavy furniture and allowed him to punctuate the rooms with some well-chosen, and well-placed, pieces of art. “Art lives in the soul, not acquired interests. I put in art to contribute life in a bare shell, not graphics on a bare wall.” Which articulates the compelling visual narrative of the studiedly isolated Nigerian wooden masks placed in the living room, and the beautiful Mathura-based papercraft cutting, sanjhi creations in another room. “I got the works from the Crafts Council in Delhi. I had them framed to work as small window shutters so that the strong southern back light made the cut-outs glow like stained glass.” 

The languid, fluid movement through the 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom villa is a sensorial experience, which is heightened when the evening rolls around and the lights come on. “You are transported into another visual realm.”

Privé is a space meant to be contemplated, not just inhabited. Here, the silences are heard, the carefully selective art and barely-there home décor are perceived through a new lens—and the satisfaction of solitude is felt deeply and compellingly.
 

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