Designed by Creative Architects & Interiors, Prince Galada in Chennai redefines high-end, contemporary urban living with an experience of a luxurious villa coupled with the security and amenities of a high-rise apartment.
Located in the heart of the city and surrounded by a residential neighbourhood in Vepery, the edifice marks its presence in the vicinity with its bold and contemporary style. By achieving an FSI of 3.5 on a compact site, Prince Galada displays efficient planning skills employed in its making.
With the brief focusing on the target users to be luxury apartment buyers, the units are planned to be spacious, with a tinge of opulence. The challenge then was to achieve a huge FSI, in order to accommodate maximum units with large footprints in a highly linear and compact site, along with other constraints such as Vastu compliance. The concept evolved by keeping functionality, efficient planning and user comfort at the centre of the design strategy.
Following a biophilic design approach, and with an aim to break down the huge built mass, the floor plate has been split into two, at the centre of which is a landscaped garden for the apartment users. Both blocks are equipped with a central core, allowing each unit a generous frontage with views of the landscaped area below and the city’s skyline. A well-designed circulation can significantly affect the unit size and functionality of the overall scheme. By minimising the circulation areas within the two blocks, the units are designed to be more luxurious and spacious, creating an experience of living in a lavish villa for the users, whilst being in an apartment setting.
Tackling the challenge of having a restricted site successfully, the scheme is equipped with two basement floors for parking. The vehicular traffic is directed only through one side for both the entry and the exit, by making effective use of ramps. This not only restricts vehicular access to the periphery of the plot but also ensures pedestrian safety and allows for more accessibility – thus, making the complex vicinity pedestrian friendly and green. The stilt floor is planned to accommodate amenities for the residents. The 14 floors above house have 70 units in all, including 42 lavish villas in the block facing the road and 28 spacious units in the other one. To optimise the utility of available space and to render the residents with a unique experience, the swimming pools, party lawns and terrace gardens are housed on the terrace floor of both blocks. The party lawns and the terrace gardens extend a splendid panoramic view of the city to the user.
The central landscaped garden is equipped with a children’s play area, seating spaces as well as paved pathways for walking. The multipurpose hall on the ground/stilt floor opens out to a garden, enhancing the experience of the dining space within. Indoor games and other recreational activities are housed at the rear end on the same floor, turning the entire space into a lively zone. Additionally, the areas on the periphery of the site and in front of the block housing the villaments are landscaped offering the residents a much-needed refuge from the busy city life.
The block accommodating the villaments faces the road and frames the panoramic view of the city as well as the garden area below on both sides, enabling the residents to experience living in a villament, closer to the ground. With the available frontage on all three sides, each space within is connected to the outside through large openings, maintaining the user-nature relationship at all times. An exclusive lobby welcomes the residents to the apartment, consisting of a private elevator. Similarly, the entry to the guests is kept separate from that of the residents to maintain the utmost privacy for the residents. Each villament is designed lavishly with a foyer, formal and informal living rooms, grand sit-outs and bedrooms, with walk-in wardrobes. Efficiently planned, with all the amenities fit for a luxurious lifestyle, the villaments promise a fulfilling experience for the residents.
While form and aesthetics are important to any architectural intervention, functionality is central for the entire scheme to work seamlessly. A well-planned, the elevation looks effortlessly striking. With this purview, the plans were resolved and the massing thoroughly, which resulted in an elevation that was minimalistic, yet striking. A colour palette consisting of grey and beige is chosen for the apartment facades.
The plumbing shafts are designed to accommodate the outdoor AC units to ensure easy access for maintenance. The shafts are lined with closely-spaced louvres, maintaining a clean and minimal aesthetic appearance. Fire protection services are planned within the central core of both blocks, along with the elevators. Sustainable strategies have been incorporated into the design of both the blocks, rooting them to the context and enabling the users with the utmost comfort in Chennai’s hot and humid climate. Double walls made of aerocon blocks are provided for insulation which ensures the interior spaces are cooler and more comfortable. Windows and openings are placed strategically to ensure seamless cross-ventilation and ample natural daylight. After a thorough study of the sun path, both the blocks are zoned to cast shadows on each other, at all times during the day, reducing the harsh heat ingress. To utilise water efficiently, the building is provided with a rainwater harvesting system, considering the amount of rainfall that Chennai receives. Additionally, a sewage treatment plant is facilitated to recycle wastewater and reuse it for various purposes, thereby optimising water usage.
Offering users the best of both worlds – villas within an apartment, Prince Galada redefines urban living. Privacy, exotic views, lush green landscapes and spacious homes carve out a top-notch urban living experience, laced with utmost comfort and security. With the provision of ample amenities within, the residents spend less time on the road and more at home, all in the lap of luxury and calm.
Location: Vepery, Chennai.
Principal Architect: Ar.Varsha Jain
Design Team: Ar. Navaz, Ar. Ganesan, Kalaivani – Engineer
Site Area (acre): 1.01 acres
Built-Up Area: 2,50,000 sq.ft.
Start Date: 2014
Completion Date: 2019
Photographer: Illuminate Studio