When the guests at the owners' housewarming party were told that this house on the outskirts of Hyderabad in India was not in fact a new build, they couldn't believe their ears. What they were in fact standing in was a 1980s mock Victorian property that had been ingeniously converted by Rajiv Saini + Associates.
'This house is a sum of many parts,' says Saini. That may be so, but the end result is harmonious, coherent and modern. At first the existing building was slated for demolition, with the young couple who owned the property wanting something far more contemporary. But, instead of tearing it down, Saini soon embarked on a large-scale redesign.
The final 12,500 sq ft home includes additional rooms, cleverly placed on cantilevered volumes over the existing structure, as well as a copper clad gym overlooking the garden. The existing marble spiral staircase had to be replaced by a more contemporary metal and stone one and the 10' diameter hole this created was transformed into a generous skylight for the entrance living areas.
A black slate roof matches the internal material palette of grey granite, grey travertine, white marble, blond wood, steel and glass, while bespoke elements - like an elaborate clear and opaque glass screen in the sitting room - and a selection of contemporary furniture and artworks, complete the elegant and comfortable interior.
The radical transformation did not stop with the house itself. A new pool and pavilion were added to the garden for the residents to enjoy Hyderabad's hot and dry weather in style.