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Lalit Beriwala Residence – Meshing Traditional and Contemporary

When city entrepreneur Lalit Beriwala bought the 10000 sqft old house in premium New Alipore, Kolkata, he approached us to recreate a traditional, old world look for his new house.

A perfect case of restoration and recreation - The house boasted of inbuilt skylights on the walls, beautiful arches lining the living room and disposable space to customise. Some of which can be seen below:

        

Avid collectors of heirloom furniture, our clients’ brief was to ensure that their favourite pieces of art and décor subtly blended in with the look of the house.

 

The Beriwala’s are also particular about their Mandir (sanctorum). It’s a sacred place, and they take great care to maintain its sanctity.Taking their brief, we created a room with a solid hardwood door , with square cut hollows in between (resembling old Indian temples), giving it a sense of openness, enabling anybody and everybody darshan(viewing) at the same time ensuring the much revered privacy to the deities.

 

        

Specially procured brass bells and danglers were bought to intersperse the door to make it look more alluring.

 

Décor and accessory recommendations

        

The den /family room on the first floor was a respite from the traditional setting. A chic, contemporary den was the ideal place for entertaining and family time. Completely torn down, this room was recreated with a glass walls, wooden floors and modern accessories.

     

And lastly, the perfect outdoor seating/setting was created for summer evenings to continue the party out in the open. Individually designed terracotta tiles lined the walls, along with rustic, earthen flooring to complement the theme.

 


Bhawanipore Cemetery: Heritage site

Steeped in history, the Bhawanipore Cemetery has been in use since 1864, built mainly for the burials of service personnel of the erstwhile British militia and their dependants from the nearby garrison at Fort William, from which the cemetery initially took its name. Among our several construction projects, the building at Bhawanipore cemetery is one close to our hearts. When the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) approached us to build an office/meeting place in the middle of the Bhawanipore Cemetery, we were very excited.

The structure was intended to be used as an office and utility space for the cemetery management. However we decided to stay true to the ambience and drew up a plan to ensure our structure fit in with the surrounding landscape. Each and every piece of stone were hand picked from the mines of a place called Banshipaharpur, in Rajasthan. All the stones used at site were identical with hardly 5% colour variations from the entire lot of stones. The sculptors then did the butch work on the stones and then they were placed one by one and the utility building took shape. The entire building is made of hand crafted sandstones with smooth finished sand stone lintels and a perfect arch. The mortar used for fixing the stones are stone dusts and white cement with water proofing compound along with it . The butched edges of the stones are then filled up with silicon based water proofing agent to resist the seepage of water from outside. Precaution and utmost care was taken so that there are no colour variations after the final finish. The sloped roof is of green slate stone and the seating benches are 3” thick granite stones. The entire building is aligned with the Cross of Sacrifice, which seems like keeping an eye on the soldiers lying there forever.

Our most unforgettable experience of this project has been one during excavation. One day as our digging work was in progress, one of the labourers’ shouted out “konkal ache bhetore” (there are skeletons inside). True to his word, as we peered into the foundation pit, we clearly saw human skull and bones lying in the soil. We took it up at the cemetery office, just to ensure we were clear and had found the bones during digging the pit. At which the caretaker said, “what else can you expect from a 150 year old graveyard!” We finished our project in stipulated time and were lauded for our work by the CWGC. All in all a satisfying experience, great association and a dose of history.