As humans, we inherently connect with the nature. In today’s world of technological advances, this connection can often get lost. So, when designing a home in one of the most polluted and densely populated cities in the world, Interior Architect Muhammad Ariful Islam attempted to ensure that the client’s health and wellbeing is at the heart of his decision. In this design, he has made a conscious effort to bring the outdoors in so that the clients can be at peace in their own home. The integration of greenery, light, water and all sorts of natural elements in the residence helps to positively affect the perception of space and the time spent on it.
“For this duplex apartment design in Bashundhara Residential Area, our client had a very clear and simple brief for us. They wanted a space where they feel relaxed, calm and comfortable. So, we started to imagine, what are the first images that come to mind when we talk about relaxation? The answer was easy- being close to nature. By consciously including natural elements in the design, we are unconsciously reconnecting to nature. Subtle hints and characteristics of nature were integrated into the design, so we can call this home a biophilic one”, explains Ariful.
The first attempt was to bring the characteristics of the natural world into the built form. This was made possible by including a lot of greenery, here and there. A variety of houseplants were integrated throughout the space. “We have carefully picked plants that can be easily maintained. Several shelves and nooks are adorned with plants. We also ensured maximum openness with an open plan layout”, says Ariful. To invite an abundance of natural daylight, full-height windows were installed.
The colour scheme of the residence was essentially derived from nature that humans can easily associate with. Different shades of wood, white, grey were used in abundance. The walls are primarily fair-faced with some exceptions in feature walls. The floor is of a matte mud colour which gives a sense of walking on the ground or outdoor. Nature wooden fibre tiles were used in the middle court. All these colours subtly put you in a relaxation mode. Exceptions can be observed with pops of vibrant colours, but at a very small scale- visible in the artworks, upholsteries, cushions, rugs and the feature walls, but even then, those colours are inspired by nature such as terracotta, rustic green, blue or yellow. The watercolour artworks were carefully handpicked from a renowned gallery.
The design team ensured using as many naturally sourced elements in the design as possible. Since all the furniture were made bespoke by the team, they could flexibly design the furniture and decorative elements according to the client’s requirements.
“We tried to follow the guiding principle of ‘wabi sabi’ which explores the beauty of imperfection.
You can notice that the tabletops, different furniture and accents don’t have smooth finishing, there are many textures in the design- this concept helps to appreciate the simplicity and imperfections of life. Moreover, textures like these have a tactile quality to them”, exclaims Ariful.
Naturally light materials like wood, stone, exposed bricks are dominant in this space. Natural fibres and textures make up the upholsteries to give an overall coherent look. In addition, the indoor staircase waterfall evokes a soothing effect in the mind.
The 4000 sft duplex apartment comprises a formal living, dining, pantry, 2 guest bedroom attached and laundry on the ground floor and family living dry kitchen and 3 bedrooms attached toilet on the 1st floor.
The focus was drawn immensely on the tactile aspect of materials and the spatial aspect of the space.
The embracing of biophilic interior design for this apartment will contribute to the client’s physical and mental well-being through sensory contact with natural features.
Interior Architect Profile: Muhammad Ariful Islam is the CEO and Lead Designer of Zero Inch Interiors Ltd. Over the course of several years, he has helped to steer Zero Inch from its original incarnation to one of the most prominent Interior Design firms in Dhaka, eminent for its design and delivery of architectural and interior design projects. Ariful’s strong background and experience in interior design in both home and abroad brings a contextual and systematic outlook to designing humane environments. His keen interest in contextual design, sustainability, zero-waste design and emerging technologies provides a solid grounding for his practice. Right from the onset, Arif has leaded the team efficiently to establish the foundation of the Zero Inch brand. His creative ideas and vision helped to develop the four core strands of Zero Inch: Residential Design, Retail Design, Office Design, and Architectural Design. Employing his strong passion for materials, ergonomics and functionality, he has also managed to open a furniture design wing under the brand name, called Zero Inch Furniture.