BLU Estate & Club is the flagship development of Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd., an exclusive residential development with an aim to create a benchmark in urban living.
The idea of the project was to develop a residential estate akin to a luxury resort; a place where one’s home in the city by itself would become an escape from the out. Based on the brief given by the client, the goal was to create a development with minimum ground coverage.
This would ensure maximized availability of open space for landscaped gardens and amenities for the residents. In addition, the aim was to also pack in a host of sporting activities that would rival some of the best clubs of the city.
BLU Estate & Club is an oasis in the dense concrete jungle of Mumbai. The four towers’ orientation, height and size have been determined based on the surrounding cityscape- a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea and the grand Mahalakshmi Racecourse.
The layout of the towers is welcoming and open with each tower set at least 40 meters apart from each other. The towers and their podiums have been designed to have minimum footprint/ ground coverage of around 20 per cent. Approximately 63 per cent of the development has been reserved for landscaped open space as opposed to the norm of 25 per cent. The landscaped areas have been kept at ground level to enhance the visual experience of the residents. All the four towers are characterized by their double eight lobbies with light installations, chiselled marble walls and metal inlays.
This ultimate urban complex that offers the experience of residing in a luxury resort includes amenities like acres of manicured gardens, multiple indoor and outdoor pools, gymnasium, spa, three tennis courts, two squash courts, badminton, football, basketball courts, cricket practise nets, one-kilometre-long jogging track, indoor games area, etc. etc. There are also multiple areas reserved for banquets and parties along with a mini theatre and F & B facilities.
Such a plethora of leisure/ sporting activities makes the complex self-sufficient. In addition, large outdoor sculptural art installations by acclaimed international artists have been handpicked to adorn the complex and add another layer of luxurious living into the design.
The façade of the towers has been designed in such a way that it allows the permeation of excellent daylight and gives an uninterrupted view of the sea and the racecourse apart from the view of the internal complex. All the towers have a fully unitized glazing system with laminated IGU Panels, fit with high-performance glass. In a first, Saint Gobain India has developed a custom-made glass keeping in mind the performance values and aesthetic requirements of the project and have christened this glass as ‘Blu-De’, giving a nod to the name of the development.
The Crowns & Lobbies
Though this is a mixed-use development, some of the key elements have been exclusively executed in steel. The crowns of all the four towers look simple in a form on the outside but are in fact complex in nature structurally. Their design could only be executed in steel. The crowns are vertical elements with horizontal ties on the top with a span of up to 40 meters and a height of up to 16 meters above the terrace level.
Approximately 260 MT of steel have been used to build these trusses and have been clad with unitized glass panes and solid aluminium. Standing at a height of about 200 meters from the ground, the crowns have been designed to withstand 5.25 KPA wind pressure. Apart from the crown, all the entrance lobbies have steel canopies with large cantilever spans trussed with a steel support framework for the point fixed glazing.
Amidst the manicured gardens sits an amenity named as the ‘Blu Dome’. The Blu Dome is a transparent parabolic vault created to stand alone. It is a glass and steel ribbed structure reserved for events, banquets etc. Its spatial beauty is enhanced by a customized installation of a blown-glass chandelier by famed artist Dale Chihuly. Steel frame has been used to achieve a large column-free space, giving the space a slender and contemporary look. Overall, the steel elements of the project have helped bring out the design objectives- whether in terms of pure structure or to create a delicate visual element.
CAD, SketchUp and Revit have been used to plan the detailed design of the project. To draw the details of the steel structures, the façade consultant has also used Strand7, SolidWorks and Rhino.
Any project of this size and scale is extremely challenging be it from the design point of view or statutory approvals or the construction process by itself. Given the market dynamics, timely completion of any project is critical for any such massive project to avoid cost overruns. Hence, it is imperative to achieve the correct balance in all aspects, including the design phase to make the project successful.
While every project undertaken by Anupam De & Associates is close to heart, the BLU Estate Club will hold a special place. It took almost seven years and approximately Rs. 1100 crore to complete the project. The final product has given immense satisfaction. No expense or effort was spared to deliver more than what was committed.
“In every project one must collaborate with the client to meet the defined objectives. One can achieve success if both the stakeholders are aligned together. In this project, from the very outset, the vision was completely clear and there was a perfect unison with an objective to deliver a high-quality project. All other consultants, contractors and stakeholders have also supported very well in delivering, the same. We have been fortunate to design and execute a project like this, in the heart of Mumbai.”
Anupam De, Principal Architect, Anupam De & Associates
Client: Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd.
Architect: Anupam De & Associates
Structural Consultant: Thornton Tomasetti