The acclaimed architect gives us a glimpse into his modernist home with an artistic soul.
"My home is an expression of what I do and who I am,” says Ashiesh Shah who spearheads his own design firm, Ashiesh Shah Architecture + Design. An influential art collector, Shah is known for his eclectic collections. In an engaging chat, he tells us about the stories that are hidden in the turns and curves of his Mumbai pad.
Ashiesh Shah, owner of Ashiesh Shah Architecture + Design.
What is the best thing about designing one’s own home?
When you’re designing your own home, there is an artistic freedom that you are not at liberty to capitalise on when you’re working in someone else’s space.
What are the spatial characteristics of your home?
The apartment was initially a two-bedroom space with an enclosed kitchen. With the new layout, I attempted to create a more open, free-flowing space. The kitchen, for example, opens into the main living room and the stairs lead directly into the master bedroom. The impression is that of a coherent space rather than a detached one.
What were your chief considerations as you set out to do your home?
I wanted it to be a dynamic space, where I could come back to after a long day and also entertain guests. And, of course, I also needed a space for my art! walk us through your latest art collections. Lately, I’ve been collecting a lot of modern furniture, specifically modern pieces designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand from Chandigarh. I’m specifically interested in South Asian art. Politics, gender, materiality, and physicality—all play important roles in my selections.
What is your favourite corner?
The staircase is the pivotal point of the house, made mostly from a monolithic piece of marble. The stairs open into individual drawers that hold delicate works of art—for this reason I’ve dubbed them as ‘curiosteps’—not to forget the massive sculpture by Max Streicher that looms over them.
Is there an artist’s space in your home?
The area of the living room and dining room together is quite sizeable, and it breaks into indistinct niches that create snug, little spaces—ideal for kicking back with a good book.
What are the influences that you keep going back to?
I look at art, architecture, design, and literature from various periods. I think some of Le Corbusier’s work is pure genius. I’m also influenced by modern movements like the Bauhaus.