Ivan Oddos is an architect based in Mumbai and Paris. He is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris Val de Seine, where he received a master’s in architecture in 2015. His professional career took off immediately and has ranged widely in scale, from urban planning to high-end residential projects. Oddos has an acute interest in purity and silence. His architectural approach results in spaces with calm and quiet atmospheres where, nonetheless, all senses are awoken. In his words, his practice aims to “design spaces where our minds are free to dream.”

We asked Ivan Oddos, our architect, to share how his path merged with æquō’s. He tells a story of architecture, design and the people behind our gallery space:

There are three main reasons we chose the Devidas Mansion: First, its localization in Colaba, a neighborhood full of architectural heritage and art galleries; second, the generous volume of the space; and third, the mansion is a protected building full of marvelous details. This last reason, became a very interesting challenge. We renovated the space to respond to our expectations while respecting its history. And, just like in the rest of my practice, a neutral and timeless design drove the project. I believe spaces that follow such principles are more adaptable to every user’s need.

This is why for æquō, we wanted a space that would primarily be a slick and bright gallery, but also a working space where designers could be fully immersed. It was important for us to have different workshops, a meeting room and other versatile areas.

The first sight of a space leads my intuition and ideas. One of them, for example, was what we call today the greenhouse. The space is along the facade of the building, and acts as a layer between the street and the showroom. Back in the day it was open, like a type of loggia, to protect people from the sun and the heat. I wanted to keep the essence of the outdoors within our indoor space. A similar process happened in the showroom and the meeting room. We played with transparency by opening and closing existing rooms, all while respecting the character of the space. We also prioritized many of the space’s existing details and decor. The two central columns, for example, are on every floor of the building and had previously been concealed behind walls and painted yellow. We found behind the thick layers of paint, a marvelous old teak wood. Similarly, we uncovered three small windows to bring in natural light in the entrance, essential for a gallery.

There is another essential notion that informed our decisions, which is not only my philosophy but also æquō’s, it is to work exclusively with local goods. It isn’t just a trend, but a way to value India’s materials. From the choice of the stone to the casted metal handles, every detail of the space remains rooted in India.

Materials are actually a central theme in my practice. Through volumes and textures, my intent is to create a calm dialogue between the space and its user. I would say my work always has a contemporary and minimalist shell, that contains all sorts of historical inputs.

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