Parinee Ism; All images: James Law Cybertecture
"Wouldn't be cool if..." The poorest of design decisions have proceeded from those desperate late-night, caffeine-induced words. Those with the sense and sleep to rein in their flights of fancy or to dismiss them entirely do so once their critical faculties have been reconstituted and shed of the exhaustion, panic, and belligerence from the night prior. That seems to have been the case with the feature pool balconies from the Aquaria Grande apartment towers planned for Mumbai and designed by James Law Cybertecture (no comment). The precarious high-altitude pool ledges, protected only by a thin glass barrier, were the most novel (and pointless) formal flourishes from the relatively unspectacular 37-story apartment complex, the most spectacular of the buildings' luxurious amenities--which also include a gym, a sauna, a badminton court, and a three-level parking garage--that cater to the ravenous tastes of India's new rising super-rich. Yet, judging from the set of latest renderings (below), it seems that the pools have been cut from the final design, now under construction. Instead, the generic curves of the balconies bear only plants and patio furniture, while a giant pool, ostensibly filled with the collective waters from the "floating" pools, has been inserted into the composition, placed just over the garage. So much for inspiration.
Aquaria Grande, Mumbai
Aquaria Grande, Mumbai
Despite what everyone else is saying, the first image depicting the swimming pool balconies is in fact representative of another project by James Law, Parinee Ism. The conceptual residential tower is designed in the form of a monumental Ohm (Ω), with the floating pools arrayed on the side of its facades creating a fluid surface that evokes, according to the architect's description, the "ripple effect generated by water droplets." The complex will have 30 storeys of residential units, a decrease in number of those that will be found at the Aquaria Grande in construction in Mumbai (shown above), but will offer a similar "luxurious living environment" that the latter promises. As for our initial assertion, the architects seemed to have fully succumbed to a heady mix of crass symbolism and bogus formalism. While the design of the Aquaria Grande may be bland, the Parinee Ism is spectacularly ridiculous.
Parinee Ism, featuring an egg-like capsule that opens to reveal a high-altitude dance floor. Fun.