One would imagine a successful life including the ownership of a space a person could call home and retire to at any point of the day – but how many spaces do you call home before you decide that you’ve had enough “success” for a lifetime? Expensive things owned by SRK Mannat house, a 6-storey high, Shahrukh Khan house is a sea-facing house located at Bandra west in Mumbai Not a moral dilemma worth his valuable time, the world’s favorite Bollywood star keeps on adding to his list! Shahrukh Khan’s most known property is Mannat undoubtedly, the two-hundred-crore-rupee haven fans flock to on his birthday, but he has a few others that are perhaps not as famous as they would like to be.
Initially a heritage site and called the “Villa Vienna”, Mannat is a complicated piece of architecture that requires a more critical eye than usual. The house boasts elements of Italian architecture, embedded into a neoclassical framework that would stand out and pay tribute to the family that resides inside.
A grand pediment shadows the front entrance, with an emblem centered under the tip of the triangle. While the ground floor displays a classical façade, behind it stands a somewhat modern design, with layers of glass reflecting the tropical Mumbai sun. These layers of glass are what hide Gauri Khan’s intricate sense of design, as she brings in the contemporary style that a fashionable family must exhibit and maintain.
A heritage site on the outside does not merit a heritage site on the inside – and with good reason! Spoken of fondly by Gauri Khan, the home houses a collection of memorabilia that adorns the modern interior. The most famous room in the house is Shahrukh Khan’s study, a wooden affair that hints at the original character of the building. Floor-to-ceiling panels decorate the walls and house his many awards, giving the room a rustic, intellectual warmth. This rustic mood carries to one of the balconies outside, where textured concrete panels compliment the beams used for the terrace ceiling.
The antique-ness ends here. For the rest of the house, there is a very distinct South Asian flavor of modernity, where the use of neoclassical panels equates to good design, even if the said panels would be better off in a Michaelangelo frame placed on simple drywall.
The home theatre in the basement is a forced tete-a-tete between gothic and structural expression, and it fails to make a cohesive statement. There is a similar concern with pictures of what I believe is the foyer, where the use of glass next to a brick column shows great potential, but does not deliver.
Khan’s dressing room, however, puts the star right with a bulb-studded mirror.
Perhaps the critique comes off too strongly. Mannat was a project conceived off in an older time and must be given the benefit of doubt. However, the writer tends to be a little skeptical about the interiors given the exposure that the couple has had in the world. Adding a bunch of souvenirs might look charming – but I had rather stop here. Isn’t Khan The Prince Charming of Bollywood anyway? What is a bit of traditional regality to a traditional household name?
The highlight of the house has to be the wooden staircase that spirals to the top and leads outwards into the different floors. Behind one such pathway is a door to the couple’s bedroom. Continuing from what was expressed about the design scheme before, I do not believe the room is deserving of an architectural Oscar. It ends in a very lavishly stocked walk-in closet, where Gauri Khan can be seen pictured among her many shoes.
The house is a nice home. The eye for detail should be appreciated with the play on textured walls and monochrome marble, and the many curios that represent the family are a welcome addition. One cannot help but wonder after this if one could have done a more outstanding job provided with the resources and finances that went into this house?
Then again, everyone always believes they could do it better than people who have already done it – an unfortunate moral dilemma that critics must always make the most of to further their careers. With five bedrooms and six floors, it’s a bit too big for me – and apparently was for Salman Khan, too!
With an aptitude for dramatic names and expensive living, Khan blends the two with his property on Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. A Middle-Eastern affair, this one takes away from his other abodes with its sense of arabesque style and sandy exterior. The curved arches and complementary windows, the white texture according to the climate, are all very Gulf-ian. This “Signature Villa” spans 8500 square feet and has a total of two floors.
The interiors for this villa were designed by Gauri Khan, again. The entire plot of land is a miniature Dubai, with restaurants and gardens aiming to please. Not one to shy away from spending large amounts of money, the interior has been rumored to be luxurious, although there are not many pictures available for the public eye.
The couple’s home in Delhi is also a neoclassical experiment, where Gauri Khan has played with paneling on the walls to curate a nostalgic space filled with memories of the past enclosed in square frames. The many lines of the wooden frames blend into the rectangular paneling, and convert the entire décor into one big movie about the family – and fittingly so!
The massive windows of this two-storey building make it stand apart from Mannat, letting people experience a lighter interior and create a more refreshing area than the latter.
As a designer, it seems as if generally Gauri Khan decided to hop onto an existing bandwagon instead of using the unique character of the family to craft something new for others to imitate in houses around India. She meant well when she said:
“It’s how you curate your home that constitutes art. People don’t need to go to interior designers if they are wanting to revamp their home.”
But if nobody needed to go interior designers, we would all be out of jobs. The couple also owns a space in Central London, which has also been shielded from the public. I wouldn’t be surprised if the family moved to Switzerland!