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Art goes into the Indian sky with a luxury project

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Forum Group has announced its decision to give Kolkata, and India, a new icon – a sculpture in the sky. Christened ATMOSPHERE, this luxury residential condominium project will consist of two tall towers; hanging between them, at a height of 500 feet, is ‘Deya’, an iconic piece of public art that will also house an exclusive club for the residents of Atmosphere. After creating Technopolis, globally the first commercial building to be recognized by the United Nations as being eligible for carbon credits, and gifting East India its first mall – Forum, the Group is pioneering another landmark. For the first time in India, architecture is brought to art’s doorstep, where a residential real estate property will itself be a magnificent, munificent piece of art. Spanning more than 320 feet in width, 55,000 sqft in usable space, Deya will be amorphous in shape, sculpted as if a cloud was gently floating between the peaks of the two towers. “Kolkata is the historic home of our country’s artistic and cultural renaissance. ‘Deya’ in Bengali means ‘cloud.’ It also means ‘to give.’ To my mind, there is no finer icon that I could have given to my own beloved city,” said Rahul Saraf, Managing Director, Forum Group.“A cloud has no particular form or character. When one is driving around the city, or looking at Deya from different parts of the city, its form will seem to be changing constantly. Similarly, as the sun moves in the sky, Deya will look different in its form, appearing sometimes solid, sometimes translucent and sometimes even a notion of being fluid. This will be the magic that Deya will cast upon this City of Joy,” said Mr. Saraf. Built around a pathway shaped like the Mobius Strip (loop of infinity), ‘Deya’ will irreversibly change Kolkata’s skyline. “Shimmering kinetic disks at strategic places will give this ‘cloud’ its very own silver lining!”
The estimated cost of Deya alone is Rs100 crore. The total project cost of Atmosphere is going to be approximately Rs550 crore. Other than being an object de art for the city, Deya will also be one of the most expensive clubs that this country would have ever built, that too for the exclusive use of the 80 families that will make Atmosphere their home.
Spread across four levels, Deya will house multiple swimming pools, a gym, a spa, squash courts and a badminton court, a jogging track, a mini cinema theater, open-air party deck, an amphitheater, and multiple lounges and spaces for smaller gatherings or congregations, among several other facilities. “The golf lovers of this city can practice their game at possibly the highest driving range and putting course on Earth!” said Mr. Rahul Saraf. Adding to the aura will be the views of Kolkata’s majestic wetlands, which fringe the project’s location (EM Bypass). Since these wetlands are protected, the pristineness of Atmosphere’s surroundings is guaranteed for the life of one’s villa there.
Deya will also be “Green”, keeping in line with the group’s Green philosophy. Rain water will be harvested in collection tanks provided within the foundations of Deya, and will be used for landscaping and other purposes. Taking advantage of the cool breeze at that height, most of Deya will be naturally ventilated and lit, thus saving on air-conditioning and power costs. The cost of operating and maintaining Deya will be almost 40% cheaper than a similar sized club on the ground. “We will manage Atmosphere on behalf of the residents for the first few years in order to set up the correct SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) and ensure efficient maintenance,” said Mr. Saraf.
Atmosphere is designed like villas in the sky, with large open decks. It is designed to cater to the needs of those families that seek to make their own bungalows on small plots of land. All the villas will have their own private lift lobbies to ensure the privacy and exclusivity that comes with Atmosphere – said Mr. Rahul Saraf.
The construction is scheduled to begin by mid March 2011 and will take approximately 30 months to complete. “As a company, we believe that our role is actually to design and build the spaces in which life resides. When one looks at it from that perspective – the entire sense of responsibility changes. And let’s remember that whatever we build today, adds to the skyline of our very own city forever. Hence, how beautiful and livable our city becomes is in our own hands.” said Mr Saraf.

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