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Bengaluru FC create history to become first Indian team to qualify for AFC Cup final after 3-1 win

The Bengaluru skipper scored twice before Juan Antonio added the third goal after going behind against Johor Darul Ta'zim early in the game.

Bengaluru FC became the first Indian side to book a place in the AFC Cup finals as a Sunil Chhetti brace and a third goal from Juan Antonio gave them a 3-1 win over defending champions Johor Darul Ta'zim in the 2nd leg semi-final at home. Benglauru went behind through Johor's Safiq Rahim scoring early in the first half. The two teams were deadlocked 1-1 after the first leg.

The boisterous crowd at the Kanteerava stadium had gone silent when Ta'zim playmaker Safiq Rahim pounced on a rebound to net the first goal of the game. Amrinder Singh was culpable for the goal, parrying it straight to the Johor skipper. Such was Bengaluru's dominance with the ball at their feet.

Juan Antonio marshalled the backline with authority, Chettri was at his menacing best and Eugeneson Lyngdoh's pace on the flanks is something that Johor struggled with all evening. Cameron Watson provided tremendous industry, tirelessly covering ground.

Conceding an early goal and letting their opponents into the contest didn't faze the home side, who relentlessly pressed for the equaliser. The signs were ominous for Johor when, around the half-hour mark, Chhetri smashed the bar from a tight angle from the right. Bengaluru, though, should have done better with the rebound with CK Vineeth and Lyngdoh failing to land the decisive touch.

Chhetri would make amends and score the equaliser, five minutes from the half-time whistle. Johor's slack marking was punished by the Bengaluru skipper, who headed away Lyngdoh's pin-point inswinging corner into the roof of the net.

Bengaluru pressed for the second goal and just minutes into the second half, Chhetri cut in from left but his curler went a couple of feet wide of the post. Bengaluru dominated and it was sheer brilliance from Chettri that gave his side the second goal, finding the back of the net from a ferocious shot from 25 yards out.

Bengaluru would ruthlessly punish the away side's marking once again as Juan Antonio, at the far post, found the corner of the net from a free-kick. Once again, Lyngdoh's delivery was spot on. Johor lost their discipline towards the end as Bengaluru held on to create history.

Brief scores:

Bengaluru 3 (Sunil Chhetri x 2, Juan Antonio) beat Johor Darul Ta'zim 1 (Safiq Rahim)

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What goes into creating an uber-luxurious home in India? We ask the experts

There is surprising consensus among experts on the main elements of luxury in architecture.

Luxury living conjures an idea of opulence and excess, but is increasingly becoming more about seeing design as a solution, form following function, and innovation. Our panel of experts sheds light on what constitutes luxury in an Indian home.

Response to context

Pallavi Choksi of Pinakin Design points out astutely that “Real luxury is the luxury to waste space, especially in a place like Bombay.” Her view finds resonance with Hadi Teherani, the much decorated German-Iranian architect. He says, “Luxury is first and foremost to have space, not just enough for what you need but enough space to really thrive. And luxury has always been defined that way.”

But is space all there is to a luxury home? Location or context also plays an important role.

“Context is very important”, says Rajiv Saini, who runs one of India’s leading design practices and specializes in high-end luxury projects. “Volume, air and purity of space all come into play—if it is in the hills or in the plains.” So, the location of the property and the way the house responds to it is equally crucial.

Hiren Patel, of Hiren Patel Architects agrees. He laments, “We live in a temperature controlled cocoon with artificial lighting and for these comforts we have lost our connection with nature.” The work he looks up to is of Charles Correa and Geoffrey Bawa, architects whose design brought the environment in. “Charles Correa—his design was climate adaptive and absolutely connected to nature. And he still brought in luxurious touches with open terraces. And Geoffrey Bawa—he added the aspect of landscape and took us back to the pastoral.”

Hadi Teherani reiterates the idea of context. In his Mumbai-based luxury project, the Lodha Altamount, he has chosen to respond to Mumbai’s graph-like skyline. “The design of Altamount was strongly influenced by its location. Next to Altamount stands a luxury highlight of architecture, the Ambani tower, the most expensive home in the world. How do you want to top that? The Ambani tower is very structural. It shoots through the air, it combines all sorts of crafts and structural design elements with gaps and open spaces. You can’t top that and definitely not with our type of design. That’s why we decided to hold back and instead develop a dark and sleek building. That type of building doesn’t exist a lot here in India. Usually buildings have many structural elements like beams and balconies. By creating a calm building in the skyline of Mumbai, we will make Altamount stand out.”

LODHA Altamount, Mumbai - image courtesy LODHA The Luxury Collection
LODHA Altamount, Mumbai - image courtesy LODHA The Luxury Collection

Going desi

Responsiveness to context can also be seen in the way architects and designers are trying to incorporate Indian designs or specific Indian requirements in their structures. There is a definite Indian palate that denotes neo-luxury even as we get more globalized. Our homes reflect our identity, regional or national, and there are multiple ways of getting it right.

Pallavi Choksi at Pinakin Design LLP explains, “The difference is in layout design because often times you have more than one generation living in one house, so the major difference comes from family structure.”

Luxury living spaces are also defined by non-material considerations. Hadi Teherani tells us, “What I do experience is that many projects are influenced by religious thoughts and by Vaastu, something like Feng shui. So the master bedroom has to be in the south-west and the kitchen has to have a certain location. Those rules need to be followed exactly. In Mumbai, it’s a little more liberal but in other regions, Hyderabad for instance, every centimetre has to be exact as per Vaastu.”

Functional design

Common wisdom holds that functionality is the foundation stone of design today. But is it still true for luxury design which has come to be associated with the need to stand out rather than be useful? And by that virtue, is there a threat of functional design losing the sheen of luxury by its simplicity?

Rajat Sodhi, the director of the architecture and design practice Orproject, counters, “Functionality has become a misnomer for ‘cheap’. You can build a w/c for a minimum cost and as the functions offered with it increase, so does the cost.” Function and luxury go hand in hand. “Sensibility in design is what makes the difference, between functional and luxurious.” Kota Stone is the cheapest stone available, but if you reinterpret it, use it with inlay work, it can be a bespoke luxurious experience.

Uncharted territory

So how will luxury architecture in India shape up in the years to come? Mridula Sharma, Editor-in-Chief at Decoration International Magazine observes, “Luxury has moved over from Italian marble and imported fixtures and has become about how you are redefining Indian things. Something smart, Indian, and contemporary with a strong concept behind it—that’s luxury”.

But perhaps there is still much to be explored in the space of luxury homes in India. Hadi Teherani says, “The idea of really designing your bathroom or kitchen has not yet reached India. Bathrooms are still rather compact and practical since the idea of spending quality time in your bathroom doesn’t seem to exist yet. Customers definitely do not request a spacious bathroom when we discuss their projects. For me, personally, a great bathroom is extremely important, as it is the first thing you use in the morning. Afterwards you go to work, and you come back home. But I believe the areas that you use most need to have enough space for you to move and thrive in.”

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This article was produced on behalf of Lodha Luxury by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff

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