Prefab is fab! Interview with a landscape design firm re-imagining the great outdoors

Building a beach resort, vacation home, or apartment complex in the heart of a city? Looking for ideas for your home garden or to beautify your outdoors with a fabulous poolside lounge, Balinese gazebo or contemporary-looking outdoor deck area to break the monotony? Landscape design can help you reinvent your space and create the perfect setting under the sun.

We caught up with Riard Jasubhoy and Zane Pedder whose landscape design firm Tropical Paradise has built over 700 structures for clients all over India. They work out of a 25,000 sq ft workshop in Alibaug and employ a team of 40 master carpenters, fabricators, roofing specialists, 3D designers, structural designers, and architects. Together, Zane and Riard’s team helps build custom, all-weather structures to suit their client’s requirements and budget. Their portfolio is truly diverse, and includes outdoor cottage suites, tree homes, tent houses, pavilions, lounge areas, outdoor decks, sunrooms, swimming pools, party enclosures, pergolas and terrace gardens, made using a variety of materials like tropical hardwood, galvanised steel, RCC, fabric, synthetic thatch and glass.

Many of the structures (from 350 to 1800 sq ft) are prefabricated at their workshop and installed on site. Structures can be temporary or impermanent, which means projects can be executed in a short amount of time, without lengthy paperwork and seeking too many permissions. Also, Tropical Paradise works on creating eco-friendly, easy to maintain structures, that can last just as long as a brick and mortar house, while looking like new for years to come.

We spoke to Zane and Riard to get a sense of the latest trends in landscape design, understand their approach to work and more. Read on for excerpts

How important do you think landscape design is while building a resort, residential complex, or a private bungalow?

Landscape design is very important to liven up the outdoors. Our structures encourage people to get closer to nature, and feel like a part of the great outdoors. It could be a simple shaded, sit-out by the garden or by the pool, a game room or recreational lounge, or a fully-functional two-bedroom villa or tree home – there is a range of structures that clients can choose from to extend their main home, to suit their budget and living needs. We execute projects on a turnkey basis, or collaborate with others as part of a larger team.

Do people use landscaping even in the middle of congested cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore?

Yes, our products are used as a utility feature in large city building complexes mainly in common terrace & lawn areas. Also, our products are a common feature in private HNI apartments having terrace gardens.

How would you describe your aesthetic, or approach to work, in terms of styling?

Our designs range from contemporary to classic, and our choices are influenced by climatic conditions. So, the structures we build are practical yet give residents a sense of comfort and luxury. From the selection of wood and other materials, to sourcing, building, and design, we have always paid attention to the aesthetic appeal of the structures we build: to create an airy, super-premium, global and close-to-nature feel.

Can you talk about any trends emerging within landscape design based on projects you have executed?

Today, we see that our discerning clients (architects, hoteliers, and high net worth individuals) are happy to spend on landscaping to create a sense of luxury and comfort. Trends are changing constantly and we make an effort to keep pace with global styles and respond to the changing needs of our customers. Outhouses are really big today, as an addition to the main bungalow. These sunrooms or outhouses are usually added on after the main property has already been built, to accommodate an additional bedroom, create a recreational area, or even build a gym.

Could you talk about a few of the materials you work with often and why?

We work with a mix of top quality timber & steel for many of our projects. Though we have experimented with a wide range of materials including asphalt, canvas, and glass. When it comes to creating roofing solutions, Palmex is often the first choice for us, given its long life and versatility. But most importantly, we choose a synthetic thatch like Palmex because of its natural look and charm that blends seamlessly with the outdoors, while being eco-friendly and low on maintenance.

What has been your most ambitious or challenging project to date?

It is impossible to choose! Each project we have done as a team has been ambitious & challenging in its own way and all have been our favorites!

Please keep visiting our blog for more such updates from the world of construction and hospitality. And do write to the Palmex team for any queries on our product and services.

Preeti Prakash | Journalist

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