‘YOO’ experience in Pune
Recently launched in Pune was the luxury YOO Villas, a collaborative effort of Panchshil, UK real estate baron John Hitchcox and designer Philippe Starck. Hitchcoxbriefed Realty Plus about the luxury global living project and his own design journey.
YOO’s Founder Chairman John Hitchcox, in 1998 with his friend, design giant Philippe Starck set up YOO, a design and development company. YOO homes have been designed and developed in large scale projects with partners across 27 countries. Designers Jade Jagger, Marcel Wanders, Kelly Hoppen, AnouskaHempel and Steve Leung have all joined the YOO family, creating a portfolio that offers luxury design in many different forms, from the cutting-edge to the most enduringly classic. YOO has won many industry awards for design, development, community building, hotels and residences.
YOO has been designing landmark residential and hotel projects throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, North and South America and the Middle East. In India, YOO is working on projects with Lodha in Mumbai and now with Panchshil in Pune, talking about his relations with Indian developers, Hitchcox, said, “My relationship with the Indian developers has been fantastic. Panchshil have been absolute gems to us.”
The Design Journey
The son of late architect Brian Hitchcox, the British scion has made a name for himself in the real estate and design industry, talking about his journey and collaborations, Hitchcox, said, “I have spent the last 35 years travelling around the world building buildings and I have been very lucky to be partnering with some fantastic developers like Panchshil and some fantastic designers like Kelly Hoppen and Philippe Starck. We have spent our lives studying the home and we try our best to improve it every day of our lives. We do that through design, through design at the concept through all of that, hardware all of the physical aspects of it and how they influence people’s lives and their contentment.”
Further elaborating on his early years in London and how the city has influenced his design practices, Hitchcox, explained, “London is the melting pot of so much creativity, lifestyle and design certainly for the last 30 years and many, many decades before then. It has lead in the world of music, fashion and design and many other things. One might have to go back a few centuries to start to realize that our crazy field system and the many members of the family actually are forced to do things like discover, innovate and create and I think the legacy that we have inherited has been an innovative and creative nation, I think we still as a country might not be the leader of the patents but we are certainly on the top three. So, we are still there.”
What defines architectur
Volume, scope and softness are the key elements of good architecture according to Hitchcox, elaborating on it further, he said, “For me, the overall concept which is a big piece of architecture still exists here which is about creating a sense of community. Even though we are at the highest of high level, a community is still very important because it is a pity not coming and joining your club where you will get to know your neighbours and that, I think is very important piece of this jigsaw. The hallmarks of a good architecture are careful research, creativity and recognition that the building would last to look longer than the architect. The Chrysler building inspires me a lot. Another inspiration is the Empire State building and the fact that it was built in 19 months.”
YOO Villas offers 45 residences housed within a picturesque riverside location in Wagholi, Pune. The gated development has wide roads & uninterrupted sidewalks shaded with canopies of trees and a promenade. A central water course provides the foundation around which YOO Villas is created. YOO Villas offer three interior style options created by Kelly Hoppen- Urban, Sea Breeze and Vintage. Residents of YOO Villas have access to the Kelly Hoppen designed Panchshil Club as well.
Talking about some of the challenges faced in achieving the design intricacies required for the project, Hitchox, said, “One of the challenges here was that the concepts were so detailed, high-end and incredible that the challenge of building it was hard. It’s amazing to know that people have been working tirelessly and hard to produce quality.”