Saurabh Gupta

Archohm Studio

C-28C, Sector-8,
Noida-201301| (UP)
Tel  No.+91-120-4640300
mail@archohm.com,
www.archohm.com

 

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Soul Defining Spaces

Individuals are like institutions. Their personal space, their home office, is the campus to their school of thought. Their philosophy defines their space and their space defines them.

India has seen the phenomenon of a small company scaling into a large corporate many a times. It is an era where delegation of control and structuring of operations is still evolving. A lot of businesses fuel and run with an individual on top, growing on his hunger and are directed by his vision. And these are the people who need their domains to be comfortable and controlled. The philosophy of their company is a reflection of their personality. That personality filters down as a culture into the teams and colleagues. For designing their habitat and their workspace, this culture gives the requisite clues.

Archohm was recently commissioned to build a small office and residence for the owner of the Takshila Group. They run large successful city schools, work on a rural campus for arts and crafts, promote performing arts and support ‘Indian’ endeavors.

The design of the office cum residence plays daringly with materials, colours, textures and products in this ‘no compromise’ space solution.

Functionally, the ground floor is the reception space and serves as a control for the lower ground office and the upper ground house with a multipurpose lounge to engage and entertain business visitors.

The upper level is a single expansive space subdivided and scaled down to different times and tones.

There is a ‘standing meeting’ space at the entrance foyer with a large wooden table. This allows flexible capacity and free movement in the area. This space with multiple doors is neutralized with playful wooden ribs to diffuse these surface breaks.

A cozy corner with a two people seating with high back chairs, a table and a lamp brings in the required intimacy to the space. This also works as an extension to the bar space.

A formal lounge is a fair and square seating plan. Each piece of furniture being an Italian classic creates a large and matured space, slightly stiff and sophisticated. This spaces sees the famous ‘Utrecht sofas from gerritrietveld’, the deep formal leather sofas by ‘Philippe Starck’ and the stunning center piece (multi-faced) day beds with flexible armrests. The overall composition has a curated collection of center tables, peck tables, accessories and lights from the finest Italian furniture brands, giving a required sense of art and sculpture to space.

The informal seating with the television expresses a young and vibrant mood with floating colorful furniture. The stepped lounger with multiple colours, its easy ‘l’ shape and size relaxes the space. The glass-legged tables and the coordinated wall units, the raw wood base and play of colours  makes the space playful too. The spring armchair literally brings in the required spring and style to this setting.
Central to all this is a large monolithic counter with a fire place, a buffet table and a bar. This has been exclusively designed and engineered with special two millimeter thick (three meter by one meter) large vitrified sheets wrapping around floorings and furniture. With no walls and consistency of surface materials, the space seamlessly unifies for larger gatherings as and when required. This is also exaggerated by the large and long curtain that walls the external windows and doors with white textured sheers.

The basement is a more traditional office space. Storages are concealed behind a textured relief wall of wood. This absorbs the extensive filing requirements as well as the services and servers.

The cabins are scaled and sized with flexible glass verticals and Corian horizontals. The cabin is an experiment to redefine workspace inside by eliminating the inside circulation space. It borrows the outside passage to sit across the table inside. This also makes the cabin more accessible, literally and workwise.

A large central island, a Corian monolith, serves as a workspace for six. This piece is specially designed to house lighting, electricals and other plug ins. A separate space for stationery, a special space for plants and a smart plinth for individual lights. These lights are long LED strips especially for workstation task-lighting, minimizing screen glares and light pollution. Touch controls further enhance the technology edge to the space.

This workspace extends to the informal canteen and conference space that spans between the pantry and printing facility. This space also had a glass wall with plants at the bottom and natural light from top. Metal walls with magnets give an innovative and informal definition to the space. Stools and small tables in this space function the flexibility.

The conference room is the most fundamental requirement of the project. It was to be used primarily for virtual meetings. The vertical surfaces are glass writing boards or sound absorbing textures. So is the carpet flooring and ceiling reliefs. State of the art conferencing equipment, smart boards and lighting controls enable this compact space as a comprehensive solution.

Last but not least, is the most impressive volume of the project. This is the workspace of the owner, the chairman of the group. The double heights with bare concrete walls give a distinct ‘designer’ definition to this room. One uses the rurality of bamboo as a flavor and a finish. ‘Finesse’ of engineered bamboo panels on the flooring and circular cross sectional clusters of real bamboo as a creative ceiling concealing all services bring in the material madness. The raw wood Italian furniture further compliments the purity of surfaces. Two walls are clean and bare concrete to receive the artwork, an original large Hussain painting. One wall is a double glass wall with plants to diffuse the sense of the underground. The back wall is an extended large wall unit, a rhythm of raw vertical planks flanked with horizontal glass to store books, awards, equipment and accessories of the well read and travelled ‘collector’, the occupant of this space. The two most fundamental ingredients of a workspace, the chair and the light are both examples of the finest German technology and design. The European equipment for sound and light brings in the required ‘intelligence’ quotient for efficiency at work. This innovative vocabulary selection and intuitive product collection brings in a sense of ‘taste’ and ‘timelessness’. This core space is thus the inspiration that fuels the entire project and the larger office at large.