Sonali Pandit

Sonali Pandit

Mumbai, IN


Fun and Quirky Office in the Heart of Mumbai

The highlight of the 2816 sq. ft. office space is the double height and the glass facade that boosts its volume. The requirement was to create a minimal yet dynamic workplace that would transcend the site conditions. The client wanted to retain the open and voluminous nature of the site. The brief was to create an un-official ambience reflecting a coffee shop. Even so the office was to have space for some formal interactions. Yet it had to amalgamate into one distinct space. The need was also to create an environment to help nurture the office culture and improve employee communication by keeping the design open. The office had to have an open design without any visual barriers.

With the given brief the key element was to keep the design functionally and aesthetically transparent. getting influenced by the glass facade that wrapped the site we decided not to segregate functions with barriers but let them flow into adjacent spaces. Keeping in mind the users the design was to make it more un-office like so as to have the same ideology of the inside-out outside-in. hence we looked at the site as a canvas to paint with a very modern approach; of keeping it minimal also at the same time vibrant and lively.

While planning; the private functions were pushed away from the voluminous double height space; the more social lounge was planned in this area. Wanting to give the lounge a more laid back feel a snack bar counter was planned running parallel to the glass facade. This also doubled up as a work station area and also to have small discussions. The workstations were broken up into 12- seater longer tables and 8 seaters. Two medium size meeting rooms were planned that could be converted into one big conference room. Other than that one small dedicated meeting room was provided. The client also did not want a separate reception. Therefore a small seating area was created close to the entry.

The formal of the interactions were to take place in these meeting rooms; keeping in mind the overall nature of the design we kept the meeting rooms visually open. The design was laid out in a manner so as to have the work place flow into the lounge area. While designing we planned for the sort of user movement that would happen throughout the day. During the start of the day most of them would be at their workstation that was located centrally. As the day transitioned the lounge would be preferred. Therefore the lighting was also designed accordingly. Any design is a success when you can functionally utilise as much of the available space.  At the other end of the lounge was a small pocket of area that was not flowing into the overall planning. So we created a small pod there for one person to sit and work. We
designed the door of the pod to resemble a phone booth. It worked both visually appealing and functionally. Similarly there were two columns in the centre of the site; we designed one of the workstations so the columns amalgamated with the design instead of standing out separately.

While designing we also kept in mind the branding of the company; we custom made the handle to the main door. On exiting from the lift one is welcomed by a solid door with the brand name; the logo is made in stainless steel and powder coated so as to have a dual purpose of being used as a handle as well as for their branding. The work stations were not to be a typical table instead we wanted the top to seem like floating. The work station top was made thicker and the legs staggered. It was a prerequisite to have a table which had to make the office look un-official. We opted for a lighter top and darker legs. The electric supply
for each of the tables was taken from the ceiling. Instead of have wire managers we used a m.s. box section and welded them together to resemble an inverted branch. This branch was finished in different colours.

We customized the wallpapers to go with the colourfulness of the entire site. The fixed furniture colour palette was kept neutral and the playfulness was brought in through lights and loose furniture. The flooring was also chosen accordingly with a mix of patterns. The glass partition at the entrance; planned to block the washroom entries; have bands of colour.  

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Status: Built
Location: Mumbai, IN
My Role: Senior Interior Architect
Additional Credits: Marble: Millenium Marble
Wall Cladding: customised wallpaper Maimoon decor
Lighting Fixtures: Teknolite for general lighting, Decorative lights sourced from Deepam
Furniture: Pepperfry
Hardware: Unique Enterprise
Paintings: Asian Canvas
Aum Team: Manish Dikshit, Sonali Pandit, Nachiket Borwake