SAV Architecture + Design studio shape Unilab’s Mumbai office

SAV Architecture + Design studio shape Unilab’s Mumbai office

London and Mumbai based SAV Architecture + Design designed an open-plan and minimal workspace interiors for Unilab, a pharmaceuticals and chemicals company, in North Mumbai within a new office block.

UNILAB office, V Interior Solutions, SAV Architecture + Design studio

The clients, who are well travelled across the world, were anticipating an office space with a contemporary and international appeal that provides a calm working oasis within the chaotic Mumbai surround. Keeping this in mind, SAV proposed an office design that focuses on flexibility, transparency and tactility that would bring utmost natural light and freshness into the interiors. Inspired with the forms of chemical compositions, the design team conceptualised the lighting, furniture and flooring patterns to create a layered and textured design showcasing the different formulas that the company uses in making their products.

The 120sqmt workspace compromises of a meeting room placed close to the entrance with the two individual directors at the end of the edge and a modular working space towards the middle. Clear glass partitions create an end-to-end transparency that maintains an overall light sense of space throughout the office.

The meeting room is a long and spacious area with full-height wooden cabinets on one side that serves as a display for the different products that the company manufactures.  The glass table with custom-fabricated steel legs reinforce the light look of the interiors. The Eames bucket chairs, with an upholstered grey back, generate a warm and soft contrast to the glass. The partition between the workspace and the meeting is screened with tall bamboo planters that add an organic and green aura to the area. The two director rooms have minimal furniture with custom-designed desks- one crafted entirely of teak wood topped with traditional woodwork and the other of birch plywood made through CNC fabrication.  The rooms have additional informal seating- two shell chairs by Hans J. Wegner in one of the director’s chamber and a simple sofa with customised side tables in the other.

The central workspaces are arranged along custom-designed modular birch plywood desks with integrated planters and concealed cable trays that allow for working efficiently among an expansive, green and flexible appeal. The client had asked for large flexible desks that could cater to a mix of freelance and full-time workers, those that could also be used as individual working desks if the company expands their team.

The HVAC unit of the Unilab office is a VRV-based system with machinery and outlets neatly tucked above the services area. The services, compromising of the toilet, storage and pantry, can be accessed through a flush door concealed in the central workspace area. The toilet carries forward the minimal look with grey concrete tiles, a large mirror, a wall mounted mixer and a white stone counter with Foster designed Durvait basin.

The interior design mainly focuses on layers that shape the space and moods among the different rooms. The seamless concrete floors with an overlaid hexagonal pattern in the form of steel expansion joints flow across the floor to the concrete wall on the entrance. The patterned layer continues to be present as handcrafted inlay within the wooden cabinetry of the reception and the partition of the director spaces, creating a layered contrast of materiality between the soft cool concrete and the warm tonal walnut wood.

The designer lights stand out to be a vital layer in the design. The lighting composed of a mix of directional slot-LED lights and free-flowing hexagonal units that continue across the space. The large hexagonal pendants were custom-fabricated out of powder-coated aluminium and LED lights to create three metre-long compositions that were then assembled on site.

The cabinetry occupies the entire wall on one side of the area behind the reception, making for another distinct layer in the office design. Designed as a storage wall to house archives and files for the company records, the flush doors are adorned with a mix of laminated birch plywood and walnut, milled with a CNC-machine to generate a free-flowing pattern of chemical bonds. The pattern dissolves on to the wall of the director space to create a wooden inlay within the concrete.

The interior design focuses on simplicity and attention to detail, along with texture and craftsmanship. Made with a mix of traditional carpentry and new computational and fabrication technologies, the design flaunts modern furnishings and natural materials, especially concrete and wood to create a cool, calm and uncluttered working space.

SAV is an international contemporary architecture and design studio producing highly original and intra-disciplinary work. They explore multiple curiosities between places, stories and cultures, as well as with systems, structures and spaces. SAV’s work is inspired from nature and its resourceful efficiency and complex beauty. Combining the aesthetic and materiality, advanced technology with craftsmanship and performance with pragmatism we work across scales and contexts to create designs that are evocative and extraordinary.

Project: Unilab Chemical & Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd office interior design
Location: Mumbai
Client: Unilab Chemical & Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd
Architect: SAV Architecture + Design
Photographer: Fabien Charuau
Main Contractor: V Interior Solutions
Furniture Fabricator: Folds
Lights Fabricator: Glowtech
HVAC: Aerocon & Daikin
Project Area:  120 sqmt
Initiation of Project: 2016

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