The transition of a bare canvas to a completed composition is always an exhilarating process, and who better to speak about it than architects and designers. It was one such energised course for Ego Designs as they set about designing their Ahmedabad-based studio. Founders and principal designers, Chirag and Sneha Doshi, who set up this venture 10 years ago, wanted the studio to be a reflection of their design ethos. They recall, “When we were faced with the prospect of designing our own studio, the task ahead was as daunting as it was exciting.”
The duo had clear-cut objectives to begin with. It was crucial that the studio serve as a template of their design sensibilities, quality and creativity – a task they considered “daunting”. “At the same time, we were excited with the freedom we would have as compared to working for clients,” they add. The result is that of a workspace that has a relaxed ambience and boosts creativity.
“Un-surfacing” the space is a concept the designers came up with to achieve their objectives. “The idea was to first ‘bare’ the structure down to its original structural elements,” explain the duo. This meant that the beams, columns and slab were given an exposed RCC finish through the application of texture and paint. Walls were given a clean, exposed brick-look using Flexstone cladding, and matched with grey flooring.
The furniture for the workstations, meeting room and cabin was made using birch ply, OSB Boards and solid teakwood with direct Monocoat polish (without finishing) sheets. “We were conscious of the textures needing to be consistent,” mention the designers. With its earthy, ochre-coloured appearance, the furniture provides warmth to the ‘bare’ structure. While colourful patchwork chairs, artificial plants and a smattering of quirky and inspirational posters add character.
On a slightly raised platform, the principal designers’ cabin and meeting room appears to be floating on laminated wooden flooring — owing to a lighting trick. Since they are flanked by glass partitions, the studio manages to retain the appearance of an open layout, with a visual field of all corners of the room. “We showed our technical finesse by using glass not only as a partition but also as a structural element, by holding a wooden frame between them for the cabin doors,” the designers add.
The clean execution of the design is what makes the space stand out. The focus COB (Chips on Board) LED lights provide sharp illumination and the full-height glass partitions appear almost non-existent – thereby increasing the volume of the space. Metal frame partitions add to this openness, while still dividing the room into different functional spaces. Additionally, the C-shaped, open workstation, even with its ample room for collaboration, doesn’t encroach on the spaciousness of the office.
Through their design, the studio retains the ‘bareness’ of the canvas, while adding elements of function and aesthetic that harmonise with it. It exhibits clever planning, fine execution and a sort of understated chutzpah, which speaks volumes of the studio’s capability.
Project: Ego Designs studio
Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Client: Ego Designs
Interior designers: Ego Designs
Design team: Sneha Doshi and Chirag Doshi
Project area: 790sq-ft (carpet area)
Project duration: 90 days
Photographer: Darshit Ringwala