The Shera office by SM studio in Mumbai showcases an attempt on the behalf of the designers to go beyond the realm of interior design to manifests itself in the masses, planes and volumes, emboldened by lighting create spaces that have a distinct tectonic quality. Manufacturers of fibre-cement building boards, the designing team used the in-house material palette to their utmost advantage in creating a dynamic space.
The brief was to set up a workspace with an open, interactive and “unoffice” environment, within the compact footprint of 1500 sq-ft. “The project brief outlined the space to remain young, welcoming yet formal to encompass the staff and an array of multidisciplinary clientele. It also needed to be a brand experience centre, exhibiting the maximum possibilities of usage of Shera Ply – which was challenging as we had no prior experience with the Shera Ply product line,” state the architects.
The entrance of the office is a simplified narrow passage with intriguing use of light, which proceeds to reveal the activities transcending beyond. Planes that incline and torque in an attempt to create a sense of flow and movement define the space.
The planning steps forward to follow a discerning office layout wherein the customised furniture is used to generate the contemporary feel of the ambience. The transitory visual experience between the ceiling and the other areas is dramatic and divergent in terms of the surface treatment.
Grooves of light illuminate the walls, thus further emphasising the decor made in hues of greys and walnut, juxtaposing against polished floor and exposed ceilings. Simple lines have been articulated in combination with a range of in-house materials that subtly perpetuate the idea. The spatial zoning is integrated through allocation of multifunctional places like meeting rooms, cabins, library, etc. The repetitive pattern of the plan works to create a sense of comfort and interaction within the sections of the workstations.
“The layout was kept flexible by creating an open office setup with meeting and cabin spaces hidden behind large facades of clear glasses. Then, to an otherwise raw looking office, we did realize that a warm graphical note would be needed to provide the required “wow” factor. This was introduced, by converting some part of the library into a sparking yellow asymmetrical shelving rack. Further to that, the entire space was interspaced with the use of surfaces turning into textures, light fixtures, and even furniture,” add the designers. With a use of subtle colours and willingness to re-interpret the essence of an office, the architects have infused new energy and versatility into the space.
Owning to its location, situated in an industrial compound, the office is devoid of any natural source of lighting and windows; this has led to an confined space that the designers have tried to address. However, dynamism expressed with articulation of simple forms and geometries with expressive objects and textures makes the experience through space full of surprises. The lighting of the interior spaces changes in colour and intensity from place to place as one passes from a subtly to a vividly lit area.
Project: Shera, India office
Location: DS Industrial Compound, Mumbai
Client: Shera, India
Architect: SM studio
Design Team: Suresh Mistry, Meghana Shetty
Project Area: 1500 sq-ft.
Project estimate: (rupees symbol) 37.5 lakhs
Initiation of Project: August 2014
Completion of project: October 2014
Photography: Courtesy Ravi Kanade