Delhi-based IP+ST designs the BGIF Office in Gurugram

Delhi-based IP+ST designs the BGIF Office in Gurugram

Samarth Trehan, partner with Ishan Pal at IP+ST, shares the design concept and execution process of one of their key projects

An architecture practice "dedicated to delivering inspiring architecture, interiors and design solutions" for their clients, IP+ST - founded by Ishan Pal and Samarth Trehan - has experience as project architects (collectively, in firms and through private practice) and has accumulated knowledge and expertise in institutional, residental, commercial, retail and exhibition design.

Among the key projects they have executed is the office of BGIF, a non-profit organisation that works to better the lives of the people of Haryana through evidence-based policy research and high-impact social interventions.

"The client’s brief was to design an office space as well as their brand identity that represents the highly optimistic attitude of the organisation. They wanted an office that lent a sense of brightness and greenery, giving the feeling of working outdoors, even though the location is a basement with no natural light and the workspace is meant for usually 'morbid feeling' policy planning work," discloses Samarth Trehan, partner at IP+ST.

"The intent of the design was to create an environment that stimulates and encourages ideation and communication. With that in mind, we presented the idea of a co-working space - but to keep it away from the general co-working coffee shop aesthetic, we gave functionality and economising of space a priority in design."

"Our first task was to deduce an optimal layout within the site, and then integrate with an aesthetic that complements the ideologies of the client.

"A small entry reception area leads to a heavily-used common open workspace, the two spaces divided by an automated self-watering 5x12ft planter wall. A constant reminder and symbol representing their efforts towards a sustainable and green future, makes the design functional and sustainable, since it uses natural processes to treat the air, while consuming less energy than traditional HVAC systems. 

"The call centre is aurally isolated and treated to keep the nature of their work from affecting other work stations.  A lounge space is fitted with cork-board walls for pinning up maps and other analytical projects. Due to space constraints,  above the call centre and lounge, we created a mezzanine and placed a pantry with an area clearly demarcated for relaxation and casual discussions. The use of tightened jute ropes as partition elements for the stairs helped demarcate different areas while maintaining a visual connect," elaborates Trehan.

"Being a space where users spend the majority of their day, we had to deal with all the negatives of a basement work space, such as work stress, absenteeism, lower productivity and [lack of] concentration. Our emphasis was on lighting, ventilation, user-friendly functionality while being low maintenance. On one hand, the colours yellow and green in paint, oak veneer on furniture have been used to create a sense of play, adding warmth and comfort and, on the other, white walls and the use of clear-glass partitions has maximised the visual openness of the space. The choice of colours also complements the logo we designed for them," points out Trehan.

About IP+ST
New Delhi-based IP+ST was started as a experimental firm. Parnters Ishan Pal and Samarth Trehan both went to the same institution for their architecture education, where they partnered on a number of projects. They noticed a big disconnect between the design process during their education years and in the profession. The profession played with mostly an aesthetic idea of architecture, and did not give much emphasis to design iteration merging with new solutions and concepts. They started their firm because they believe in the importance of research within design, with a process that goes hand-in-hand with experimentation and new ideas. Moving away from what is available (in terms of content), they push to ask 'what else is possible?' with each project. These possibilities fuel their motivation and help bring a touch of something that's fresh to the market, public and profession.

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