Usine Studio's design for an office in Vadodara minimises the fatigue of working across time zones

Usine Studio's design for an office in Vadodara minimises the fatigue of working across time zones

A fresh and youthful buzz creates a lively workspace for the young employees

India is full of workspaces that work in tandem with principal companies located far away, in a different time zone. The demands of such working hours are tough: a body clock that functions against its natural cycle brings with it a host of problems. APIDEL, a multinational firm with offices in USA, Canada and India, with its India office located at Vadodara and keeping time with its western counterparts, was fully aware of this problem. Which is why, when Using Studio was called up to design the India office, their proposal revolved around creating a workspace that would respond to this nocturnal functioning in a comforting yet energising manner.

“Since the spaces were not going to experience any natural light, we aimed to replicate the diurnal variations through different qualities of artificial light,” say the architects. Realising that the APIDEL employees fell largely in the 20-something bracket, the design team decided to give each of these professional spaces a fresh and youthful buzz to ensure a sense of lively involvement. As the office would not entertain any clients, the reception area became an abridged space, negotiating the transition between the entrance and the working areas. The ceiling of this zone was lined with a metal grating painted in a quirky yet formal combination of yellow and grey.

The workspace was designed with austerity that a tight budget often entails. All the work stations have wooden tops to minimise the glare of task lights and ambient lights. The longer wall of the rectangular office has the skylines of USA, Canada and India drawn by Dixit Panchal. Another wall has a set of clocks displaying the standard times from those countries, serving as a reminder of the company’s international connections. The MD cabin has full-length glass windows that provide beautiful night views of the city.

The informal team lounge and the smoking zone is divided by a glass painting of a human form receding into a tunnel. The lounge is adorned with large colourful floor cushions on turf carpeting, while the smoker’s den features a couple of upholstered chairs. These areas stand out as illuminated glass masses in the night, and are made more appealing by the partial reflections and colours of the surroundings. These spaces faced a semi-open seating area that overlooks a small terrace lawn. The area showcases a burst of colours of 30’x8’ canvas painting, by Dixit Panchal again, and a set of cosy lounge chairs in cobalt blue, APIDEL’s corporate colour. The flooring is pepped up with a classic black and white chequered pattern deployed diagonally, marking a path of sorts.

This office is a harmonious series of narratives with definite and distinctive color palettes, dotted with plants and greens: the formal spaces in browns and greys with pops of yellow, while the informal ones steeped in vibrancy — making it a spatial equivalent of a pep-up tonic!

Project name: APIDEL
Location: Vadodara
Carpet area: 8000sq-ft
Architecture firm name: Usine Studio
Principal architects: Yatin Kavaiya and Jiten Tosar
Design team: Nishita Chanchad and Minal Patel
PMC: Nimesh Panchal
Year of completion: 2019
Photography: Tejas Photography

Flooring: Simero (Ferro Gris Matte)
Wall finishes: Colour texture, graffiti, screen printing, canvas pasting
Interior finishes: Glass and metal works
Light fixtures: Hybec Lightings
Sanitary fixtures: Jaquar
Furniture and decor: Balas & Amardeep & customised metal furnishing, Kubic
Soft furnishings: Aavran

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