A 650 sq. ft. carpet area space with a height of 11 feet was to be designed to become an open office with an employee strength of six people plus a director's cabin and a waiting area. The idea was to give an open and clutter free space without any partitions or internal walls. The client had requested for a minimal approach and an amalgamation of raw and modern. The client's belief was a responsive workplace is to dissolve the traditional boundaries of the office and have an open space creating an immense impact on employees' attitudes and the quality of the work they produce.
The idea was to create a space which has an undeniable poetry with the spirit of the quote, “If you give people nothingness, they can ponder what can be achieved from that nothingness.” By Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Clean lines and concrete. Expansive glass windows and muted color palettes. Such are the hallmarks of this minimalist office. Reduce that further, and you end up with all that epitomises those three famous words uttered by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the ultimate master of minimalism: “Less is more”.
Bringing in light and nature inside the office was achieved beautifully, keeping in mind that one needs to destress just by gazing outside the windows. The motto while designing was, less visual clutter leads to less mental clutter. The lowered privacy can bond the employees and their leader by eliminating border, yet still defining the space to identify who is inside. The design team also wanted to have a part of the name reflected in design, which is the 'ARCH', to create a wall highlighting the same with a modern twist.
Taking one strong gift from nature like wood, and the other a strong triumph of man-made ingenuity which is concrete was the aim in design. To create a space full of clean, crisp lines and a neutral and muted material palette. The warmth and texture of natural wooden elements just sing against the cold hard drama of grey concrete, allowing each element a moment in the spotlight.
Taking a minimalistic approach to design as per the client’s brief, using the current modern palette of concrete, wood and printed handmade tiles makes this open workspace friendly, creative and collaborative. An open waiting area, an open pantry, crittall glass fenestration separating the director's cabin as well as bringing in natural light from both sides, are just some of the features here. The name of the studio had the word ARCH which we tried to depict with a wall highlighting Modern arches in wood adding a charisma to the office. The beauty of the space was the natural light and the surrounding trees. The office is evolved to become more informal, airier, and more open, and more inviting and creative.
Innovation in detailing and materials
In a minimalistic approach to design, "God lies in the details" and thus the design team have focussed on the details to a great extent. Sheesham wood furniture which has a very natural character fused with metal frames were designed carefully keeping in mind the client’s comfort and the longevity of the furniture pieces. Every piece of furniture was designed with the minimalistic and modern edge to it. A full-length storage cabinet was designed in veneer with concealed metal handles matching the levels of the crittall fenestration. Track lights adorn the exposed ceiling in white paint to break the monotony of the wood and grey palette. The designers used glass in the form of a crittall fenestration to give it a modern look and to bring in natural light from both sides. The floors are in concrete to give it a minimalistic and modern feel to the space.
The open pantry kitchen is fitted with handmade cement tiles by Bharat floorings. Teh designers created some nesting stools in metal with the top as the tiles which were left over, which depict letters T, A and S , abbreviation of The Arch Studio. In this manner, we got a person touch to the space along with using leftover materials put to their best use. The simplicity in the open office space along with the complexity in the details is what makes it stand out as a unique workplace. Greens help to activate the space in every zone. The ambience created makes it very comfortable and open for communication.
The bathroom was to be kept very clean and clutter free and hence it was made with a black granite floor and black tiles and handmade cement tiles as a highlighter with side strip lights.
Overall innovation in end product
The designer has designed every piece of furniture in the studio with minute attention to details. A concealed storage cabinet was carefully designed keeping in mind the client's storage requirement in a beautiful and seamless manner. To create open usable spaces, the details in every corner are reflected beautifully.
Converting the fixed window to a sliding window and opening out the space in front with glass created a vistaar of inside and outside merging seamlessly. The large trees on both sides bring in the nature light inside, where the director can destress by just looking outside.