CW Interiors |
Virtual World | January 2013

Work and play

Hints of colour enliven the classic, modern office that Kolkata-based firm Epsilon has designed for Royal Infraconstru.

Located in the IT hub of Salt Lake City in Kolkata, the office of construction company Royal Infraconstru showcases a modern interpretation of classic themes. "The brief given to us by the client was to create a bright, young working environment with a classic touch," says Bipratip Dhar, Principal Architect of Kolkata-based design firm Epsilon. In keeping with this brief, Dhar has created this bright, youthful workspace even while retaining the traditional, sophisticated design elements that are indispensible for an office.

Making an entrance

From the lift lobby, the office opens into the reception area which is flanked by a small prayer room, security room and a connecting doorway opening into the circumambulatory passage that leads into the office. The dark Makore veneer used in the reception area contrasts brilliantly against the white Statuario and beige Breccia marble floor.

Customised light fixtures are embedded into the veneer panelling on the ceiling, and focus lighting along the partitions brings warmth to the d├ęcor. The staggered panel with colour gradation relieves the otherwise long monotonous panel and it also acts as a connecting thread to the colourful interiors.

The outer periphery of the passage includes a series of cabins and chambers; the three directors' chambers are housed on the south-west corner with an adjoining board room. The meeting rooms are located close to the reception area to facilitate visitor interaction.

Creating private spaces

The open workstation area is placed along the inner periphery of the passage; some of the workstations are semi-enclosed with specially designed partitions. The central square portion of the office represents the 'core' and houses a library and a reading area.

The reading area also functions as a huddle space for small internal meetings. The bookshelf design provides an interesting design element with interlocking shelves in two colours. Filing units positioned along the periphery of the library area provide a visual barrier and also serve the workstations around.

The Director's secretariat has an enclosed workspace distinguished by an interesting zig-zag partition. The slanted glass and zig-zag MDF panels also add an interesting focal point apart from creating a visual barrier.

Choice of lights

Dhar has infused some smart lighting choices for the office design. Extensive use of external glass allows natural light to flood the entire workplace. "Also, the work areas have been provided with the required lumen levels using standard 600 x 600 ceiling fixtures, whereas yellow LED lights have been used to add colour and highlight different wall textures," explains Dhar. Unlike the brightly-lit workstations, the reception has a dimly-lit atmosphere with more focus on low power LED lamps.

Breaking the monotone

White remains the main canvas on which bright colours have been splashed to create an impact. Interesting colour gradation on the workstation fabric, reception area and cafeteria adds to the colourful nature of the interiors.

In compliance with vastu, the workstations all face the same direction, but the colour gradation on the fabric panels draws the attention away from the uni-directional furniture placement. The cafeteria, with its overlapping colourful ceramic tiles and brightly painted chairs from Featherlite, is the most colourful space in this office. "Also, corporate toons adorn one of the walls to add humour and lighten the atmosphere," says Dhar.

Sophisticated outlook Rich veneer, customised teak wood mouldings, a dark hardwood floor and rich Sapele veneer give the Managing Director's room a classic, contemporary look. The other directors' rooms have a subdued use of colour and generous use of rich dark veneer. Breccia marble adorns the floor, while gypsum clad partitions in various depths have been painted.

The boardroom has rich mahogany crotch veneers with dark teak mouldings for tables and panels punctuated with painted gypsum sheets. The richness is further accentuated by the use of polished Breccia marble flooring and the open landscape views that the room provides.

All in all, the Royal Infraconstru office is a charming amalgamation of classic and contemporary design elements.

Total Area: 15,000 sq ft
Total Cost: Rs 2.85 crore
Photos: Pradip Sen


Epsilon, 39, Rifle Range road, Kolkata - 700 019. Tel: 033- 2289 1648 Fax: 033- 2281 1337

Meet the designer: Bipratip Dhar

Firm: Epsilon, founded in 2001-02.
Firm specialisation: Architecture and Interiors.
Design philosophy: To incorporate various designing styles, ideology and philosophy from different eras to meet the requirements of the owner.
Philosophy towards life: If it isn't fun, it isn't worth doing.
Favourite architect/Designer: Frank Lloyd Wright and Laurie Baker.

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