CW Interiors |
 
Virtual World | May 2011

B-a-r-c-o-d-e-d!

Despite space constraints and design demands, Neemesh Shah, Principal Architect, KNS Architects conceptualises an office space that surpasses the mundane by raising the bar.

Covering an area of 1,150 sq ft, the latest office designed by KNS Architects belongs to a company specialising in labour recruitment and visa generation. "The challenge," says Neemesh Shah, Principal Architect, KNS Architects, "lay in creating a balanced design, while keeping in mind the contrasting standards of the individuals frequenting the office." In short, the client wanted a relatively maintenance-free office that would also aesthetically appeal to their international clientele.

Classic contrasts

Black and white dominates the office space in the form of granite inlays in the China white floor, that stretches towards the ceiling, and in some places to the laminate partitions, in a barcode-like pattern. Borrowing the concept of straight lines from the company's logo, Shah and his team decided to retain the company colours – black, white and blue. With white flooring, white laminate, splashes of blue and other pastel colours, the attempt was to make the limited space of the office look larger.

Functional designs

"Being a small office with around 12 to 15 employees, functional spaces were minimal, nonetheless very important," stresses Shah. The building lift opens directly into the reception, which can seat around twelve people at a time. This extends into a passage – a common transit area leading to the cashier and accounts department.

However, the utility area has been compromised. The pantry is a compact space located alongside two bathrooms, while the working areas combine three work spaces and cabins that serve as meeting rooms. The main focus is the owner's cabin, which takes up almost 250 to 300 sq ft of space and is at the far end of the office. Overall, the concept is that of an open office that is private yet encourages interaction among employees.

Highlighting spaces

The reception and passage were the focus areas of design. As one enters the office, the barcode-like design dominating this space immediately demands attention. The reception table has a visual screen at the back and is lit from below to create a floating effect. The waiting areas are like floating blocks iced with low-maintenance, silvery-blue leather surfaces. They are separated using low partitions frosted with film in a horizontal pattern that deliberately clashes with the vertical black lines.

The subtle use of warm white LEDs and halogens creates a muted environment that is dotted with white lights in the workspaces. The owner's cabin is simple, white and clean, with only the table dominating the design – it has a black barcode-like lines on white laminate.

Screening in style

One cannot miss the curved, stringy screen that masks the view of the pantry and washroom areas. Swathed with PVC strings, the bold purplish-blue colour of the laminate breaks the monotony of black and white, and its curved element is in startling contrast with the straight lines that dominate the office.

"The key is in planning right," says Shah. Indeed it is. With just the right design plan and selection of elements, he has completely transformed a conventional office into a subtly balanced, maintenance-free and above all stylish workspace.

Neemesh Shah

  • Firm: KNS Architects was founded in 1997.
  • Firm specialisation: Architecture, interiors and retail design.
  • Design philosophy: A great design is a collective endeavour of the client and the architect.
  • Favourite designer/architect: Richard Myer, Meis Van Der Rohe, Zaha Hadid and Antonio Gaudi.

Total Area: 1,150 Sq Ft
Total Cost: Rs 3,000 Per Sq Ft

Photos: Indrajit Sathe
Courtesy: Kns Architects

Contact: KNS Architects, 305, Dev Plaza, 3rd floor, SV Road, Andheri (W), Mumbai 400 058; Tel: 022-6776 5000-30; E-mail: kns@knsarchitects.com

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