Virtual World | October 2012
Beige on black, a typical office layout choice – but made entirely different by the introduction of starkly contrasting wood elements that occupy key positions as accents and push the office in new design directions. Chennai-based architect couple Oscar and Ponni Concessao have designed the corporate office of Plaza Properties such that completing work tasks becomes simple and convenient.
Located in Thirumurthi Street, T-Nagar – a business and commercial hub of Chennai – Plaza Properties was originally designed for an apartment complex and later on retrofitted as a corporate office. The biggest challenge for the architect couple was to work around the residential structural grids and to convert the existing space into a successful office design.
The Design Way
One enters the property from the north-east direction to be greeted by a landscaped entrance. This leads to a two-storey high, airy reception lobby with a glass façade. The false ceiling and fancy light fixture add a dash of glamour to the space. A glass staircase takes one to the first floor, while the main staircase and the lift behind the reception lobby leads to the upper floors and parking area. Vastu played a key role while designing this office space.
Leading through the areas, Oscar says, “From the reception, on the first floor, a glass door opens to a waiting lounge. Adjacent to it are glass-enclosed conference and discussion rooms which can accommodate six people each.” The architect duo has made clever use of glass to lend privacy without compromising on an open feel in these areas.
The third floor includes a reception area, adjoining which is a six-seater glass enclosed conference room. Dominated by beige and brown, the conference room is kept simple and functional.
The area is cordoned off by a door behind which lie the pantry, a server room, ladies toilet and a director’s room. The other end of the passage has five glass-enclosed cubicles meant for the engineers and accountants. Just opposite are the other office departments. Each space is highly functional, making work simpler for the employees.
Make it to the top
The fourth floor is purely an executive zone housing the managing director’s suite with its own lounge, toilet and walk-in closet. Outside are the MD’s secretary’s desk and a reception area. “A provision has been made for a visiting director’s room; a glass-walled conference room overlooks an open terrace facing the street below,” shares Ponni. With its subtle décor, the executive area exudes an understated class.
The open terrace is adorned with planter boxes and pergolas. Besides providing shade, they also enhance the elevation. The exterior façade of the building is clad with aluminum composite panels that have a timber-like look, and structural glazing. The ground floor is clad with flamed and polished granite bands.
All in all, the Plaza Properties office, with its high-on-comfort features, is designed to enhance the efficiency of those who work in it.
Architect & Interior Designers: Oscar & Ponni Architects Chennai
Interior Contractors: Exotic Interiors, Bala
Completed: October 2011
Total area of project: 8,000 sq ft
Total cost of project: Rs 2.4 crore, exterior and interiors
Text: Shridhar Jagannathan
Meet the designers: Oscar & Ponni
Firm: Oscar & Ponni Architects founded in 1996.
Firm specialisation: Architecture, interiors and urban design
Design philosophy: Design should provide a sense of infinite joy!
Philosophy towards life: Work hard and play hard.
Favourite architect/Designer: Charles Correa, Renzo Piano and Zaha Hadid.
Oscar and Ponni Architects,
2, Vivekananda Road,
Off Spurtank Road,
Srinivasa Nagar, Chetpet,
Chennai - 600 031.
Tel: 044 - 2836 196.
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