Virtual World | July 2012
Bringing in the Skyline
Blank, a young design firm run by designers Jugal and Rahul Mistry, adds unique touches to the design of a developer’s office in Mumbai.
Blank. That’s an unusual name for a firm that enhances and embellishes spaces through architecture and interior design and urban design. Anticipating the query, Jugal Mistri, Principal Architect of the firm explains, “With Blank, we mean to enter into a design stage as non-confirmists, open to creating new concepts and working on the requirements of the client. Its an open studio that invites like-minded individuals to share our vision and fill in the blanks for us during the design process.” As impressive as that sounds, it is his enthusiasm for his work, which he shares with his brother and firm partner Rahul Mistri, that is truly infectious. As for concepts, the firm’s innovativeness is evident at every turn in this 1,200 sq ft office that they have designed for a real estate developer in Pali Hill, Mumbai.
Skyline in teak
Since the clients were in the real estate business, the Mistris wished to bring in a relevant theme to the design – and what could be more relevant than the city’s skyline! Consciously refraining from using an obvious element like large pictures of the skyline and the company’s projects, the duo introduced the concept through a 4 x 1.5 inch old Burma teak frame that runs across the partition in the office and extends to each area through the door and window frames. It also flows through the inbuilt furniture, lending a continuous and homogenous look to the otherwise simple and staid office.
Vaults for company
The other interesting element in the office is the vaulted ceiling. The beautiful ceiling design that complements the straight lines throughout the office also serves to conceal the many existing beams that were disturbing the look of the space.
White is the dominant colour used here, with glass partitions and touches of timber to lend a feeling of spaciousness and freedom. The skirting on the windows incorporates some spotlights that can be used for ambient lighting, or to highlight small knickknacks.
Freedom of space
Straight, simple and minimal work desks in metal have been designed for the staff area, in keeping with the minimalist theme and the freedom-of-space concept. Common storage has been provided for the employees to compensate for lesser storage space at the work desk. The usual colourful soft boards are replaced by frosted glass on which one can directly write or attach sheets. Using frosted glass instead of an opaque material has ensured a non-restrictive view without hampering privacy.
The décor of the Director’s cabin has been differentiated from the rest of the office with cove lighting and a textured bison board cladding under the skyline, with large windows to capture and draw in the greenery from outside.
A different take from the conventional, this office is like a pretty painting on the Blank canvas!
Meet the designers: Rahul and Jugal Mistri
Firm: Blank, founded in 2010.
Firm specialisation: Master planning, architecture and interior design.
Design philosophy: Oscillating between intense cultural and market driven conditions, we’re interested in creating emergent typological forms of design through an open canvas that invites progressive mindsets to collaborate and ‘fill in the blanks for us’. ‘Yes’ is more!
Philosophy towards life: “If you love nature, don’t live in it” – Vishan Chakrabarti
Favourite architect/Designer: Rem Koolhaas
Blank, 73-75 Maharshi Karve Road, Marine Lines-400 002. Mumbai Tel: 022-2201 5505/5303. E-mail: email@example.com
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