Mumbai-based ANA Designs creates a knockout office for telecom multinational Vodafone.
The minute you walk into Vodafone's new office in Yerawada, Pune, you are likely to gasp in awe; this international brand has an office to match its world-class reputation. An abundance of Italian marble, curves and wavy lines, give the office a sense of monolithic proportions. This design was the brainchild of Mumbai-based ANA Designs.
"The ambience of the office is not very corporate," reveals Ankura Patel, Director, ANA Designs. "The client had asked us to create something that was lively, futuristic, and creative." So the designers chose an energetic red, Vodafone's corporate colour, and a sophisticated white as the colour theme. Earthy shades of beige, white and brown were used to tone down the red in certain areas.
First impressions are often the most lasting ones. Knowing this, the designers have made every effort to create an impactful reception area. The standalone pillar behind the reception was a definite eyesore, as were other such pillars around the office; the challenge was to conceal these pillars. Instead, the designers overcame this problem by designing the entire office around the pillars.
A beautiful curvy space with a big circular ceiling that flows from behind the reception table highlights not just the reception area but also the brand logo. The reception desk automatically divides the space into two. On the left is the visitors' seating area and the one on the right is a customer walk, a slightly secluded area where the branding takes place. There are demarcated spaces that consist of vinyl posters, branding and company logos. There is a video wall installed on the opposite wall which imparts information about the brand. A big glass screen serves as a partition so that customers can view the network operations centre (NOC) from the customer area.
The NOC, the focal point of the Vodafone office, is an unusual feature in a corporate setting. It is an area where administrators can monitor the telecommunications network. Being a highly technical space, a special effort has been taken to make the place more lively. The ceilings, shapes and lighting make the space more creative. Mood lighting is used to create a stress-free, relaxed zone. Barco, a global technology company that designs and develops visualisation solutions, helped design the extensive video wall that can be visually accessed from other areas.
To give privacy as well as transparency to the NOC, one-switch solutions have been provided. The electrically charged glass that surrounds the NOC goes from transparent to opaque at the push of a button.
"The curved glass is more expensive than straight glass," informs Patel. The single glass sheet of 15-20 feet that encompasses the entire NOC has been specially sourced from China.
The entire area is sound-proofed with sound absorptive panels, cloud ceiling and carpets to ensure minimum distraction. The seating arrangement in the NOC area is similar to that of a training room. Every person seated in this room can view the NOC clearly. There are elevated steps leading to the seats. The videowall is the axis around which this super NOC was designed. The pillars and columns which tended to block view have been transformed into beautiful centrepieces of the design.
Attention to detail
The break-out spaces and the cafeteria in the office provide relief from the monotonous colour scheme. The pillars in the workstations and cafeteria double up as a lighting feature. Daylight sensors have been used around the periphery where natural light seeps in, thus reducing power consumption.
"Glass is a constant throughout as it offers an unobstructed view from every area," adds Patel. The only exception to this is the boardroom and the NOC. These areas have electrically charged glass to create transparency and privacy as required.
Lighting plays a key feature in all these areas. The workstations makes use of task lighting with lux levels of 350; other areas such as reception, cabins and meeting rooms make use of either warm or diffused lighting; the NOC uses mood lighting for motivation and relaxation.
The conceptual design brief for the office may have been extremely challenging, but the ANA design team has used innovative ideas, painstaking research and efficient sourcing to make the office an inviting, user-friendly space.
Total Area: 29,275 sq ft
Project Coordination: Amit Kantak
Project Site Incharge: Anil Sharma
Lighting Consultants: Cutech & Bhagwan Shirsekar
Electrical consultants: MP Cardoz
Fire & Safety Consultants: Cutech & Vinod Kapse
HVAC consultants: Anil Verma
Video wall consultants: Barco
Photos: Ravi Kanade
ANA Designs, 4-B1/B2, Takshila, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai - 400 093. Tel: 022-2823 3227 Fax: 022-2823 2892 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the designers: Ankura and Ankit Patel
Designs; Founded in 2000.
Firm specialisation: We design corporate offices and execute only our designs, not anybody else's. We also specialise in repeat jobs.
Design philosophy: Flexibility and creativity
Philosophy towards life: Have fun!
Favourite architect/Designer: Norman Foster, Hasmukh Patel, Nimish Patel and Parul Zaveri.