Through their latest design, Mumbai-based ZZ Architects emphasise how an office can exude class and sophistication through subdued design.
At a time when most designers are experimenting with materials and bright colours, ZZ Architects stay true to their individualistic style and their ‘less is more’ motto in their recently completed office project in Mumbai. This is a project executed for their existing client Emkay Global Financial Services, a well-known stock broking firm that sought their services when they moved into a new office at Ruby Mills, Dadar.
Taking inspiration from the offices of stock broking firms in Hong Kong and London, Zubin Zainuddin and Krupa Zubin, Principal Architects of the design studio, have given the Emkay office an international sophistication. The muted reception area makes no attempt at snazziness. The designers made a conscious decision to steer clear of any loud colours, in keeping with the public image of this venerable organisation. Colour has been used mostly through artistic impressions or artwork.
Making an understatement
The reception exhibits two dominant colours: the plain white of the Corian and dark grey of the Italian marble. The design seems underplayed, about which Zubin explains, “The design may not be complex. But there is complexity in detail.” Details abound – like the small white lamp on the reception table, sourced from a European brand, which looks like an offshoot of the Corian desk and accentuates the straight, clean lines of the design. The company’s name and their slogan, ‘Your success is our success’, is another detail that is woven into the design.
Every area has been designed keeping in mind the mood, area function and the work profile of the user. The expansiveness of the office space is subtly emphasised by the grey Italian marble that leads into the office passage. As one follows the trail, one comes to the waiting rooms and long passages that extend on either side. These lead to the executive wings on the left and the trading wing on the right respectively.
The trading wing, buzzing with activity, is the most active area in the office. So much so that the design team had to ensure that all the refreshment areas would be just a stone’s throw from the operations room. As the employees needed to stay at their desks for longer hours, it made sense to design the area in such a way that all conveniences, including small meeting rooms, were built around the main working area. The workstations have also been designed for maximum efficiency. Each workstation has a custom-built storage space next to it, thus making filing and organising somewhat easier for the time-strapped employee.
Corridors of power
The large waiting rooms, built to entertain executives, are further expanded visually by using veneer and mirrors. The intricately designed wooden partitions add to the drama. There are comfortable couches, but no tables. “Not everyone needs to discuss around a table,” explains Zubin. The design of the conference room is a continuation of the same muted colour palette. The wooden blinds offer a sneak peek into the room and also ensure privacy as and when required. The table top in the conference room, made of two sheets of glass, is an appropriately sleek central feature of this space.
The décor of the managing director’s cabin exudes warmth and sophistication with its solid wooden flooring and the finely-detailed shelf created from Kashmiri walnut veneer. The corner of the cabin has been designed as an elegant executive dining space that offers a lovely view of the city outside.
With a good balance of colours and a sensible mix of simple natural materials comprising wood, marble, veneer and glass, ZZ Architects prove yet again that simplicity is the best policy when it comes to designing offices!
Total Area: 15,000 sq ft
Total Cost: Rs 4,500/sq ft
ZZA TEAM: Rajnish Pandit, Abbas Ali Hitawala, Tufail Ahmed
Photos: Courtesy ZZ Architects
Meet the designers: Zubin Zainuddin and Krupa Zubin
Firm: ZZ Architects, founded in 2002.
Firm specialisation: Multi disciplinary architectural and interior design practice.
Design philosophy: Every detail in a project counts.
Philosophy towards life: Unlearn and learn everyday.
Favourite architect/Designer: Charles Correa, Talati & Panthaky and Hafeez Contractor.
ZZ Architects, A-403, Prathmesh Tower, Raghuvanshi Mills Compound, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai-400 013, Tel: 022-4360 6666