CW Interiors |
Virtual World | September 2014

Capacious Concoction

DSP Design Associates brings luxury, comfort and functionality to Microsoft´s Gurgaon office through their ´Guru-cool´ theme.
Flexibility, freedom of space and employee comfort are the global themes for the offices of information technology giant Microsoft. When DSP Design Associates took on the brief for Microsoft´s linear 70,000 sq ft office space in Gurgaon, it was well versed with this brief, having previously designed other offices for Microsoft. With the benefit of familiarity on its side, the design firm has created for its client an open office with minimum walls, highlighting an open door policy.

The innovative infrastructure that has been installed here enables employees to work from any part of the office at any time. From small rooms for one-on-one conversations, focus rooms for brainstorming, and meeting rooms for large conferences to breakout zones, hubs, a recreation room and quiet zones, this office accommodates it all.

Eclectic Ensemble
Speaking of design, the office reflects two themes simultaneously - the ethnic Indian vibe and a green concept. The ancient Indian Gurukul system of education has become a key inspiration in the design throughout the office. The Guru-cool social hub, designed around a grand structure resembling the Banyan tree, is used for informal meetings. Elaborating on the Guru-cool theme further, the design team has used orange vinyl quotes written in Sanskrit and graphics like Shlokas on a back-painted glass next to the reception. Even the abstract lights in the cafeteria resemble leaves, producing the effect of sitting under a tree, with sunlight shining down. To reinforce the naturist theme, meeting rooms are named after mountains and rivers, and employees´ lockers have clouds, birds and plants painted on them.

Booth capturing
The office gives its 200-plus employees the freedom to move around in the office as well as the flexibility to choose their seat for the day, depending on their workload, mood or preferences! The office furniture can be moved around to make room for more people during larger meetings. To break away from the monotony, there are small meeting areas separated by vertical wooden batons or curtains. The booths are simple seating arrangements like in a diner, where the employees can take a break with a beverage. The booths can be used as leisure seating or to spend some time alone, or as small meeting areas.

The furniture chosen for the office is appropriately diverse, to suit its vibe - there are sofas, booths, office chairs, lounge chairs, cafeteria chairs and even stools, all accompanied by matching tables - each seating option serving a different purpose.

Spaced out
The office does not have any assigned desks apart from the ones for the support teams. Only the ´Tech Link´ staff has a fixed central location, so employees always know where to go for technology support. All the other spaces apart from workstations are also considered as work seats. All the collabo¡ration spaces such as the cafT, lounge, focus and quiet zones are designed in such a way that people can work there for longer hours. All the sections, excluding the large con¡ference rooms near the cafeteria, are open - a unique take on the open-door policy.

The state-of-the-art recreation room, desi¡gned to help employees unwind even during working hours, takes the employee-friendliness of the office several notches higher. It is equipped with recreational facilities like a pool table, a foosball table, air hockey and an Xbox!

Innovative Ideas
The cafeteria is surrounded by funky glass walls with graphics on them, which actually serve a second purpose - the three inter¡connected rooms can be opened out to host larger group meetings. Baffles help absorb a lot of noise and make a unique ceiling design as well. This design concept is a great example of the firm´s amalgamation of acoustics and functionality. The new customer-centric workplace boasts video walls in the customer area, a product display area and large touch display screens to showcase the brand and the various devices and services it offers.

Eclectic and expansive, DSP Design Associates has done a remarkable job in projectingits client´s aesthetic inclinations even as it meets the functional requirements. With this office, Microsoft reinforces its innovative, non-conformist image!

Total Area: 70,000 sq ft
Design team: Yatin Patel - Principal Designer,
Geetika Jain - Design Lead

DSP Design, 6th Floor, Devchand House, Shiv Sagar Estate, Dr Annie Besant Road,
Worli Mumbai 400018.
Tel: 022-4915 1800. 

Meet the designer
Yatin Patel

Firm: DSP Design Associates founded in 1989.
Firm specialisation: Master planning, architecture and interior design.
Design philosophy: Every time you draw a line, you impact someone´s life; so think intensely before you draw a single line - it will translate into a space where people live and work.
Philosophy towards life: Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Design is knowing which ones to keep.
Favourite architect/Designer: Renzo Piano

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