Delhi-based design firm Spaces Architects@ka transform a bare, blank space into a sleek, minimalistic office in fluid form.
When Kapil Aggarwal, Principal Architect, Spaces Architects@ka signed up to design the Express Builders office, located opposite the upcoming Zenith residences in Noida, he immediately settled for a neat, plain, simple' look. The design's centre of attention would be a model of the 16-floor residential building, safe and smug in a glass box.
Aggarwal started the 1,500 sq ft project by placing the model at the heart of the reception. As you walk in through the toughened frameless glass door, the office seems luminously divided into reception, four cabins, a conference room, Managing Director's chamber and the hidden pantry and toilets.
Floors, Aggarwal quotes, are not his top priority. What's important to him lies at the eye level and up. The basic vitrified 2 ft x 2 ft tiles used throughout are sturdy enough to withstand regular wear and tear. The walls are a continuum of the white and off-white palette, with minimal exceptions, like the walls behind the reception and the wallpaper in the conference room.
What lies above
The ceiling ropes in the fluidity of form that Aggarwal swears by. The first layer is gypsum; the second layer embellished differently in different spaces. The reception has an Armstrong aluminum-grid white ceiling, which, interestingly, does not cover the ceiling's first layer. Between the grids is the glimpse of the black of the gypsum. Fluidity takes a curve in the waiting area where lit wooden planks are hung from the ceiling, the drop height varying for that uneven look.
Of colours and light
Aggarwal identifies with muted earthy tones; off-white being his current favourite. Grey for the floor, with a dash of wood and brown. Colours are used only for the glass panels in the cabins. He picked 12-mm toughened glass, wrapped them in magenta, pink and blue films, and arranged them in gradient.
Aggarwal prefers daylight and a combination of yellow + day light, for interesting texture. In the reception, high-density lights highlight the Zenith model; in the conference room, a colossal wooden teak box shines light over the centre table. Cove lights lend texture to the Savarna marble wall behind the reception desk.
Sticking to the 'plain, simple, neat' mantra, Aggarwal got chairs from Godrej but custom-made the tables. The most interesting furniture lies in the Managing Director's room the wooden members held together with steel pipes and placed at different angles.
Though Kapil Aggarwal spent less than two hours to design the concept, it took two months to execute it in muted colours, toughened glass, vitrified tiles, cove lights, backlit panels and the tables with angles members. The result, however, is simply splendid!
Total Cost: `21 lakhs
Text: Preeti Verma Lal
photo: Akhil Bakshi
A-21/A, Basement, South Extension-II, New Delhi 110 049.
Tel: 011-2626 8108, 26268109
Firm: Spaces Architects@ka, established in 2012.
Firm specialisation: Architecture and interiors.
Design philosophy: Reinvent, don't just follow!