Virtual World | April 2012
Designed by Edifice Consultants and executed by Vector Projects, the Edelweiss office in Mumbai is a beautiful example of a contemporary office.
Its prior experience of working with financial companies, and an understanding of their working, proved to be an advantage when Edifice Consultants undertook the design of the Edelweiss office project in Mumbai. “Edelweiss had several offices scattered throughout the city and wanted to bring all the companies together in a single workspace. With this objective, they bought the 15 storey Kalina property in what was probably the biggest real estate deal after the recession,” says Prathamesh Khandekar, Senior Associate, Corporate Interiors, Edifice Consultants. With the bottom three floors kept aside for future expansion, the design firm was given the ground floor and the top 11 floors to design.
Choosing a style
The Edelweiss team felt that a contemporary design of international standards would be most suitable for their young, 15-year old company. Edifice therefore worked on a simple design that exudes class and style through artwork, choice of materials and finishes. “The top floor was reserved for the management and the two floors below it were kept for client interactions and meeting areas. Being a sloping building, the top floor has a floor plate of 15,000-16,000 sq ft, which gradually decreases as one descends, leaving the bottom floor with a floor plate of about 12,000 sq ft,” shares Khandekar. This worked to the designers’ advantage since the sub-companies were all of different sizes and could be organised more aptly as per the available space.
The starting point
The reception lobby on the ground floor gives a sense of arrival and has an uncommon no-seating design to avoid the cluttered feel. The receptionist guides the visitor to the floor of the concerned person, where adequate seating is provided for. The long reception table is a contemporary sculpture of sorts, made of SS sheets in two copper finishes – a rustic finish on the table and a shiny one on the strip in the front.
The motif on the backdrop is derived from the Edelweiss logo and is laser cut and backlit for impact. The water feature across the column on the same wall lends the reception a soothing aura.
The management floors are distinguished by the use of Italian marble. The material used on the floor is continued on the reception desk, with a disassociation created through another material to make it appear floating. The boardroom, placed at the centre with full glazing on one side, enjoys the best views. The layout here is such that the designers could include an informal seating in a row next to the board table to offer a space for casual discussions. A seamless gypsum board ceiling and a coffered design above the casual seating give the board room a chic and stylish look. The cabins for the senior management have been designed after consulting the occupants, with each person free to configure his own seating arrangements.
“We had learnt from our earlier work with financial companies that these businesses evolve and reconfigure a lot, and quite rapidly. Thus, it was necessary to make the office flexible and easy for restack,” shares Khandekar. The Edelweiss office has generic floor plans with adjustable wall partitions, toilets placed near common areas and cabins uniformly placed around the periphery. The executive dining room has elegant woodwork on the walls and a sliding partition, which makes the space adaptable for different purposes. Even the dining tables can be separated to create seating for two or be joined together for larger groups. The beautiful inlaid chairs and other furniture are from Tianu in Colaba.
All the floors have ample seating areas created at either end in small pockets to serve various purposes. Artwork sourced by the client decorates the walls, the space and lighting for which was kept in mind while designing. Local Indian mint stone clads the walls near the lift lobbies, and the burl veneer chosen is multi-directional so as to not clash with the straight lines of the marble on the floor.
Another beautiful aspect of the design is the origami pattern on the glass partitions. “This was created by a company called Leaf Designs, and it is a change from the usual straight line frosting we see in most offices,” says Khandekar.
The floors below the management floors have been given an open office feel. Since the height of the floors was lower, the false ceiling has been kept to the periphery where the cabins are placed, and the services have been incorporated in them, leaving the heavy density areas towards the centre with a higher ceiling.
Chic, efficient and practical, this office gels perfectly with the youthful vibe of its occupants!
Total Area: 1,75,000 sq ft
Design team: Shafique, Yesodha, Manasi, Prasad and Swapnil
Text: Sumisha Arora
Photos: Indrajit Sathe, courtesy Vector Projects
Meet the designer: Prathamesh Khandekar
Firm: Edifice Consultants, founded in 1987.
Firm specialisation: Urban design, architecture and interior design.
Design philosophy: We value design, which is sensitive to the client, context and climate.
Philosophy towards life: Live and let live.
Favourite architect/Designer: BV Doshi and Alberto Campo Baeza.
Edifice Consultants, 3rd floor, Srirams Arcade, Govandi (East), Mumbai-400 088. Tel: 022-6703 1122.
Vector Projects, Vector House, LBS Marg, Bhandup (West), Mumbai-400 078. Tel: 022-6697 2893. E-mail: email@example.com
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