The new office facility for a young and growing creative agency was envisioned to set a benchmark in small to medium offices for this nature of scale and typology. Bringing together varied design sensibilities with common values, the studio office is an attempt to be both contextual and distinctive.
Project name: The Ideaz Factory Chandigarh
Architect Name: NOOR Architects Consultants
The building program was to accommodate workstations for their staff, Directors cabins, Managers cabins, Reception area, Huddle spaces, In-house café, Printing areas, Conference Room pod, Human Resources (HR) area, Accounting area, Services as well as some spill out areas. Part of the terrace area was to be populated with Solar PVs for active power generation and the area underneath to be doubled up into an activity zone. Activities for employees like TT Table and Lounging space are located on green turf on the terrace.
The floor plate is on the second floor of Chandigarh’s Iconic Madhya Marg which forms the main spine of the commercial activity of the Corbusier city. The roof rights were included in the lease as well as volumetric cut out courtyard space in the floor plate that connects the office plate to the terrace
DESIGN INTERVENTION / DESIGN PROCESS
During a series of productive brainstorming sessions with the clients we figured out fairly early on that there was an opportunity to think and delve out of the box in terms of design approach: Even though our client’s 90% of the staff is below the age group of 35, we consciously did not want to create something quirky’ owing to a short shelf life as well as being a ‘trends thing which did not appeal neither to us nor in-line with our clients vision.
The design intent that evolved out was an attempt to create a piece of design that amalgamates their company’s ethos with a mature expression of interior architecture. The design requirements was formulated into programme brief which was translated onto a floor plan with diagrammatic clarity. The key principles acted as basic building blocks, ie-clarity in sequence of spaces, retain the volumetric quality / beauty of the space yet optimising the space for efficiency of floor plate to align with their exhaustive list of requirements.
The material palette is carefully curated pushing the boundaries of conventionally available and utilised materials to lend soft and rich interior architecture details. The materiality and design details take cues from a wide range of movements and individuals.
The use of grey broken china (both vernacular sensibility as well as fusion of crafts and modernism – as we view it) to modernist elements in concrete are subtle reflection of the Chandigarh architecture, Corbusier and so on. The metal pod clad in brushed stainless steel with thin round blown glass punctures. The industrial design elements of Jean Prouvé lends inspiration for the hi-tech conference pod. The Air conditioning ducts are kept true to their material quality in chrome finish Stainless Steel with jet diffusers which act as a layer of exposed design elements. The main floor is a seamless resin based epoxy floor not widely used inside a typical office. The entry area/reception has red terrazzo used in geometric divisions of floor and seamlessly travelling up the reception counter to create a firm base to the welcome station Cement tiles in random motifs was deliberately added in the spill-out lounge zone to connect with the work that the creative agency does for its clients which includes advert campaigns for political parties and so on. This adds color as well as a layer of creative use of material motifs cast in cement tiles.
COLLABORATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE SPACE
The design programme is translated into tangible plan by Interspersing spill-out spaces that induce collaborative spirit by virtue of its design DNA. In formal spill-outs/connections/buffers ends up creating a visually connected office space from one end to the other. The flow of spaces is also thought out to create interest for the user between levels and horizontal movement. The reception space has a live green wall (deliberately kept bit raw and not manicured) to reflect natural and sustainable living principles
The waste of the office is segregated into four types – Green, Blue Brown and Black and then disposed of as per evolving environmental best practices. Employee survey was made part of their practice to gauge how many of the staff has internalised the concept of segregation and sustainability over time. Use of plastics is eliminated by introducing ceramic cups and starter kits for all joiners. The terrace has a pit where organic waste gets dumped and manure is made which is further used in the productive greens in the office. The values of “Green Efficiency: Running a cost effective environmentally aware studio office is inculcated.