Studio HINGE, founded by Pravir Sethi, has designed and worked at various scales ranging from interiors, furniture, product design to architecture and townships. They offer design consultancy services until its execution on-site with a touch of unique fabrication and production techniques.
The studio works on contemporary style with the balance of context and hints to the past. To them, a good design is like an art of storytelling, which consists of a narrative that evolves, evokes, and reveals new perspectives at every bit of reading. They believe that design should be omnipresent but opens up new chapters in people’s everyday lives through different outlooks.
They recognized that one design does not fit into all design problems, and hence they deliver tailored solutions and build in flexibility. Details are the essential part of designing that are craft-oriented, and hence they create new things that bend, fold, twist, and slide. They believe in coming together of all details like surfaces, textures, joineries matter that becomes a whole. They work on narratives of the project and ventures to reflect it in the details that follow.
Let’s take a glance at their journey of works through 15 selected projects listed below:
1. 219 Boat Club, Pune
The studio was primarily appointed to design the entrance lobby interior, but the scope expanded to an ultra-luxury apartment building. This bespoke creation’s fascinating features are the installation of a frozen waterfall in glass on the façade, a kinetic wind sculpture right above the main entrance, and a lobby lighting installation with 270 hands blown glass stems with brass inserts with programmable fiber optic lighting that respond to the occupants. The design also showcases a variety of glass by St. Gobain: lacquered, extra clear ‘Diamant,’ ‘Visionlite’ low reflection, ‘Privalite’ switchable privacy glass, emissivity, etc.
2. Bisleri Façade and Office, Mumbai
The studio was invited by a bottled water brand to propose designs for the façade and interior of their new 1,50,000sq.ft. Bisleri HQ building in Andheri. The proposals went beyond the brief and proposed a valley-like atrium that wanders through the section, bringing natural light and openness into an innate plan that otherwise has none. This space is conceived as a double space telling the story of Bisleri, with glazing overlooking factory areas so that the transparency, purity, and pride that the brand stands for manifests physically.
3. Clubhouse at Arpora, Goa
A clubhouse building for a villa scheme in Arpora is located beside Baga Creek. Half of the building is lifted off the ground on skewed stilts to hold the connection and view with the river, which resembles a ship’s hull and shipping containers. Local context comes through the use of materials such as the bamboo screens on the façade, the laterite stone, and the Portuguese blue tile but also through gestures such as the ‘bell tower.’ The building’s fragmented parts are grasped together by bridges, internal courtyards, and a sequence of connected water bodies.
4. 601, Westview, Mumbai
Connectivity is achieved by replacing the existing masonry wall with stackable folding timber & glass doors and a freestanding partition addressing family history. Privacy is accomplished by introducing pod-like vestibules around entrances, which constrains direct views of the bedrooms and kitchen. The interiors are envisioned to tell a story seeking a balance between contemporary through Scandinavian allegiance, and traditional influences from Rajasthani roots as their lineage traces Jaipur but have been living out of India.
5. Studio Hinge Office, Mumbai
Designed as an open studio with one principal architect and up to five staff, privacy is achieved through a tailored sliding screen, allowing for degrees of openness. When entirely closed, the screen splits the space into a private cabin and an open office area. The grooved and fluted profiles of the timber sections continuing from the partition to the ceiling and the antique gilded window frame the vista to marine drive bay attributes to an old-world charm contrasting to the contemporary interior, an anachronism that signifies the studio’s work.
6. Aasra Freedom City
A mini township under construction with Sanjay Puri Architects is a residential community comprising 1- and 2-bedroom apartments in low rise buildings, along with bungalows and row houses. The scheme uncovered the opportunity to design a temple, using bamboo as the primary cladding material and studying the effects of screens in diffused light.
7. “Chairs!” to art
In an art installation for a Green Pavilion, the idea of sustainability was the primary agenda. Canadian wood, which is already certified as a green product, is used. However, sustainability considers not just the carbon footprint, but also the entire life cycle use. This installation proposes art that may be dismantled and reassembled into usable pieces of furniture. The elements are arranged in an abstract twisting radial composition, which throws up curious shadows and can be hung as wall art or turned and used as a chandelier.
8. Parinee I, Mumbai
A commercial building concept designed with Sanjay Puri Architects explores the façade, including the use of innovative material such as copper fabric mesh laminated between glass, providing a shimmery effect that changes with incident light. The option shortlisted for a mock-up consisted of hexagonal glass-reinforced concrete panels with varying aperture sizes with openable glazing and programmable LED lighting, fixed to the structure using an aluminum frame.
9. Ventana Store, Pune
To brand this showroom as more boutique and less retail outlet, the layout takes clues from an art gallery, avoiding the typical aisles of freestanding products. A loose bench placed museum-style in front of each window hoists the product’s perception to that of art. The space can accommodate a classroom style layout to host talks and knowledge sessions for designers and end-users by bringing the benches in.
10. Rustomjee- Ever shine Global City
A mixed-use township designed with Sanjay Puri Architects is a low-cost township that changed the western suburbs’ shape now at the partial completion stage. Studio’s involvement includes a sector of 26 13 storeyed buildings, a 100,000sq.ft. Clubhouse building, and a 140,000sq.ft. School building as a part of this scheme.
11. Yoga studio, Cricket Club of India, Mumbai
The studio won an invited design competition to redesign the existing yoga room at this prestigious member club. Its location under the stadium stands offers substantial heights and a fantastic view of the historic Brabourne Stadium grounds. The two free standing columns’ visual impact in the middle of the space was minimized using cladding of curved stainless steel in a mirror finish, and edges turn seamlessly into the ceiling.
12. CCI Library 2.0, Mumbai
More like a knowledge center, rather than a traditional house of books, social interaction will give people a reason to visit and stay in the library rather than check a book out and leave. Providing a flexible and dynamic layout to suit various future usage patterns, desks are located between existing central columns, around which a bookshelf flares out upwards, drawing upon the idea of sitting under a tree with a book.
Located at the top floor of a heritage building with a pitched roof above is designed for a little intervention for a creative agency. Attention to detail is visible in the design of bespoke light fittings, fixed and loose furniture, with workstations integrating cable management and hooks for bags. Heritage building restrictions led to exposed electrical conduits becoming a design element.
14. Merint group HQ, Dubai
The Merint group of companies will consolidate their 5 different offices across the UAE into this purpose-built 40,000sq.ft. building in Dubai investment park. Since the company’s main business vertical is glass, much of the design incorporates glass in innovative ways. The entrance lobby consists of the false ceiling made up of an installation of fabric in metal mesh laminated between glass panels and suspended at varying heights.
15. Finolex office, Pune
Based on the ideas for the Schbang office, Hinge was invited to propose a scheme to re- organize the offices of Finolex at their HQ in Chinchwad. Finolex being the largest manufacturer of UPVC pipes in the country, the studio augmented the concept to include a visitor experience zone, where the company could showcase its product and journey.