This 2,100 sq-ft office in Ahmedabad is warm, rich in functional luxury, yet infused with artistic narratives
Rajesh Panchal, principal architect of Mulev Associates, designed the dynamic space
The work of Rajesh Panchal, principal architect of the firm Mulev Associates, is focused on being content driven, where material is well married to function and comfort. This approach and positive word-of-mouth publicity of their work, led to this project. The client, who is a builder, had already approached a couple of firms for a design for the office, but was not satisfied with any of the proposals. He was then introduced to Rajesh Panchal by a friend, whose residence had been designed by the architect.
The office had a simple brief of comfort and easy maintenance, but what had been a challenge for the previous firms was accommodating three working cabins along with the other requirements.
Panchal, who believes every project is a chance to evolve, took up this challenge and had a proposal worked out within days. The proposal fit all the requirements, was immediately approved by the client with minor tweaking, working drawings were drawn up and within a week of submitting the proposal, work started at site.
The intent was to create an easy on maintenance work environment that was rich in functional luxury, yet infused with artistic narratives. The concept to create an elegant interior, rich in modern luxe charm, was achieved through grouping spaces and working around the functions with keen detailing.
The office is located on the top floor of the building, hence the location of the pipelines for the toilets had to be respected. The architect first worked out the location of the required toilets, and then worked around allotting the other required spaces incorporating the minutest detail. For instance, the conference room had to be located in a manner that it can be accessed by the office and yet have a separate private access from the MD’s cabin.
As a prelude to the design story, the spacious reception in stone and wood forms the entry point. The focal wall behind the desk, designed in a single stone with various textures, sets the tone of the narrative.
To the left of the reception is the chic waiting area housed on a Italian marble-floored split level, creating a feeling of elevated grandeur. The waiting lounge leads to the carpeted conference room with sofa seating, breaking the norm of the sitting-around-a-table concept of a conference space. The partition between the conference and waiting areas is designed as a backlit MS book rack finished in fabric, highlighting the depth of the space.
Opposite the cluster of the waiting and conference spaces is the sprawling MD’s cabin separated by a built-in landscaped courtyard within a transparent toughened glass enclosure. This brings in the desired green to the otherwise closed environment, allowing the luxury of natural light. The plant, from Erica species, was carefully chosen for its low maintenance with just sprays of water needed thrice a week, while the floor was waterproofed and designed with pebbles to give a natural feel.
To the right of the reception are the three working cabins and the accounts section. Each cabin has its own décor palette, with spurts of colour added, finished with the required storage enclosed around columns. Furthermore, the customised furniture allows for an indulgent vibe, wherever needed.
Built in a challenging span of six months, a stylish and effective work ambience was achieved through meticulous planning and the use of unique materials.
Name of the project: Ankit Bhai Office
Area: 2,100 sq-ft
Design firm: Mulev Associates
Principal architect/ designer: Rajesh Panchal
Design team: Himani Raval, Sweety Mound, Kuldeep Suthar, Dipak Lohar
HVAC: Venus Aircon
Flooring: Nexion, Ahmedabad Stone Studio
Lighting fixtures: Futura
Artist (paintings): Priyanshi Patel