Project Array: a smart, quirky workplace that is worth checking out
Designed by 1405 Design Studio, the office features custom-designed light structures or ‘canopies’ that form the focal element of the design.
A 4,050 sq-ft workspace, designed for the digital end of a jewellery brand, needed an ever-growing, design intrinsic space and the client reached out to Tamil Nadu-based 1405 Design Studio. "(It had to be) a space that has a very subconscious connect between the seller, the designer and the craftsman," points out Divya Khullar Narayanan, principal architect, 1405 Design Studio.
Anatomizing a typical commercial office set up, the design team first chose to understand the users and design a space around them. This revealed a plethora of interesting thoughts and requirements. "Some longed for cozy corners (for quiet, distraction free work time or even some “me” time during a stress-day) while others wanted high tables (for posture correction..yes!), writing boards on table tops, for table top plant lovers: shelves and ample amount of personal storage for all (for lunch dubbas, files, bags etc etc )
We began with creating a seamless layout: a combination of workstation rows, high counter seating, open discussion areas and informal huddle spaces - catering to assorted workspace requirements and varied personal working styles," adds Ashwath Narayanan, principal architect and co-founder of the studio
The shell, a monochrome canvas, houses the custom designed light structures or ‘canopies’ as the designers like to refer it. The customized workstation modules are integrated within the ‘canopies’ like sculptures that become an ‘arrayed’ insert with a sense of a subtle enclosure and defined lanes as the circulation paths. In a well structured, straight lined visual, the ‘canopies’ light sculptures rise from the floor wherein two branches light up the working space, while the other two light up the circulation space. These branches are individually controlled and can be angled as per personal preference. Furthermore, these holistic workstations create a plug & play system. The electricals in the flooring allow addition of workstations as per requirement, creating an ever-growing set up. These modules house the communal working surfaces, open shelving, personal storage units, visitor benches with drawer pull outs and the task and ambient lighting - all in one single unit.
The story extends as the rows of ‘canopies’ are interspersed with colourful patches of break-out zones. The site perimeter housed civil modulations creating niches which are filled up with multi-level low zen-like seating for casual huddles, discussions and breaks. Further, the open cafe like pantry with multilevel seating displays a miniature form of our ‘canopies’ carrying forward the casual multi-level seating concept. Monochrome sliding panels of writing glass and printed pin boards control the seeping in of the harsh natural light as and when required.
"Overall, this is one of our versions of an atypical, autonomous, not-so-commercial workspace that is functionally smart, visually quirky and highly personalised," conclude the Narayanans.