How Gaurav Kharkar turned a client's dream office project into a reailty
The new South Mumbai office has a charming interior marked by wooden flooring, cement-finished laminate walls and an interesting pop of colour and textures
There is a certain joy in working with clients who are just as passionate about the project as the design team and that's precisely what Gavrav Kharkar experienced while designing The Regent Steel office in South Mumbai. "Eyes filled with dreams, taking their father’s business to the next level, our young clients - with whom we were associated earlier - approached us with lot of excitement and said 'guys we have bought 1,850 sq-ft office and you get to come and see it soon'. When we visited the site first time, we got zapped seeing their property. We had assumed it to be in a commercial building having these fancy glass facade. To our surprise, this property was located on the second floor of a 70-year-old building," shares the principal of Gavrav Kharkar & Associates.
Seeing the condition of the property, the design team felt an inherent responsibility to find ways to restore the old and forgotten structure by breathing new life into it. After a thorough inspection of the site and understanding the client’s requirements and their likes and dislikes, Kharkar came to a conclusion that since the client offered a freehand to design the space they wanted to give them the best in South Mumbai.
"We firstly didn’t want to give away on few elements which were already present in the existing raw office like the arched entrance which leads to the long aisle and the arched windows which would retain the essence of the old structure. At the same time we never wanted to give an industrial theme to this office which nowadays has been adapted in a cliche manner. We narrowed down to a concept where the 70-year-old property will be toned into a warm contemporary commercial office space. Later we started off with the orientation of the space that was carefully recalibrated, altered and sections of it restored to create space for the new office with additional facilities," shares the architect.
To begin with the reception area, The Regent Steel office grabs your attention instantly. The first thing one notices in the restored and altered structure is the arched entry leading to the cabins. Keeping the arched structure in mind, the design follows a geometrical theme in the entire office. Firstly, the geometrical printed tiles in the reception area and aisle leading to the office compel one to stand in awe. The reception table is kept simple with a steel frame on three sides and centre apron finished in gray Italian marble. The reception table is nicely tucked in a space between two existing columnss, finished in white paint.
The left side of the reception table is finished in gray paint and series of framed display boxes houses the company's business related products and certificates. Behind the reception table and on the right side of the table one can notice series of arches created in wood and finished in veneer and cement-finished laminates.
These arches provide access to two symmetrical accounts cabin and the right side leads to the conference room and CEO's cabin. Along with the white wood and gray colour palette, the orange colour pop adds vibrancy to this cabin.
The waiting area in the reception area houses chairs and coffee table with an interesting glass backdrop with an upside-down arched partition. "This was done purposefully to break the monotony of the series of arched glass door panels and also to create a sense of warm, bold and ingenious design element," Kharkar adds.
Coming to the CEO’s cabin and the conference room, the entries to both these area are placed behind the free standing reception table. The backdrop of the CEO’s table is kept minimal yet eye catchy. A free standing orange storage cabinet featuring rounded edges and wrought iron, round sleek leg looks like a stylish furniture piece that is used to stack few important files and display artefacts. The ceiling design in the entire office is similar, mainly grooves that form diagonal grids in POP. There is a flood of light entering this cabin which makes it look all the more pristine and fresh. The table top is finished in white back painted glass with veneer edge. The slant legs area finished in MS powder coated in black. These legs hold a matte gold finished frosted glass as the apron of the table. Wooden tiles and wooden and leather finished chairs area used in all the cabins.
Right adjacent to it is the conference room, with an window that overlooks the busy street of South Mumbai. Around the table ample of movement space is provided, which allows one to give a good presentation on the automatized projector screen that is smartly concealed in the ceiling. There is ample storage space in the conference area, which houses a full height file cabinet finished in veneer and cement finished laminate. A pop of colour through orange PU paint applied on the open niches which display few files and artefacts livens up the space.
One of the cabins in the office has an interesting table detail with veneer and Italian marble. Smart shelving and geometrical circular element create a cool setting at the backdrop of the main table. Another cabin has a backdrop finished in cement gray bar code patterned panel with a steel fabrication illustrated artwork overlapping a mirror and bar code panel, each table with intriguing detail and material palette gives the cabin a different identity. The third cabin has lot of movement space with detailed table finished in Italian marble. The back credenza below the window houses file storage and sleek orange niche runs along the length of the table. There is a half height glass partition between the two cabin, this makes the space look bigger and gives a feeling of connectivity. "The intention was to let it blend in an harmonious way by using similar material palette with different forms and pattern in all the cabins," Kharkar explains.
Extensive use of picture frames and artifacts creates a visual delight and interaction between the furniture pieces and the decor pieces.