Niraj Doshi Design Consultancy
Why is this project special?
This project is quite unique in a way as we wore different hats during the entire process of execution of this project; viz the Client, the Designer and the Contractor. The idea was to efficiently demonstrate how the formal can be fused seamlessly with the informal, adding to the efficiency and enthusiasm of those who work there on a daily basis. It was quite a challenge, but we were able to overcome it successfully making this a very special project.
Now, when a client comes to the Design Studio, he is greeted by the relaxed ambience of the RUSTIC Outdoor Studio with a lot of green around. This is where he can pause for a moment from his daily hectic schedule, have a glass of water and gather his thoughts. Post this he enters the MINIMAL Indoor Studio, which in a way helps to concentrate on presentation or discussion with full attention. It also shows that Rustic and Minimalist design can go hand in hand and the Client does appreciate our design range.
Tell us something about your project?
The Client’s (Our) Brief for this project was as follows :
1. Informal workspace for 10 people.
2. Formal meeting space for Principal Architect.
3. Formal workspace for Principal Architect.
5. Common toilet.
6. Private toilet for Principal Architect.
7. File storage room.
8. Scope for future evolution.
The Office design was conceptualized to be a place of both worlds. Keeping this in mind, it was divided mainly into two zones; a formal Indoor Space & an informal Outdoor Design Studio.
The Principal Architect uses the Indoor Studio, where the emphasis is placed on ‘Transformation of Space’. This is achieved by openable presentation panels for meetings, which when not required can be simply closed. There is a personal working space inserted in a window offering a panoramic view of Parvati Hill. This can be closed without any trace of it.
The Outdoor Studio is more of an Informal space. It was originally just a covered terrace acting as an extension to an office space. It has been designed keeping in mind the Sustainability principles, wherein most of the materials have been reused & recycled, lots of green areas, the use of Solar Electricity; thus, effectively reducing the Carbon Footprint.
What was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges that we faced was to have multiple activities/functions in a comparatively smaller space. This was addressed in what we have described as the ‘Transformation of Space’. This is an important feature incorporated as presentation panels for meetings, when not required, can be folded and put away. Similarly, a window set inside the wall which, when shut, looks like a small cupboard. Once opened, it offers a panoramic view as far as the famous Parvati (a historic hillock in Pune) and also serves as a space where the Principal Architect can work.
What is the lesson you learned in this project that you would like to pass on to the next generation of architects?
As we all are aware that every single human being is unique and different in his/her own way. The same is applicable to Architects and Designers to their personal interests and experiences. Hence, every student or every budding Architect should not let go of their other interests apart from Architecture, because those are what makes them who they are. These are what creates their character in your design. For example, when I had the chance to work with the world-renowned Architect Lord Norman Foster, I realized how much his love for flying an aeroplane influenced his Architecture was limitless. This effectively meant that his Architecture was way different from most of his contemporaries. Therefore, I think your personal interests are very important which makes you a unique designer.