Samira Rathod Design Associates bring music to the humdrum daily tasks in this office designed on the lines of a music studio.
The brainstorming for the Ispat office started off with a simple question – What kind of a place would you like to work in? Many responses emerged, but one stood out. A place which has music!
This got the design team at Samira Rathod Design Associates (SRDA) busy conceptualising the design of the office along the lines of a music studio. Elegant, yet playful and fun, inspiring creativity and cosy and warm were the adjectives that came to the lips when the team thought of a music studio.
The team at SRDA took the concept to heart and integrated it into every aspect, big and small, of the office design.
The abundant use of wood sets the tone for the music studio concept. Chief architect and designer Samira Rathod says, “The idea behind using wood extensively throughout the office was to think of it as the background score. The use of a single material ensures that the beat is maintained throughout the space.”
Tessellated planes of commercial plywood cover almost the entire ceiling of the office. The purposeful asymmetry in their layout is reminiscent of the technique used in music studio ceilings to help absorb the sound created. In the Ispat office it accentuates the design theme and adds an element of drama to the ceiling, an oft neglected element when designing an office.
Fins stand in place of walls to separate the cabins from the common areas and passages. They deflect sound and provide privacy when required. The curtain of fins over the glass partitions creates translucency amongst the different areas. This blur makes it easy to straddle both, having privacy and being outside.
The office also boasts of some interesting light fixtures. Each one has been designed in-house at SRDA and serves both practical as well as aesthetic purposes. The fixtures have been designed to go with the music based theme.
A long gleaming black table occupies centre stage in the Ispat office. “This is probably my favourite spot in the office. This is where all the discussions and office meetings take place. We wanted it to take on the setting of a piano in a bar around which people mill, chat and enjoy the music,” says Samira.
And this is achieved with élan thanks to the attention to detail. The table has been given a glossy mirror-like finish. A tall easel -like light fixture at one corner resembles the music stand. The chic, custom-made light-fixture that hangs over it further adds to the lounge-like feel.
Samira Rathod and her team at SRDA pride themselves in creating interior spaces that stand apart. “With every project our aim is to bring more meaning into interior design. Often interior design receives the step-child treatment. Different elements are selected from catalogues or shops and then put together in the name of interior design,” she says.
At SRDA, the interior design of any corporate space is given its due and even the most minute of features receives due care and attention. A stand-out aspect across various projects by SRDA is the innovative use of material.
Samira shares, “Every material has its intrinsic value but we don’t believe in classifying it and limiting its use. There should be no caste bias in the use of materials, that is, using some only externally and others only internally. Innovative use of material can transform the inherent character of the space.” Expanding the application of wood to the ceiling and light fixtures and not just the floor or furniture in this office is one such unique example.
Rustling papers, lit-up computer screens, discussions and meetings remind the visitor of the activities that go on in this work space. But, if you squint a little and look through slitted-eyes and tune out the mundane office sounds, you might just see someone at the piano-table in a black, sequined gown, her hands floating up and down over the keys as one lilting melody rolls after another.
Text By Himali Kothari
Photographs Courtesy Pankaj Anand