In the newly designed office of Space Architects@ka, abstract art meets architecture in a fluid spatial narrative that talks of the firm’s long and exciting journey.
‘A walk-in abstract art’ – that is the first thought to cross our minds when we step into the immaculate shell of the office of Delhi based design firm Space Architects@ka; here design is a storyline spelling out the journey and experiences of the firm through spatial vocabulary.
Space Architects@ka are known for their originality, detailing and fluidity in space, all of which come together perfectly balanced, in their new office.
Located in a basement, the minimal décor in combination with an open interactive plan contradicts all negative adjectives associated with the word ‘basement’.
As one comes down the steps of the front entrance whose glass ceiling allows abundant sunlight to permeate inside, it is a light and liberated feeling that embraces us.
A strong purposeful zoning is a defining aspect of the rectilinear 1500 sq ft interior space. Architect Kapil Aggarwal feels that ‘zoning of spaces is justified, so the main cabin with an attached conference room is placed at the rear to maintain privacy and yet visually connect it to the front office.’
The abstract form of the ceilings fuse art, architecture and functionality. The cement finished walls and flooring of the interior office allows the white surfaces of the irregular ceiling to be more prominent. A constraint of a frontal narrow space of 4m by 15m was cleverly put to use by the design team; it was utilised to showcase their past in rows of pictures hung on both sides, much like an art gallery. The framed exhibits find the perfect spot on grey surfaces, and help infuse colour into the neutral tones of the interiors.
In continuum with them are a series of unique ceiling displays about which Kapil mentions, ‘are an extension of the abstract partition that acts as the waiting area.’ The plain white ceiling designed as overlapping planes, with illumination used to highlight the undulating lines, ends as protruding screens near the reception.
Each back lit flat screen has a sketch that defines how the design process works, thus serving a dual purpose of exhibit and light feature. Owing to two entrances, frontal and side, the reception occupies a central location, around which all other functions pivot. Here Kapil’s thesis model hangs as a light feature, telling us where the journey began.
Behind the reception, one can see a distinct flow of spaces marked by the change in decor and ceiling design, as we move from the break-out space to the workstations. This trail finally leads to the cabin which has a curved veneer finished partition. According to the team, this part is the most interesting aspect of the design. “It was an interesting experiment – designing outer partition walls of the cabin in a fluid form that continue to become the conference room ceiling,” fills in Kapil.
To compensate for the lack of outdoor connectivity, a ‘green spot’ was introduced as the breakout space: an elliptical seating on a green carpet and the right illumination gives the whole space a distinct identity. Relaxing in this gathering point, one can see many architectural accents like Corbusier’s ‘Modular Man’, back lit sketches, irregular planes, all evoking a sense of the profession within the interiors in a very non-professional way.
There is an easy fluidity in spatial design, as one area overlaps another, and it is a deliberate use of varying colour schemes and localised architectural accents that demarcate the zones visually. Elements like a glass partition between the cabin and conference room folding to create larger spaces only strengthens the fluid concept.
Ceiling art in interesting abstract shapes and design, connecting and isolating spaces as required, is without doubt the game changer in the office interiors. Kapil feels that ‘it is not floors and walls that matter but what is at eye level and above, hence every ceiling is a different tale.’
An architect’s office is a design statement of his philosophy and skill and in Space Architects@ka, the firm’s fluid ideas, creativity, originality and designing in response to the need, is clearly outlined for every visitor to see and experience. Kapil Aggarwal and his team have used their design skills to its epitome and have created a unique architectural haven to work out of.
Text By K Parvathy Menon
Photographs Courtesy Bharat Aggarwal