An enigmatic blend of rustic and urban, VDGA studio designed by Deepak Guggari is a space where people and creativity are neither confined within glass cubicles, nor walled premises.
It’s a dream come true to be able to work in a space that not only inspires and motivates but is liberating as well. What spiritual luxury, if the space is also not bound by walls. Located in Pune, VDGA Studio exemplifies just such a creative work space.
“This 1,800 sq. ft. apartment on the ground floor of an existing old building was chalked out as our dream studio. We found our treasure in the drawbacks of the apartment and which ultimately became the foci of the design. The studio interiors were actually developed by capitalising on all the negative aspects of the space. We simply picked up cues from the surroundings: from the rustle of the leaves, the tinkling of the raindrops, the drenching of the greens in the rains and the gurgling of water,” informs Deepak.
An architectural studio is one place where creativity and ideas flow freely. In order to give an unbridled expression to the imaginations and creativity of the team the work space is left almost wall-free.
The once uninspiring and dirty building was dramatically converted into a visual delight by ushering in plenty of greenery and accentuating it with statement pieces and artefacts collected during various travels. The collection includes traditional pieces hand-picked from Cochin and Bali. Almost the whole periphery is dotted with surprise elements that make for charming decor.
The design approach is simple: from total surprise to the absolutely predictable; in a hope that the predictable becomes a surprise by itself.
The entry to the studio is through a series of pergolas blanketed with creepers and flanked by lush green plants. A ten feet wide pivoted door with interesting small details opens up to become the welcoming wall to the studio.
This leads one to the waiting area and reception which has IPS benches instead of the usual plush sofas. A coloured wall adds to the vibrancy while the subtle floors again in IPS and dark wooden furniture accents bring in earthiness. Traditional columns from Cochin frame the reception area and conform to the delicate balance of urban and rustic.
The principal architect’s cabin enjoys a panorama on its two sides. While the rear set-back i.e. the east court is lush with bamboos and a fish-pond; the side margin opens up a view to gorgeous frangipani trees and huge pots sourced from Bali.
Adding to the energy of the place is the north court with its vibrant coloured wall as the backdrop for a lot of greenery and artifacts. This court exuberates energy in all the seasons, be it the dark shadows it receives on harsh summer days, the soaked aromas it senses during the monsoons or the gentle warmth of the winter sun.
While on one of the walls of the court, a traditional door hints to a surprise that lies beyond, the opposite side has an outhouse converted into a dining cum pantry.
The outhouse has a series of white doors and windows with coloured glass in the cut-outs; this forms a beautiful picture altogether. The roof of the outhouse is pergolas and glass and the same is shaded throughout the year by the existing trees of the vicinity.
The outhouse is reached by crossing a narrow fishpond on stepping stones that are actually precast concrete slabs with frangipani leaf imprints. The conference room is a rather cosy place on account of its utility. The lounge is a place where visitors are entertained and also serves as a reading room for the staff. It boasts of some of the stylish and traditional buys in terms of furniture and artefacts.
All the spaces in the studio have been given an extended view to the greenery and these vistas are enjoyed by all, irrespective of their location in the studio.
The material palette for the studio comprises IPS, basalt and kota. The waiting area and meeting room at the entrance welcomes one with its IPS flooring dotted with frangipani and monstera leaf imprints.
The work space, conference and lounge have kota floors which open up to the basalt flooring of the spaces beyond. Black aggregate has been used to fill in the voids between the basalt steppers in the principal architect’s personal area.
“We have tried to stick to the basics while designing this work abode. The material palette compliments the theme of the interiors very well. Further, strategic lighting employed throughout the studio that highlights only some walls and artefacts selectively has helped achieve an enigmatic feel,” adds Guggari.
Text By Swati Kapur
Photographs Courtesy The Architects