Housing.com’s design studio in New Delhi is a creative and energising mix of bright colours and non-hierarchical furniture. The spectacular view doesn’t hurt either.
In September 2014, Housing.com’s blog announced the launch of their Delhi office at one of the most coveted locations in town – Hauz Khas Village. The website is one of India’s leading property search portals and a space for its employees had to reflect that reputation.
“Since our inception, we’ve strived to create a workplace that is comfortable and fun, encouraging enthusiasm in everything that we do. We wanted our Delhi office to epitomise that attitude with a fresh, vibrant look and feel, open spaces allowing collaboration, and a cool location in one of the city’s trendiest neighbourhoods,” said Suvonil Chatterjee, Design Head at the firm.
The youthful energy of the firm certainly comes clearly across in the 3000 square foot open plan design studio. Overlooking the Hauz Khas fort and surrounding water bodies, the studio is a study in contrasts. The stunning views are calming, while the interiors are energising. The studio layout features a mix of workstations and break-out rooms, with curves and straight lines.
The studio was designed by Chrome Design Studio, a New Delhi based multi-disciplinary practice that offers “contemporary, innovative and functional solutions” for all architectural and design needs.
The client’s brief was to create a “non-hierarchical and transparent working environment within the team.” What this meant was that the studio had to be multi-functional. It had to have individual workstations that also encouraged teamwork, while community spaces would give designers spots to relax and think.
The overall palette of the space would have been corporate-y with its light wood workstations and grey floor and ceiling, but the sudden punctuations of bright spots of colour elevates one’s mood immediately. Strategic walls and pillars gleam with sunflower yellow or bright green, drawing one’s eye to those spaces.
The design is a happy one. Workstations don’t follow the usual format but instead curve happily around the office. Employees sit next to each other, instead of behind or ahead of each other – decimating those hierarchies through seating, for sure. Though individual workstations with personal storage were a must for each designer, Chatterjee was looking for an unconventional design without the regular table chair workstation.
And the view, oh the view. Hiding such a spectacular view behind concrete and wood would have been a shame. The studio chose to celebrate it instead by not only installing large windows at the perimeter but also glass walls within the office so everyone had a view, no matter where they were.
Since the team would work collectively on one design at one point, Chatterjee wasn’t keen on too many closed spaces for meetings as it would “oppose the collaborative effort of the team.” Other than workstations, the studio needed dedicated spots for designers to relax, think and discuss. So breakout and meeting rooms are placed around the studio, with wood and glass walls and colourful furnishings inside. Some rooms have dramatic chalkboard walls that just beg for a creative flourish.
The little kitchen area has dramatic grey walls (another example where dark walls don’t diminish a room, but actually make a space appear bigger) and creative seating with bespoke tables that slot into each other.
No surface was left untouched. Even the partitions and corridors are user-friendly, with surfaces ideal for note-making or sticky-note-sticking. There’s really no excuse for forgetting something here!
Housing.com has been consistently working on providing a cheerful, creative and thoughtful environment for their employees.
The balcony or the outdoor area overlooks the scenic beauty of the lake outside and is thoughtfully populated with enough chairs, beanbags and wooden seating to make the busiest employee want to take a break. Chatterjee wanted the studio to reflect openness and imbibe the serenity of the lake and the design team certainly managed to do that in this gorgeous and fun space.
Text By Chryselle D’Silva Dias
Photographs Arvind Hoon Photography