The design ethos of Mumbai-based Parallax Design Studio cannot be forced inside a box. The team loves ‘design’ in all its manifestations and constantly strives to push its boundaries in both its projects and products.
Mumbai-based Parallax Design Studio harbours a keen interest in exhibitions, teaching and competitions, a fact that encourages the team to constantly innovate and remain keyed into the latest in design. Founded in 2005, the firm likes to steer clear of getting stuck in any one style or type of construction, and instead looks for game-changing excitement involving multiple fields of art. Rohit Mankar, a graduate from the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad, clearly inspires the team’s sustainable conscience as its principal.
Edge + Edge, Mumbai
In a city that’s constantly kicking its perimeter to make more space, Parallax Design Studio decided to dwell on discontinuity, specifically of the coastline that runs along Mumbai and provides it the most direct nexus with a natural body. “We began our study with the intent to map the coastline of Mumbai and identify the points of discontinuity in its water edges. These were locations where access to the water edge is restricted and the connection with the water is disrupted, and where we could experiment with a unique mix of technology and design to rejuvenate the connection with the water in a sustainable manner,” states the team.
The Edge + Edge project’s chosen site for intervention is the Love Grove outfall that is connected to a waste water treatment plant and whose low-lying reclaimed land is today home to slum settlements that grapple with regular flooding. High-rises have popped up further south and the encroachments together establish the disconnect between the Worli Sea-face promenade to the north and the Haji Ali promenade to the south.Considering the sensitive station of the site, the Parallax team imagined an intervention on two-levels – an environmentally-sensitive technological upgrade that would enhance the 19.
The Edge + Edge project’s chosen site for intervention is the Love Grove outfall that is connected to a waste water treatment plant and whose low-lying reclaimed land is today home to slum settlements that grapple with regular flooding. High-rises have popped up further south and the encroachments together establish the disconnect between the Worli Sea-face promenade to the north and the Haji Ali promenade to the south.Considering the sensitive station of the site, the Parallax team imagined an intervention on two-levels – an environmentally-sensitive technological upgrade that would enhance the 19th-century water treatment set-up; and an aesthetic one involving the building of public recreational spaces.
An additional promenade is imagined – connecting Worli Sea face to the Haji Ali promenades – featuring cycle tracks, parks, and more, with the 60 m buffer between the old and the new edges expected to become a series of multi-height lagoons across which treated water (both potable and good for landscaping use) can flow.
The edge along the Love Grove will also be re-imagined to accommodate a promenade and community spaces for the benefit of the residents of the slums. The overall idea is to plug the gaps that split the waterfront with sustainable design, and the team deftly balances the topographical demands of the job with civil expectations.
Fine Organics Laboratories and Office, Mumbai
At first glance, this office for Fine Organics Laboratories and Office in the Navi Mumbai suburb of Mahape looks like a complex grid of building blocks held together by magic. But there is strategic method here. The design team had initially thought of a rectangular mass, which later was split up to become a much more visually appealing system of interconnected and multi-levelled mini structures.
The connecting elements are the courtyards and the terraces that jut out, setting up a wide swathe of light-and-shadow pockets that can be taken in at all times from the tall glass walls. The structure’s form incorporates a happy maze worth of walkways and verandas – running parallelly, sloping down, enhanced by green patches, or connected by staircases. The effect that makes an impact is cumulative, all of the monoliths surprising you with their commitment to a disciplined outlay.
The outer skin of the structures features alternating panels in the interest of both sunlight protection and visual connectivity with the outside. The aesthetic effect of this plan is a stand-out as well, further reaffirming the unique brand of assured movement that the whole project exudes. This could easily be a sci-fi film set, one that inspires the viewers to imagine the plates and the panels shifting any moment, bending the concept of time. Pretty exciting for an office space, must say!
Parallax Design Studio’s products peddle virtuoso minimalism. They aim to flip conventional form templates through the use of a chosen few sturdy materials and a faithful reliance on geometry. There is the Peel Chair, straight out of grand origami dreams. Made from M.S. matt-finished in light green and grey, the chair was realised by bending the material along a careful sequence of folds. The Flamingo Lamp, with its brass lamp head and M.S. rod frame, is a multi-faceted light source that is a perfect fit on a study table.
The cut bamboo stalk-shaped brass lamp-head passes through an M.S. ring and its orientation can be gear-adjusted from here. The Puzzle’OTable-Chair is wholly fascinating in this array. Made of black-powder-coated M.S. and light wood, the pieces again channel a Jekyll-and-Hyde sentiment, alternately covering and exposing frames and surfaces to establish visual excitement. Trikone questions the ‘mundanity’ of tables by being inspired by the pyramid format – its capped base is made of an M.S. metal pipe on which rests an inverted pyramid form of veneer-finished plywood box frame.
A patch of matt-finished M.S. metal inlay on the surface is an indicator that this is not a normal table. And then there is the Bird Lamp, its chamfered lamp head capable of bending and looking upright like a bird happily pecking at seeds in a park. The battery-charged lamp can be moved up or down to form a down light, a wall flush light, or a reading light, a USB port on its body ensures the phone-readers are taken into consideration!
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photographs Courtesy the Designer