Creating an extension for the Applause office of the Aditya Birla group in Mumbai, the design by The Orange Lane works hard to relaunch the brand.Creating an ambience suitable to the work related to movies and digital media which is carried out by the firm, the design builds on the narrative and corporate identity of the organisation.
“When I was approached for this job, I wasn’t aware that this was going to be an extension of the existing premises to be connected through the reception – The older part merely needed a facelift, to connect it to the new space which I was designing from scratch. Conference rooms and a pantry were also to be added,” says Shabnam Gupta of The Orange Lane. Located in the premium office district of Mumbai, BKC, the windows of this office offered ample views of the city.
There was a marked difference between what Shabnam was envisaging as a design pivot and the older space. “The team was young, most of their work concentrated on digital content,” says Shabnam. To create a vibe in keeping with this, Shabnam made graphics the star of her design.Visually busy, it makes no bones about socking a punch with strong colour drenched surfaces in large doses.This is no subdued and sedate fade into the background venture.
“The brand colours are red, black and grey, which are picked up by the grey carpet with red stripes and the table tops in grey bison board.” Red back painted glass and perforated red metal sheets stay within the colour palette, while partitions have clear glass tops to enable views of the city scape. The brand colours are reinforced in almost all directions, playful and dynamic in their implementation, but never tipping the balance.
“This is an open office with a line of vision which runs from end to end. Plants on the window sill soften the cityscape without obstructing natural light. The ceiling turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. When we removed the old false ceiling, a beautiful coffered ceiling with vaults was revealed,” says Shabnam. Consequently, her lighting functions in two layers. One layer justifiably highlights the ceiling, while the other facilitates work. Some suspended LED lights run diagonal to the work surfaces below, adding a design element through the way they inhabit the space.
Bold geometrical graphics dominate the walls; some of them with the company logo cleverly worked into them…the scale of the graphics manipulating the visual perception of surfaces. Inspirational messages also take up some real estate. Strong diagonal lines predictably bring energy into the space.
Disguising the storage running along one wall, a graphic poster draws attention to itself. “Tables in meeting rooms are angular, while an exposed elliptical duct for the AC is covered in a movie-making themed graphic. In a no-fuss exercise, utilities traverse the unfinished ceiling in other places. When the design was 70% complete, I had to add more seating,” says Shabnam.
A conference room in grey veneer must be traversed to get access to the CEO’s cabin; white back painted glass offering a surface for notes and diagrams during group discussions.
A suspended light and powder coated shelving completes the ensemble. “The creative department uses the new premises, while the admin occupies the earlier one,” says Shabnam. I had to marry the spaces without increasing costs too much, so I’ve used the same carpet, brand colour and similar graphic art.
The implementation of the graphic concept has refined and strengthened the corporate identity. Bringing a chic aesthetic to this space, Shabnam has echoed the essence of the brand through her design, combining art and function in several bold, unabashed strokes.
Text By Devyani Jayakar
Photographs Courtsey Indrajit Sathe