Spaces often integrate themselves with the identity of their occupants, adding associative value to the existent image—especially offices. The recent design trend has corporate workspaces being fluidly designed and exuding energy through an array of colours. However, what happens when a time-honoured company wants to retain its traditional roots but also be associated with new-age ideas?
When the second generation of a family in the business of agriculture and spirits took the reins of the company’s legacy, they wanted an office that would add integrity and modernity to their well-aged image. They approached LDTF, a boutique architecture and interior design firm based in Delhi, to build a space that would amalgamate the contrasts—a youthful space for the older generation of workers, partly rooted in the past. Keeping in mind the quantum and nature of the work, where most of the employees are between the age group of 40-60 years, the designers create a refreshing space with the goal of ensuring efficiency and comfort for all.
Located in Gurugram, the 6000 sq. ft office consists of a reception, communal work area, managerial cabins, and head cabins. The existing space was an open plan with scalable height and enclosed in glass facades. The interior design intervention blends an industrial aesthetic while imbibing luxury elements from the past, imparting an overall futuristic ambience. The material palette includes marble, dyed Sucupira veneer in combination with a matt lacquer finish, bronze profiles, fluted glass, and eye-catching art by renowned artists. This palette is brought together with a research-based approach to infuse a cohesive brand identity within an interior space. A grand reception area welcomes one into an opulent space that celebrates luxury and legacy without delving into ornamentation. Adhering to a monochromatic palette, white Statuario tiles are used in the flooring and the regal reception counter. The highlight of the area is the wallpaper from Cara Saven, featuring a watercolour effect and almost mimicking a natural onyx stone. Luxuriously minimal metal accents and tan lounge chairs add a touch of extravagance, life and colour to the otherwise muted space.
The heart of the office, the communal workspace—laid in a linear pattern—has a monochromatic grey palette with a carpeted floor and similarly toned surfaces paired with Statuario tiles used as wall cladding. The exposed ceiling features a mix of diffused and focal lights with a colour rendering index (CRI) of 92+, which, according to research, is closest to natural daylight and helps maximise productivity and efficiency. Additionally, the neutral area is accentuated with measured splashes of orange, yellow and blue through decor elements and plants placed on light panels that double up as display shelves. While the enclosed and air-conditioned environment does not allow for natural plants, artificial plants are incorporated to ensure wellness and a calming effect on the employees. The shared workspace is lined by cabins and separated by sleek, antique bronze-finished sliding partitions. The shutters of the main cabins are fitted with fluted glass, enhancing the vintage aesthetics while maintaining privacy and connectivity with the rest of the office. On the inside, they have a refined design vocabulary achieved through a contemporary aesthetic and a sophisticated material palette, inducing a polished perception of the company and the industry. For example, a cabin for the senior level management is a pristine white space lent warmth by a dark walnut veneer used on the furniture. The minimalist room exudes luxury and finesse through its design and material palette. In contrast, another cabin uses colours, textures and prints to create a plush space. Personifying the role of female leadership in a male-dominated industry, the Director’s cabin is designed to break established norms and exhibits curvilinear elements like the arched display, the curved table, and the dusty rose-coloured finish on various surfaces. Designed as a spatial metaphor, the cabin spells luxury through Statuario tile flooring, veneer-clad furniture, opulent brass inlays and a plush leather couch. In addition, the room features unique art pieces, including a triad of abstract paintings by celebrated artist Bahaar Rohtagi who, with her textured and colourful work, adds depth and character to the space. Similarly, a quirky sculpture manifesting femininity in green by Aditee Garg sits beside the desk, adding a bit of whimsy to the otherwise sombre setup. Art plays a distinct role in the overall personality of the office by creating an expression of fluid and colourful femininity that juxtaposes with the neutral solidity of the interiors. Hence, the office is peppered with art in vivid colours, textures and forms that break past the refined lines of the interiors. In their own metaphorical way, these works of art and curvilinear profiles soften the aesthetics and address the change in traditional power dynamics where women are making their presence felt today.
The interiors of the office pay homage to the past and the changing future simultaneously. It allows the occupants to feel at home and adds prestige to the not-so-glamorous industry through its timeless material palette integrated with new-age technology and ideas, shaping a youthful and luxurious office that embraces individuality, fosters growth and respects the past.