“While spatial expanse is shrinking expenses are escalating sky high. Limited space and hiking price of products and amenities are a big challenge for architects and designers where clients requirement plays an important role in curbing a design structure. Titir Dey, a young and energetic designer at Workplace, Space Matrix Design Consultants shares her insight on two facets of Spatial Design.
Titir Dey, Lead Designer – Workplace | Space Matrix Design Consultants
When architecture and interiors blend effortlessly and speak a unified design language, results are subtle expressions which are both timeless and endearing. Such was the case in Standard Chartered Bank office, the design of which nestled itself in a heritage building in one of the quaint lanes of Fort area in Mumbai. The whole district is filled with beautiful heritage buildings that have endured the test of time and are now serving as great examples of adaptive reuse projects.
A site located in a heritage building serves as a perfect example of the right amount of challenge that a designer will look for in her projects. There are inherent limitations of what you can and cannot do with the design, which is guided by the structure, flooring and ceilings. Achieving a perfect blend of old and new, the nuanced balance of modern and classic and then tying them all to one response which is a fusion of the best.
The biggest challenge at Standard Chartered office design was to retain the heritage structure building and infuse contemporary workplace design in its interiors. If this aspect is not handled sensitively, the risk of jarring differences can ruin the eventual outcome. Concealing wiring and cables without touching and affecting the stone walls and retaining the original façade was interesting to play with. The results were a harmonious blend of traditional structure to serve modern day needs of an office, that is the criteria for any adaptive reuse project.
Sometimes, the original structure and features of buildings are so charming that the designer will not have the heart to conceal them with any layers of hiding. They want to expose this beautiful intricacy to the users. Such was the case when an initial strip-down of the structure revealed a balcony, wrought iron railings that filtered natural daylighting into the office area creating that expansive vibrations of being with the nature. The resulting design converted this alfresco area into a café which has undoubtedly become the employees favourite spot in the office. And rightly so. Nature attracts us towards it in more ways than we can understand.
Materials used for restoration were made to match the original building materials such as the Victorian-style Minton tiles in the corridors and colonial inspired dark veneer in the lounge area. The arches, rose windows and high ceilings were all retained to add to the warmth of the space and infusing it with contemporary office furniture with straight lines and forms added to the functionality of the modern day office.
Good Design is never about expensive finishes, and flawless design is not about most expensive materials. The design is not just what it looks and feels like. The days when designers quoted most expensive marble to announce their expertise on design are certainly over. The design is first about how it works, how the space flows and blends to subtle human responses. And hence it largely is about an intuitive human response to a good design. In case of Standard Chartered Bank as well, the project was delivered within the budgeted cost in an effective manner but by no means were the end results cheap or inefficient.
The results of blending of expanse into the expense, amalgamation of old world to the new, an office which is both traditional and contemporary, the reluctance to define itself into any strict category, yet making its own subtle and beautiful statement of practicality with a charming purpose, is what Standard Chartered project stands for. The new design for this global bank incorporated its corporate guidelines and successfully blended traditional building features into modern office creating a unique statement. That, all that is old, need not go away. And new is nothing but merely an extension of the old was the basis of our design. We believe that they can co-exist subtly yet powerfully.
|About the Architect|
Titir Dey is a Lead Designer – Workplace in the Space Matrix Mumbai Studio. An architect by qualification, Titir brings to her designs a deep understanding of the structural form and sound technical knowledge. Add to that her ability to quickly grasp the client’s business needs and project expectations is what makes her an ideal consultant to clients.
Originally from Kolkata, Titir is a highly passionate person and her passion reflects in her designs. She has worked with the who’s who of the corporate world with clients like Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Standard Chartered in her kitty.
Titir is an integral part of a young and dynamic design team at Space Matrix. Space Matrix is a dynamic and agile 21st-century digital enterprise with a major client focus to deliver profitable, sustainable and future-ready workspace solutions. The company is continuing to revolutionize the delivery of design and build services in Asia and beyond.