Thursday, July 26, 2018

Experiment, explore and experience

IAnD Exclusive

Designer’s Personal Spaces 

By Rutvi Ashar
Photography: Courtesy the architect
Read Time: 2 mins
"office harish lakhani architects indiaartndesign"
The baffle wall with the back-lit company logo at the entrance (inset) Ar. HP Lakhani

HP Lakhani Associates invite you to their Hyderabad office, which stands as a testimonial of their design philosophy and approach... 

Three ‘E’s sum up the design of this office – bounding much ahead of being a mere physical manifesto of what the firm stands for! By ingeniously showcasing their experimentation and exploration, the architect firm has created a bespoke experience for its clients. 

"open terrace harish lakhani architects indiaartndesign"
An open terrace with artificial turf marks the entrance to the office
"office entrance harish lakhani architects indiaartndesign"
Reception table is done in Corian with a veneered ledge, while the existing column at the back is finished in Travertine texture. Behind the reception table is the Accounts area leading into the service zone

Maximum usage of biodegradable and green building materials complemented by natural organic finishes anoint the interiors and the beatific terrace space. Starting at the entrance, one’s eyes muse over a plethora of specially-curated elements viz., a white lacquer finished Ganesha mural with a touch of silver; white Corian reception table with a veneered ledge and concealed lighting at the bottom; storage cabinets in different areas sporting different finishes like laminate, PU and lacquer; assorted flooring in natural tandoor stone, wood-finish tiles, pebbles and artificial turf and the like…

"terrace harish lakhani architects indiaartndesign"
View of the main entry from the lift lobby.  The white shutters on the left conceal the outdoor pantry and storage space. These shutters have been made from recycled plastic and wood waste.
"dining area on terrace harish lakhani architects indiaartndesign"
The dining tables have leather finish granite tops fixed on ready metal bases. Existing column stubs on the terrace have been camouflaged with bamboo curtains and act as bases for planters on top.

The design language sustains, adding intrigue as a thriftly-used ingredient – an example being the concrete baffle wall at the entry with the backlit company logo; or the conference room false ceiling, which is a printed fabric concealed in glass and backlit and gives one the feel of sitting below a tree in the open for discussions; or the false ceiling of rough veneer in the MD’s cabin… 

"exposed brick wall harish lakhani architects indiaartndesign"
The meeting room at the entry is separated from the main studio by designing book shelves which open into the main studio and host an interesting mural of the tree of life at the back.
"main studio harish lakhani architects indiaartndesign"
The main studio is designed on an open plan with use of natural materials like exposed brick walls, tandoor flooring and GI sheet false ceiling to provide an organic feel.

In terms of space planning, material usage and provision of services, the firm consumes energy (except for running the air-conditioners) by harnessing solar and wind resources. The entire office is integrated with an automation system and can be controlled via an iPad. The open plan is designed in tandem with Vastu, where the main studio is centrally positioned with the services segregated towards one end. Additionally, the main reception area hosts the accountant’s desk and one also sees a small meeting room, a conference room and the principal architect’s room. The entire office depicts some unique treatment of spaces that are partitioned by film-covered glass walls to ensure adequate privacy. 

"conference room harish lakhani architects indiaartndesign"
The fabric false ceiling with tree print over the conference table is back lit to give a feel of nature within an enclosed space. the conference room is separated by a glass wall from the MD's room.
"MD cabin harish lakhani architects indiaartndesign"
The back wall of the MD's room has the world map cut in MDF and finished with concrete texture. India is highlighted in orange, the company logo colour.

As if the interior spaces weren’t enough to entice the clients or create a great working environment, the break-out space (which also acts as a welcoming foyer) is a large open terrace in front of the built form, complete with a pergola-sheltered dining area surrounded by potted plants overlooking a large artificially-turfed lawn!

The big three:
  • The one thing that you have done for yourself that you’d never do for a client?
    • Experiment. It is very important to think as solution providers to client’s requirements rather than impose something out of context.
  • An important design lesson that you abide by?
    • Every client has a different requirement that must be addressed in accordance without compromising on design and aesthetics.
  • Is there a message that you’d like to convey to your clients through your own space?
    • To achieve good design, you don't have to necessarily spend a lot; understanding requirements is a very crucial aspect of any good design.
Fact File:
Design Firm: HP Lakhani Associates
Principal Architect: Haresh Lakhani 
Built-up Area: 311.22 square metres (2,000 sq. ft. & 1350 sq. ft. terrace) 
Location: Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad 

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