Saturday, July 28, 2018

The evocative habitat

IAnD Exclusive

Designer’s Personal Spaces 

Compiled by Marina Correa
Photography: Deepshikha Jain and Sameer Chawda; courtesy the architect
Read Time: 2 mins
"The front office studio PKA indiaartndesign"
Studio PKA (inset) Principal Architect Puran Kumar

Studio PKA’s new location within the cultural and heritage precincts of South Mumbai allows it to soak in the collective artistic identity, whilst responding to its own needs…

In his personal space, Ar. Puran Kumar endorses his belief of ‘less is more’. Housed in 100-year-old Victorian era building, the Loft (as the studio is informally addressed), is his conscious effort to explore, live and breathe the space so that the process of peeling away layers and exposing the natural character of the space follows “simple acts of pausing, taking a couple of steps back and moving forward again - akin to a rhythmic staccato”.

"The entrance passage studio PKA indiaartndesign"

So, we see the raw favoured over layered; stark over gaudy; sensory over ostentation… Situated on the fourth floor, the studio stands stripped off its boarded fenestrations and is flooded with natural light, ventilation, and spectacular views eliciting emotional responses in visitors and employees alike.

"The client meeting zone studio PKA indiaartndesign"
Client zone
"The library studio PKA indiaartndesign"
The library
"principal architect chamber studio PKA indiaartndesign"
Principal architect's chamber

The formal articulation of spaces weaves its way across the floor plate towards the studio; cafeteria; principal’s chamber; client zone and the library. A formal meeting room and a vertical backdrop frames the machine room that sits atop the wooden elevator. Mirroring the functional and formal arrangements within the space, the clay tiles covering the meeting room reflect the roof above; whilst the machinery - a metaphor for the studio space, is the powerhouse of the firm. 

"The main studio PKA indiaartndesign"
"main studio PKA indiaartndesign"

Intersecting gabled roofs along with their structural supports comprise important contributing factors to the spatial language of the studio. The wooden purlins, rafters and robust trusses clad in metal, have all been stripped and restored to release the space to its glorious past.

Despite a formal spatial arrangement, windows and the staircase bridge the distinct levels. Minimal use of cement blocks and boards; hollow metal sections and stone complements different areas, whilst glass infuses transparency and depth into the schematic.  

Interestingly, the studio is envisioned as a multifunctional and flexible design solution where collaborative sessions, workshops and exhibitions can be held -- bringing forth a new discourse within the fraternity as well as bridging the gap between students and professionals.

Studio PKA’s workspace is akin to a poetic expression, wherein the character of the space mingles with the architectural journey of the firm and alludes to a continuum through time – remembering the past, living the present and looking out to the future. 

The big three:
Flexible spaces and multifunctional designs are the cornerstones of Studio PKA experiments
Materials, colour and designs are premeditated acts and never arbitrary 
Style evolves as a natural corollary of choices rather than a unilateral initial decision 

Fact File
Firm: Studio PKA
Principal Architect: Puran Kumar 
Gross Built Area: 3,700 sq. ft.
Location: Fort, Mumbai

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