» Industry Experts » Deviating from the conventional – A look into evolving office spaces
Deviating from the conventional – A look into evolving office spaces
Ar. Khozema Chitalwala, Principal Architect, Designers Group
The human way of life is an ever-changing constant. It is not unique to human work culture as well. These evolving work patterns and the changing lifestyles, in turn, are altering the outlook of companies and Corporates on office spaces. So, the workplace design needs to be as dynamic as our lifestyles so that it not only improves the productivity of the office but also promotes the well-being of the occupants.
The modern, dynamic workplace would be physical and virtual, centralized and distributed, dense and free from obstructions, highly specialized and deeply integrated, spontaneous and planned, organic and engineered, personalized and communal, all at the same time. As architects and designers, we have to deviate from the conventional and contribute to the dynamics of the workplace.
KPIT office at Pune, designed by Designers Group, is a design that matches the changing prospects of the work ethos. Located in a lush green environment, surrounded by hills on all sides, the office provides a serene and calm backdrop for the occupants. The contrasting coloured interiors create a synergy with the tranquil exteriors and transmit positive impacts on the users. The design scheme of the office was set to achieve a minimal yet dynamic ambience that triggers a sense of motivation amongst employees. The open layout incorporated a lot of task-specific workstations but, at the same time, allowed employees to interact with each other and work harmoniously. This flexible layout increased the productivity of the office. The structure is divided into two levels, and collaborative spaces such as conference rooms and meeting rooms are planned at each level, encouraging the people to connect. Honing in on the idea of “casual corners,” the KPIT office has plenty of intersections and spots where workers can interact informally or work in a more relaxed environment. These casual corners add to the dynamics of the office. It becomes the perfect meet-up spot, with the eclectic colours and cozy seating that instantly lift anyone’s mood.
In the KPIT office, the stunning floor-to-ceiling windows allow ample natural light into the spaces and enhance the mental well-being of the employees. Similarly, the communal areas and the cafes are bright and open with phenomenal skylights, which encourages positive health impacts and, at the same time, fosters impromptu gatherings in those spaces. The corridors lead to the interiors infused with green to stimulate positive effects on the employees.
The Pride world city, by the Designers Group, is a sales office located in a large township in Charoli, Maharashtra. The layout was open with interiors encouraging opportunities for collaboration and communication. The double-height workspace with a glass facade covering the walls from the floor to the ceiling endures a lot of natural light that suffices the longer workspace. The huge and coloured columns on the exterior not only add grandeur to the building but also enhance a positive impression on the visitors. The spacious layout and the well thought spaces create a pleasant work experience and attract sales and purchases.
The design of these offices creates spaces that enable the companies to promote vibrant ecosystems and different work environments to offer a healthy work-life balance to their employees in the coming future. Thus, these two offices meet the dynamics of the changing lifestyles by designing for collaboration and well-being, which are considered the core of the evolving office spaces.
Ar. Khozema Chitalwala, a prominent name in the architectural fraternity and beyond, has been a major driving force for several independent and collaborative projects across the globe. Having graduated from Rachna Sansad, Ar. Khozema Chitalwala started his career three decades ago with his first architectural project in the suburbs of Mumbai. He established his firm, Designers Group in 1988 with a dream & endeavour to institute ‘Designers Group’ as an internationally acclaimed design firm.
The initial years of his career ensued to be challenging where a couple of projects did not materialise. Working persistently on various interior design projects, Ar. Chitalwala manifested a strong base for craftsmanship, which led to his extensive and diversified work experience. With this persistence and hard work, he eventually got to work on Taj Hotels and Resort, IHCL project which was a turning point for Designers Group, granting a directional focal point on hospitality and over a period of time Designers Group became a leading hospitality design firm in India.
Nature has always been a great source of inspiration for Chitalwala’s design philosophy, keeping sustainability a key focus while outlining astounding hospitality marvels. Professionally, a creative stimulus was postulated in him by international design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates, a global runner in the Hospitality Design sector, which encouraged him to create a focused Hospitality Practice, invoking an understanding of Indian Hospitality industry.
He believes that contextual and sensitive design adds in-measurable value to any project. According to his design pedigree, he firmly believes that “being simple is difficult” which is an evident feature in his designs. Overall, his designs cater to the clients’ needs holistically by designing for a wholesome experience.
Khozema has been an ardent patron of Architecture and Design in India, driving him to be a sought-after presenter at various design platforms. He has been a speaker at various design podia including ISHRAE, IHE Hospitality, ET, ACETECH, IDAC, IDE, IIID, WFM, IHE, FOAID, Design Wall, GBB, iGEN, etc. He has recently been featured as IFJ Personality. He also hosted a famous show revolving around the lives of multiple renowned faces of the Indian architecture industry, named Kupshup with Khozema. His work has been published by various design-led publications including Hotelier India, Society Interiors, IFJ, Good Homes, Architect & Interiors India, India Design ID, Economic Times, Design Detail, India Today Home, Business World Hotelier, Singapore Home & Decor, Objekt International, Moralmoda, etc.
Designers Group’s project Devi Ratn has recently been awarded by World Architecture Award in the 34th cycle, Estrade Award 2020 in Leisure Interior category and A’ Design Award 2021. A private residence designed by them has also won Estrade Award 2020 in Interior Design- Private Residence category. They have also been honoured by National Architecture & Interior Design Awards as “Best Interior Design & Architecture Firm of the Year 2021” Maharashtra under the “Premium Hospitality Projects“ Category.
Post divulging deep into interior design grounds he surfaced back to architectural waters with an impeccable creative streak. Placing its stalwart in the design fraternity, Designers Group today is associated with multitudinous national and international hotel brands including Taj, Marriott, Sheraton, Hilton, Pride, Holiday Inn, Mahagun, Ramada, Park Plaza, Novotel, Hometel, Radisson, Heritage, Grand Mercure, Avadh, Regenta, Orchid, Golden Tulip, Fariyas, The Fern, Choice, 7 Apple, Fortune, Wow, Best Western, Imperial, Sarovar, Blossom, etc.