We live in exciting times. Offices no longer, thank heavens, wish to look like boring work spaces. Their design schemes now invite colour and eclectic forms, with an insistence on creative productivity and homeliness. And this trend is spreading across the range of industries in India, to include even medical institutions.
Design Work Group (.DWG) got commissioned to design such a relaxed office for Peacock Technology, a software company based in Surat, Gujarat’s Icchapor Special Economic Zone. The chosen site was a derelict building, with the team tasked with re-imagining it using a restrictive budget. In short, the design had to beat some tough odds.
So what did the designers deem to be the most comprehensive solution package? The use of reclaimed materials, of course! “It is a tech company and we know that computers produce lots of waste material like keyboards, floppies, old CDs, and more. Also, Surat is a very old city, with lots of old wooden houses being demolished and their elements being sold at the scrap market,” states the team. .DWG had thus found itself a generous resource pool for cost-effective ideas. Re-using old city structural materials also meant paying homage to, and indeed extending the life of, Surat’s built legacy.
The main key to an informal work space is free-flowing space-division. At the Peacock office, demarcations are a bit hard to spot. Instead one gets the feel of perfunctory divisions and resolute openness in the various sections. “In-terms of layout, the whole site is divided in three parts and the central portion is used for entrance foyer, reception and lounge area which is extended to outdoor seating area,” states the team.
Ottomans created out of used tyres pepper the space, along with low-seating cushioned sets. The walls alternate between wooden brown and black, and sport striking art pieces – like a trendy display of used bicycle wheels, looking like an eddy of smoke rising from the floor. A beautiful outdoor sitting space gets views of carefully-pruned greenery, some of it hanging across a cage-like enclosure hugging the space, and also features bright red seaters fashioned out of old metal drums.
The lighting scheme here is remarkable too, and it mostly sticks to a cluster format – for eg., a beautiful collection of small, glass-shaded lamps looking over the reception desk, a pretty piece that rests on scuffed old mismatched wooden pillars.
The team has, in fact, used “paper tubes, old packaging wood, car tyres, glass bottles, unused old GI plumbing pipes, machine gear plates etc., from the scrap yards” in the spaces here. A stand-out though is a London-style red phone booth for those looking to make calls in private. “Moreover, Green, Black and Blue cabins were designed for distinct discussions and meetings,” adds the team. All office work, thus, taken care of in style!