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Young at Heart

Housing.com, the online realty platform recently unveiled its new design studio in Delhi. Suvonil Chatterjee, Chief Design Officer at Housing. com elucidates on the various aspects of design and functionality to create a vibrant workplace.

Nothing can be more exhilarating than working on the design of a ‘design studio’. Being a young enterprise and comprising primarily of youngsters too, the ambience of the studio had to be inspiring, eclectic, fun and collaborative. We wanted to create an office that didn’t feel like an office, but a big creative zone that would enable designers to push their imagination and explore audacious ideas and invent extraordinary work.

A lot of thought was put into this project from day one. Even the location was of prime importance. Hence, we narrowed down on the picturesque Hauz Khas fort in the midst of nature, as the ideal spot to nest ourselves and nurture beautiful designs. The new design studio epitomizes fresh thinking, creativity and optimism. Based on the concept of collaborative workspaces, it embodies a transparent work culture with a mix of individual workstations as well as break out rooms.

No room for rooms

The work done at this studio is a collaborative effort of bringing alive a functional yet energetic space. The deliberate and conscious effort was to do away with any form of ‘office’ environment and not have an intimidating or authoritative space. Keeping that in mind, we opted for a non-hierarchical and open ambience, wherein the concept of ‘rooms’ was eliminated, barring only a meeting and conference room. Since the whole team would primarily be working collectively on the same design at one point, we negated any private or individual cubicles/cabins with name boards or designations to encourage collaborative efforts.

The entire space is linear, transparent and cohesive. Nothing obstructs the view and one can have a glimpse of the entire stretch from any end. There is a huge element of curves and continuity wherein everything seamlessly blends into each other, almost giving the interiors a ‘flowy’ feel.

The studio, spread across 3000sqft. is a workspace that is comfortable, enthusiastic and fun encouraging innovation. It has been designed by Chromed Design Studio, a multi-disciplinary firm based out of New Delhi.

Naturally inspiring

In order to adapt to the location and create an aspiring place, a lot of natural elements were used in the décor, especially the furniture. Unlike the norm in conventional offices, white furniture has barely been used, while solid wood chairs and tables make a more emphatic presence.

For a space designed for almost 20 members, just two long continuous blocks of wooden table converts into a workstation for all. A burst of indoor plants emerging from between these workstation desks adds a natural touch. The glass facade with the view of the lake, allow a lot of nature to be taken in. A wooden deck with bar stool chairs against the wide window also works as a workstation for designers to look into the serene lake and work in tranquility.

Wall of Ideas

To induce creativity and make it an inspirational area, the walls were transformed to become whiteboards and blackboards for the designers, almost making the entire office a huge scribble pad. A blackboard wall with a TV in the midst of it makes presenting campaigns & ideas a delightful experience. While the audio video visuals are showcased on the screen, the adjoining wall allows notes, explanations to be sketched simultaneously. Almost all the walls are writable and this further enables designers to create something of their own and contribute to the place in their own way. Interestingly, the graffiti and block colours on walls, makes a beautiful contrast against the ancient fort and lake.

Fun and funk

The youthful culture of the company reflects in many elements on a closer inspection. Customized furniture and quirky chairs breaks the conformist seriousness of a conference room and infuses a sense of informality and new age ideas, which is much in sync with the culture of Housing as a company. The colour scheme and materials put together in the studio go against conventional design style which reflects the dynamism and novelty that our brand really stands for.

No false ceiling and glistening marbles adorn the décor, instead exposed over-head pipes and charcoal colour painted panels matching the concrete floor gives it a casual, real and unsophisticated appearance. In an age where air-conditioners dominate offices in entirety,we have incorporated open-able windows and some designer fans to allow natural cooling in certain corners, also keeping in mind the Delhi winters.

Design meets functionality

The blueprint of the project was crafted around the core functionality of the place. As a design studio, it was essential to provide break out rooms for designers to ideate, brainstorm and discuss while care was taken that the complete studio would exude a comfortable, enthusiastic and positive vibe to foster creativity. Floor length glass panels in between the office space was erected for members to work as a team and in groups without disturbing fellow colleagues, yet sharing the same zone.

Aesthetics was important, but we also made sure it was equally functional and practical for designers to spend long hours which would be required during certain projects. Albeit dedicated workstations were done away with, each member still has access to a private storage area. The space has been used in an optimum style and designed to give a sense of infinite space that works well for any form of thinking based profession. Artworks by the team have also been incorporated in the décor to give a sense of personal ownership to its inhabitants and create a space one can truly call their own.

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