Only Much Louder Office Interiors
Lower Parel, Mumbai, India
Type: Work Space
Design Team: Ipsit Patel, Rika Chaudhry
Project Size: 5,800 Sq. ft.
Program: Open fun work space for a media company
The site is housed in a defunct printing press at Mathuradas Mills Compound in Lower Parel. Using an industrial material palette, the office has been conceived for a media firm, Only Much Louder. The client’s brief was to create a fun quirky office with an open plan that allows for further growth, built at minimal costs.
Unconventional materials and found objects have been repurposed and reused ingeniously to serve the many functions of the parent company’s headquarters. Step one involved getting rid of the huge printing press and makeshift cabins on the ground level to create an open-floor plan and chipping off the paint and plaster off the walls, arches, columns and trusses for an overall distressed look. The next big save came from keeping the factory’s cement flooring as is and fitting bright-coloured mosaic tiles in areas where the floor was chased for wires. To match the two long yellow strips of floor tile running across the length of the office spine, the exposed columns have been painted black and yellow to resemble barricade tapes.
As opposed to a generic enclosed office space, most of this space is lit up with the north light from the pitched roof. The natural light enriches the quality of space within. One can sense the volume of the space while walking on the mezzanine through the trusses. The three levels are created in a way that it allows for visual connectivity as well as maintaining a sense of privacy.
Garden-style benches with planters, made using exposed red bricks and kadappa stone tops run across the length of the ground level for informal meetings and discussions. The ground level is divided using partitions made from corrugated tin sheets, reclaimed glass and aluminium sections. Each of these materials come together in way such that it optimizes the use of each space, allowing for visual interaction where required. Planters are used as visual barricades while also enhancing the breakout space.
Provision has been made in a way that the space is able to adapt to various programs when required. The corrugated tin partition encloses the conference room that opens up to give way for a performance area.
The quirky element in the space is added through the use of colours. The coloured plywood panels in the trusses infuse a character that reflects the informal atmosphere. Most work tables are long communal tables, crafted out of rubber wood with colourful legs of old cots. Garage lights sourced from Lohar Chawl are used in addition to energy-saving CFL and LED ceiling lamps. Plumbing pipes make up the frame for the film production team’s bunk bed. The only storage available is in the form of floating metal lockers, painted bright red, yellow, green and blue, which can be accessed using a library-style rolling ladder.
Overall the space is infused with a fun young vibe in keeping with OML’s spirit. The site context being industrial in nature has been retained and enhanced by adopting a ‘work-in-progress’ approach, where additions or alterations will not look out of place..