Office Space that is “Modern and Exudes Warmth” – Space Matrix
The Piramal Group is a business conglomerate with operations in over 30 countries and a presence in more than 100 markets around the world. The new facility brings five existing offices of the company in Mumbai under one roof.
It’s a modern office with work zones modeled after self-sufficient Indian neighborhoods. Luxurious interiors with elements of nature incorporated within the four walls. These are some of the standout elements of a new, integrated facility that we have designed for the Piramal Group in Mumbai.
The mandate for our design team was to create an office space that was “modern and exudes warmth.” Piramal wanted the office to radiate a cozy, nurturing vibe that went with its corporate values of “knowledge, action, care, and impact.” Running parallel to this theme was biophilia, the concept where natural materials and green elements are used to promote well-being, creativity, and productivity.
Piramal wanted us also to create a cohesive office space in which people from seven departments and diverse cultural backgrounds could work together.
We used these guidelines to turn the 146,000 square feet space into a contemporary workspace for over 900 people. We chose bright and warm tones for the finishing and warm natural materials like wood, used glass walls to play with sunlight, recreated scenes from daily life on the walls to create a pleasant office setting, and brought the Indian courtyard concept for social gatherings.
Workshops helped the design team define workstyle requirements A tough challenge was to incorporate the needs of different user groups and employees across various bands into the planning. For instance, we needed to understand the ratio of users to the formal and social spaces, or which business units are necessary to have proximity to each other. We conducted a series of workshops to capture the teams’ requirements for workstations, reprographics and storage, meeting rooms, training rooms and collaborative spaces.
From hierarchical office into semi-open space with collaboration zones – the insights enabled the team to get employee buy-in for the big transition from a hierarchical office environment to a semi-open space with multiple collaboration zones.
Each work zone follows the concept of a self-sustaining Indian neighborhood. Each cluster (neighborhood) has collaboration spaces, meeting rooms, and storage and repro units that cater to each team’s requirements. And in between these clusters, there are spaces where employees can socialize, much like a courtyard in an old Indian home. A courtyard can be used for informal meetings, and mini town halls, or have an open library.
During the planning stage, we received multiple change requests from Piramal on the headcount. Using the modular concept of standardized workstations, we gave them a flexible solution to accommodate changes in the future without having to break down walls. For example, within the footprint of a cubicle for management, Piramal can accommodate four linear workstations for employees.
Meeting rooms, pantries, and collaboration spaces maximize space utilization and the use of natural light. The workstations face the glazing side to maximize natural light. Collaboration spaces act as natural dividers between neighborhoods. The meeting room walls are not of full height, which gives the area a sense of height and openness.
To incorporate nature, we have provided space on top of the storage units in the aisles for planters and have used plants in open boxes for the library and pantry. The reception also has multiple planters.
Piramal wanted a luxury hospitality ambiance in the lobby and a homely feel in the office space. For that, we have used design elements in such a way that the lobby and the office space do not look distinct from each other and yet have a different feel.
We have replicated certain elements to maintain continuity between the two zones. For instance, in the lobby, the team has used the key feature in wood and bronze for a luxurious feel, and repeated the same design in a lighter wood for a homely look. In the reception, the woodwork is in the form of vertical rafters that merge into the ceiling to create continuity.
The intermediate bronze panels graphically represent leaves to reinforce the nature theme.The two-storeyed columns are clad with light veneer for a complementary contrast.
The result is an expansive office with zones that are clearly defined but well integrated into the whole workplace. It is an office in which employees can work, play and socialize in a contemporary, relaxed environment.
FIRM : Space Matrix