Contemporary commercial design, Archohm Studio HQ, Noida, India
Indian interior designers and architectural practice Archohm Studio have designed their own head office. Completed in 2011, the contemporary studio can be found in New Okhla Industrial Development Area or better known as Noida in India.
Often labeled as a design fort, the design of the studio reflects the ‘mad and fun’ design philosophy of Archomites. The site is located in an extremely dense suburban area within the vicinity of the NCR With a built up area of 4,000 sq meters. Amidst the urban city conditions, the triangulated plot is flanked by, the ‘Jama mosque’ on one side, industrial factories on the other and a large slum development on the third.
Standing tall at a height of 10m, Archohm’s Corten steel entrance door creates an intimidating first impression. Its revolving nature and access through a ramp, gives the building its character and symbolising the continuity of the outer street into this ‘square’, the atrium for visitors. A moat augments the medieval modern dialogue with a revolving bridge that connects the main studio to the front garden. Red Sandstone clads the boundary wall, with etchings that depict the focus areas of the firm.
The main building is divided into five components, each of which are defined and exaggerated by the use of distinct materials; concrete, glass, brick, stone and metal. Each component has been designed keeping in mind climatic, contextual and functional requirements.
The main studio space takes the north face, and is an economical r.c.c. framed structure wrapped in glass. The glazed façade brings in diffused light, to create optimum working conditions. To distinguish a sense of identity within the various sectors of the studio, each department is assigned a particular colour in the building section and elevation. Architecture is brown, interior design is orange, electrical is yellow, plumbings in blue and finance is red. The external façade is transparent and houses every department’s files, documents, physical models and material samples, creating a dynamic visual collage of materials and colours that is able to represent life at Archohm, inside out! Large circular cutouts connect the floors vertically. Staggered in location, these openings visually connect across three levels. To add vitality, each cutout is equipped with its own highlight. From poles to slides, the features are varied, add energy and are quite well-used!
Placed near the entrance, a robust, circular ‘rotunda’ of brick accommodates all services. Dominating the central hollow core, hangs a yellow felt manuscript, with laser cut, inspiring excerpts from the ‘Fountain Head’. The apt placement of the rotunda ensures efficient division of traffic, as visitors reach directly to the meeting rooms. At every half floor height, washrooms are placed with designed wooden benches for waiting. This service core houses the electrical substation at the base and water works on top. All services are concentrated into this block and all lines run exposed for economy and maintenance.
Images courtesy of Humayun Khan and Andre Fanthome
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