Shaping dreams.

Today when the design of most offices is based on minimalism and functionality, Hablani Architects have redefined the workplace as a place that will induce maximum productivity. Their own office is a direct result of this mantra. Modernism and functional components mesh seamlessly with comfortable and comforting features to lend this space a sense of serenity and make for a relaxed state of mind.

Located in the busy Narayan Kothi Square, the four stored building, where the office occupies the top two floors, is placed on a triangular plot. A common lift and staircase lead you to the reception room, where images from an interactive projector greet you at the entrance foyer. A little farther down, the clients’ waiting area is a vast open space with a double-height ceiling. Here, a stark, glass temple with white deities takes pride of place. The architects believe this section to be special, one where the positive vibes that travel around their office originate. This spacious area has custom-designed bamboo back sofas with frost-colored upholstery and full-glass, cantilevered, 3’6» wide stairs leading to the floor above. There are giant sized ‘studio’ lights on pedestals at either end of the temple, which brighten up the space. An earthy, wooden floor, with floor to ceiling glass windows completes the open plan. Fluid white statuettes in the open terrace — located on the floor above — bear testimony to the architects’ attempt to bring about an aura of quiet harmony.

The architectural team behind the design of this 3,500 sq ft office comprises three brothers and their nephew, each with his own overriding philosophy on what architecture is and should be. Hasanand Hablani, the man at the helm of this firm, believes that a carefully nurtured seed is the basis for a strong foundation, while his brother Arjun finds architecture to be the truest record of life as it was, is and will continue to be. Their younger sibling, Pradeep, thinks of architecture as a great living creature, which continues from generation to generation, changing according to nature and circumstances. While the three brothers share their emotional view on the subject, the youngest member of the team and their nephew, Vedic Panjwani, has a more practical take on the matter. He says that actually understanding the nature of the space is what architecture truly is.

It is these slightly contrasting, yet largely comparable philosophies that converge in the creation of their projects and specifically, this one. heir common passion for architecture seeps into their work, breathing life into it, making every space built by this team a play of architectural delights. Whether it’s the presence of a cozy recliner in a cabin or a reading nook conveniently placed in a wall, the site is peppered with signs of the careful thought and planning that have gone into making this office. The meticulous detailing is visible in the form of an aquarium — with koi fish — placed under the bathroom floor, and a dining table, with a cascading water feature, on the terrace. After all, when architects consider architecture to be a living being, it is but natural that this ideology will be splashed across their work like an artist’s expressions on a blank canvas.

However, despite their seemingly similar mindsets, things weren’t all that simple when it came to brainstorming for a plan. The four architects had to contend with one rather odd-shaped difficulty while trying to come up with a design for their firm’s new home. The building that the office is housed in, is triangular, something laughingly. Arjun Hablani, the principal architect refers to as a multi-faceted diamond! The primary concern of the architects was trying to ensure that this peculiarity did not hinder the appearance of the layout and they took particular care to create square and rectangular spaces within the interiors.

An entire wall is used as a bookshelf, while suspended worktops save space and maximize usable area. LED lights have been used all over, not only helping to conserve power, but also affording an overall soft setting.

There has also been a predominant use of white, with the inclusion of natural elements such as wood, alongside a mix of tiles and textures. This deliberate choice of monochrome elements forms the perfect background to offset vibrant paintings and sculptures by artist Nagesh Sharma.

The office has an open-to-sky component on the fourth floor, just outside the director’s cabin, another aspect of the design that could well have been part of a residential layout. These terraces are a fluid extension of the workspace, but instead of office chairs and workstations, one finds street benches, huge vases, a patch of turf as flooring, a dining table and Moroccan lamps, each contributing to the creation of a relaxed atmosphere, ideal for de-cluttering the mind after or during a hard day’s work. Frangipani trees dot the terraces, producing a natural space to unwind and rejuvenate. An amalgamation of expressive, design facets and solid, functional realism is what makes this office different from others. Hablani Architects’ tag line ‘shaping dreams’ may well hold true when it comes to this space. It is truly a place where work and play, life and design as well as thought and action come together to make clients’ dreams come to life.

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