When Venkatesh Dhond approached Rubel Dhuna Architects, he had already found his dream office. Venkatesh had fallen in love with a part of the first floor of a printing press that was spread over 850 sq. ft. and overlooking a quiet pedestrian pathway enveloped by dense foliage in South Mumbai. “It was this feeling of being up in the trees, yet in an office at the same time, that inspired Venkatesh to choose this space,” says Rubel. Venkatesh was clear that he wanted to retain the volume of the space by keeping the floor plan very open and democratic, where everyone could be seen rather than using cabins and doors to break up the office. “Our focus and challenge were to give the space a sense of openness while tapping the outside environment and bringing that feeling of nature indoors,” explained Rubel. The team, therefore, used large windows and seamlessly introduced the outside world into the office.
“Venkatesh has a huge law library, one of the largest in the city I’d imagine, and this was the focal point of our project - how and where to house these books in the office.” The hundreds of books had been collected over two decades and had to be showcased without creating the visual barriers of a cupboard or closet. “In order to achieve this, the mammoth library was moved to two walls so that the collection could be seen and appreciated from every part of the office.” Rubel doubled the depth of the shelves and staggered them, making it more convenient to locate books. The team also enlisted the help of a law librarian to sort and colour code the books.
Colour coded books
The Law Library
“The look of an office speaks volumes about the work culture, about its success and its relationship with its clients. The office culture here is young and spirited and in keeping with client’s personality of being a real people’s person, the design was laid out as an open plan with glass walls separating the different spaces,” says Rubel. Although Venkatesh veers toward more classic silhouettes, since the space was being used by so many young professionals, Rubel kept most of the office quite contemporary and modern while Venkatesh’s private office has more traditional decor.
The Conference Room
A lot of the products were made in-house especially for this project, while some beautiful items were sourced, such as the chairs in the small meeting room which are from Defurn, durries found at Shyam Ahuja, and vintage lights and more chairs from Chor Bazaar. Rubel's architects created the teak wood lights in the conference room and all the tables. In the private cabin, where the architects used the most traditional sense of design, an antique table backed by a clean-line library sets the tone, while the rest of the furniture is contemporary and eclectic.
Teak Wood Lighting
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