Overcoming the odds

June, 2013

 

Behzad Kharas' office may not have been a neatly squared space to start with. But his determination to beat the odds has resulted in a design that is unique and individualistic.

For an architect, his own office often doubles up as a show window. It is here that prospective clients form their first opinion. What happens though, when the architect's own office space is so oddly shaped that it tests his professional skills to the optimum? If it is an architect of the calibre of Behzad Kharas, MD & CEO, BNK Group, the constraints can only fuel his capabilities further. Kharas' command over design, colour, space management and utility planning has created a space so unique that it has emerged as a benchmark in office design.

Against the odds

Says Kharas of BNK Group (formerly known as ThinkBNK), "My first challenge came from the planning and creation of my own work space. I travel a lot, and if I am not travelling, I am a part of most meetings, so my primary challenge was to create a conference room in this space. It didn't make sense to waste premium space on a large cabin, so I combined my cabin and a conference room in the same space."

BNK's office is washed in black, white and grey colours, borrowed from the branding of the different verticals of BNK Group. Kharas preferred this no-nonsense formal look devoid of colour. The only colour in this otherwise fairly stark room comes in the form of silver-leafed cones in the conference room. Kharas' desk is in tan leather and he faces a black back-painted glass.

The fact that Kharas has used odds to his advantage is once again reiterated at the reception area where a slanting wall, alongside which is the main seating area for visitors, has been used to create drama. The wall showcases the company logo for branding. Incidentally this wall is also shared by Kharas' cabin-cum-conference room where it is clad with alabaster sheets and backlift for effect.

Personal taste

Says Kharas with pride, "Completely against vaastu, our office is a clear reflection of my taste which I am not always able to showcase in clients' projects." The meeting room near the entrance has been designed such that meetings with suppliers can happen there without them having to enter the office. The main work office also had to deal with non-parallel walls, but somehow Kharas managed to fit the various departments of architecture, interior design and admin beautifully. Since overhead storage near some desks wasn't possible, a central unit has been provided. This area also doubles up as lunch space for the staff as well as an inter-department meeting space.

Individualism pays...

Kharas enjoys making the most of technology in his design. Therefore, the usage of mood lighting in his cabin-cum-conference room gives him the flexibility of options. Structured, flat, formal lighting when a meeting is on, or soft-focus, relaxed mood lighting when he just wants to put up his feet and relax a bit. The room is also gifted with flood of natural light which streams in through the large windows when he wants to concentrate on his core strength, design. With no pre-conceived dogmas about what should be done and what should not be done, Behzad Kharas' office space could benefit fully from his designing finesse.

Total Area: 1,500 sq ft
Total Cost: Rs 30 lakh
Photos: Sebastian Zachariah

CONTACT

Ar. Behzad Kharas, Tel: 022 -6610 0313, E-mail: cmd@thebnkgroup.com, Website: www.thebnkgroup.com

Meet the architect: Behzad Kharas

Firm: The BNK Group, founded January 2005.
Firm specialisation: Design Consultancy.
Design philosophy: Change is inevitable, and experimentation is the key to change.
Philosophy towards life: The world belongs to the brave.
Favourite architect/Designer: Raj Rewal & Santiago Calatrava.