Class and Chrome

October, 2013


Mumbai-based Icon Projects presents effortless grandeur through the sleek design of the Rawalwasia Group of Companies head office in Kolkata.

On the ninth floor of a premium corporate building in Kolkata is the grand office of Rawalwasia Group of Companies. The brainchild of Amit Porwal, Principal Designer, Icon Projects, this understated yet opulent office declares that its occupants have arrived and are here to stay! Porwal says, 'The design echoes Kolkata's taste in classic d'cor; unlike other metropolises like Mumbai and Delhi that sway more towards the modern, we have maintained a fine balance between the modern and the classic to create an impact.'

Grand reception
The group's brand name, fabricated in stainless steel, glints elegantly in the reception of the Rawalwasia office. Eschewing the 'waiting room' feel, this reception space has been given an identity as the face of the office; it is a representation of what to expect within. The floor is a blend of Lady Grey and Statuario marble while the table, the head turner in this room, has stone cladding, veneer and white lamination in asymmetrical shapes on a steel base. The tinted mirror on one wall lends expansiveness to the room while beautiful globe chandeliers bathe it in light.

Understated d'cor
Italian marble, veneer, stone cladding and chrome make up the material palette of the design. Steel being one of the group's diversified interests, this one element stands out prominently in the design of the office, which is dotted with artefacts, sculptural installations and even the company logo fabricated from stainless steel. White, beige and brown are the dominant colours - the only spurt of brightness comes from the workstations where grey mesh chairs with sunshine yellow create a pleasant, inviting environment.

Business talk
In keeping with vastu principles, the 16-seater boardroom, which showcases the state-of-the-art projection and video conferencing facilities, is placed next to the reception area. The beautiful table top here is intricately designed using veneer and white lamination. Superior finishes, high-quality veneer and intricately steel-fabricated designs underline the affluent ambience.

A unique design feature of the boardroom is the full-length steel door handle that spans the entire height of the door; this handle was exclusively designed, fabricated and manufactured by the design firm for Rawalwasia. To retain the design element, a small part of the door that was 'scooped out' was used to create smaller door handles for the smaller meeting rooms in the office. In effect, the doors subtly represent hierarchy. Another highlight of the boardroom is the designer leather clad acoustic wall panels lined with LED light strips that set the tone of the room when the presentation is on and the main lights are switched off. .

Given its proximity to the reception area, the entire boardroom has been soundproofed. Acoustic-panel clad ceilings and double-sandwiched glass walls looking into the reception ensure that sound does not leak out, while the motorised blinds offer privacy when meetings are on..

Design element
The entire office was designed by combining two office spaces on that floor. This aided in creating distinct work areas for two separate divisions of the group of companies. The two workstations are divided by a glass wall that visually and spatially connects and gives a sense of expansiveness in the office while subtly creating a divide. .

Overall, there is no solid material used to visually obstruct the expanse of this space. The walls display an interesting mix of veneer, leather-finished stone and glass panels, alternating on the entire stretch of the office. Another notable addition is the elongated steel handles that grace the doors of the executives (similar to the ones used for the boardrooms). The seamless door handles were prototyped on site to create continuity in design.

The three Directors' cabins are designed to be similar in style but individualistic in the detail. The yellow chairs are continued in the cabins of the three directors to create a connect with the employees. The Chairman's cabin stands out with its grandness and leather seating.

Chilling out
Break out spaces have been smartly incorporated in the office design. In one corner, a casual seating area is created using artificial turf and stone and steel design elements. Also, a small waiting lounge has been carved out of the breakout space around the Director's cabin. Offering a beautiful view of the outside, this cosy lounge has comfortable seating and a glass table with colour stone base. Through understated elegance, a deliberately low-key palette and subtle exclusive touches, the designers successfully state that the occupants of this office are truly a class apart!

Total Area: 12,000 sq ft
Total Cost: Approx Rs.4.5 crore
text: Anuja Abraham
photos: Prashant Bhat