Comfort Working

March, 2014


This office by Pomegranate Designs in Baroda projects the client´s contemporary image even as it ensures employee comfort.

Advancements in technology, changing tastes and soaring property prices have led to new trends in workplace design that focus on creating an elegant, productive environment with maximum flexibility and space utilisation. In keeping with this trend, Pomegranate Designs, Baroda has created in the uptown commercial area of Baroda, a modern, compact and efficient office for Shreeji Projects, an electrical engineering company.

´Comfort and performance are the basic benchmarks for designing any office,´ says Samir Kulkarni, Design Head, Pomegranate Designs. The brief for this project specified that the 1,200 sq ft open-office layout had to accommodate a lavish cabin for the company´s director, a state-of- the-art conference room, a well organised manager´s cabin, an interactive staff area, an inviting discussion room adjacent to a reception and all other supporting services.

Design plan
The design concept evolved to meet the client´s requirements even as it focused on prudent use of space without compromising on quality. It also ensured ample storage space, relaxed seating arrangements and ergonomically designed furniture, among others. ´Our aim was to design an open-plan office with interactive environment and a comfortable lounging area that would promote creativity. We studied several aspects like air quality, thermal comfort, lighting, ergonomic quality, arrangement of furniture and work tools before finalising the plan,´ reveals Kulkarni.

Image inputs
Keen on projecting a certain image for the company, the client here wanted classic contemporary interiors with a touch of traditional elements. Thus, the open reception area, glass walled cabins with wooden flooring, curvaceous ceiling with LED lighting, modern workstations and the furniture are all distinctly contemporary. The traditional touch comes from the art pieces, a hand-painted canvas on a central wall, and a handcrafted jaali partition between the reception and staff area. The jaali partition performs its traditional role of facilitating interaction even as it offers a little segregation, in addition to creating a play of light and shadows on the opposite wall.

Room review
The director´s cabin accommodates a spacious working table with a comfortable revolving leather chair, a low-height sofa and an ingenious coffee table. The glass walls of the director´s and manager´s cabins provide the occupants a complete view of the entire office. The discussion room has snow white walls that become the perfect backdrop to display frames of client´s projects. It has a well-lit 4-seater round table with drawers, storage cabinets and display units.

Mood makeover
The curvaceous ceiling painted in ash grey and pure white, set with general as well as warm yellow accent LED lighting, creates a mood of brisk efficiency during the day and a more relaxed ambience as evening approaches. Walls are painted in environment-friendly light shades. Windows let in maximum natural light through the windows, which are fitted with roller curtains to enable control of the level of brightness and privacy. Potted indoor plants like areca, champagne, bamboo and palms bring in the freshness of green foliage.

Furniture funda
In today´s work culture, long and stressful working hours are unavoidable; but user-friendly seating arrangements can ease the physical discomfort of employees, while flexible workstations, furniture and ample storage space can make organisation of work more efficient. That is why the Pomegranate team decided to splurge on bespoke furniture. ´Each piece of furniture was ergonomically designed. Rounded edges, ample leg space, adjustable height, maximum workspace area were some of the features incorporated to facilitate the ergonomic requirement of individuals at work,´ elaborates Kulkarni, who has personally designed the furniture.

Project parameters
The client not only required a turnkey solution that would look and feel fresh for years to come, but and also expected an early completion of the interiors within a limited budget. ´This was a real challenge for us. However, we were able to meet all these requirements with advance planning, effective material sourcing, proper co-ordination with the execution teams and moderate use of resources. The project was completed well within the client´s budget and handed over before time,´ says Kulkarni with satisfaction.

Pomegranate Designs has indeed done a great job of putting together an office that projects the desired image for the client, while at the same time ensuring maximum efficiency and employee comfort. Minimalism at its best, we must say!

Project name & location: Shreeji Projects, Atlantis Heights, Baroda, Gujarat.
Type of company: Electrical Engineering Company
Client´s name: Satish Shah
Project period: June 2013 to August 2013
Built up area: 1,200 sq ft
Project cost: Rs.25 lakh
text: Janaki Krishnamoorthi
photos: Tejas Shah

Pomegranate Designs, 114/ 501 Bansidhar Complex, Opposite Polo Ground, Baroda 390 001.
Tel: (0) 9423 13782.

Meet the designer
Samir Kulkarni
Firm: Pomegranate Designs established in July 2012.
Firm specialisation: Architecture, interiors and furniture design.
Design philosophy: We call it a 4D process Define, Design, Develop and Deliver
Philosophy towards life: The quality of what we offer depends on the quality of what we have, which in turn depends on the quality of what we do and on the quality of what we are.
Favourite architects/Designers: Burkhard Vogtherr, Louis Isadore Kahn, Herzog & de Meuron, Mario Botta, Balkrishna Doshi, Benjamin Hubert, Jean-Marie Massaud, Jasper Morrison and Tord Boontje

Minimalism is the new style mantra. Open layout sans walls, simple and sophisticated office dTcor, bright colours in lamps, rugs or paintings are ´in´ today. With increasing computer usage, ergonomically designed furniture has become important. Typical cubical offices are out and so are traditional wooden carvings, cornices and drab colours.