The Architects DEN

October, 2015


Sumessh Menon designed his own Mumbai office with eccentric materials to showcase his signature style.

For an architect to design his own office is not just a challenge, but a major chore considering it involves ensuring that the space lives up to his design proficiency, has standards that impress his clients, showcases his talent appropriately and yet is experimental enough to stand out from his other works. In short, it functions as a showcase of his work and his capabilities without compromising on the functionality of the office.

When Sumessh Menon, Principal Architect, Sumessh Menon Associates, had to design his own office, his starting point was functionality, which reflected his own personal style. While he wanted to use preferred materials, he wished to stay away from the usual wood and marble look of standard offices. ¨The selection of material for each area had to be done carefully as we needed to make a style statement to not just the clients but visiting vendors as well,¨ shares Menon who needed his office to reflect the image of a successful design practice.

Material gains
Menon has used stone veneer and bison panel extensively throughout the office to achieve a rustic yet contemporary look, which is beautifully complemented by the white and grey colour palette of the décor. The office is divided into the workstation area, waiting lounge, executive cabin and the think tank or meeting area. To begin with all the internal walls were demolished to achieve an empty canvas. Thereafter partitions on bison panels with regular architectural lingo were created to divide the various spaces.

For the staff, Menon created linear workstations with efficient storage systems and LED task lighting that ensures ease of work. The workstations have stone veneer sheets with resin filled tops for a unique yet lasting look. The storage shutters are designed in mirror glass showcasing some of Sumessh Menon Associates´ prominent works through the printing and etching on glass technique. Natural light and ventilation were given prime importance while designing the office.

Niche designing
The executive cabin on the other hand is a mix of engineering and design with the use of solid wood flooring with hexagonal mosaic tile, in molecular pattern defining a pathway. There is a metal door finished with a natural finish lacquered on it and float glass sandwiched in between to provide privacy without visually disconnecting the cabin with the rest of the office. A library is created with copper sheets while the table is made in mango wood.

To conduct small meetings and to hold brainstorming sessions, a small think tank area has been designed with a slim PU finished rubber wood table and benches separated with a geometric design partition in green that provides privacy yet keeps one connected with the rest of the office. The highlight of the office, however, is the ceiling designed with floating battens that highlight the creative path of the design firm.

The overall design of the office space sends out a modern yet chilled out vibe. This contemporary ambience is combined with the neatness of an architectural den where many design ideas are conceived every single day, thereby making this office a beautiful showcase of design talent.

Total Area: 835 sq ft
Text: Sumisha Gilotra
photos: Sameer Chawda

Sumessh Menon Associates,
1 Suwarnadeep, SV Road, Santacruz (West), Mumbai 400 054.
Tel:022- 2605 5511.

Meet the designer Sumessh Menon
Firm: Sumessh Menon Associates founded a decade ago.
Firm specialisation: Hospitality and bespoke homes.
Design philosophy: Good design is obvious, great design is transparent.
Favourite architect/Designer: James Law.

Material Chart




Vitrified flooring Rs.295/sq ft New Saral tiles, Tel: 022-6525 5967;
Task light and
ambience lighting
Rs.1950-2050/pc Abby Lights, Tel: 022-4003 8030;
E- mail:;
Storage – mirror
etched and printed
Rs.675/sq ft Khozem Glass, Tel: 022-2374 3633;
2-seater couch in faux
Rs.55,000-60,000 Aesthetics
HVAC - Daikan (emmar comforts), Tel: 0124-455 5444;
Wooden flooring Rs.325/sq ft Beautex, Tel: 022-2611 9000;