‘Lighting played a crucial role’, Aum Architects

‘Lighting played a crucial role’, Aum Architects

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BC Webwise, Mahim, Mumbai; design Ar. Manish Dikshit, Aum Architects


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photographs: Prashant Bhat

“I dream my painting and then i paint my dream.” – Vincent Van Gogh

A creative work space has to be a trigger – impulsive, inspiring and relevant at the same time. While designing this 6,000-sq.ft. office space in the heart of Mumbai, the architects had to create a reflection of their indulgences with one hitch – it had to be done keeping the existing office furniture from the previous owner. (The client had a creative workforce and wanted an immediate representation of the same all around).  Working on an existing office and having retained the fixed elements like the modular furniture, cabins, conference room was a challenge.

Reflection of free-flowing thoughts

Imaginative, creative

The overall space is divided into 2 parts – wing A and wing B. The reception is in wing A – with the business development team sitting here. The design team sits in wing B – at the back. The two parts are divided by a wall and has punctures at intervals. This original separation also helped the designers break the space into a formal and/or casual or laid-back spaces in the two wings based on the profile they handled.

The dead office space (original) had to be recreated to make way for a provoking atmosphere – an environment that makes the user more receptive, tapping sensory reflexes. As a place filled with creative individuals, this place/office is also an abode working round the clock. Adding such functionality to the existing office wherein, the office forms an extension of those individual living.

Lighting played a crucial role. The existing lighting system was very perfunctory. The design team changed the light fittings to LED’s and also used two variations in the colour of the light; one more functional daylight and the other more ambient yellow. The general lighting was changed from white to daylight. Sharp focus lights help in creating drama – these focus lights were very few in the existing layout. The design team added more such focus lights to create some crucial focal points. These sharp lights are yellow to add that warmth.  25 beautiful ethnic hanging lights was purchased and that helped add that punch of colour to the ceiling, which was otherwise very dry and a desolate overall office space. This also helped creating mood lighting that can vary as per the duration of the time. The lighting itself elevated the space and made it much animated from before.

As it was an existing office well equipped to function but with the current owners, it had to transit to perform as ‘more than an office’. It had to touch aesthetics and the same spirit had to flow through the office.

The second aspect was the bulky columns in the midst of the open workstation spaces. They stood there tall and their bulky built could not be ignored. They were tamed down by wrapping custom made wallpaper designed by the client’s in-house design team. Taking the ethnicity from the lights, these beautiful one-of-a-kind designs wrapped around the bulky sides and toned down from being the eye sore they were.

The flooring in B wing was another challenge as different colour tiles were used.  The design team proposed to have laminated wooden flooring to bring the much-needed warmth (as it helped achieve the aesthetics and was also less time consuming). Three different shades of laminated wooden flooring were used to create this floor covering, which helped further in giving the open area a warm and cosy character. Also, the creative team resides in this B wing.

In one remote corner was an open cubicle with an odd curved partition that was out of place. The design team broke that down to form an Iranian coffee corner – like a breakout space for internal meeting and discussions.  This also acts like a library space with two turquoise book units. The Irani cafe corner is complete with traditional black chairs and table. Trying to get in some old school technique, mesh weaving was used in the custom-made furniture. The reception waiting area seat and the conference table was retained. Eight unique chairs were bought in with the mesh weaving on the back. The reception has a unique mix of customised furniture. A bamboo partition has been made so that it partially blocks the entry. The company’s creative artwork that was done for their clientele hangs on this bamboo partition. A very crude and rustic bench made out of a log wood sits below this bamboo partition.

Another bench is placed towards the reception with cane woven mesh seat and a fixed back rest finished in the same fabrics as the soft boards. The soft boards were reupholstered to a poppy yellow colour, which is the colour of the company logo. The unique hanging lights sprinkled across the office also help define specific pockets. 

The reception ceiling is made of 18 colour glass hanging lights against the background of a subtle grey ceiling. This ceiling was broken down to achieve the height and give the reception more volume.

The company goes by a theory called ‘FISH SENSE’, which they say enable them to be streamlined with all the collective experience and expertise to help achieve their goals for being a success with their clients.  This spirit has been arrived on while designing the office space, thus helping us create an environment that internalises with the beings and in return helping it be more relevant and at the same time resilient.

The founder and MD’s cabin is refreshing and is completely revamped. A source of inspiration she is for her team. He is a direct reflection of her. A customised desk finished with a bottle green table top across various elements with hints of brass edge details sovereignty. A custom printed wallpaper keeping in touch with the ethnic theme. A beautiful antique glass chandelier was picked for her office that forms the local point in the cabin. The desk sits at the centre with a bottle green leather upholstered chair that goes well with the vibrant colours of the background. Keeping it minimal, and yet functional. Two unique glass and brass wall bracket lights were picked that gives an added dimension to the wallpaper thus making it look like an artwork by itself. The other side of the office is the reflection of her spiritual side. Antique frames of Gods and Goddesses hang across the table making them look aesthetic and beautiful. The door to her cabin is changed to a copper laminate that stands out distinctively; yet merges with the office.

fact sheet

  • project: BC Webwise
  • location: Mahim, Mumbai, Maharahstra, India
  • client: BC Webwise
  • team Aum: Manish Dikshit , Sonali Pandit, Rohit Narkar
  • year of completion: 2017
  • area (sq.m): 6000 Sq.ft.
  • photographs: Prashant Bhat
  • materials:
    • flooring: Laminated wooden flooring
    • wall cladding: customised wallpaper
    • interior finishes: Lustre paint, Wallpaper,
    • lighting fixtures: Teknolite for general lighting, Decorative lights sourced from various vendors
    • furniture/decor: ready furniture from various vendors and some furniture customised on site
    • soft furnishings: Workplace India
    • curtains/blinds: Ven Ver Systems
    • hardware: Unique Enterprise
    • wallpapers: Maimoon decor