Left: Books and plants abound in the reception area where wooden barstools are positioned beneath the skylight for a casual tête-à-tête; Right: Quirky collectibles and framed artworks decorate the reception

Left: On one end of the conference room, an illustrated glass door demarcates the children’s play area located on the terrace; Right: Studio workstation with wooden furniture, glass windows and overhead storage cabinets

Left: The pantry is equipped with a blackboard for impromptu brainstorming sessions and rough sketches: Right: A miniature cardboard model of the St Stephen’s Steps, a project nearing completion at Mount Mary Basilica, Mumbai

The other end of the conference room leads onto a terrace surrounded by mango and cotton trees

A mood board of materials, swatches and finishes is always at hand

Photography by Pulkit Sehgal

Alan Abraham's serene workspace in Mumbai makes you go green with envy

by Sakshi Rai Jun 18, 2019 Mumbai-based Abraham John Architects’ studio sweeps you at first sight with its swooping white and grey walls and full-size glass windows overlooking a lush green neighbourhood. The senior management of this 1967-established practice includes founder and principal, Abraham John, his son Alan Abraham and daughter-in-law Anca Florescu Abraham.

OFF THE GRID
“Believing architecture to be a profession that requires freedom and fluidity,” Alan says, "Our office is a flexible work space without strict demarcations.” The space is designed into a roomy reception, a studio workstation, a conference room that opens out onto airy terraces, a pantry that also doubles as a brainstorming nook, and Abraham John’s cabin. Alan and Anca’s working style permits equal and interchangeable rotation throughout the studio, with no fixed place to ideate or categorise their work stages.

DESIGN THAT DEFINES
The slightly inclined ceilings, the crack-patterned cement flooring and a central skylight are part of the atelier’s design approach that allows room for experimentation. “Both Alan and I love wood and it can be seen in all constituents of the decor — panels, doors, terrace flooring and sleek furniture,” says Anca. Books on diverse topics line shelves and cabinets in every corner of the spacious studio and are a testament to their common love for reading. Being new, hands-on parents, the couple converted one of the two terraces into a mini play area, ensuring their work space was a place their kids loved coming to as well.

Photography by Pulkit Sehgal