Left: Wooden table and chairs from Solid Bench lends an earthy feel to the space infused with natural light. The lights are from Muuto; Right: Bookshelf built with birch plywood holds the duo’s prized books and models

Bench and printed rugs at the reception area are from Solid Bench and Rug Republic respectively

Left: The entryway to the lower level with a backdrop of the studio space; Right: A spiral staircase leads to the lower level — the creative part of the studio

Left: Model of a Riparian house; Right: The material palette portrays a robust mood board with metal inlays, leather, switches in brass, cement tiles and wood samples

Shefali Balwani and Robert Verrijt of Architecture BRIO at the entryway of their studio; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal

Architecture BRIO's headquarters is a refreshing antidote to its bustling Mumbai locality

by Nitija Shastri Mar 07, 2019 Located in the heart of a busy street in the financial capital of the country, Shefali Balwani and Robert Verrijit's architecture BRIO is a refreshing antidote to its crowded locality. Open spaces that let natural light in, form a striking backdrop to the cactus artwork that dresses the entrance, including an unconventional bench made of solid wood and artful ceramic planters. We climb into their creative cave....

Studio Revival
with a view of the bustling city on one side and a lush garden on the other, the studio acts as a buffer between the two, much to the architects’ joy. “it was a stroke of good luck that we stumbled upon this place,” says Shefali. The studio is built in an efficient manner – formal workspace on top and a swirling staircase, which opens up to the lower level with the workshop, mock-ups and a meeting room that flips into a lunch arena at noon. “The whole office is set in an informal tone, with cushions planted in a disorderly manner for a lived-in effect. There is a comfort within the entire space,” asserts Robert.

Earthy Escape
“The central design theme was primarily minimalistic — clean, built-in with not too much clutter,” says Shefali. The mood board remains simple — hues of green with the earthy warmth of wood — bringing the outdoors in. Ply is used as a primary material in almost every area and the pre-existing flooring made of epoxy gives the basement an underground cocoon feel. “We wanted the studio to be an extension of our personalities...the brand’s aesthetic had to come through,” she concludes.

Shefali Balwani and Robert Verrijt of Architecture BRIO at the entryway of their studio; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal