Elsie Nanji: Designer of the week
The Managing Partner, Redlion was a popular figure in the world of advertising for almost 30 years. Her regular visits to Milan where she met with international gurus of design, gave her all the education and motivation she needed, to transition to envisioning interior spaces.
Today, she specialises in commercial and hospitality projects, having been the brain behind Four Seasons’ Aer Lounge in Mumbai and the overall look of Olive, one of India’s top fine-dining restaurant chains.
Her philosophy and inspirations
Classy, down to earth and rooted, she defines her style as “a mix of simple living interspersed with luxury.” Whether eclectic, bohemian, earthy or opulent, all her projects display versatility in design and thought.
“I love Ross Lovegrove’s organic creations and design philosophy,” she adds. “I also like Marcel Wanders for his “out-there” furniture. Other than that, lately Scandinavian, Nordic designs have piqued my fancy.”
Her most recent project
It was business honcho and Chairman, RPG Enterprises Harsh Goenka who approached Elsie and requested her to design his company’s headquarters in Worli, Mumbai exactly the way she had done hers – engaging, sophisticated and functional.
She began with the corporate dining room. “I imagined the room on the concept of a “jewel box of paintings”, by using transparent glass all over and colouring the walls dark grey to display Harsh Goenka’s wonderful collection of art,” recalls Elsie.
An outdoor space for the employees to relax and unwind was created on the same floor. Post the dining room, she then curated the three floors of CEAT tyres with architect Ratan Batliboi – you can’t miss the tyre tracks (synonymous with the brand) screen-printed on the wall lamps.
Finally, the top floor of the building was given a complete facelift and christened the “corporate tree house” by Elsie, where two tall artificial trees replaced two pillars situated in the middle of the office.
All 13 cabins on the floor were styled differently with customised wallpapers, smart furniture and lights. The result? Quite the “the un-office” as Elsie calls it. RP Goenka’s office in the same building is currently work in progress.
Engaged with Mahindra’s corporate office at Gateway, and Anant Goenka’s Alibaugh house, the genius also has Hindustan Unilever’s learning centre in Mumbai, in the pipeline.