Abraham John, Alan and Anca’s serene workspace in Mumbai will make you green with envy

JUN 18, 2019 | By Sakshi Rai
One end of the conference room leads to this terrace, which is surrounded by mango and cotton trees; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal

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.

Alan and Anca Florescu Abraham pictured in the office; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal

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 and plants abound in the reception area where wooden barstools are positioned beneath the skylight for a casual tête-à-tête; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal

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.

Scroll below for more images of this office…

A miniature cardboard model of the St Stephen’s Steps, a project nearing completion at Mount Mary Basilica, Mumbai; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal


Studio workstation with wooden furniture, glass windows and overhead storage cabinets; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal


The pantry is equipped with a blackboard for impromptu brainstorming sessions and rough sketches; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal


On one end of the conference room, an illustrated glass door demarcates the children’s play area located on the terrace; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal


Quirky collectables and framed artworks decorate the reception; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal


A mood board of materials, swatches and finishes is always at hand; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal