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Krupa Zubin and Zubin Zainuddin of ZZ Architects invite us into their studio, which is anything but usual

NOV 25, 2020 | By Anchal Kaushal and Risha Mercant
Krupa and Zubin in their art-filled workspace; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal
The duo's private cabin has clusters of travel memorabilia, paintings and books. Behind is a shelf finished with products from Marshalls Wallcoverings; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal
Krupa’s section of the open storage features her favourite Japanese anime characters and books; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal
The lounge in their cabin is complete with a custom sofa and Focal speakers. Sunil Padwal's artwork on the wall is his interpretation of the couple; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal
A mood board at the studio’s material library; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal

Walk into Krupa Zubin and Zubin Zainuddin’s office in south Mumbai and you can’t help but notice something unusual—a carrom board with coins that are all squares.

“It represents the dichotomy of living your life where you don’t know where it will all lead,” says Krupa. And similarly, each section is a reflection of their process-driven work philosophy.

ZZ architects’ two-storeyed studio is filled with unique elements, giving us an insight into the couple’s own playful storytelling and ravel infused style. The dynamic duo tells us more about their design detailed atelier.

This custom marble desk is paired with an Italian chair for their daughter Anaya. On the wall is a Chandra Bhattacharjee work from the Indelibility series; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal

What drew you to this location?
Zubin Zainuddin: We needed a space filled with corners, where interactions can happen between the team as well as our clients. We designed accessible areas with free-flowing discussion spaces. We also wanted to ensure we get the best view. Since we’re the first ones to reach work, this is the perfect place to start the day as the sun rises facing the office.

The EarChair from Prooff creates a sense of privacy within Zero, the waiting lounge; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal

What did you most enjoy about designing the workplace?
Krupa Zubin: The name of every section begins with the letter Z and a beautiful description with it. The waiting room, for example, is called Zero, a point of discussion where everything begins. We even created pockets to display paintings, sculptures and a wide collection of books from Japanese anime to photography.

A dedicated material desk holds samples of various surfaces and swatches. On the ceiling is the Cosmic Angel light by Ross Lovegrove for Artemide; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal

How is this workspace conducive to your design process?
KZ: We like everything to come together and at the same time…when you see our process, there is always a change taking place.

Bronze sculpture of a sumo wrestler from a flea market in Japan; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal

ZZ: Our work is research-driven, so we want to ensure everything related to a kind of project falls in the same purview. From tactile finishes to catalogues, it’s all available here, making the process easier.

No 566, a painting by French artist David Dalla Venezia, represents the intense struggle of an individual with themselves, on a daily basis; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal