An unconventional office in Mumbai by GA Design brews together minimal and Indian elements

MAY 31, 2023 | By Suhaani Rai
The office has a central workspace adjacent to a coffee island from Magnolia. The cane hanging lights from CLAYMANGO and a natural mango wood work table from Mueble add a rustic touch. The ‘Zainab’ cabinet from Magnolia is finished with a dove grey melamine coat. A Tibetan Tankha painting completes the space; Photographs by Prashant Bhat
The coffee station perfect for brainstorming is from Magnolia. A screen to the entrance was crafted in teak wood and cane by Hari Enterprise. The door to the pantry and washroom is a teak wood frame with fluted glass. Grounding the space are tiles from Glittorium with a concrete finish; Photographs by Prashant Bhat
The storage unit at the entry was made on site in wood and veneer. The conference room and cabin partitions were custom made. A screen to the entrance was crafted in teak wood and cane by Hari Enterprise; Photographs by Prashant Bhat

Finding work-life balance may be difficult but not when your workspace resonates with a living room. Ritu Goregaoker, Design Director, GA Design along with Rajan, Sachin and Shami Goregaoker  concocts a workspace that is homely, functional and unconstricted. 

This space belongs to a couple who run two different businesses, but is in essence dedicated to SEPALIKA, a fertility and wellness clinic for women located in the central neighbourhood of Dadar, Mumbai. This 1,000 sq ft office engulfs two cabins, a conference room, a pantry, work area and a common washroom meticulously designed, owing to the space constraints. 

The main workspace is furnished with a natural mango wood table top from Mueble. The cane lights hanging above it are from CLAYMANGO. The coffee island from Magnolia has a mango wood base and terrazzo top; Photographs by Prashant Bhat

Not your usual workstation 

The challenge was the planning initially. Breaking away from the usual trends of workstations, we incorporated an unusual workstation with a cane partition. The composition of this space which is the central core of the office had to be just right, so as to enhance the surrounding design aesthetic,” reveals Ritu. The workstation is created to accommodate 6-8 people in the centre of the office. A single table done in live edge wood partitioned with cane and wood screen helps in making it a cosy and an interactive setting. 

Art by Mohan Naik and Vijay Kiyawat accessorise the workspace. Teak wood and cane partitions made on-site divide the work table from Mueble; Photographs by Prashant Bhat

Entering through what the designer calls ‘a very interesting door’ because it is done up partly in cane and partly in glass — it transpires like a gateway between privacy and transparency, while a handcrafted cane and wooden screen on the right shields the office from direct view. The coffee station with a high table in mango wood base and terrazzo top creates a warm environment to have brainstorming sessions or to catch up on small breaks. A ‘Zainab’ unit crafted by Magnolia in dove grey melamine and finished in beech wood, stores all the coffee paraphernalia. 

Glass partitions separate the two cabins and conference room from the central area, allowing natural light into all areas whilst maintaining privacy of different sections.

The green textured wall by Asian Paints forms the perfect backdrop for the art by Sujit Roy Burman and Jai Zharotia, and the cabinet from Magnolia; Photographs by Prashant Bhat

An unoffice-y office

‘A very unoffice-office’ is what Sharda Agarwal, the co-founder of SEPALIKA mumbled as a brief for the office when the team of GA Design first met her. This candid sentiment and a lot more other details were then translated into an Indian-minimalistic space with a warm, comfortable and familiar aesthetic using Indian materials and motifs like handcrafted cabinetry, natural stones and stunning artwork that reflect the couple’s personality and design intent. 

‘SEPALIKA’ is a Sinhalese word which means night jasmine. As Ritu elaborates, “This fragrant white flower, Sepalika, exudes anti fungal, anti inflammatory and anti viral properties. It resonates with the essence of the office which is a fertility and wellness clinic for women.” Tracing the floral clues, an evident burst of biophilia takes spotlight indoors, further decorated with a mindful line up of real plants like Ficus and Fiddle leaf fig and small potted plants, owing to their air purifying qualities. 

A Chandigarh chair from Magnolia sits in a cosy corner embellished with an art deco cabinet; Photographs by Prashant Bhat


The entrance has a screen in teak wood and natural cane from Hari Enterprise and the main door with cane sandwiched between glass and wood was made on site; Photographs by Prashant Bhat

The couple share a love of art that manifests itself all over the walls of this office space. Sujit Roy Burman, Jai Zharotia, Mohan Naik and Vijay Kiyawat among others are some of the artists who adorn the various walls, along with some interesting art by the children of the family.

The main reason for SEPALIKA office to turn out the way it did was that the designer’s philosophy was in synchronicity with that of the couple throughout. “The entire office showcases my style, to the last detail. Showcasing Indian craftsmanship, Indian motifs and designs, Indian art with a combination of plants bring together my aesthetic. Looking for minimalism in different styles and forms is what I strive to achieve. This office for example leans into Indian Minimalism with Indian elements,” concludes the designer of GA Design.

A Chandigarh chair and green table from Magnolia are tucked next to the screen from Hari Enterprise; Photographs by Prashant Bhat

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