The reD Architects HQ in Mumbai is a studio by day but lounge by night
JUN 8, 2018
| By Delilah Rodrigues
The Lounge houses furniture pieces envisioned by various architects and product designers and produced by CraftreD ; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal
The workstations have fun yet minimalistic task lights designed by Ekta and movable multifunctional storage units that double up as extra seating ; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal
Customised sliding partitions provide visual segregation. One, made from woollen yarn, takes cues from age-old weaving techniques, while the others are created from rubber bands ; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal
Called the Arc, the conference room has a magnificent mild steel table imagined by Rajiv that gives perspective to the arched windows ; Photographs by Pulkit Sehgal
Tucked away in a quaint bylane of Prabhadevi in Mumbai is the chic, industrial atelier of reD Architects. As soon as you walk through the iron gate of the compound that houses the office, you see a scene of contrast – a space bathed in natural light with an exposed rafter ceiling, a glass and metal facade and arches. Apoorva Shroff, Ekta Puri Parekh, Maithili Raut and Rajiv Parekh envisioned this expansive space both to stimulate their imagination and act as a cultural hub. Ekta confesses, “It’s the ideal studio by day and lounge by night!” They take us through their space that reflects a refined work ethic, which is a seamless blend of diverse ideas.
A BUMPY RIDE: The design journey was full of hiccups, starting from when Rajiv initially had plans for the first floor that was already rented out. He explains, “Apoorva saw potential in the ground floor instead.” Apoorva recollects, “When we first visited the place, there was a wall between us and the garden – it felt like a dungeon.” The architects took a fair amount of time to iron out all issues. That wall was torn down to bring in the garden; generous landscaping and courtyards allowed ample sunlight to seep through. Though the warehouse had numerous drawbacks like dilapidated partitions, muddy foundation, and a false ceiling infested with white ants, the firm struck gold with finds like the solid wood ceiling and sections with Kota flooring, which they retained.
LABOUR OF LOVE: As you walk through the sprawling 10,000 sq ft space, you notice the fine detailing that has gone into crafting their dream office. Each of the partners designed their own cabin with elements to suit their personalities. They mutually agreed on the blueprint for the conference rooms, pantry, courtyard and the open bay. Ekta adds, “Our messy pantry in the previous office was Rajiv’s pet peeve. So, instead, we put up the self-service Slate Bar.” What adds to the unique story of their space is the fact that the architects moved in while work was still in progress, enabling the studio to take shape organically. Maithili adds, “The process gave us a bird’s eye view, rather than looking through a drawing and panel section.”