Firm: De’ Caves by Chitte Architects
Principal Designer: Ar. Parth Chitte, Ar. Devendra Chitte
Interior Designer: Vishal Chitte
Design Team: Dipal Shah, Parita Muthukia, Rudra Patel, Annal Patel, Abdeali Amreliwala, Vishal Chitte, Parth Chitte, Devendra Chitte
Project’s Name: De’ Caves Design Studio
Completion Year: 2019
Client: De’ Caves by Chitte Architects
Location: Vadodara, Gujarat
Project Cost: 1850₹ Per Sq.Ft. Approx
Carpet Area: 1500 Sq. Ft.
Built up Area: 2025 Sq. Ft.
Photography Credits: Ira Gosalia, PHXindia
CONCEPT OF DE’CAVES
The brief required the office to be dynamic yet calm and pleasant. A space that would inspire. A space that would invigorate the people that inhabit it and move within.
The requirement of the office was two spaces specifically designed and segregated:
An area for brief discussions, presentations and interaction.
The second would be a common working space for the employees.
Since the location of this office is in a heavily commercial area, the disarray and noise from the outside needed to be eliminated, or at the very least masked by something a lot more soothing to create a peaceful, functional working atmosphere on the inside.
The existing building i.e. the commercial complex, within which the office is situated, has a very heavy structural grid.
The challenge was to design an office space with visual connectivity, with a sense of openness and light, all the while blotting out the chaos from outside.
The space had to be withdrawn from the outside clutter, yet promote interaction and dialogue.
Caves have always known to be a place of peace and quiet. Monks in the days of yore, first started to sculpt man made caves when in search of a place of solitude and seclusion.
They were places of calm and quiet and restricted the outside chaos. The concept has been inspired from this and tried to achieve something similar in the midst of disorderly surroundings, a place of calm and a conducive creative atmosphere.
Design Concept Description:
The rectangular layout is rounded off at places and finished with unfired flexi-clay cladding – a mud-like material.
Partially straight-lined, partially arched, the interior optimises day light by placing work desks along the window openings at the periphery and culling out the reception area and a central courtyard-esque breakout space with parametrically designed seating (like dinosaur teeth) grabbing attention.
The Brahmasthan (central point) features a deep circular cut-out in the ceiling with a stretched fabric over a light fixture, especially chosen with a sky theme giving an actual open-to-sky feel!
Floor-to-ceiling glass sections the office into two prime zones – the work pool and the executive discussion areas.
Design nuances pepper the entire space from aesthetically designed wooden members that lend support to floating desks to green amoeboid moss-like elements near the window, to an entire wall that displays photographs of the firm’s portfolio mounted on box-like squares in an angularly positioned metal grid; the latter camouflaging the doors to the utility areas.
An interesting ceiling literally caps the design as exposed-concrete-like paint finishes the ceiling that is fashioned into vaults and domes along with a play of differing ceiling heights culling out a distinct ambience, whilst blue IPS flooring alludes to flowing water tying in with the overall concept.
This also successfully mitigates the heaviness of the bulky columns and beams.
An arch painted bright orange depicts partial continuity, tree stumps constitute stools, bespoke polished tree branches mimic door handles, ‘tree trunk slices’ are assembled as the door knob, intentional use of greenery and even faux grass carpet in the central space, and an antiquated boat upcycled into a cosy seater in the reception area not just pique visitor curiosity, but complete the thematic whilst creating an inward-looking dynamic space, promoting interaction and dialogue.