Espousing an Egalitarian Ethos

The ‘profession pyramid’ that adheres to the traditional notions of workspace hierarchy often subjugates and segregates not just the roles and responsibilities of its workforce, but also the liberty of an affable working ethos.

From cramped cubicles in dreary despondence to the luxuriously lavish lairs of the top tier, the polarity is preposterous. Seldom came by an office in yesteryears that defied such principles.

In the wake of the 21st century, along with waves of change transcending every discipline, a paradigm shift of perception, interpretation and adaptation of egalitarian work culture is evidently underway.

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Though tardy, these ideals have reached the Indian scenario too. The Communique Marketing Solutions office in Gurugram stands testament to these reforms.

Conceived by the innovative minds of group DCA, the design reflects the company’s guiding philosophy predicated on establishing parity across the board, thereby enhancing employee experience, overall productivity, and general well-being.

The office is designed as a three-storeyed building that crafts a distinctive identity for itself within its immediate urban context. The balance between the corten steel facade panels and the expanse of exposed concrete essays an architectural vocabulary that is contextually unique and unmistakably brutalist.

Honesty and humanism – both structural and materialistic, are central to the idea of Brutalism; its choice, therefore, reflects groupDCA’s strong belief in the movement’s foundational principles of modernism and socialism.

A custom-designed sculpture at the ground level guides the visitors to an entry foyer, and subsequently to the workspaces above. A seamless two-floor volume accommodates the workspaces that weave across levels, an open office symbolically transparent yet not functionally compromising.

The staggering levels are connected by a service core with nifty niches of informal meeting spaces abutting it on either side, all panned out across the south facade. In order to optimize penetration of glare-free daylight into this volume, the northern and southern faces are designed to be porous; the fenestration scheme was arrived at through sophisticated metric-based daylight analysis.

The inflow of heat into the building through the western edge was reduced by innovative design of a completely insulated face. The only punctures on this wall are two projecting balconies that are elemental in the elevation of the structure’s primary façade.

The crux of the interior volume, however, is the mezzanine conference room that floats above an amphitheater-style, multipurpose event area. The fact that the heart of the volume is occupied by collaborative and flexible spaces as opposed to a director’s room reflects groupDCA’s intent to do away with physical metaphors of authoritarianism.

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The larger design strategy – biophilia – endeavors to enhance human engagement with nature. Large windows, lined with planters are designed along the northern and southern edges of the floor-plates; opening to beautiful views of the surrounding greens, their careful placement and sizing ensure adequate daylight ingress.

Vertical green walls run along the entire two-floor height of the volume along its eastern and western edges, bringing in glances of green in every direction.

The design of the office is literally and figuratively green in every essence. Openings of all windows of the structure are double-glazed for thermal insulation. The corten steel clad western facade too has a glass wool insulating layer.

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Though flooded with ambient light throughout the day, the spaces are additionally provided with simple yet intelligent artificial lighting systems that augment the natural daylight, creating optimal working conditions.

The acoustic design front is also well-addressed; poly-fiber walls and ceiling panels are used to achieve the desired interior noise levels while complementing the overall spatial quality.

The brutalist vocabulary is iterated in the interiors as well; exposed brick, concrete and steel – all of them showcased in their natural and unfinished states.

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Be it the birch plywood carved furniture, the multi-hued limestone flooring, or the sculpturesque quality of the unconcealed air-conditioning ducts floating in mid-air, the raw rhetoric of the material palette accentuates aesthetics while ingenuously cutting down on the post-occupancy maintenance costs.

Centrally located on the third floor is a hall flanked by open terraces on both sides. Equipped to cater to diverse functions such as yoga, prayer meetings, and parties, the Wellness Centre provides opportunities for the much-needed occasional revamp of routine-led work life.

The office of Communique Marketing Solutions is thus an expression that celebrates transparency, free thought and collaboration-an expression of architecture that is inherently socialist at its heart.

Fact file

  • Project: Communique Marketing Solutions
  • Location: Gurugram
  • Architects: Group DCA
  • Design Team: Vini Sam, Pritha Mitra
  • Client: Mr.Amit Sanghvi
  • Project Area: 7560 sq.ft

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