Reimagining the workspace

The dynamic and youthful co working space, Awfis, designed by NCube is located in Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, India. The inspired youth of India are declining the white collar jobs in MNCs to make their mark in the burgeoning IT industry, making India the third largest tech start-up hub.

Adding to that is the new crop of freelancing professionals who use internet connectivity to market their services.

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Due to this, the old concepts of workspace design are being redefined with the mushrooming of new co-working spaces to cater to the needs of modern entrepreneurs.

NCube is a practice that specializes in office space design and they are very sensitive to the new innovations that are taking root in the field. Due to their competence in practice, the client approached the architect from the very inception of the idea, two years back.

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From that point on, their collaboration has resulted in a co working brand with branches in all of India’s prominent metropolitan cities. Awfis BKC is their newest addition to the brand. Each new branch has been approached by the architect with a unique concept in focus with a common theme with all the other branches.

Since it is the office space itself that needs to be marketed, the design of co-working spaces comes with their own slew of challenges. The location of the office, the quality of the interior spaces, and the shared amenities provided (tangible and intangible) are some factors that are of prime importance.

The space should also encourage interaction between separate individuals and companies, so that there can be networking and diffusion of ideas. So the interior composition should be carefully articulated to enhance collaboration without the expense of a peaceful working environment.

The space should inspire creativity and new ideas and above all it must be informal and lively, to attract the user base.

The architect has employed the industrial chic aesthetic to the interiors. This called for the use of unexpected materials and finishes complimented by black steel and wood accents. The industrial theme endowed a rustic ambience to the space.

The driving factor behind the layout is flexibility. Since every user will have different demands from their workspace, the layout is designed to accommodate these demands.

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There is an assortment of different seating styles, from open to completely closed cabins, single cabin for four and so on. The layout also accommodates hot-desking.

The meeting areas are also thus differentiated. There is an informal meeting lounge for regular meetings and acoustically closed off meeting spaces for formal and intimate meetings. There is a phone booth where the users can engage in important phone calls in private. In a similar way, the spaces can be adapted for large gatherings.

The interior design by Ncube for Awfis BKC is both versatile and lively. The colour palette is youthful and the ambience is informal. These choices help in appealing the space to the user base, who are young and independent entrepreneurs.

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The spaces are designed to evoke collaboration and creativity. The office of the new-gen is inspiring and optimistic unlike the cookie-cutter, formal and stifling offices of the past.

Fact File

  • Project Title: Awfis
  • Location: BKC, Mumbai
  • Practice: Ncube
  • Typology: Office interior project
  • Design Team: Suyog Karekar (director), Saurabh Karhade, Nisha Mahadik, Zeeshan Shaikh, Vikrant Parkar, Gaurav Rai.
  • Area: 18139 sq. ft

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