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Industrial buildings have a characteristic zeal that has evolved to encompass functionality and utility at its core. The ravishing and voluminous spaces of industrial architecture reflect admiration and recognition garnishing the charisma of structure and construction.

Mechanical aesthetics of these buildings affect the character of spaces in a cognitive impression that triumphs human thoughts. The new era has brought back the ethos of a culture that once paved a gritty yet defined vision in an enthralling new dimension that resonates to the flashes of the past – a reincarnation.

Office for Synergy Lifestyles is a landmark industrial project that is situated in the mill area of Kalachowki, which has been revived as an office in the booming city of dreams – Mumbai; shifting from its industrial roots to a service economy.

SJK Architects had the rare opportunity to revisit this warehouse which was first converted by them in the year 1997, until the building caught fire that gutted the whole place inside out.

The team then envisioned a fresh avatar; more honest than its predecessor with subtle detailing and a monochrome palette that celebrates its volume, light and materials.

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Revisiting the project after twenty years, the architects clarity and simplicity on the design was extremely paramount, being transparent and reliant on the craftsmanship of concrete and steel. The whole environment is visualized on a trapezoidal plan with central circulation intertwined with workspaces.

As you step into the foyer, a large black metal door invokes the cries of heat and smoke that echoes from the past. The new soul is revealed through a small opening that shines with a grim yet serene expression.

The expansive volume illustrates an authentic charm of play between materials such as metal, concrete, wood and glass embracing the grand delight of the space. The braided frames of the roof enchant a melody in high and low pitches.

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A ubiquitous staircase plays the protagonist in the whole drama which forms the central focus. The optimised roof above with clear polycarbonate drops ample natural light through the truss and partitions.

The truss work curves in the centre, while it straightens sideways imbibing lightness and continuity transforming the aura in the interiors. The new vocabulary stripped off all its frills seeks purity and transparency into the office space.

The dramatic pockets of light invoke a spirited colloquy along with the staircase and grey pop walls. The ground floor comprises of a reception upon entry on a platform which then steps down into work studio, showroom, meeting room and a cafe that encircles.

The interior decor responds with allure complementing the tranquil shades of materiality. Edison bulbs suspended in the cafe illuminates in a golden glow with a soothing water body reflecting the natural light.

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The new staircase stands with minimal supports in exposed concrete, anchored at two points suspending the whole element in a construction stunt. It rises to form a bridge that weaves the upper level in synthesis.

The malad stone facade punctuated with steel windows and the structural framework were retained to emphasize the industrial nature. Juliet’s balcony was transformed into gentle triangular set-backs with large metal doors, continuing the connection between the two levels of the office.

The mezzanine houses the showrooms and cabins blending seamlessly with clear visual connectivity to the ground. The decor of fabric instigates an elegant glamour that transcends the spaces harmoniously complementing the material of the building.

Every element exposed in its stark nakedness, being composed in a concocted mix of steel, wood and concrete intricately blends to shake the grounds of time.

The story of flames and dust, the breaths that it once took contemplates in every part of the building, silently reminiscing through a modern soul.

Fact File

  • Project Title: Office for Synergy Lifestyles
  • Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Practice: SJK Architects
  • Typology: Commercial
  • Area: 5950 sq.ft
  • Design Team: Shimul Javeri Kadri, Vaishali Shankar, Roshni Kshirsagar, Michelle Pereira, Nikita Shahdadpuri
  • Civil Contractors: Unique Concrete Technologies Pvt.Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer: Uday Chande
  • HVAC Consultant: Rumi H Bharucha Consultants Pvt.Ltd.

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