The adage “think global, act local,” is a theme that is often applied to both sustainability, as well as communications today. A global media company asked Perkins+Will to capitalize on that when it asked the firm to design its new 18,000-square-foot office on a single floor in an existing Mumbai, India building.
For this media company that wishes to remain anonymous, Perkins+Will designed permanent workspaces in a flexible, open environment, and incorporated broadcasting facilities, conference rooms, and an informal pantry/reception that had to be adaptable for occasional events. Led by Partner in Charge Joan Blumenfeld and Senior Designer Steven South, the interior reflects the client’s desire for an integrated sustainable solution.
Using primarily regionally sourced materials and resources contributed to the project’s LEED® Gold certification, a high priority for the client. Glass and ceramic tiles were manufactured locally, and local labor completed the wall assembly and millwork.
“This client tracks the impact its company has on the environment to make sure it is performing at the highest [sustainability] levels,” South tells Contract. “The client, which wants its office to be sustainably designed, also maintains a green operations guide and tracks the footprint of the supply chain for all of its products.” Additionally, the company provides a global education component that teaches employees about sustainable design.
Wherever possible, interior glass walls were installed for flexibility and to provide natural daylight to interior spaces. Textured glass walls that define a meeting area offer a level of privacy. Large-scale graphics in bright colors identify meeting space: Rooms suitable for two people are named after traditional Indian instruments like the sarod, and remaining spaces are named after natural elements like plants (gulmohar), fire (agni), and air (vayu).
South and Blumenfeld say the base palette of cool metallic and neutral tones was inspired by the indigenous gray stone and concrete architecture found throughout Mumbai. Taking further cues from Indian culture, the designers punctuated the space with vibrant tones of fuchsia, purple, red, orange, and gold to reflect the vitality of the Mumbians. These colors, representing vitality, power, and good fortune in Indian culture, were incorporated into a brightly striated glass statement wall designed by Maharam Digital Projects especially for the space. Orange Vitra chairs enliven conference spaces and grape-colored walls pop against gray carpeting.
The strong presence of culturally significant color combined with the sustainability emphasis creates a conscientous working environment. “This client has a long-standing commitment to being a good steward for the environment,” says Blumenfeld. “It permeates their attitude to all of their engagements with the public through their physical built environment.”
Global Media Company
Where Mumbai, India
What 18,000 square feet on one floor
Cost/sf Withheld at client’s request