The extensive use of glass makes the White Feather Films office a rather transparent space, one which effortlessly blends the exteriors with the interior.
The wood reception desk with recessed lighting.
That was until its owner, Bollywood film director and producer, Sanjay Gupta, and architects Pooja and Arbaysis Ashley decided to mould it to fit a more contemporary architectural and design language. The architects were intent on keeping the architectural features of the row house intact, while giving it a modern context. The front of the structure has been maintained, except the roof, which has been flattened.
Externally the structure that now houses the office of White Feather films, Sanjay’s Production company, resembles a rectangular box. The brief given to The Ashleys – the name Arbaysis and Pooja have chosen for their young firm –included specifics such as a short gate at the entry to the premises and transparency throughout the space inside.
Sanjay’s cabin as viewed from one end of the room. The Rafters in the ceiling are wooden. The wooden desk angles down, to form a base that holds a piece of art.
On the wall opposite the desk, is the plasma TV and a collection of books as well as DVDs. Sanjay’s collection of artwork has been tastefully arranged across the cabin.
The material palette is dominated by wood and glass. The steps leading up to the lobby are made of solid wood as is the reception desk, the latter with recessed lighting.
The Ashleys have a minimalistic style, Solid proportions, an overwhelming use of wood, the lack of decoration or moulding, the fusion of materials such as wood with stone slabs, are design feature s you will find in most of their projects. So also, the White Feather Films office, wood dominates the interiors. Rustic Spanish tiles have been used liberally in the washroom
The terrace that flanks the cabin is captured in stainless girders, topped by polycarbonate sheets that allow light in. Rattan furniture and terracotta tiles make the outdoor setting ideal for timeout.
The bathroom is dominated by stone and wood, creating an earthy palette. The granite platforms hold the wash basin and a few pieces of pottery.
Minimal Space, large proportions and a sense of transparency brought in by a liberal use of glass, were just some of the features mentioned by director-producer, Sanjay Gupta to the Ashleys in his initial brief.
The idea was to create a box like structure, completely transparent and lit up with recessed and indirect lighting. On a larger scale, the concern was to keep the architectural features of the row house undamaged, while giving it a more modern context.
The production area occupies the lower floor. Otherwise normal workstations have desks attached to the wall and high-backed chairs. The most outstanding feature is the recessed windows and the thick ledge that runs over the desks, camouflaging the lighting under its thickness. The workstation are characteristics of The Ashleys style; very little embellishment and bold proportions. “The furniture is basic. It’s the proportions that give it character says Pooja.
The conference facility in Sanjay’s Cabin you can see the portal that leads to the central passage.
The Central passage flanked by cabins.
The upper level is far more elaborate. The cabins and passage on the ground floor open up to a patch of greenery. The terrace and conference room are on the first floor, along with Sanjay’s cabin, which is a paean to his love for luxury. Beneath the rafter-loaded ceiling are wood sofas upholstered in a natural jute-like fabric, Sanjay’s art collection, DVDs and books, a plasma TV, wood-bordered French windows and a terrace complete with terracotta tiles and rattan furniture.
The terrace is covered with a hollow MS (mild steel) frame topped with polycarbonate sheets that allow light to stream in. The desk in Sanjay’s cabin comprises a large wood platform, which angles to the floor to form a base cum display point, on which reposes an artifact from Sanjay’s art collection. The Flooring is Jaisalmer Stone. Meticulously planned lighting is recessed and ambient, just how it should be in a workplace.
One of the few film posters in the office looms large in front of a solid wood desk, in the conference room.
The workstations on the lower floor of Sanjay Gupta’s office are rather simple. Desk topped with a thick ledge that accommodates the lighting below it. It’s the rather large and thick proportion of the desks and the ledge that gives the space its character.
The palatte is a mix of contemporary material such as steel and glass, with rustic tiles and wood. The entrance to the office has chiselled jaisalmer stone flooring that adds texture and warmth to the spaces. Rich dark wood steps that lead up to the office complement the earthy look. Clear glass and subtle texture paints forms the façade. Hollow steel section have been used for the gate and fencing. The office has white walls and stone flooring. All the furniture is teak wood, with teak veneer finish. The terrace has a flooring of warm terracotta tiles and textured white paint on the walls.
The architects were intent on keeping the
architectural featuresof the row house intact while giving it a modern context.
Extensive used glass floods the office with natural light, but keeps out the shafts of direct sunlight.
The bathroom has a neutral palette: rustic Spanish tiles and wood, with rough plastered walls. The wall have various sizes of Spanish ceramic tiles thrown together in a rather interesting pattern up to mind-height.
The detailing throughout the office – wood racks in Sanjay’s Cabin; the steel sections that cover the terrace; the platforms in the bathroom that hold the basin and pottery- and the country-cottage feel, seems elaborate, especially when you see the row house from outside.
The ornamentation may be missing. But the solidness of the material palette, the large proportions (especially those of the furniture), and the visually uncluttered design style score quite high. Through you can’t help wishing that this filmmaker’s office reflected his love for cinema and the magic of the silver screen, one thing’s for sure – the office, like his movies, resonates Sanjay Gupta’s bold persona.