A Pleasing Program
Better Interiors|June 2020
Ahmedabad-based OpenIdeas Architects’ organic and intuitive design for All Automatic — an office of an automation company — demonstrates the impact of life philosophies on spatial expression.
Rupali Sebastian

Automatic. Synonym cluster one: mechanised, preprogrammed, automated. Synonym cluster two: instinctive, spontaneous, unconditioned. One word with two antipodal aspects. One word that’s associated with a beautiful workspace of an automation company in Ahmedabad, designed by OpenIdeas Architects (OIA).

All Automatic, the company in question, is a typical young firm, full of positivity, energy and a go-getter attitude. Architects Monarch Champaneri, Niralee Champaneri and Nilesh Gajera, principals of OIA, have been associated with All Automatic in the capacity of clients — they’ve entrusted the automation of several of their projects to the company in the past. So when the founders of All Automatic approached OIA for designing their office, it was a case of role reversal — something which both entities were quite happy about. “We have known All Automatic since it was a fledgling firm employing two people. Their current staff strength is 35,” discloses Monarch. “We were familiar with the working style and the professionalism of this organisation, and, as importantly, they were conversant with ours. So when they approached us to design their office, there was a welcome sense of comfort for both of us.”

The upward trajectory of the young firm, intent on leaving a larger mark within their product segment, was fittingly reflected in the location of their office-to-be — a completely open terrace on the penthouse level (12th storey) of a commercial tower in Ahmedabad. After obtaining the requisite permissions to create an office on a terrace, the prelude to place-making started with understanding the site vis a vis structural strength, waterproofing and services. Ensuring a sound intervention to the building and creating a comfortable internal environment (given Ahmedabad’s searing summers) were all in a day’s work for the architects. What was trickier, Monarch tells us, was capturing the personality of the clients. “While their entrepreneurial venture is driven by technology, all three founders exhibit a strong rootedness in traditional values and sensitivity towards the well-being of both, the environment and self. This contradiction of sorts prompted us to think outside the box of a routine workspace format,” he states.

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