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A Voyager’s Delight

A Voyager’s Delight

Vaibhav Gauri Architects design a streamlined, modern and spacious office space for Star Tours in Mumbai.

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If the office design looks this inviting, then the travel packages and itinerary will surely interest the discerning travellers. Mumbai-based design firm Facilis (earlier known as Vaibhav Gauri Architects) had that in mind while designing the Mumbai office for Star Tour Travels. Spread across 2,200 sq. ft. in the heart of Mumbai, the client gave a free hand to the design team to experiment and contribute novel ideas to design a cosy, comfortable and striking office space.

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An Inviting Reception

The subtle look of the office included grey glazed vitrified tiles for the floor with inlays of rustic rough grey tiles, whites and greys were instilled in the form of laminates. The little warmth needed for the subtle look was added with a very light coloured wooden laminate (like rubber wood).  Blue was infused to break the monotony of brown and grey.

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The layout plan was a perfect rectangle. In this case, the reception is at the entry and the whole office rests at the back of the reception. The partition dividing the two areas, the reception and the work area, is a glass partition with a translucent film. It comprises a composition of various destinations which this company offers in their travel itinerary. “We wanted to keep the overall look very light mainly on the lines of whites and greys hence the glass film was also taken in shades of grey,” explains Shah.

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In the subtle combination, the required texture was introduced by an exposed brick work partition but again painted in white to maintain the subtleness. Any partition, be it the brick wall or the grey one or the wooden rafters, all ended at 8 feet in height in to glasses. The filmed glass backdrop of the reception was given wooden beams intersecting the glass and it hangs over the sales area wherein the beams, standing exactly at the thickness of the glass partition, give an illusion of cutting through the glass to enter the other side.

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Peripheral and partitions

The ceiling in the open area of reception and sales is kept plain and simple. The sales area has grid ceiling and panel lights. “We wanted to keep the ceilings plain deliberately and get the focus on the partition details and the sales enclosures,” states Shah. “The longest partition was formed by the two cabins of the CEOs and the visa department. This partition was a combination of glass, rafters with lights and panels which included doors in them.”

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One of the last L-shaped rafters in this partition continued inside as a partition between the two cabins. This partition was a sliding folding partition which when slid open would create a conference room and on closing would turn into separate cabins. A blue shelf in these panel and the blue pendants above the tables gave the required colour element in these cabins.

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The ceiling of these two cabins is a linear design with grooves. The sales area cubicles were designed a little differently than usual cubicles, these cubicles were given a little shelter by giving an extension to the backs of the enclosure in the form of ‘L’ shaped rafters. The long white brick partition was accessorised by adding grey boxes with blue glass as the back to give an interesting backdrop for the souvenirs arranged in it.

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Shah’s favourite part of the office was the reception area due to the unique composition of the translucent glass film on the partition glass and the wooden beams cutting through it. “The other design element of my choice was the display designed on the column. It is because the huge column projecting in the cabin was rather uninteresting, and difficult to deal with. To convert it into the most interesting feature in the office was a challenge,” elaborates Shah.

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Shah fondly recollects this project as a fulfilling experience and applauds Riddhi Vasani the project head for completing the project against all odds. All in all, the Star Tours Office did turn out to be as spacious, sophisticated and classy office space that finely displays their solemn interest in travel destinations.

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Photos:            Ravi Kanade

Project Details:

Project Name  :           Star Tours & Travels Office
Location          :           Mumbai
Principal Architects:    Vaibhav Shah, Gauri Shah,
Project Head :             Riddhi Vasani
Area                :           2200 sq ft
Budget                        :           Rs 30 lakh
Completed on:            Oct 2014
Project Duration:         4 months


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