A Synchronized Effort

Designed by Studio Gritt, the brand new Innov8 Centre in Koramangala, Bangalore stays true to the brand image with a dash of individuality

As we get increasingly innovative in terms of products and services, it creates a confluence of bright minds. This confluence leads to the genesis of what we consciously desire. Aiding this process is the concept of coworkingspaces which is getting increasingly popular in India. In co-working spaces, unlike regular offices, the shared working environment brings together professionals employed with different organizations. Given this fact, designing co-working spaces is an interesting and challenging process. It entails that the space should not only be functional but appeal to different mind-sets. Co-working spaces endeavor to maintain a precise balance between work and play with good design and an out of the box approach. Flexibility is also a key factor since the space may cater to a team of three or thirty depending on the team size.

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“In my opinion, distraction isn’t always the opposite of productivity,” says Nithin Antony, the Founder and Design Head of Studio Gritt . “In the long run; the design of the space should ensure that there is a healthy balance between productivity and distraction, between privacy and interaction, between predictability and serendipity.”

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Nithin has designed co-working spaces for Innov8 in Delhi and Chandigarh. One of the leading names in the business, Innov8 has established itself in Delhi and Chandigarh before heading to Bangalore.Based in Koramangala, the Bangalore Innov8 too like its siblings in Delhi and Chandigarh elevates the concept of co-working to the next level. “The design brief given to us by Innov8,” says Nithin, “was to create a space that not only encourages people to work, but also to work together.” Innov8 Koramangala has a café in the ground floor where most of the networking and collaboration happens. The upper floors take a more traditional approach to workspaces.

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The team boxes are spacious and customizable. There are breakout areas in each floor as well, so the end-users don’t have to go to the café for informal meetings or breaks. By observing the way the previous Innov8 centers are used, the designers realized that a lot of the collaboration happens in the aisles, so they were designed wider than normal. After all running into someone literally is not as fun as it is figuratively!

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Innov8 Koramangala is spread across 27000 sq. ft. which includes four different levels, the outdoor area and parking. Having worked on the Innov8 projects earlier, the designers were aware of the specifics but adding an element of individual uniqueness was also on the cards. “Our goal,” says Nithin“was to work with Innov8 to bring the best out of the space and us, as its designers. We had to make sure that Innov8 Koramangala not onlyfits in with the other centers and the brand that Innov8 has strived to create – but also to focus on the tiny details that make it special in its own way”.

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The design of the other two centersinfluenced the color and material palette that was chosen for this center. While retaining the basic greyscale palette for the walls, a gradient that goes from dark grey to almost white was utilized from the ground floor to the upper levels. This resulting effect is visible from the exteriors and to a great extent accentuates the height of the building.

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The upper floors with the workstations have loft oak wooden flooring which has a cool grey tint to it, but the café has warmer, morewelcoming Harlech oak flooring. Whilethere was always an inherent desireto achieve a level of cohesiveness while choosing the material palate, the climatic conditions too had to be taken into account. For example, the Bangalore center is blessed with a lot more natural light than the previous two centers, which mandated a certain degree of variation. This also imparted a certain level of individuality to the project without altering the brand value.

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The interior accessories also draft a unique tale; from the defined spaces to the conference rooms, it promulgates the idea of team work. To ensure the desired look and feel a combination of branded and custom-made furniture was used. “In this project,” says Nithin, “We started with a very old building with small nooks and crannies that complicate things. By using customisedfurniture and accessories, we could use the space far more efficiently. Having said that, one cannot compromise on the quality or ergonomics of the furniture, hence we used branded merchandise too. Most of the workstations and all the chairs were sourced from Bristol – a brand known for ergonomic and durable design.”

All good design is about balance and interior design is no different. In this project, Studio Gritt has aptly balanced the aesthetics with utility. In doing so, they have also added the value that Brand Innov8 espouses; creating a space that every professional diaries.

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