The balmy city of Erode is the nucleus of Tamil Nadu’s thriving textile industry and is cloaked in a riot of sound and color. The location celebrates the harmonious binary coexistence of the old and new, both tingeing the city’s history. With its terrain dotted with the presence of factories and industrial plants, Erode is a melting pot of modernized trade and an enduring heritage that its residents have kept alive. Sequestered in one such remote factory premises, abuzz with activity is The Mill Project a contemporary office design crafted for a family-run enterprise wherein the patriarchal head and his two sons shoulder the operations. The rugged natural landscape on the fringes of the city, houses the built mass in its vast entirety, offering the space a unique topography to occupy, and evocative of creating an oasis amid barren lands.
A Mid-Century Modern and Wabi-Sabi Influenced Contemporary office in Erode | Quirk Studio
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The entrance leads into the compact reception space that is framed by a stone veneer adorned by swirling marbling patterns in charcoal, gray, and brown. A monolithic concrete-body reception desk is coupled with a black and white globe cluster chandelier; this preliminary space acknowledges the ingrained design inclination of the office.
A crossover amidst modernist sensibilities and intuitive forms, the Managing Director’s cabin is set apart by its grooved wooden focal wall which poses as the backdrop to the space. A suede gray sofa dominates the lounge in the cabin, a stark marble desk rests boldly in the foreground, and is complemented by classic Jeanneret-inspired chairs in an olive hue. The desk area is canopied by a neoteric pendant that unites spherical and cylindrical forms gracefully. The cabin soaks in boundless views of the topography through its lofty fenestrations whilst experiencing uninterrupted privacy.
The design atelier has created pragmatic zones within the bare shell of the industrial enclosure. This forms functional spaces that work jointly to induce a functional flow in the office. The minimalism sewn into the workplace’s construct allows each space to honor the brief while engaging playfully with elements of scale, light, and materials that ink the saga of the office.
The workplace’s narrative is a compelling collage of Wabi-Sabi and Mid-Century Modern timeless design styles that converge to create a functional and luxe work environment. The commonalities that make the chosen design styles the idyllic fit are derived from their shared pinchant for clean geometry which departs from inessential ornamentation, the celebration of materials in their untainted form, and the prevalence of an understated artistic simplicity across spaces and their objects.
The Mill Project is a dexterous design endeavor that has inverted the approach toward conceiving spaces in the realm of industrialization. Its acute devotion towards the adapted design grammar has allowed the workplace to redefine stated opulence in a novel light! The project liberates itself from archaic design directives to bestow its end-users with a venue that honors their bona fide roots while weaving together a perceptive narrative that straddles the past, present, and future with empathy.
A mandate of the client’s needs dictates the requirement for a contemporary office that is an ode to the rooted context within which the built form is situated, a tribute to the suburban habitat where it all began. The inspiration to sculpt the blank industrial canvas stems from the architecture of the building intrinsically — towering fourteen-foot-high ceilings punctuated with large floor-to-ceiling fenestrations overlooking abundant stretches of tropical verdure and the azure skies above.
The second cabin sheaths its walls in a mild gray grid box paneling which is carried over to the opposing wall of the room. Both private cabins are peppered with marble work desks, olive-tone chairs, off-white lounge sofas, sculpturesque indoor plants, and geometric-inspired monotone task lighting. The cabins too witness the stretched-out scenic views through their ample windows that look into the surroundings.
Tucked into the quiet perimeter of the layout beholding external views, the conference room bears a stated demeanor that exudes tactful material play and creates vignettes of alluring design. The pièce de résistance is the expansive ten-seater marble conference table that commands the room.
The custom partition for this contemporary office design administers privacy for the private cabins towards the rear of the layout and also filters in light into the main workspace, eliminating the need to utilize mechanical lighting until dusk. A private discussion room occupies a glass-enclosed cabin within the workspace which is bathed in a monotone palette and can host concentrated groups around its suave round table and upholstered taupe chairs.
Designed by: Quirk Studio
Project Type: Office Interior Design
Project Name: The Mill Project
Location: Erode, Tamil Nadu
Principal Designers: Disha Bhavsar and Shivani Ajmera
Project Size: 2100 Sq.ft
Year Built: 2021
Photographic Courtesy: Kuber Shah
Consultants of the Project
Structural / Electrical / Civil / Carpentry / Plumbing / Facade: KK Interior
Landscape: Surabhi Nursery
Products & Materials: ACP / Glass / Concrete: 3D Paneling, Veneer, Stone veneer, Limocoat – Magalogue | Sanitary ware / Fittings/ Paint: KK Interior | Flooring: Wooden flooring, Marble – Magalogue, Tiles – Belleza | Furnishing: Interworld furnishings Pvt. Ltd, Novelty | Furniture: Inex Corporation, Rocking chair, Urban ladder, Oblique comforts |Lighting: Lightique concept | Arts/Artefacts: Objects of interest, Ikea | Automation: Digital Dreams
Frim’s Website Link: Quirk Studio
Firm’s Instagram Link: Quirk Studio
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