The Kuoni travels office in mumbai designed by architects Isha Narayan and R L Narayan is a vibrant space, full of light and cheer. Architects Isha and R L Narayan believe that offices must be warm and friendly spaces, where the staff are happy to return to work each morning to their work stations, that do not make them feel trapped or isolated, and give them a sense of belonging. supported by a strong and committed team, the Narayans, over the last four years, have created several work spaces, each one distinct and different. The Kuoni travels office, spread over a sprawling 12,000 square feet of built-up area, reveals the emphasis the Narayans lay on the importance of correct space planning, lighting, colour and texture. It is a large, open space with a dramatic ceiling, and ample lighting, both indirect and natural. The colour scheme is equally dramatic, dark tones mixed with light ones, with dashes of warm orange and yellow, that add a touch of cheer. since the client wanted an office that was contemporary and yet hinted at its Indian roots, the Narayans have taken care to include design accents that also suggest a touch of ‘traditional India’ in all its vibrant essence. The office is divided into three main areas: a loungecum- reception, a huge area at the back where the staff function, and a cozy cafeteria for them to unwind and break free. Cabins with glass walls lend transparency to the whole office, and add an illusion of space, vastness and depth, as they allow one to see right through the entire office from just about anywhere, while an opaque finish in the centre of the glass affords the required level of privacy. Floor to ceiling, nine foot high doors to the cabins with black and silver bands, look elegant. ‘the whole idea was to create a good working atmosphere and a vivacious ambience with a lot of glass to enhance the open feel,’ explains Isha. The architects have played with various intensities of lighting: diffused, mood and ambience, all over the office. The ceiling has lights incorporated within punchers, creating oceans of lights sprinkled around the office. correct lighting is imperative to one’s mental well being and attitude, especially in work spaces, where one has to create the right balance between natural and artificial lighting. The Narayans have taken care to position most of the work stations in close proximity to the large windows. Natural light streams in through them, but the architects have ensured the monitors receive no glare from the windows or from other reflective surfaces. ‘Working towards achieving this balance is one of the most difficult tasks an architect faces, and playing with different levels of lighting is my forte,’ claims Isha Narayan. Their imaginative use of lighting is also evident in a table which seems to be almost floating, as it rests on a lit black base. When the Narayans suggested incorporating a cafeteria, the client was not so sure. But today he feels proud as he sees how happy the staff is when they treat themselves to well deserved breaks in the cafeteria. a cheerful place to stretch, lounge, relax and chill for a few minutes and then return to work rejuvenated. Quips R L Narayan, ‘a welcome break from stress that only makes them more productive at the end of the day.’ And that is what good office design is all about – See more at.