The Yellow Edit
A sunny, yellow office that makes one want to come to work, is how the interiors of Limotex, a construction company, has been envisioned by Humming Tree Architects, a design studio that is branded for its versatility in solving intricate programmes by understanding user needs, context and materiality as a whole.
Architect duo, Arun Shekar and Mohammed Afnan, of Humming Tree a creative studio based in Calicut, Kerala, visualises every space as a frame that has to be picture perfect. The firm Humming Tree was named thus for its design ethos of intercepting greenery into their projects. What is not mentioned but is evident from their designs is a love for drama and cats, and a youthful exuberance that infiltrates the spaces they design. For like the youth of today, Humming Tree is a cult-architectural firm that is so representative of the times now; free and open in thoughts, kind and responsible in actions.
The brief for this office interiors were extremely sharp according to the designers. “The building should have an enjoy-work ethos with exceedingly dynamic space and heaps of daylight. The client was after a minimal, outlandish look, so we took inspirations from commercial and art gallery spaces, as opposed to typical office interiors,” says Afnan and Arun founders of Humming Tree. Limotex is a Construction company with 40 years of experience in the industry.
“As we were approached for our quirky taste in design, this workspace had to be distinguished from other builder’s office which is typically designed keeping exposed materials in mind,” says Afnas. And thus, came about the colour splash and the arty quirky look that adds the drama to the interiors.
As soon as one enters the office, the reception area gives the visitors the first jolt of colour, with the three-dimensions of wall dipped in yellow, giving a visual delight, a sense of happy summer. From the reception space, the palette slowly shifts between blacks, whites and a glimpse of green giving the workspace depth. “Overall space just elevates the mood as we happen to say “Hello Yellow! “ ” laughs Arun, “Our concept was to have an office space that has a design language of contemporary art galleries. We did not want complex aesthetics. The office has a linear plan of about 1010 sq.ft, a small workspace, with an amazing sun-kissed reception area facing the west. Next to it is the waiting lounge with Prussian blue couch dividing the small workspace consisting of four workstation table. Ahead of it is the cabin for a manager and a beautiful, mirror reflecting the conference room bringing the outdoor greens in, making the most of the daylight, which in turn also saves a lot of electricity.”
While the architects seem to have ticked all the boxes in meeting the client brief, they have also satisfied their inner urge for frames that are all beautiful to look at. Each corner or wall is focused on and looked at through a director’s eye, and then designed like a product or art piece to arrive at frames that exude drama and creativity. What one would call an instagrammable space is how we can label each of their frames.
“Working with a concept of having mustard yellow on all walls was a tough call and one had to be bold when making decisions,” reflects Arun, “However our favourite, blue Jeff Koon’s dog, in the reception, balances out the colour perfectly, making it look like it’s just straight out of a storybook. “
“The yellow dipped reception with the glossy black capsule desk is the most vibrant nook in this office and also because this is the spot where my favourite Jeff Koon’s art is,” shares Arun.
“The conference table is custom built with pearl white tabletop. We also have angled lights centred above the conference table. These are customised lights that can be adjusted according to different angles, in a single click creating interesting patterns in the room.”
Using cactus as a design element is also something the architects get quite excited about, “Very few designers use cacti in India as a potential element in design but we love to give new elements a try. We have used tropical plants in most of our previous projects and when we studied about San Pedro, we found it is locally available in Kerala. Cactus is one of the most beautiful landscape elements we have come across, easy to grow and maintain. It also looks amazing in interiors and creates a perfect contrast to yellow walls. “
The concept was to have a clutter-free office space with no mess visible and hence the architects’ concealed rectangular storage cabinets in the workstation as a solution, which in turn looked minimal and neat.
What is striking about these office interiors other than the bright yellow walls is the colour space demarcation. Breaking free from solid walls acting as space dividers, here the architects have used colours to differentiate each space.
“The initial layout had a lot of walls and was literally covered, so we had to break open a few verticals to sweep the light in. We have provided huge glass openings to allow ample daylight and minimise the use of power during the day. These openings have large over hangings to reduce extreme heat gain or direct sunlight providing amazing workspace experiences for the team.”
Mid-century art photographs often indicate what was fashionable at this time. The famous American artist, Jeff Koon and his sculpted dog sitting on the reception table speak of art and modernity The Eames crow on the conference table is designed by Charles and Ray Eames and is known primarily for its elegant shape and dark colour.
With art and colour, the architects have created a space that speaks volumes of their design ethos and colourful personalities that is empathic yet open to new ideas. A perfect combination that will herald in more such picture-perfect frames in design. Scale wishes more such designers would perpetuate the world and make a better urban fabric in cities as they design interiors.
Arjun and Afnan’s Design Tips
- Boring plain walls with no art? Life is just too short for that!
- Go Bold or Go home! Office spaces with unique interior features will always add spark to the conversation and give the overall experience a distinct vibe that makes feel both employees and guests feel special and connect with the business better.
- Always and always dip greens and landscape out in office spaces, it not only adds charm but has a lot of positive benefits.
- Lastly, make sure there is something unique feature designed in any of the spots in the office so people talk about it and this becomes a good branding for the office itself