• Imagine Studio at The Trees

    Adaptive Re-use I Mixed Use I Brand Experiences I Vikhroli, Mumbai, Maharashtra

    Recognised by WAN, Fast Company and Architizer A+ Awards, Imagine Studio at The Trees weaves nature, heritage and urbanism through a compelling narrative of evolving contexts to create an experiential narrative of legacy and vision for Godrej.

    CLIENT GODREJ PROPERTIES LTD. I AREA 1,000 SQM I STATUS COMPLETED IN 2015 I COLLABORATOR GPL DESIGN STUDIO I TEAM STUDIO LOTUS (AMBRISH ARORA, ANKUR CHOKSI, ARUN KULLU, PANKHURI GOEL, MIRA ASHER, SANJAY KUMAR) + GPL DESIGN STUDIO (ANUBHAV GUPTA, NAMRATA MEHRA) I PHOTOGRAPHERS EDMUND SUMNER, GPL DESIGN STUDIO, FABIEN CHARUAU, DILIP BHATIA I AWARDS ARCHITECTURE + METAL CATEGORY SPECIAL MENTION AT ARCHITIZER A+AWARDS 2017, HONOURABLE MENTION AT FAST COMPANY INNOVATION BY DESIGN AWARDS 2016, ADAPTIVE RE-USE AND METAL IN ARCHITECTURE CATEGORY FINALISTS AT WORLD ARCHITECTURE NEWS (WAN) AWARDS 2016, BRANDED ENVIRONMENTS CATEGORY BLUE ELEPHANT WINNER AT KYOORIUS DESIGN AWARDS 2015
    The project transforms a cluster of industrial buildings and its surrounding landscape into commemorative identities (PC: Studio Lotus)

    Replacing a large industrial campus in Vikhroli, a site integral to Godrej’s history, the collaborative scheme that began as a design for a marketing office evolved into an exercise for place-making in ‘The Trees’, a flagship development for Godrej Properties Ltd.

    The existing site has always been at the heart of Godrej Group’s history (PC: Studio Lotus)
    The site after design intervention links its legacy to its vision (PC: GPL Design Studio)

    The intent was to illustrate an invigorated public realm as a microcosm of the master plan while preserving the essence of the site’s industrial heritage. Existing buildings and its elements were recycled not only to underline their relevance in past eras but also add meaning as important design punctuations in the narrative. Studio Lotus + GPL Design Studio presented the Imagine Studio as an attempt to re-envision the customer journey for ‘The Trees’. The storyline was grounded in authenticity and a larger vision for the city germinated with timeless values.

    The inside-out view of the Studio shows the old louvers repurposed with a new aesthetic of perforated patterns (PC: GPL Design Studio)
    The outside-in view of the Studio, formerly a Co-Generator Plant, reveals its Corten Steel, Brass and Timber detailing (PC: GPL Design Studio)
    The Beacon Silo, the Studio and the Chimney (PC: Edmund Sumner)

    Programmatically the buildings adapt into a marketing office, meeting spaces and a café besides several outdoor spaces to showcase upcoming residential and commercial properties. Two former power Co-Generation Plants and a Boiler Plant were repurposed to accommodate new functions as a Studio, Workshop and Cafe respectively. The timeless architectural forms derived from the current industrial sheds and the materiality of Concrete, Corten Steel, Brass and Timber work on the principle of ‘Wabi-Sabi’, allowing the buildings to age beautifully over time.

    The second Co-Generator Plant has been transformed into the Workshop with multi-purpose spaces for marketing and events (PC: Edmund Sumner)
    The Workshop interiors connect seamlessly with the outdoors to expand activity areas into the landscape and public domain (PC: Edmund Sumner)

    The old louvers of the primary plant, now the Studio, were repurposed in Corten Steel and perforated with patterns. The newly-designed interiors derive inspiration from the “memory” of the metal silos - cylindrical units at the site. The silhouette of these forms offers contrast to the rigid geometry of the building, hence acting as a sculptural insert. Creating the gateway to the entire development with the Studio, the Workshop is a multi-functional space with sample apartments, a meeting area and a multi-purpose gallery for cultural events.

    The Boiler and the Chimney provide a strong and graphic memory of Godrej’s legacy (PC: Fabien Charuau)
    A view of the Boiler Cafe interiors (PC: Edmund Sumner)

    The existing Boiler Plant was converted into an all- day café by retaining the structural framework and a boiler tank as a memory of its original intent. A tall chimney redolent of bygone industrial aesthetic has been treated as a graphic memorial. The Boiler Café, Workshop and Studio together create the edges of a vibrant public space that demonstrates the core philosophies of ‘The Trees’ and comes alive through events, a market street, an urban farm, an amphitheater and areas for public art installations.

    The cluster of Legacy Silos are commemorative of the past, present and future of the Godrej Group (PC: Edmund Sumner)
    Each Silo contains a graphic tribute such as iconic products, key people defining its growth and its vision (PC: Edmund Sumner)

    Amalgamating and integrating industrial scrap with the plants, the landscape uses them as a story telling device. A Corten Steel strip inserted into the layout acts as a guiding pathway that subtly indicates the key experiences of the entire marketing journey. The buildings of Imagine Studio are newly defined as the memories of an industrial past; its contemporary form ready to shape new thoughts within its body. These sit sculpturally into a landscape, which with its places for public engagement and participation, will go on to evolve new ideas for the future.

    Detail of the brass-clad silo that is used internally as a cycloramic projection room by the marketing team in the Studio (PC: Dilip Bhatia)
    The Corten Steel strip guides the experiential narrative (PC: GPL Design Studio)
    Silo benches for the public spaces (PC: Edmund Sumner)
    Buildings of the Imagine Studio will ultimately get absorbed into the scheme’s commercial hub but stay on as key markers (PC: Dilip Bhatia)

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