Creating a minimal yet dynamic workplace, an un-office – Architect Manish Dikshit

Architect Manish Dikshit, a gold medallist in architecture, has created award winning designs: from designing kindergartens to townships. He has imparted knowledge from his experiences at world architectural events, lectures in top design schools etc. He has a keen eye for detail and that is seen in his designs. His ingenious approach for every project ensures optimum usability of space while making it aesthetically functional.  He is extremely passionate about design and has a quest to be up to date about latest market trends, material innovations and rooted to the past at the same time.

ManishAum Architects, spearheaded by Ar. Manish Dikshit is a leading consultant in Interior Design and Architectural services. The diverse portfolio of this firm reflects Dikshit’s experience in handling challenging projects, backed by the latest and most advanced technology.

Here is a feature of the office of Chillr having an area of 2816 sq. ft., the highlight of which, is the double height and the glass facade that boosts its volume.


The requirement was to create a minimal yet dynamic workplace that would transcend the site conditions. The client wanted to retain the open and voluminous nature of the site. The brief was to create an un-official ambience remisiscent of a coffee shop while having  space for a few formal interactions and at the same time amalgamating into one distinct space. The need was also to create an environment to help nurture the office culture and improve employee communication.  The design team decided to create  an open office without visual barriers.

With the given brief the key element was to keep the design functionally and aesthetically transparent. The designer reminisces, “Getting influenced by the glass facade that wrapped the site we decided not to segregate functions with barriers but let spaces flow into one another.” Keeping in mind the users, the design was to make it un-office like so as to have the same ideology of the inside-out outside-in. The designers then looked at the site as a canvas to paint with a very modern approach; keeping it minimal while not losing out on making it vibrant and lively.


While planning the private functions were pushed away from the voluminous double height space; the more social lounge was planned in this area. Wanting to give the lounge a more laid back feel a snack bar counter was planned running parallel to the glass facade. This also doubles up as a work station area and also to have small discussions. The workstations were broken up into 12- seater longer tables and 8 seaters. Two medium size meeting rooms were planned that could be converted into one big conference room. Besides this one small dedicated meeting room was provided. The client did not want a separate reception. Therefore a small seating area was created close to the entrance.

The designer recalls, “The formal of the interactions were to take place in meeting rooms; keeping in mind the overall nature of the design, we kept the meeting rooms visually open”. The design was laid out in a manner so as to have the work place flow into the lounge area. “While designing we planned for the sort of user movement that would happen throughout the day”. During the start of the day most of the users would be at their workstation that was located centrally. As the day transitioned the lounge would be preferred. Therefore the lighting was also designed accordingly.

The ideology that any design is a success when one can functionally utilise most of the available space is followed throughout this “un-office”.  Therefore when facing the lounge at the other end, which was a small pocket of area and not flowing into the overall planning,  a small pod was created there for a single user to sit and work. The door of the pod resembles a phone booth. This solution works both visually as well as functionally. Similarly there were two columns in the centre of the site; workstations it has been designed so that the columns amalgamate with the overall scheme of things instead of standing out separately.


The branding of the company was also kept in mind during the design process. The main door handle was  custom made . On  exiting from the lift one is welcomed by a solid door with the brand name; the logo is made in stainless steel and powder coated so as to have a dual purpose of being used as a handle as well as for their branding.

Colour table

The work stations are not the typical table: instead its top appears to be floating. The work station top was made thicker and the legs staggered. It was a prerequisite to have a table which had to make the office look un-official. And therefore a lighter top and darker legs were opted for.

Interestingly the electric supply on each of the tables is taken from the ceiling. Instead of having wire managers, an m.s. box section has been used by welding them together to resemble an inverted branch. This branch was finished in different colours.

glass colour

Besides this, the wallpapers have been customized to merge with the colourfulness of the entire site. The fixed furniture colour palette has been kept neutral and the playfulness brought in through lights and loose furniture. The flooring was also chosen accordingly with a mix of patterns. The glass partition at the entrance; planned to block the washroom entries; have bands of colour.