The word ‘machan’ in Hindi refers to a raised platform or a tree house which was typically used as an observatory during hunting or jungle excursions. This forest-themed corporate office in Mumbai, designed by Pankaj Poddar and Parikshat Hemrajani of Hipcouch, perched atop the 12th floor is no less a machan—although it offers views of an urban jungle.
Capturing the Essence
The Machan, a popular weekend getaway close to Mumbai is synonymous with tree houses. And so its unique character had to be captured in its corporate office located in the city. “We wanted our new office to reflect the ethos of our brand. We were looking for a designer who could help mould and further build on our vision,” shares Sanat Hooja, spokesperson, The Machan. Enter interior design firm Hipcouch and designer, Ridhi Agarwal who had the task laid out. “When Hipcouch started working on the theme for the corporate office, they derived inspiration from this brand that has been created over the years. The idea was to bring the look and feel and, the entire essence of their hospitality into their corporate office,” says Agarwal.
Inspired by Nature
The 2,000-square-feet space draws inspiration from the sights and scenes of a forest. The first thing that comes to mind when you think of forests is earthy tones and of course, a whole lot of green. This office generously uses an earthy palette with beige and brown, punctuated by green and neutrals. The space uses large swathes of browns that are interspersed with jungle-inspired elements like corks carved out of pine wood and chipboard, as well as teak laminates. The brown is complemented by the light grey flooring while the pops of yellow on the furniture, walls and ceiling add cheer to the surroundings. Strategically placed planters add a refreshing touch of green.
Space Within the Space
“Our brief was to keep the brand philosophy alive while functionally differing the space usage,” aver Poddar and Hemrajani. The office features a reception, workstations, a closed room for HR and accounts, a line of executive cabins, one large conference room and a cafeteria—all reflecting the look and feel of the resort. While the spaces are demarcated, they also seamlessly merge into each other. The HR and accounts department is cantilevered a few inches above the flooring, in keeping with the theme of the machans. The private cabins are made of glass, metal and wood—all recyclable. So while the glass partitions separate the cabins, they also connect them all together, and one can look through them from one end to the other.