Nestled on the ground level of the opulent Andaz hotel in New Delhi, the APT office is a model of how to create an office environment that is both compassionate and focused on the needs of its employees.
The acronym APT, representing algorithms, profit, and trust, is a trading operations organisation that sought to create a sophisticated yet hospitable atmosphere. The office’s layout was created with the daily needs of finance professionals in mind, who frequently have demanding work schedules and spend a lot of time in front of computer displays. The main goal of the design is to temper the technical infrastructure’s austerity with inside greenery, artwork, and warm finishes, all while softening the overall extremely business atmosphere.
The workplace is a reflection of the sophisticated and elegant style of the opulent hotel it is housed in. It deliberately avoids the stuffy atmosphere of a commercial office to infuse the interiors with a feeling of refinement and vitality. This interior design element was especially appropriate given APT’s reputation as a company looking to differentiate itself from the competition and make a big move in terms of market share.
Divided into two blocks, the office takes up a linear horizontal area. The blocks with conference rooms, a café, and smaller offices are located in one block, which also houses the primary workstations, two partner cabins, and the reception. Full-length glass in the office provides a view of lush landscaping and a swimming pool overlooking the hotel courtyard to the north. The office space is designed with the courtyard landscaping as a visual connection, which ensures natural light floods the space throughout the day, making it feel spacious and well-lit. The circulation room is left with this extensive glazing because the workstations are supposed to be adjacent to one another. Rows of short plants are arranged to line the workstations and seating areas, utilising the principles of biophilic design to match the surrounding nature. These indoor plants infuse a room with vitality that would have otherwise been overshadowed by the flatness of several computer screens. Every bay in the planters is given solitude, and the green profiles give this demanding work environment a lush, vibrant expression. By encouraging a relationship with the outside world and verdant surroundings, workplace design effectively departs from the impersonal apathy of traditional work environments.
The office’s first block with workstations occupied is a smooth, continuous linear space flow. The north-facing window lets in natural light, but it also reveals the hotel’s enormous, hefty columns, which are a feature of the upscale workspace. The aluminium channels of the glazing are an unusual area to hang art frames in order to divert the viewer’s attention from these heavy columns. The overall ambiance of this formal environment is softened by these art frames.
The design strikes a balance between a sense of lively zest and the basic minimalism of office furniture in this formal setting. For example, the accounts area has a wallpaper backdrop that instantly makes a drab work nook feel bright and cheery. Similar to this, the cafe features basic, neutral-toned furniture paired with vividly coloured flooring featuring a yellow theme design. An upbeat atmosphere is introduced into the traditional office setting by the use of warm wood tones and dynamic patterns on wall or floor surfaces and artwork.
The office’s finishes and materials have a big influence on its look. The earthy tones of the walls and floor are complemented by the subdued wood tones utilised for the furniture and ceiling. The workplace feels more transparent with glass framed by black aluminium channels. Meeting rooms use elements that ensure privacy while preserving an air of openness, such as switchable glass.
The APT office represents a significant advancement in the design of workstations that are both formal and dynamic. By considering the end user’s point of view, it rethinks how work settings might actively move away from the boring typology of glass boxes and build contextual, compassionate, and pleasant spaces.
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