Landscape ; It’s Important No ?

  • April 11, 2016
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For too long when it comes to say office spaces, or housing projects , the motivation behind installing a landscape is often the ticking of boxes; Children’s play space- yes; Gathering green; yes; Amphitheater ; yes, Jogging track; yes.
Then it  really does not matter how that is expressed, or subsequently even used.
Office spaces have it tougher. There usually is very little space. A drive way; maybe a small podium; and the programme often nonexistent.

This leads to many a good piece of architecture, ending up with a rather messy and indifferent landscape as a handmaiden.

In Upper Worli , the landscape for rather handsome building by Pei Cobb Freed and Partners (PCF), was suffering an inglorious fate.

It was a combination of reasons; an indifferent design effort, coupled with execution of work that could have been more enthusiastic.

But the work was almost complete.

Its then that we got called, and one look at it, made us very concerned. Suffice to say, the only solution we could see was to start all over again.

Easier said than done; after all it was an office building with limited scope, and it’s not that there was no landscape; we just perhaps did not like it, or were indifferent to it- and maybe it was just us exhibiting the designers ego….

We still trooped to the client and told him what we thought- and were both pleasantly surprised but equally worried when he gave us a carte-blanche; do what you will- do what is needed.

Not something you hear in real estate about landscape often- and surely not for a property that was all sold and about to open!

The worry was soon amplified by a site team that obviously did not see great logic in ripping it all apart and redoing it; and we were equally tense- what if the final product was only marginally better than before- would this whole effort and a delay of over a year be worth it?

We plodded along, and slowly the small spaces started revealing themselves. Quality improved; as so did the enthusiasm.

The driveway with no space to plant, got almost delicate veil like metal trees with now creepers beginning to climb on them,



a residue space at the back that became a pocket park with places to walk and sit,



the podiums that got lush soon,




and the terrace with a sculptural seating along with whimsical art work that echoed the sky line of Mumbai in a place where the facade washing cradle would move.







So can there be poetry in small places?  Can the seemingly banal space of office buildings be the stage for artistic and sculptural?  We seem to think so.

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Recent Comments

  • Wow , the space has really come out well. Metal trees looking cool and flooring reflecting skyline is a great idea. After witnessing small office spaces at Supremus Worli and now Upper Worli, amazed to see that in a city like Mumbai, after excluding driveways and other services , where u r left with bare minimum space for landscape to be explored and to be doing justice to the users by giving spaces to relax , carving out such spaces I feel is a great achievement. Congratulate the team for all the efforts been put. Also wish the users and the maintenance team show the same enthusiasm and contribute towards keeping the essence intact.

  • The pictures are beautiful of course, the work original and imaginative, as might be expected from your team. But the story told should also be widely distributed, it is such a good summary of the usual banal prejudices and preconceptions that lead to such messes, in so many cases. Congratulations for having had the courage to persist and show what can be done against such odds. I will distribute this link widely. Warm wishes, Louisa

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