Mumbai mills revisited

Friday 04 Jan 2008

Planet 3 Studios Architecture Pvt. Ltd. revitalizes decrepit Mumbai mills with playful forms and colours.

Almost the entire central Mumbai is dotted with cotton mills that predated Indian independence. No longer producing any yarn, these quaint but dilapidated structures offer numerous opportunities for adaptive re-use. While our solution defers to the historical context by retaining and revitalizing intricate metal and woodwork, it is bolder in attempting to tame the cavernous halls with out of scale embroidered patterns that reiterate the graphic quality of branding logo and colours. Warehouse A - A couple of adjoining halls, one of them 50 feet high, presented a unique challenge. Bereft of any redeeming features in the interior, the cavernous halls seemed barren. Inspiration was drawn from the brand logo, specifically, the tail of the sea horse and projected it on to the walls. In its dramatic avtaar, the tail curled to become out of scale embroidery patterns cutout in plywood, painted in brand colours. Natural light inside was increased by adding skylights wherever possible and adding necessary artificial lighting in keeping with retail display requirements. The graphic patterns of inside are carried on to the front façade in as well.Warehouse B - A large warehouse space with wooden trusses supported on cast iron columns. On visiting the site a tree was discovered growing out of the facade. Unfortunately, the site contractor cut the tree down before our instructions to retain the tree reached him. With a touch of whimsy, we decided to playfully evoke that tree in shape of plywood cutouts on the ceiling and the walls. Having always liked the graphic quality of tree stencil blocks in ACAD, we simply used an elevation and a plan block for the purpose. Replicated exactly, they are easily recognizable to the architects and designers who visit this building products retail space. Design team: Santha Gour Mattoo, Hina Parmar, Kalhan Mattoo, Kanwaldeep Kapoor.

Key Facts:

Interior Commercial Retail

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