A Dynamic workspace

Project: Adobe World, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Architects: Designplus Associates Services Pvt Ltd, New Delhi

In the year 2000, when Adobe Systems decided to create a software development facility in Delhi, we created a building that was not only iconic but also representative of the graphic software that it is known for. Sweeping curvilinear walls in primary colours juxtaposed against a charcoal monochromatic and rigidly rectangular building block defi ned Adobe in Noida. Fifteen years after its completion, there was a need to review the facility in terms of – nature of business to be conducted, density to be achieved, incorporating current design styling and colour palette, incorporating the new ethos and refreshing the façade without losing the identity. Hence, a complete refurbishment was undertaken. The original building was designed to house 850 software engineers. The new requirements of housing 1,800 engineers called for a complete revamp of the space plan. This also provided for an opportunity to imbibe the changing philosophy and
image of the company.

The most challenging was the façade. While the original building façade had a strong design language which had become an identity for the company, it needed a fresh approach without destroying the ethos. After many iterations, we decided to use ‘pixel’ as a design basis and the bold red, blue, yellow and green façade walls, which were solid colours earlier, were now broken up in a pixelated form within the same colour palette, thus retaining the identity of the building and yet redefining the current ethos.

The closed areas such as conference spaces, cabins, hub rooms, meeting rooms etc. were restricted to a small portion of the floor plate. The balance area with three side external glazing and plenty of natural light became the open office. While designing the first phase in 2000, we were surprised to note that the main headquarters in San Hose comprised primarily closed spaces. Only a few support staff were in open stations. All you saw was unending corridors with rows of doors. This was certainly an exception in the corporate world where everyone was moving towards open offices.

While planning the India operation, after much persuasion, a 60:40 ratio of open and closed areas was accepted. It is only during the current refurbishment that this ratio was dropped to 10:90. Thus, the work floors were reworked into primarily open work stations. As a response to the people’s approach of Adobe, fresh new break out areas were introduced at various levels. The earlier break outs were essentially functional spaces meant mainly for dispensing equipment. The new breakout areas are designed as cafes. They are spaces for people to come together; spaces that promote brainstorming and encourage good inter personal relationships.

In today’s world where we look at a screen more than we look at people, these social spaces help connect individuals 2016in a conventional manner. These spacious break areas have varied seating formats and lively graphics. Every floor was given a colour code which manifests in carpets, wall accents, fabrics and soft furnishings. A different colour palette was chosen for each floor from the colour manuals, making them synergize with other offices internationally. While doing this major refurbishment, a strict control on time and cost was maintained. Every design decision was taken respecting the tight budget. The challenge was to create a new facility that fulfilled the aspirations of the young and dynamic work force without going overboard on the capital expense. It was designed following good engineering and design practices. This enabled them to obtain a LEED certified ‘gold’ rating. Materials, finishes and products also had to conform to green building norms. All this combined with Adobe graphics has created a new and energetic office within an existing structure.

Fact File

Client: Adobe Systems (India) Pvt Ltd

Design Team: Sonali Bhagwati, Ashish Gupta

Site area: 3.2 acre

Cost of project: Rs 1.5 Cr

Year of completion: 2016