Stencil is a comprehensive education consulting service centre for students aspiring to pursue international higher education. Housed within a former industrial building that sat abandoned for years in the western zone of Bengaluru. Given that the client base consists of young people in their early twenties, the brief was to conceptualize a space that the young generation would relate to and would be comfortable working in. Decoded as an adaptive reuse translation of architecture, the space is envisaged as a co-working space for students, to promote interaction, dialogue and an exchange of ideas.
Seeking to preserve – and celebrate – the original building elements wherever possible, the existing roof of the building shell has been retained and expressed in the architectural intervention. The metal roof with trusses has been painted to achieve the desired industrial aesthetic. A dramatic statement is made by suspending regular lights end-to-end, mounted on raceways of the existing trusses. These have been aligned in a manner that ensures that there is ample task lighting, while animating the space in a more dynamic way.
Conceived as a workshop, the 1,550 square-foot centre contains staff cabins, a discussion area, a server room and communal areas for breaks and collaboration. Shifting away from the typical cuboidal workspaces, the centre is divided into two main programmatic areas – a public zone for student interactions and a private one for the staff. All private spaces get tucked into an angular sculptural object underneath the large overhanging roof. In the public area, a long corridor is lined with a discussion table and workstations that are designed to enable maximum seating and interaction between the team members. The private zone on the other side of the corridor comprises of adjoining cabins with a conference room in the centre. The cabins have a glass face to arm maximum transparency within the office.
The interiors are muted and flaunt a predominantly monochromatic stroke. Textured vitrified tiles in grey cement are used for flooring. Furniture in the lobby compliments the design language of the private cabins and is highlighted with the use of bright accents in contrast to the monochromatic wall and floor finishes. Work tops are made in Medium Density Fibre-board (mdf), and adorn a black laminate. Complementing the overall design language, the tables in the reception and discussion areas are finished in glossy Duco paint with glass tops for ease of working and durability. The glass top also adds an element of reflection and drama to the space.
The angular object that houses all the cabins is executed in gypsum and finished with a rough concrete paint finish to give a rustic industrial look. The art work in the centre is exhibited and accentuated via a direct application of paint on the walls and vinyl stickers. An abstract skyline of the major cities in the USA has been conceptualized in a single graphic that also becomes a datum, running throughout the length of the office, concealing the pelmet with the blinds.