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Morphogenesis’ studio is a celebration of decades of their work

  • Studio Design
Jan 23, 2024
Orange themed office design – Beautiful Homes

A harmonious blend of vibrant design and industrial elegance, the multi-faceted firm’s office space in New Delhi is designed as a hub that fosters creativity and collaboration

“I was born to parents who were an architect and an interior designer so I grew up knowing this is how I wanted to spend my life, probably even before I could speak!” says Sonali Rastogi, who along with her business and life partner Manit Rastogi co-founded the multi-faceted architectural firm Morphogenesis in 1996.

 

“In 1996, both of us were completing our education at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, and it occurred to us at the time that there were a lot of interesting and unique projects coming in from different parts of the globe. However, India seemed to be in a sort of vacuum despite its incredibly rich heritage of some of the best architecture in the world across 5,000 years. So, we both got together and started out of a mezzanine above a garage with a simple vision—to build a global brand with contemporary Indian architecture,” remembers Manit.

The studio of Morphogenesis, a multi-faceted architectural firm founded by Sonali Rastogi along with her business and life partner Manit Rastogi is a harmonious blend of vibrant design and industrial elegance built to foster creativity and collaboration.

To get people to buy into their vision at the time seemed like a dream. But, today, the duo looks back with pride at their impressive run—from their first project designing the Apollo Tyres’ corporate office which won them a slew of awards and catapulted Morphogenesis to acclaim, to Forest Essentials’ net-zero facility built in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Their most recent project, Surat Diamond Bourse, has been celebrated as the world’s largest single office building with a built-up area of 70 lakh square feet.

 

With full-service studios expanding across Delhi (with three addresses), Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune, the key fundamentals the team looks for when choosing a space is easy access for everyone wherever they are commuting from. “We look for offices that are steeped in daylight, feel open and airy, and preferably, with an agreeable view.” Manit adds, “And we stay away from buildings that require constant air-conditioning, and we’re always looking for height, good acoustics and space to interact freely.”

The duo also points to nature, which has constantly been a source of inspiration for their work. “We’re also very inspired by traditional, historical, vernacular architecture which has evolved over thousands of years because it flourished despite a dearth of resources like electricity or direct water supplies,” says Manit. He explains how this created a design process which they copyrighted in 2019 called SOUL, which stands for sustainability, optimisation, uniqueness and liveability. These parameters define the enquiry process that shapes the architecture of Morphogenesis. “We’ve recently completed India’s only large-scale tech park which is entirely net-zero in terms of wasting energy, water and landfills,” he proudly claims, adding, “A good sustainable building should cost less to build and even lesser to run; and in doing so, have a lower life cycle cost.”

Sonali Rastogi and Manit Rastogi, the co-founders of Morphogenesis – Beautiful Homes

Established by Manit and Sonali Rastogi in 1996, Morphogenesis is globally recognized for its diverse portfolio encompassing a range of specialised practice areas.

As we step into their New Delhi office, we’re immediately greeted with an energetic buzz, and a space alive with activity and vibrant colour. The bold use of orange in strategic locations punctuates the neutral tones of grey and black, creating a dynamic colour palette that reflects the company's branding and infuses the space with a continuous stream of energy. In a nod to a modern industrial aesthetic, the open ceiling reveals a network of ductwork and conduits. The unexpected dash of red from the pipes adds a playful contrast; and the carpet—which runs across the entire communal space in the studio—weaves a story with geometric patterns and lines of orange directing the flow of movement and interaction.

Exterior office design – Beautiful Homes

Large glass panels wrap around the outer façade of Morphogenesis’ office building.

Simple office design for your space – Beautiful Homes

The carpet, which runs across the entire communal space in the studio, and adds an element of design interest to the functional space.

“All our studios are a hub for exchanging ideas, so they’re designed for open interaction, conversations, ideation. I think a space is inhabited by the people and the activity that goes on within it. Here, you’ll see the can-do attitude of the team flooding the interiors of the studio. The materials we’ve chosen are meant to be sturdy and withstand wear and tear over the years,” points out Sonali.

 

Interspersed among the workstations are breakout zones where high stools and communal tables offer a respite from the formality of office desks. These spaces are more than just a place for coffee breaks; they are the breeding grounds for ideas, where casual encounters can spark innovation. Above, a constellation of suspended linear lights and recessed fixtures cast a warm, even glow across the work areas. This thoughtful lighting design ensures that each corner is adequately illuminated, essential for both productivity and ambiance.

Orange themed office design – Beautiful Homes

The bold use of orange in strategic locations punctuates the neutral tones of grey and black, creating a dynamic colour palette that reflects the company's branding.

Elegant white walls to enhance your office design – Beautiful Homes

The open ceiling reveals a network of ductwork and conduits, a deliberate design choice that elevates the scale of space and openness.

Glass partitions are transparent barriers that carve out spaces for focused discussions and quiet contemplation without disrupting the visual flow of the workspace. The glass ensures that natural light reaches every nook, promoting an atmosphere of clarity and transparency that mirrors the company's ethos.

 

Looking back at their journey that’s transcended almost three decades, Manit shares a part of his and Sonali’s mission statement when setting up Morphogenesis was to develop a practice that would evolve beyond its founders because “at the time, a lot of great Indian practices began and ended with the life of the founder. This meant that the next person who came along had to reinvent the entire wheel. So, the future of Morphogenesis sits in realising that mission: How do you perpetuate an architectural practice to constantly evolve and learn, ensuring life cycles get transferred to the next?”


 

Images and Video by Avesh Gaur

Simple grey wall design for office – Beautiful Homes
The unadorned entrance lobby at the studio defines the expansive scale of the space.
Potted plants for office design – Beautiful Homes
Potted plants that bring a slice of the outdoors inside; and sleek storage solutions are as much a part of the decor as they are keepers of order.
Sofa design to enhance your office design – Beautiful Homes
A large scarlet sofa creates a more informal space for casual one-on-one meetings or bouncing off ideas between teammates.
Modern office design – Beautiful Homes
The walls are dressed in graphic displays and notice boards, doubling up as a decorative feature that anchors the visual elements of the space.

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