Harley Davidson’s, first office in India and trust me if I worked there, I would never quit. Gone are days in India where the office had this cruel almost hospital look. With Harley Davidsons foray into the Indian market, the brand had to be itself yet not an outsider. Morphogenesis, headed by the dream team, Manit & Sonali Rastogi certainly had their work cut out for them. Located in Gurgaon, which is India’s Industrial and financial center, the space had to be more than a corporate office. It had to be a workplace, which could hold parties, workshops & events. A training centre for the maintenance of the Harley Davidson Bikes to integrate the adventurous ethic with the working environment.
The reception is the main highlight of the entire office space with an installation of a tank wall equipped with various Harley Davidson fuel tanks, painted by special artists. To add an informal nature of the space, a slick leather couch has been placed in the waiting area. What I absolutely loved are the red sofas! They are perfect for that quick short meeting, when you want to avoid the formality of sitting in a conference room. At the same time it gives you privacy. They zip up and become a space divider or zip down, folding over into a regular sofa. Along side this wall is where you the one of a kind bike in the above picture is placed. Fabulous display.
The workspace has a graphic wall with inscriptions of the notions and ideologies of biking and adventure running along the reception area and corridor. There are some fantastic personal travel pictures of the bike in India and across the world on the walls and conference rooms. With black lacquer modules with bookshelves being fitted in between the graphics. A few Harley Davidson bikes are set up on display along the circulation space to complete the ambience.Manit & Sonali Rastogi have used perforated jaalis, a traditional Indian embellishment, derived from the abstraction of the Harley Davidson shield, as space dividers.
Training Center for Maintenance of Bikes
The obvious inspiration being motorcycles and biking, Manit & Sonali Rastogi have tried incorporating the elements in the least obvious ways. The handles for the toilet doors are the actual handles of the Harley Davidson bikes, the table in the pantry space has a set of supports that resemble the side stands of a bike, and the rear view mirrors of a motorcycle are exploited for signage. Basic and simplistic materials such as cement board and textured granite are used in combination with the Harley Davidson colour palette (orange, black, and grey) to give a constant, singular, contemporary character to the office space. This is what modern day Indian office culture represents and where it’s headed to. The last picture is by far my favourite and even though it doesn’t represent any sort of design element, it just leaves me with joy.