A blend of wood and metal…

A designer, an architect, a thinker, a pioneer – all these words fall short while describing Sourabh Gupta. During my association with him and his team, spanning over a decade, I have seen many facets of the man and his mission and he doesn’t cease to surprise.

We have collaborated on multiple projects. Of all, our collaboration on the Shoolini University Guest House stands out – a project, which is the studio’s permanent mark on the foothills of Himalayas.

Knock on Wood’s task was to design and execute furniture for the guesthouse at the university. While we had seen plans and pictures of Shoolini University in Solan, thereality was a complete treat for us.

 Our challenge was to match the simplicity of the architecture in which the furniture would be housed. The architect has always been a big fan of local materials and true to his fascination, we used pine wood as a
key material for the interiors. The result was a modern mountain cabin with impressive uninterrupted glass views overlooking the mountain range.

We put our heads together with the team to design a new range of furniture which stood out on it’s own and yet married well with the interiors of the guest house. Instead of taking the traditional approach of populating the interiors with wood furniture, we decided on a blend of wood and metal. The sleek metal section powder-coated in different colours added a sophisticated playfulness to the space. This metal wireframe was continuous and hence we called the furniture series ‘LOOP’.

The only thing that was more overwhelming than the actual furniture pieces was our design journey. The teams attended the Milan Fair to check out the latest developments in design and then proceeded to the Vitra Design Museum Campus to see the newly curated Chair exhibition. Post our visit, we then worked at the Tadao Ando business centre to conceive and design furniture collections for various projects, the Loop series being one of them. This was truly a-once-in-a-lifetime experience.

And this is just the beginning- we look forward for more good things to come.

Text by: Aarti Aggarwal