Workers of Art designs studio space using materials “relegated to landfill”

Indian architecture studio Workers of Art (WOA) has converted a former storage space into its own plant-filled office, using recycled and repurposed waste materials in almost every aspect of its design.

Called WOA Second Home, the office is located in Kochi, Kerala, and occupies a 1,450-square-foot (135-square-metre) concrete structure that was previously used for storing tiles.

Aiming to “underscore the necessity of the curtailment of waste output in architecture,” WOA made use of materials that had been “relegated to landfill” including concrete board, PVC pipes and acrylic sheets, to create a workspace that would reflect the studio’s ethos.

Plant-filled office space by Workers of Art (WOA)
WOA has converted a former storage space into an office in Kerala

“The design celebrates the value of materials that might have otherwise been discarded, creatively forming patterns and combining different elements to breathe new life into the space,” said the studio.

“For instance, odd-shaped waste tiles are harmoniously mixed and matched, finding their new home in the powder room. A strikingly repurposed tile piece also elevates the entry steps, underscoring the studio’s attention to detail and innovative flair,” it added.

Organised across one floor, the entrance to the office leads into a large space lined with a zig-zag of ferrocement desks along the eastern wall, next to a meeting table and sample board at the centre of the room and a more private workspace to the west.

Office interior of 'WOA Second Home'
The design uses recycled and repurposed waste materials

A new partition with a large arched opening and blackout curtain leads through to a breakout area and facilities space containing a locker area, kitchen and bathroom.

“The design of the workstations, which meander through the shared workspace, was strategically planned to encourage teamwork while also allowing for individual space,” WOA co-founder Priya Rose told Dezeen.

“The philosophy was to create a workspace that feels like a ‘second home’ – evident in the thoughtful design elements that prioritise comfort, aesthetic pleasure, and a sense of belonging,” she added.

Custom black light fittings on the ceiling were created by repurposing lengths of PVC pipe, while bespoke planters were made using ferrocement lined with blue plastic barrels.

The existing tile floor in the building was retained, with areas that had become cracked removed and infilled with microcement to create contrasting dark grey geometric areas.

Throughout the studio, discarded antiques and over 100 species of local plants were introduced to bring a “homely” quality to the space.

Office interior of Workers of Art studio office
A large arched opening forms a new partition within the office

WOA Second Home has been shortlisted in the workplace interior (small) category of Dezeen Awards 2023.

In Madrid, designer Lucas Muñoz used upcycled junk and construction waste to create nearly every interior element of the Mo de Movimiento restaurant.

The photography is by Ishita Sitwala. 

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