MANTRA HOUSE

Location: Cheranelloor, Cochin   

Completion Date: May 2014  

Client wanted to establish a state-of-the-art design cum production house at Cheranelloor, Cochin to support and supply women’s apparels to running stores within a 5 Km radius. The facility should also house a Chief designer’s cabin for consultation and design activity. The brand has its tagline as ‘Indian by choice’ and is a reputed name among women apparel brands. The client was particular about the design vocabulary to suit the image of the brand and to have a natural setting amidst the sleepy rural settings. Using the optimum resources, the design was expected to make room for future expansion, to inspire and encourage creative pursuits, to have ample day light and ventilation, to house and be a backdrop of additional activities than its primary use such as regular photo shoots for newer product campaigns and other promotional activities. Most importantly the design was expected to project the right image for the brand to take it through its future journeys.
Activities involved: Design and production house, Chief designer’s consultation cabin, Interactive spaces, Storage, Accounts, photo shoots for promotional activities and other ancillary activities.
The design was successful in achieving the result intended and the production is in full swing at the place. The design vocabulary has colonial scale and detailing and the planning was straightforward incorporating conflicting circulation paths of staff, designers, visitors, loading unloading trucks etc. Safety and security was also of major concern. Climatically suitable methods are implemented including high plinth, sloping roof collecting the rain water for reuse, provision for solar panels, verandah as a buffer, linear space allowing cross ventilation, large openings to bring in ample day light etc. A complex process flow was also achieved by segregating the Ground floor for design house and First floor for production house. Plants are selected for a natural environment and preference given to indigenous species.
Quote from Client’s Website: 
‘In its twelfth year, Mantra has spread its wings and moved out of that living room into a state-of-the art factory that looks more like a farm house. Nestling amidst coconut palms and meandering canals, the Mantra house stands tall in Cheranalloor, a hitherto sleepy village in Cochin. As the neighbourhood wakes up to the resonant music of temple bells and the spicy fragrance that wafts in from a nearby pepper grove, a group of people buzz into action here. This colonial-style building that houses big dreams is home to Shalini and her team.’ Client hesitates to call it a factory and aptly named it as ‘Mantra House’.