On Taking Time

Anupama Kundoo in conversation with Jane Withers

April, 2021

'Taking Time', the title of the solo exhibition by Anupama Kundoo at Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art until May 16, has turned out to be uncannily prescient. In the last year our sense of time has changed fundamentally and many of us are questioning how we ‘use’ this finite resource. The subject has preoccupied Anupama from the outset of her career and led her to question aspects of architecture and construction and propose alternative systems that put ‘taking time’ rather than ‘saving’ time at the centre of discourse. I talked to Anupama about how this preoccupation took shape and how it translates into her buildings.

The Dining Room and the Library are the heart of the building, creating space for collaboration around large tables and foregrounding the ‘soft work’ component that will be so important in post-pandemic office design.

Bringing the landscape into the office spaces ensures a valuable connection to nature, daylight and seasonal change within the building.

Our approach was to unlock the potential of the building, the spirit of the company and the people, in a way that reflects Kvadrat’s familial ethos and enhances the working experience for the staff. We wanted visitors to be welcomed to Kvadrat’s home with the smell of coffee and the wood smoke from the fireplace laid out with cosy rugs and sofas and with spectacular views reaching out to the coastal landscape. The design team have moved from cellular offices to an open plan studio with plenty of daylight and views to the landscape. Small see-through meeting rooms create a visual link to the warehouse and the rolls and rolls of finished product. In the end, I think the new office has created an environment that energises the company.

Curtains are used throughout as temporary dividers, to soften large open spaces and for acoustic properties. Kvadrat’s xxx in the reception meeting room.

Photograph by Anshika Varma

Anupama designed the showroom for Samskara, sculpting granite to create a dynamic display system and articulate craftsmanship. The variation of surface and shadow play created by the shelves is very deliberately designed for its tactile quality.

Photograph by Vimal Bhojraj

Samskara was constructed using white granite slabs, crafted by members of a highly skilled Tamil Nadu stonecutter community. The traditional hand-levelling techniques reveal texture that enhances the natural material in a way not possible with mechanical methods.