The Act of Quad converts Mumbai shed into studio with see-through facade

The Act of Quad founders Priyanka Itadkar and Falguni Bhatia have built their own interior design studio, The Light Box, by transforming a 58-year-old former library in Mumbai, India.

Itadkar and Bhatia have reimagined the shed, which was originally built as a micro-library in 1965 but had been abandoned for over 30 years.

The Act of Quad studio in MumbaiThe Act of Quad studio in Mumbai
The building was originally built as a micro-library

The humble structure was dismantled and partially rebuilt, creating a small studio with an all-white exterior and a see-through facade.

The Light Box, as it is now known, gives The Act of Quad its first dedicated studio since Itadkar and Bhatia founded the office in 2019.

The Act of Quad studio in MumbaiThe Act of Quad studio in Mumbai
The Act of Quad has transformed the building into a studio

The pair describe it as “our space for creative incubation, a space that responds to and reflects the nature of the work we do and a space to dream”.

“The studio space becomes a sensorial oasis in a saturated, digitised environment,” they said.

Perforated metal screen wall with courtyard behindPerforated metal screen wall with courtyard behind
Perforated metal gives the building a see-through facade

The Act of Quad founders came across the property while working on another renovation project nearby.

The owner asked whether they could convert it into a commercial storage unit. But when the duo discovered the building’s back story, they suggested that they take it on themselves.

“We were so awestruck by the history,” they said.

Perforated metal screen wallPerforated metal screen wall
A courtyard is positioned behind the screen walls

The renovation involved stripping the building back to its bare structure and replacing some of the original wall sections.

The roof was then reinstalled in a higher position, to increase ceiling height, and extended outwards to cover the entire building footprint.

Inside The Act of Quad's studio space, with white furniture and a blue floorInside The Act of Quad's studio space, with white furniture and a blue floor
The building is primarily white, apart from a blue vinyl floor

The original layout was maintained, including the position of the doorways.

The only real change was the addition of a WC.

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The Light Box gives The Act of Quad a studio space that can double as a meeting room, plus a semi-private courtyard that serves as a break-out space.

It is this second space that features see-through walls, thanks to a perforated metal screen.

The Act of Quad founders Priyanka Itadkar and Falguni Bhatia in their studioThe Act of Quad founders Priyanka Itadkar and Falguni Bhatia in their studio
The windows are an assortment of squares and rectangles

Itadkar and Bhatia chose to paint the entire building white, both inside and out, and filled it with white furniture. The only splash of colour comes from the blue vinyl floor.

“The stark white scheme was intended as a blank canvas, to visualise materials and projects,” said the pair.

“The light, instead of being drawn in great waves, is artfully framed and focused, and the striking contrast of the blue floor becomes the most colourful element one could imagine.”

Gallery wall with objects and artworks, with cupboards in the backgroundGallery wall with objects and artworks, with cupboards in the background
Objects and artworks are displayed across a gallery wall

One of the studio walls has been turned into a display space. An assortment of objects and artworks are either wall-hung or displayed on the shelves and window sills.

Other playful details include asymmetric cupboards and an assortment of square and rectangular windows, which feature in addition to a skylight.

The Act of Quad studio with Priyanka Itadkar and Falguni Bhatia reflected in a mirrorThe Act of Quad studio with Priyanka Itadkar and Falguni Bhatia reflected in a mirror
A skylight brings plenty of daylight in

“The direct light is an inherent part of the studio, functioning as an additional element that varies from being fragile, changing, mobile, unstable, dominating or vanishing with a desire to connect with the natural environment,” added Itadkar and Bhatia.

The design is completed with a landscape scheme featuring white pebbles and plants in terracotta pots.

Other projects by The Act of Quad include an apartment with cobalt blue accents and a multi-generational home filled with spherical shapes.

The photography is by Ishita Sitwala/The Fishy Project.

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