The Breathing Office, at Manjeri, Kerala, by Tropical Architecture Bureau

The Breathing Office, at Manjeri, Kerala, by Tropical Architecture Bureau

at Manjeri, Kerala

“When a place is lifeless or unreal, there is almost always a mastermind behind it. It is so filled with the will of its maker, that there is no room for its own nature.”

– Christopher Alexander

The Breathing Office in Manjeri is a story subtly nestled in the process of being given illustrious shape to its space by the architects from Tropical Architecture Bureau.

This story is set deep in a tropic centre of the world – Kerala. A place that immediately transports you to lazy days by long sandy beaches, the sounds of crashing waves, the tranquil backwaters, palms trees gaily waving their arms up in the humid breeze – a cove of solace. But in a city called Manjeri, in Malappuarm, these attractions have taken a back seat to give way to concrete buildings, noisy roads, monotonous transport, and tired individuals who tug themselves and their lunchboxes to work in rows and rows of dull coloured buildings with tiny windows and no promising views – classic Taylorism.

Offices, today, are rooted in the interaction of the employees – communication, coordination, conversation, etc. and the users must be consciously aware of their spatial context while engaging in these functions.

 To that end, the architects at TAB trusted in the power of unconventional and varied use of local materials and skilled labour. Work like this is physical proof that somebody has taken joy in beautifying a space for another and there is something so wholesome about the “human touch

The technical details lie within simple, achievable and more importantly, economical limits such that it serves as a prototype which maximises human energy and efficiency in the workplace

The architectural elements together harmonise in warm tones of the exposed finish of metal, cement and wood without becoming monotonous or visually strenuous by occasionally breaking it up with vibrant spots of bright colours, large-leafed plants, glass partitions and graphic signages. The generous placement of greenery creates the oneness with nature which is absent in the centre of the city and is a necessary requirement when advocating for sustainability. The use of glass has been used to admit ample daylight and create an apparent sense of large spatial scale and volumes. Since the crowd of employees are young, it keeps with modern themes unlike the conventional cooped up workstations in olden style offices.

There is a certain sense of transparency and personal connection between the users and the spaces, induced by the use of exposed raw materials. Brick and concrete are the two major materials and not having covered it up with cladding or plaster, portrays the building in its skeletal form and breathing with the users inside – as if it is still in the process of, itself, being a building.

The variation in textures, brought about by the diversity in materials, creates for a truly enriching spatial experience using all the sensory organs. One can see a range of colours in a unified palette but also run a hand on the cool hard concrete, the ridged bricks, the granular mortar in-between, the smooth leathery leaves, the ribbed wooden surfaces, satiny metals, and soft upholstery. The architects have, thus, painstakingly incorporated elements in the material spectrum, creating a unique and varied experience each time.

Project Facts – 

Project Name: The Breathing Office

Architecture Firm: Tropical Architecture Bureau

Firm Location: Manjeri, Kerala

Completion Year: 2019

Gross Built Area: 4000sqft

Project location: Manjeri, Kerala

Lead Architects: Ar.Uvais.k

Design Team: Uvais k,Anas,Ajmal,Subin,Rabeeh,Faiza,Aseeb,Amal

Clients: greenspark infra consultants pvt. ltd.

Engineering: greenspark pvt. ltd

Landscape: Tropical Architecture Bureau

The Wooden Harmony, by ACad Studio, Gurugram

Acad Studio

The Wooden Harmony, by ACad Studio, Gurugram 6Type- Office Space

Location – Golf Course Road

Area – 3000 sq ft

Design and Built

Challenges-

The challenge was to create an office in the basement, which will cater to 4 different companies but should look like one big company’s office. The challenge was to segregate the space without making visual partitions.

Our Idea

The site is present in the basement, so the focus was to create a space which doesn’t feel like a basement, that is the office should be well lit with sufficient air circulation. The idea was to create a co-working environment without creating partition walls. The entire theme of the office was based on the fusion of natural materials, sunlight and greenery to give a lively feel to the office which is present in the basement.

The focus was on the employees, who have to work at least 8 hrs. in the office. Providing a cheerful environment in a stressed workplace was a major concern while designing.

What We Did

We designed the space providing 3 access to the building from the ground floor. We opened up front and rear of the basement and covered it with glass to maximize the amount of light entering the basement. The partitions we selected were made up of wooden frames and fixed glass to provide transparency in the office. The spatial design was to divide the office into 3 zones. The first zone containing a common reception area, conference room and toilets. The second zone had 2 offices which had 3 executive cabins and a workplace of around 10 -12 people. The third zone had another 2 offices which had their own foyer, 2 executive offices and staff area of around 12-15 people. The zones were carefully designed to give access from all the sides to all the 4 offices.

The wall dividing 2 office zones was designed with a combination of wood and grass abstract, which started from the staff area and continued to the executive’s room to give a feeling of oneness and eliminate the hierarchy that may occur due to division of cabin spaces. The abstract was designed carefully by balancing the pinewood and grass. The abstract was placed on the wall where fused sunlight through glass would enhance the texture of pinewood and grass. The partition between the staff offices was created using louvres to mentally separate the place and visually giving a look of one big office. Another interesting element of the design is the ceiling. We had designed the ceilings with exposed pipes and ducts. The PVC pipes connecting the light were painted black to provide extra attention to the ceiling. The colour scheme chosen for the entire office was black, grey, brown and beige. Different tones of grey were used on structural elements like ceiling, columns and beams. The partition frames were made of wood with black polish to create bold lines between the spaces. Brown colour laminates were used on the table with grey colour tabletop laminates to blend in the entire theme. The low height beige coloured chairs and sofa were selected deliberately to stand out in the entire cabin.

The interiors of the walls were designed to suit the profession with graffities, models, frames and stickers with motivational quotes to enhance the spaces.


ACad Studio, Gurugram

The Wooden Harmony, by ACad Studio, Gurugram 23

Founded in 2019, ACad Studio is an architectural firm which provides the best solutions in all formats. The Studio comprises young, passionate and self-motivated architects, interior designers, contractors, site/project managers and developers.

Our expertise lies in architecture and we have worked with multiple clients across a wide range of sectors. We are forerunners in adopting new technology in a sector where people are afraid of this change. Professional commitment, based on trust and quality work together with an inherent focus on Spatial Planning, Design, Sustainability and Project Management helps us achieve long-lasting and fruitful relationships with our clients.

Aayush Chaudhary, Co-Founder, Principal Architect,  ACad Studio

A graduate in Architecture from Sushant School of Art and Architecture and a Masters in Construction Management from the City University of London, Aayush has a rich career as an Architect for 7 years. He has handled prestigious architectural projects in London for various clients and is now practising in India with an aim to introduce global best practices in architecture in his country. His extensive list of clients includes OYO Hotels, Carrier Midea India, etc.

The House of Sweeping Shadows, Bansberia, West Bengal – Abin Design Studio

House of Sweeping Shadows by Abin Design Studio

House of Sweeping Shadows by Abin Design StudioThis project comprised a design intervention for a part of the client’s existing property. While in one half of the land stood the client’s residence, the other half was primarily bare save for a half-built 2-storey structure to one side and a central pond that the client had walled up. Although they wished to retain the existing structure, we were encouraged to update this extension to a leisure zone with a contemporary look.

House of Sweeping Shadows by Abin Design Studio
Animation / Development of Form

The brick-lined pond was converted to a swimming pool while the structure houses a gym, changing rooms and guest entertainment lounges overlooking the pool and lawns. The landscape incorporates a barbeque station, a sunken sit-out and a small aviary amidst the hard and soft scaped open areas.

Given the unremarkable nature of the existing building, we were prompted to encase the mass with a modern facade to create a bolder form. A self-supporting metal structure was devised with minimal anchoring on the building within. This in turn enabled the incorporation of a verandah on the upper level.

House of Sweeping Shadows by Abin Design Studio
Development Stages

Designed as a curved, louvered surface, the crafted metal facade casts mesmerising shadows in the interior spaces. There is a soft play of light and shade as the sun moves across the horizon through the day. Rectilinear punctuations along the curve, crafted as this lamina surfaces using sheet metal, strategically open out the spaces to the idyllic views outside.

The interiors are treated in simple lines with whitewashed walls and contemporary furniture over a daring red floor. the open louvers allow for the verandah to stay well ventilated while keeping the sharp south-western sunlight at bay by breaking it up into thin tendrils of light. The sunken sit-out is contrastingly rendered in pigmented concrete complemented with views of the pool, verdant plant-beds and the aviary.

The combination of masses of varied scales, bold metal facade with soft verdant landscape, and the dark hues complementing the open skies over the reflective water body make for a serene, modern extension to the client’s residence.

Drawings and Sketches

Model Photographs

Details:

Project Facts:

Project: Sweeping Shadows
Location: Bansberia, West Bengal
Site Area: 9,535 sft
Built-up Area: 1,960 sft
Completion: October, 2018
Architectural Intervention, Interior and Landscape Design: Abin Design Studio
Team: Abin Chaudhuri, Samya Ghatak, Debkishor Das, Debjit Samanta
Photographs by: Abin Chaudhuri, Ravi Kanade, Samya Ghatak

COAL India Limited, Kolkata, by Raj Rewal Associates

Coal-India-Limited-Raj-Rewal-Associates

Photographs and Text by: Raj Rewal Associates

Coal India ltd. is one of the world’s largest organizations in terms of coal production. Its offices are located in different parts of Kolkata and a new site on the adjoining Rajarhat area offers potential of a unified organization within one complex. The total area of the Coal India ltd. land is about 15 acres. It is a corner site surrounded by roads on three sides. Part of the site abuts a major arterial road leading to the Airport. The lease deed divides the land between office zone and housing area.

COAL India Limited, Kolkata, by Raj Rewal Associates 104
View of the complex in the newly built zone of Rajarhat, Kolkata

The design by Raj Rewal Associates for the Coal India office complex is derived from a number of diverse ideas. Above all, its architectural expression reflects progressive values based on sustainable growth, energy saving devices and incorporation of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity.

‘Form follows sun’ to harvest the energy is an appropriate symbol for an organization dealing with coal extraction.

Coal-India-Limited-Raj-Rewal-Associates

The complex has a logical and economical structural system based on distinct requirements. The system for offices is based on a structural module of a structural module of 9 meters c/c on concrete columns. As these columns are placed on the periphery, there is complete freedom for designing the interiors. The office space within each module is supported by external sheer walls.

In an age threatened by global warming and carbon emission, the utilization of photovoltaic panels in a sun-drenched country is a necessity and the design is based on embracing the sun.

Serious research has been done by scientists to develop solar cells that are flexible enough to be rolled around or transparent enough to be used as tints. In the Coal India complex conventional P.V cells would be fitted on the inclined roof element facing south at 22 degrees to generate maximum electricity at the cheapest possible cost. The surface on the roof is based on the requirements of P.V cells to absorb maximum energy as well as the office requirements. The stepped section of the office permits green terraces, which are shaded by photovoltaic panels.

The office complex is located prominently facing the major arterial road. However the entry and exit to the office is through a side road to avoid conflict with the fast moving traffic.

The office spaces are based on a structural grid that allows for flexible partitioning systems. The structural system of a typical floor is a coffered slab of R.C.C. This allows for column free large spans that can be pre- fabricated.

The office wings are designed in such a manner that they enclose two curvilinear courtyards which diffuse natural light for all the inner surfaces of the office complex reducing temperature and creating microclimate. These courtyards allow natural light to percolate to all levels of the offices. In this way the offices have natural light, both from the perimeter of the building as well as the inner core. This helps in reduction of energy consumption during the day.

Coal-India-Limited-Raj-Rewal-Associates

Indian culture places a high value regarding the concept of living in harmony with nature. Traditional Indian architecture has always echoed these concerns.

The design for the Coal India complex is based on similar ideals of energy efficiency and its form also explores the potential of solar energy for generating electricity.

Renovation for Prajay Chit Fund Office, at Hyderabad, by Design Experiment

Prajay Chit Fund at Hyderabad, by Design Experiment

Text and Images: Design Experiment

For Prajay Chit Fund office at Hyderabad, Architects use design to develop trust in an industry fraught with scandals.

Prajay Chits Hyderabad, designed by Design Experiment

Intention and identity were the two challenges presented to design experiment When asked to renovate an old building for a chit funds office. The intention of the company was clear, to instill confidence in the chit funds offices’ potential customers. The chit funds industry has been fraught with scandals, from own- ers shutting shop abruptly, to refusing to pay up to its customers, so the architects came up with a novel way to propagate trust amongst its patrons. A simple design intervention in terms of installing a large continuous scrolling LED strip, broadcasting how much the company paid out to its customers that week. The designers felt that, by increasing such evident transparency, it would be possible to earn the trust of its patrons.

One of the other undercurrent of this project was that The entire office needed to be designed and built in 45 days, so the designers chose to go with a design language that would try to stand out without disrespecting its surroundings, and that a brick façade would be detailed specifically to be rapidly constructed. The second task of creating an identity not only through its space but also through its graphic language and branding was handled by DE.

DE used this opportunity to create a unique blend of stability + forward thinking by combining the offices’ façade with its modern branding. The interiors of the building combine environmental graphics of simple minimal quality with clean and crisp visual communication to emphasize on the company’s forward thinking and transparent brand values.

Zarko, office for ceramic tile manufacturing company at Morbi, Gujarat, by Bridge Studio

Bridge Studio - Zarko Office, Main image
Zarko, office for ceramic tile manufacturing company at Morbi, Gujarat, by Bridge Studio 184

Text and Images: Bridge Studio

The project ‘Zarko’ situated in Morbi city in the Gujarat state, India. which has dry and stepe climate with not much rainfall. So, the aim was to design a climate responsive building.

‘Zarko’ is an office of a ceramic tiles production company. The adjoining site of building is production area of ceramic tiles. The building is composed of three stories . All administrative functions are located in ground floor of the building while other stories having display gallery of finished products.

All the facades of the building is crafted with natural Dholpuri stone and has been designed in such way that it enclose the internal spaces from dusty atmosphere. So, the building have no windows in majorority of facades. To solve the problem of air ventilation a full heighted cylindricle volume has been provided which not only circulate the air but also reduce heat because of water features provision at the top of it. This cylindrical volume is also gives pleasent sound of water flowing while entering the building. This idea was highly inspired from ‘Deeg palace of Rajasthan’.

While designing the flooring, the idea was to give China mosaic flooring but to save man power and time we have designed flooring tiles which gives resembles of China mosaic flooring. In internal spaces only earhen colours are used.

In ground floor, a zig zag shaped wall partition breaks the long continues central passage and to divides private and semi private spaces. It also stands as an art element of building.

Drawings

Skyline Office, at Ahemdabad, by FLXBL Design

Skyline Office, at Ahemdabad, by FLXBL Design 240

Skyline Office, at Ahemdabad, by FLXBL Design 242The corporate office of a city-based construction company, Skyline Office Building by FLXBL Design is a modest 4000 sq. ft. of space that was given a conspicuous corporate shape and form quite unconventional for an industrial area in Ahmedabad.

The striking red origami form in steel seems to levitate over a garden area on slender steel girders that give the building an industrial aesthetic. The faceted planes are carried forward in the landscaped areas tying them with the floating mass above that draws ones attention when seen from the highway

The organic form is carried through into the interior spaces giving it a dynamism that extends outwards to the horizon through the panoramic glass walls on three sides.

To maintain the corporate persona of the space, the building is engulfed by glass walls running from roof to bottom on the three sides allowing ample natural light inside and a view of the outside to all the work-meeting-and casual areas of the office.

The large glass walls offer sweeping views of the highway and surroundings giving one the sense of watching a silent movie from within an avant-garde sculpture.

Skyoffice Under Construction

Drawings:

Project Credits

Architecture FLXBL Design Consultancy
Location Ahmedabad . India
Project Lead Cunal Parmar
Project Team Shail Patel, Itesh Gajjar
Area/Size 4000 S.F.
Project Year 2016
Photographs Harsh Pandya
Renderings N/A
Drawings FLXBL Design Consultancy

Dilip Buildcon Center, at Bhopal Madhya Pradesh, by Kushwah and Kushwah Architects

Dilip Buildcon Center, Bhopal, Kushwah and Kushwah Architects

Dilip Buildcon Center, Bhopal, Kushwah and Kushwah ArchitectsThe building program required spaces for about 300 people, meeting halls, and other supporting spaces. Architects were mandated to create a stimulating workplace that facilitates a culture of innovation, collaboration and efficiency. Since the footprint and shape was governed by existing by-laws, the challenge was to come up with a design vocabulary that breaks the box like nature of most corporate buildings. In order to make the building efficient in terms of energy usage, space planning and flexibility of use, the building envelope was punctured at selected places to create double height lobby, meeting rooms and accommodating dedicated shafts for electrical, fire, plumbing, data, and other utilities.

Kushwah and Kushwah Architects
Ground Floor Plan

Since the height of building was restricted by existing bye-laws, post tensioned slabs were used in the structure to maximize the usable height. The building form draws its inspiration from undulating terrain of Bhopal city in general and the site in particular.

The façade is a rich tapestry of double glass unit mixed with interlocking zinc strips, perforated zinc Jaalis and aluminium trims interwoven in a fluid composition. Driven by DBL’s modern ethos of efficiency and quality, the building has an understated finesse that makes it a noteworthy icon for the organization.

The fluid architecture of the building is quite unique. The program which is spanned over 4 storeys contains diverse spaces like various Conference and meeting rooms, open workstations, board rooms, Directors Suite, pantry etc. Interestingly, the architect has designed the roof as the most informal space of the office, where one can eat, relax and enjoy the view of the city. The DBL Office is a balance of formal and informal spaces flowing into each other and creating a functional and user friendly work environment.

While designing the interiors, the idea was that the story of a space is just as essential as the design and the objects that go into it. It all plays into the comprehensive experience, which has been portrayed in the design.

The minimalistic interiors of the project are done in subtle and earthy tone. Components like flooring, lighting, ceiling etc are adding to the unique ambiance of the space.

The indoor air quality of the building is enhanced by the central HVAC system, perforated fenestration facilitating daylight and efficient services.

More images:

Drawings:

Esquire Office at Delhi by Studio Bipolar

Esquire Office at Delhi by Studio Bipolar
Esquire Office at Delhi by Studio Bipolar

Esquire being an American men’s magazine, published in the United States, is one which screams sophistication, yet it accomplishes this in a quirky and whimsical tone.

This thought was to be carried out in the design of their own branded nightclub in the heart of new delhi. For the sole purpose of supervision over the nightclub and its administration, Esquire needed a workspace to be developed for them in Defence Colony Market, New Delhi. This work hub was being developed for the “creative owners of a nightclub” and the design had to reflect this very aspect as well.

The Location being home to a number of restaurants, cafes and high-end shops turned out to be a prime location for their office. The ideology to be adopted by Studio Bipolar was to design a space with the intention of catering to the functional needs of the office, have a sophisticated ambience; yet achieve it in a quirky way.

The concept to be followed was of ‘Sophisticated madness. We embraced the idea of primary colors being used in the interiors so as to enact dynamism in the mind-set of the users yet depicting simplicity and minimalism.

Another parameter to be kept in mind was the fact that Esquire emerged in the Art Deco Era when traditionalism gradually converted into modernism. Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, furniture, jewellery, fashion, cars, and everyday objects and had arches and asymmetrical shapes as prime elements. The office had to be a reflection of all these parameters in a single connected space.

Moreover, here, a large space had to be divided into individual sections which would have a porous nature for the purpose of connectivity and linkage amongst the holders and at the same time, having a provision of privacy to those sections. This led to an idea of punctured partitions. These partitions were composed of slim metal plates bending to form simple geometric shapes which would house tinted glass pieces.

Another eye catching feature, was the black and white striped wallpaper which was visually impactful and served to elongate the space. Again, this feature lent a kinetic touch to these partitions providing a backdrop to let them stand out.

Esquire Office at Delhi by Studio BipolarThis hub got furnished with some distinctively impactful elements, namely, the yellow carpet, the conference table and the working counter. The concept of the yellow carpet was to direct the circulation as well as provide a ‘red carpet’ of sorts for clients once they made their way to the boardroom.

Furthermore, the boardroom was to have a conference table that echoed the space around it, Thus the ultimate outcome was a yellow tinted glass table ,made completely frameless which reflected the patterns formed around and lent a warm hue on the floor and walls.

Following this, Studio Bipolar came up with a functional aspect of the working space which was a high table resembling the look of a bar counter. The supporting wall is highlighted by framing iconic Esquire covers reinforcing the brand image throughout the space along with the Art Deco inspiration.

Drawings

Project Facts
Project name: Esquire Office
Architect’s Firm: Studio Bipolar
Project location: New Delhi, India
Completion Year: 2017
Gross Built Area (square meters or square foot): 1200 sqft
Lead Architects:  Ujjwal Sagar, Sanjana Mathur


Other participants
Client : Somprabh Singh
Interior contractors : Bhavanna & Sons
Lighting Fixtures : DBEL , White Lighting Solutions
Site supervision :  Studio Bipolar
Photo credits: Suryan//Dang

VMA Office at Bengaluru by Interface Architects

VMA Office at Bengaluru by Interface Architects
VMA Office at Bengaluru by Interface Architects

Site :

Trapezoidal in shape measuring 1260 Sq.ft. with existing buildings around & having only 20 feet frontage road facing. Site is oriented diagonally to North. So the building faces the direct west sun. ( climatic aspect )

VMA Office at Bengaluru by Interface Architects

The brief of the project was to come up with an office space design in a compact site of 1260 Sft. The client loaded us with requirements which were much more than expected & design to be more creative.

The main design challenge was to deal with the direct West sun on the building . Had to be designed climatic friendly. Yet the road view with greens not to be compromised with having only 20 feet. frontage road facing. Other aspect was the requirements to be fit in a compact site.

The whole design is worked in a contemporary design thought with reference of context & climate.

Requirements by client as below :

  1. Conference rooms – 2nos
  2. Advocate personal cabins – 2 nos
  3. Work spaces – as per hierarchy ( 12 -15prsns)
  4. Store
  5. Filing rooms
  6. A small studio room with pantry & dining space
  7. Parking
  8. Lift
  9. A small landscape terrace.
  10. Library

With above requirements the entire design had to be worked in a smarter & creative way.

Design .

The Office is designed with a thought of split levels spaces complementing better physical and visual connection between the work spaces . The public spaces are positioned facing the road & the private spaces are positioned towards the rear side so to visually connect the private space & the road across the public zone.

To achieve the above criteria , the public & private spaces are positioned in split levels by lifting up the parking area roof by + 8’6” from the road level to have a low roof which functionally works. The ground floor houses parking , lift & one conference room . One enters the office by a metal stairs at + 8’6” – LEVEL 01 which has a reception , waiting lounge with an open library with a view of the road. The filing room, part work spaces & Advocate Cabin no 1 happens at another +2’6” lvl from waiting lounge. This split spaces connects visually between the cabins & the waiting lounge.

In the next level, – LEVEL 02 another part of work spaces sits above the waiting lounge / library ( ie. +8’0” from cabin level.) – REFER CROSS SECTION. & the Advocate cabin no. 2 & conference no. 2 are above cabin 01 & filing room .

LEVEL 03 is split into 2 spaces. The first half is the landscaped terrace & the second part houses a small studio room with a pantry , store & a dining space.

The Facade:

VMA Office at Bengaluru by Interface Architects

All the levels are reachable by a lift & a metal staircase at the center core . ( EW orientation )

The façade is worked out keeping climatic aspects in mind . ie the harsh west sun. The entire floor height of 10 ft of both level 01 & 02 is opened out towards the road view with a sliding window , but with intermediate planters boxes ( screen wall ) . These planters act as a buffer between inside / outside avoiding or cutting the direct west sun light entering the Waiting lounge & the work spaces in respective floors. It also compliments the view from inner work spaces thus making an soothing environment inside. Yet the road with greens view is achieved.

VMA Office at Bengaluru by Interface Architects

These planters compliment to the façade towards making it a green facade . The entire built form is worked out with minimal colors & materials . Built form concept is , the rear side of Level 01 form continues & ends up to a double level façade ( lvl 01& 02) on the front side with angled wall form.

The brick cladding is done meticulously in order to emphasize the angular planer surfaces & to complete the over built form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skylights :

The inner spaces are lit by couple of skylights bringing in natural light. The southwest corner of the building which houses Advocate cabins 01 & 02 at level 01 & 02 respectively witnesses part of natural light from the ceilings. This is achieved by angled room walls at both the levels. (Refer image below)

The ground level conference room also has a skylight brining in North light.

VMA Office at Bengaluru by Interface Architects

Photos

Drawings

Project Facts
Project Name: VMA Office
Location: Bengaluru
Name of firm: Interface Architects
Category: Offices
Project Status: Completed
Principle Architects: Vijay V. Raikar , Ghanasham C. Shaldar , Premanand Shetty
Client: Vishwanath & Manasa Advocates.
Site Area : 1260 Sft ( Trapezoidal shape )
Total Built up Area – 3500 Sft
Project Details: Office building for an Advocate couple.
Work scope : architecture + Interiors

HPCC + CCCR at Pune by Madhav Joshi and Associates

HPCC+CCCR at Pune by Madhav Joshi and Associates
HPCC+CCCR at Pune by Madhav Joshi and Associates

The high performance computer center (HPCC) and center for climate change research (CCCR) buildings located in Pashan Pune, were con­ceived to pioneer research on climate change and allied studies. The facility promotes the urgent need to build a critical mass of trained researchers to address the science related issues of climate change that are of particular relevance to India. The facility provides a network of research groups with state of the art scientific capabilities to generate a large ensemble of future climate change scenarios using super computers with large number crunch­ing capabilities.

The two buildings have very diverse requirements. HPCC building houses a super computer as well as accommodate research offices, data archival, a conference room and training facility.

HPCC+CCCR at Pune by Madhav Joshi and Associates

CCCR building comprises chiefly of research offices for scientists, research scholars, visiting scientists and faculty, a library, a seminar hall, laboratory and administrative offices.

However, the ground floor and first floor of the administrative wing are Being converted to accommodate new HPCC.

To embody the significance of the organization it was important that built en­vironment responds to the challenges posed by climate change and deplet­ing energy and material resources. The need of the hour was to come up with a typology for a workplace that is a low carbon development with mini­mal impact on the surroundings.

PUNE: LOCATION AND CLIMATE

Pune, located in Maharashtra, stands on the leeward side of the western Ghats at an altitude of 560 m. The place experiences moderate climate with three distinct seasons- summer (march-may), w1nter ( nov-feb) and the monsoons (june – oct) with most rainfall between the months of June and July

The most significant aspect of the climate of Pune is the large diurnal varia­tions in temperature for a majority of the year.

DESIGN APPROACH

HPCC+CCCR at Pune by Madhav Joshi and Associates
Concept Diagrams

The project capitalizes on the seasonality of the location. Key concepts were the implementation of strategies for demand reduction and adaptive comfort of the occupants. Adherence to solar passive design principles of daylight design and natural ventilation coupled along with low energy systems were the main design drivers. Modification of microclimate would be achieved by minimal hard surface of paved areas, use of appropriate vegeta­tion and the introduction of water bodies on site as part of the landscape. A connecting bridge and an open-air plaza that seamlessly merges the indoor And outdoor spaces would unify the two buildings. The HPCC primarily dealt with solar passive design strategies whereas the CCCR building went a step further to work in conjunction with low energy systems to offset cooling de­mands.

A very robust design was thus conceived, that is minimalist and low on main­tenance. It did away with all applique decoration as a choice and kept a very controlled palette of materials to work with.

SITE AND CLIMATE RESPONSIVE DESIGN: SOLAR PASSIVE ARCHITECTURE

ORIENTATION

The two buildings, HPCC+CCCR are laid out on a 6mx6m modular grid With a connecting bridge and an open air plaza (climate plaza) in between. The maximum width of the floor plate limited to 18m, helped in orienting the long facades of the buildings in the north- south direction and reduce heat gain in the building.

HPCC+CCCR at Pune by Madhav Joshi and Associates
Exploded View

BUILDING ENVELOPE AND FENESTRATION

The layered envelope on the north and south facades- a combination of Single glazed sliding windows with aluminum louvers and deep RCC over frame enveloping the facade- designed to keep out the harsh summer sun binding the entire assembly of parts into a single entity.

A set of 5-7 louvers are combined to form a unit are placed in front of the cabins; manually adjustable to control the wind flow and temper the entry of sunlight. The louvers add an element of dynamism due to the various de­grees of their rotation made by the users inside and creates a unique facade composition every time.

On the east and the west sides this envelope takes a form of a double-layered cavity wall with scant openings.

DESIGN AND SYSTEM INTEGRATION: NATURAL COOLING SYSTEM (NCS)

The natural cooling system ( ncs) is a modified low energy system that taps into the potential benefits of the large diurnal variation in temperature of Pune. Indoor thermal comfort is delivered with a two- tier cooling system. Cool air supplied via ducts is augmented with radiant cooling from the slabs.

NIGHT TIME OPERATION

Nighttime ambient air temperature being low the cooling tower operates to Pass cooled water through the PEX pipes embedded in the concrete slabs. The concrete mass gets cooled due to the temperature being lower than am­bient air temperature.  This way the building structure itself is being used as energy storage.

DAYTIME OPERATION

Fresh air for “natural conditioning” drawn during the daytime through the wind tower is channeled through earth tunnels to be precooled in an earth pipe heat exchanger, at 4m below surface. This precooled air further cooled in an AHU inside the building is directed to the office spaces through horizontal ducts in the office areas. The air flowing through the ducts is directed at the radiant slabs that are already precooled throws naturally conditioned air to the workspaces, flows into the central atrium and gets exhausted at the top of the atrium.

The system ensures “operative temperature” indoors be maintained below 25°c during summers and during monsoons the temperature can drift up to 27°c due to higher humidity.

The ” natural conditioning” system uses ambient air and its properties for cooling water. The systems are monitored to ensure that at no point the water temperature, radiant slab and cooled air temperature will be below the dew point temperature to prevent condensation.

The system is also highly energy efficient at the energy consumption of the natural cooling system is 20 watts/sq.m.

MATERIALS AND RESOURCES

The institutional precinct located against the hills of the Western Ghats, is the source of gray basalt stone. The aggregate and the crushed sand as well as the grit in the plaster are made from the indigenous basalt stone. A carefully selected palette of materials was adhered to with the sourcing of materials that are indigenous to the area. The palette is predominantly in various hues of gray and contrasts with the deep black shadows cast by the elements.

The exterior material being site cast concrete with its “birthmarks” intact and with aggregate plasters contrasts with the clear float glass and aluminum louvers adding to the institutional character of the precinct. The ex­ternal wall composition is of 230mm fly ash blocks with 30mm external stone Crete plaster and l 5mm gypsum plaster inside. The tough outer crust protects a softer core of interior spaces, done in a pure white bathed in soft indirect natural light throughout the day. Accents of deep brown laminate and beige flooring add to the warmth of the working environment.

CONCLUSION

The driving intent behind the project lay emphasis on the need to design for the site and climate contextualized approach. The design, systems and occu­pant comfort strategies result in a morphology that talks of form and sys­tem integration to redefine the typology of a sustainable workspace.

Drawings:

 

Institute of Rural Research And Development at Gurgaon by Ashok B Lall

Institute of Rural Research And Development at Gurgaon by Ashok B Lall
Institute of Rural Research And Development at Gurgaon by Ashok B Lall
Architect Mr. Ashok Lall, who specializes in sustainable design of buildings, says that this project has many “firsts “that are path breaking.

The building and its outdoor environment are designed as active lessons in sustainable construction which will be self-evident to any visitor or user of the building.

The appearance and aesthetic quality of the building is derived from the principles of sustainable design – the use of natural materials, little glass and interesting shading devices, integration of sheltered courtyard spaces makes for its unique aesthetic and a comforting and graceful feel, wherever you may be in and around the building.

In fact a special feature of the building is deriving beauty from waste. The entrance lobby and boardroom and the central atrium use waste plywood wooden crating planks, broken tiles and glass demonstrate how waste can be converted into a beautiful resource.

The 35kw solar photovoltaic installation on the roof of the building proves an important point. For the first time we see that it is possible for institutional buildings to meet 100 percent of their basic electricity needs- computers, lighting, fans, and mechanical ventilation, directly from solar energy. This is a significant contribution to the State electricity supply system, and if this installation were to be integrated with state electricity supply grid it can give up to 35kw electricity supply to the grid on non-working days too.

This is the first office building in which the earth that came out from the basement excavation has been used as compressed stabilized earth block in the masonry of the building, and in making its landscape garden slopes.

Another special feature of the building is the plants and trees that have been planted, selected by Mr. Fred Durr a bio-diversity conservationist, many of the trees planted are indigenous species that need protection and propagation.

This is the first office building in gurgoan that is designed to minimize the ecological foot print and carbon dioxide emissions due to the type of material used. For instance wood is used instead of aluminum for doors and windows and the use of burnt brick is minimized. No imported stones are used. This gives about 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the kind of buildings that are generally prevalent today.

The building uses a combination of passive and active strategies to reduce consumption and then provide for the reduced demand with renewable and energy efficient systems. This principle has been applied to building design and construction wherever possible.

Reducing Demand;

Energy

Lighting; internal courts are introduced in the built mass to let daylight into the interiors during working hours – saving energy in lighting.
Windows are designed to minimize glare and let in light for effective use.
Thermal Control; the building is insulated from the external environment helping reduce the cooling demands in the peak of summer.
The windows are shaded from the outside, the shading devices are designed to allow daylight into the space and views out of the building, but do not allow solar heat gain through the glazed area.
The PV installation on the roof also acts like a shade for the roof itself (which is also insulated) reducing heat gain from the southern sun.
The use of internal courtyard is another way of introducing diffused daylight into the building, avoiding unwanted glare and heat gain from incident sunlight.
The roof is also finished with a high albedo/ reflectance material further reducing heat gain.
An important point not to be missed is the effect of Landscape on the external thermal conditions. The site uses high reflectance paving material wherever it is not supporting vegetation- this itself reduces the formation of heat island effect in the vicinity of the building and goes toward reduced cooling loads.
Finally the Air-Conditioning system is chosen for its low energy use compared to other systems on the market.

All of these measures reduce the amount of electricity/ oil that would normally be used to provide for lighting and thermal comfort within the building.

Water

The sanitary fittings used in the building are water saving.
All water that is used is recycled and the treated water is used for flushing, irrigation of the landscaped area on site hence reducing water demand from government supply or from the ground source.

Meeting Reduced Demand

 Energy;

Renewable Energy is generated onsite by Solar PV panels installed on the roof. At present the building generates enough power to give back to the grid on non working days.

Water;

The building and its surrounding area are effective rain water harvesters; recharging the ground water table and storing water for use in the air conditioning system chosen for the building.

 
Drawings:
Projest Facts:
Category: Office Building
Cost: 170000000  INR
Area: 5112 SQ.M
Client / Owner: Institute of Rural Research And Development
Project status: Completed
Materials Used: Natural Stone
Climate: Moderate

Service Pundit + Motor Mandi, at Jaipur, by Studio Infinite

Servicce Pundit + Motor Mandi - Shivang Agarwal - Studio Infinite
Servicce Pundit + Motor Mandi - Shivang Agarwal - Studio InfiniteConceptual Development – Transparent & Functional Spaces

BUILT ENVELOPE :

The conceptual idea of the built form arises right from the site itself, the shape of the site is an irregular quadrilateral, where none of the two adjacent sides are perpendicular to each other. Therefore, all four sides have a slight inclination in their linearity, but the front side is far more inclined at an angle of 25 degrees, in coherence with the main raod.

Servicce Pundit + Motor Mandi - Shivang Agarwal - Studio Infinite
The Site

Servicce Pundit + Motor Mandi - Shivang Agarwal - Studio Infinite
Plan

Therefore, considering the existing inclination in the front side, the slope in the elevation is restricted to just one direction. The elevation converges and visually fades following the plot line, and similarly respecting the form of the site, the point that is pulled out goes up to the highest point of the pitched roof, and as the point gets pushed backwards the slope in the roof gets to a lower point.

BAY WINDOW :

The entrance is slightly recessed inside while the two functional masses of the building are extruded, thus creating an inviting niche for the visitor. Since the space between Waiting Lounge – Reception – Manager’s Cabin was scarce, a Bay Window was incorporated as a creative solution for seating in the waiting area.

‘This window is inspired from the traditional window form in Rajasthani Havelis that were in turn used for light and ventilation, usually extruded outwards from the exterior vertical plane and bordered with arches and lattice work in form of jaali’s that also act as a railing to safeguard the occupant.’

Herin, to blend in with the contemporary style of the building the traditional bay window is transformed to adhere to the building design language with projections pulled out in metal frame and sheet structure, and the three vertical faces of the window are finished in clear glass to have clear visibility of the spaces inside. Thus, the boundary between the exterior and the interiror is blurred, playing on the dichotonmy of inside-out.

Thereafter, the two functionally separate built masses on either sides of the central block, are also provided with wide L-corner openings with box like projections where the frame is reversed to create seating on the exterior for multiple purposes- like seating, walking- thus, forming an interactive recreational space and a utilitarian public space. Again, the corner windows are finished in glass to achieve transparency resulting in Transparent & Functional Spaces.

The projection additionaly becomes an element of the façade, rendering both color and volume, with contrast to grey and rough stones in the background. The striking red makes the building look more vibrant and interesting , appealing to both the visitors and the passersby.

MATERIAL PALETTE :

One of the major contraints in this project was time and re-use, therefore, it is a pre-fabricated structure in Mild Steel, which can be transported from one place to another, and the partition walls are done with laminated MDF boards, of standard sizes, such that they can be conveniently reused.

Service Pundit + Motor Mandi, at Jaipur, by Studio Infinite 300

Time and Economy both are inter-linked, hence we planned to create the entire front façade with Stone Gabbion Wall as a replacement to the metal corrugated sheets which usually take up the exterior façade of a pre-engineered building. So the idea came with a few challenges, like :

– Load Distribution of Stones

– Water Clogging at the Base Point of Stone Gabbion Wall

– Buckling of Metal Wiremesh due to the weight of the Stones

– Thermal Gain Inside the Building

With constant research and on site efforts, all of these were profoundly solved, (refer to gabion wall sections for details). Finally, to sae up on cost and as a solution a few of the issues listed above aggregates were used instead of other options like sandstone, riverbed stones, rocks etc.

SITE ANALYSIS :

Service Pundit + Motor Mandi, at Jaipur, by Studio Infinite 302

The site is located very much in the heart of the city, Mansarovar area. In a radius of 5km, there are restaurants, schools and colleges with a huge number of local residents, catering to their requirement of having a Two – Wheeler Service Outlet wherein multiple brand vehicles can be serviced and repaired. Project being located on a 100’ road, gains more visibilty and attention, therefore, along with extended services that they would offer to their customers even the building should reflect their identity, as unique and outstanding in the segment,which does justice to the choice of the location that was made by the client.

SPACE PLANNING :

The client’s brief was to have transparency in between the areas of work, such that it’s convenient for the user to monitor and also the customer gains faith and interest if he can see the work that is happening on his/her vehicle, therefore, the three primary zones, Bay Area + Wash Area, Waiting Area + Reception – Manager’s Cabin are interconnected visually using glass partitions, which provides clear views over bay area for both the manager and the customer waiting in the waiting lounge, even the reception is visually well connected in the same manner, to both Service Pundit, which is the bike servicing segment of the building and Motor Mandi which will be a used bike showroom.

Service Pundit + Motor Mandi, at Jaipur, by Studio Infinite 304

Thus, develops the centralized location for Reception, Waiting Lounge and Manager’s Cabin in the front central portion of the site, placing Motor Mandi on right and Service Pundit on left in the layout plan.

LAYERS OF ELEVATION :

Servicce Pundit + Motor Mandi - Shivang Agarwal - Studio Infinite

The project here revolves mostly around the front wall, which holds about 21 tonnes of stone weight distributed over multiple structural members with huge L-corner openings to let the transparency flow into the design is configured in four layers to achieve not just strength but also an aesthetical value of it’s own, which makes it utilaritarian space for the occupant.

THE RED STRIKETHROUGH :

Servicce Pundit + Motor Mandi - Shivang Agarwal - Studio Infinite

Servicce Pundit + Motor Mandi - Shivang Agarwal - Studio Infinite

The projection over the openings were purposely painted in Red, to mark a striking effect to the commoner passing by, to lay over or pause for a moment and realise the existence of the volume inserted in the usual envelope of buildings around.

THE GABBION WALL DETAIL :

Servicce Pundit + Motor Mandi - Shivang Agarwal - Studio Infinite

The project here revolves mostly around the front wall, which holds about 21 tonnes of stone weight distributed over multiple structural members with huge L-corner openings to let the transparency flow into the design is configured in four layers to achieve not just strength but also an aesthetical value of it’s own, which makes it utilaritarian space for the occupant

Project Facts:

Project – Service Pundit + Motor Mandi
Location – Jaipur, Rajasthan
Architect – Ar.Shivang Agarwal
Team – Ar.Kannan Ram, Saddam Hussain, Muger Ahmed, Sudenduroop Rai & Dipen Singh Shekhawat
Site Area – 3100 sq. ft.
Built-Up Area – 2700 sq. ft.
Project Category – Commerical
Initiation of Project – February 2017
Completion of Project – May 2017
Photographs – Shivang Agarwal

Corporate Head Office for Asmara Apparels, Gurgaon, by ABRD Architects

Asmara Gurgaon - ABRD Architects

Asmara Apparels is a global fashion company based in Gurgaon. Characterized by a team of creative, young and passionate people, they have grown into an Indian Multinational operating out of eight countries. The Corporate office at Gurgaon is their first self-owned and self-built office. The promoters sought to showcase the ethos of the company without being ostentatious and pompous.

The project site of 1000 Sq. m. is located in the industrial sector of Gurgaon. The neighborhood is characterized either by utilitarian Industrial Sheds or the newly constructed glass and alucobond edifices. Baring a few notable examples, nothing of much architectural value exists around the site.

Asmara Gurgaon - ABRD Architects
Section

The new office building was conceived with the objective to insert a creative and ingenious building in this banal urban milieu. The project was conceived with the objective to create the perception of a vast expanse of space within a constrained and small site. The double height lounges provided on all floors along the staircase, allows the Asmara Team to connect visually and physically. The resultant continuous space thus fosters dialogue, interaction and constant unanticipated meetings amongst the Asmara family.

Asmara Gurgaon - ABRD ArchitectsViewed momentarily while driving on the road, the front façade openings and jalis are skewed to be visible and noticeable in the short span of passing by. The building facades are constructed with Exposed Brick on edge – jaali for openings and rat-trap bond masonry for opaque walls. The jaali and walls are interjected with stone/concrete band to provide a break in the brick facades and also act as a tie band for the delicate brick on edge jaalis. The jaalis are corresponding with the double height space and allow for diffused light but cut off visibility from the neighboring plots.

Extending the theme further the interiors are imagined as complementary and enhancing the architecture of the building. Majority of areas are left open and uninterrupted to maintain continuity of vision and space. Themed as ‘refined industrial’, the services are left exposed and bare, ceilings in exposed RCC. All the partitioned spaces, cabins, meeting rooms are situated in the shorter structural grid along the parti wall, while open offices, lounges, reception are spread in the larger structural grid to provide the feeling of large uninterrupted space. The cafeteria and the recreation lounge are provided on the top floor abutting the terrace garden.

Asmara Gurgaon - ABRD Architects

The work environment is conceived keeping well-being of employee as the most important determinant of design. Possibilities of variety of spaces and variety of postures are available for inhabitants to explore and use. Hierarchy of spaces range from Individual Space, Shared Spaces, Collaborative Space, Retreat Space and Social Space thus giving opportunity to use depending upon an individual’s emotional state and well being.

Design Team:

Architects – ABRD Architects
Structure – Save Techno Engineers
MEP – Save Techno Engineers
Building Contract – Saakar Constructions Ltd.
Interiors – Build Kraft