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Satara Municipal Corporation, Competition Entry by KENARCH Architects, Pune

Text and Images ©KENARCH Architects

Satara Municipal Corporation - Kenarch Architects
Satara Municipal Corporation – View

The aim for this project is to develop an architectural expression that harmonizes its surroundings with the built form over time, not only in terms of an architectural language, but also with respect to the spatial quality.

Inspired from the Courtyard typology of the traditional building “The Wada’s” from Satara, the building is devised as a courtyard type, introverted plan.

A language of solidity and transparency is juxtaposed to capture the soul and purpose of this building, delicately balancing strength and fragility. Inspired from the nature of the modern day corporate offices, the idea is to create TRANSPARENCY in spaces which shall in turn create transparency in the way of working; this openness in the spaces can improve the overall efficiency in working.

The visitors are welcomed by a strong fortified wall in Black basalt Khandki (local stone) stone masonry, which resembles its connection to its roots of the traditional Wada’s. This Stone wall also signifies strength and protects the fragile transparent image of the building.
The project sits square and firm on ground yet subtly opening up through the lower floors. A strong visual link / axis connect the Indian National flag at the North and terminate at the Shahid War Heroes Smarak in the South. The entrance plaza results in effective visual connection and physical continuation of space into the courtyard.

The building houses two parking floors (basement and stilt floors) , three floors for public offices (first , second and third floors) and two V.I.P floors (fourth and fifth floors). As one moves inside, the space transcends into the central atrium / courtyard. The spaces gradually start unfolding its true nature and its relations with the different office departments.

The idea is to create a public space that flows at many levels. Corridors / connecting bridges overlook the central courtyard at all levels. This serves the dual purpose of transforming mundane movement spaces into active stop places for interaction and in creating a continuous connected network of gathering places not only in the horizontal plane but also vertically.

The courtyards act as lungs and maximize the use of natural daylight and enhance natural ventilation passively cooling the building. Natural light pours in throughout the day and thus reduce the need for artificial lighting. The Skylight above the courtyard are well ventilated with evacuator fans which extract the trapped hot air. The orientation and placement of the smaller courtyards respond to the solar angle such that generous mixes of shaded and sunny spaces are produced to be equally comfortable in summer and in winter.
To cut down heat absorption substantially from the east and the west, cavity walls made up of Aerocon block masonry from inside and exposed brickwork from outside are proposed, and vertical creeper jaalis on the openings have been proposed to bring in cool filtered air inside the building.

A robust yet simple structural system is used to dilute the complexity of the purpose of the building and also make the construction economical.

The materiality reinforces the duality in time – aspirations of a developing nation with roots ingrained deep in a rich cultural past. The building boldly displays a mix of local stone, exposed bricks and concrete which is maintenance free. The materials are carefully selected considering the climatic needs of the region while retaining the progressive design intent and their ability to age gracefully.

Satara is known for soldiers who laid down their lives to fight for our country. As a tribute to the great history of soldiers from Satara, a War memorial is proposed and strategically located so that it can be viewed from all the public spaces and connecting corridors. Inspired from the “Char Bhinti Smarak” in Satara, the Shahid War heroes Memorial points upwards towards the heavenly sky, signifying their ultimate sacrifice.

The cafeteria and the fitness Centre are located at the rear side and can be accessed by the rear side road. This location ensures that these activities can remain open even during govt. holidays, while the main administrative building is closed.

The roof of the main building can have around 300 no’s: of photo voltaic panels and can generate electricity catering up to 20% of the electrical needs for the whole building.

The approach is to address the core needs of any public building i.e. user friendly spaces, maintenance free material palette and climate responsive architecture by making maximum use of natural light and ventilation and create an HUMBLE yet PROMINANT Icon for Satara City.

Drawings and Details

Climate Response:-

  • Cavity walls comprising of Aerocon block masonry from inside and exposed brick work masonry from outside reduce the thermal ingress of the inclined sun angle from the East and the West.
  • Vertical creeper jaalis filter the hot air and brings in diffused light as well as cool air from the Western openings. The smaller size of openings ensures Venturi effect and cools the air.
  • The flowering creepers on the building façade are selected as per the availability of the sun, these creepers serve dual purpose of shading the building as well as signifying its relation with the flowering Kaas Pathar, which also forms the important identity of Satara region.
  • Bigger openings on the Northern façade bring diffuse light into the office areas throughout the day. Staggered massing of the North façade, shades the summer sun during Uttarayan.
  • Courtyards act as lungs and maximize the use of daylight and enhance natural ventilation passively cooling the building.
  • Store areas, like the purchase dept. and the record rooms are located at the south side. These areas act as thermal buffer spaces and reduce the ingress of heat from the southern sun.
  • Smaller openings and accessible vertical creeper jaali ensures good protection of the southern façade reducing heat gain.
  • Abundance of diffused light and effective cross ventilation ensures lesser dependency on the artificial energy usage, thus reducing the carbon footprint of the building in the longer run.
  • 300 no:s of solar panels on the roof top protects the roof surface from direct heating and also produces electricity upto 100 KW with min. 420 Units/Day power generation which is equivalent to around 17-20% of total power consumption by the building.

Project Facts

ARCHITECTS :- KENARCH ARCHITECTS, PUNE
PRINCIPAL ARCHITECTS : Ravi Arun Kanhere & Arun Kanhere
Team Architects:- Nivedita Bhave & Geeta Bamboli , Rohit Gujarathi
Climate Analysis :- V.K e:- Ar. Anagha Paranjpe Purohit & Ar. Kanchan Sidhaye
Structural Engineer :- Er. Vilas Purandare
Solar photo Voltaic energy Analysis :- Er. Unmesh Deshpande

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