This office building for one of South India’s most powerful business houses, is located on a small site – extremely narrow and deep – in the heart of Madras. The building envelope specified by the municipal code is extremely restrictive, both in terms of side open spaces, as well as overall height.

After providing for these mandatory requirements, the resulting built form envelope was a very long free-standing rectangular box, with a very narrow face seen edge on from the main road. In order to increase the apparent width of this street façade and give it more “presence”, the face of the building has been pivoted back at a 45° angle – so that its width increases, and its proportions become more square. At the same time, the orthogonal shape of the site is maintained by creating a plane that runs parallel to the main road. The resulting form is a play between these. two gestures the white skin creating a kind of virtual reality of the sital plane, and the blue façade swinging back and drawing one’s eye into the site.