The lower two floors contain administrative offices and the top floor terrace apartments for university guests. Because of the east-west orientation of the site, climate protection is a major factor. These external walls are designed as a combination of storage walls and different kinds of closable shutters: the wooden ones open directly to the outside and the glazed ones on an axis at right angles to them. This allows light and ventilation through the open glazed panels even while the wooden ones are dosed to keep out the sun.
The Ahmedabad Rifle Association needed a building to house their offices and showroom. Since their requirements were small and their initial funds limited. they wanted a plan which would provide direct access to independent rentable offices, and which could be added to later on.
Thus, the building consists of two separate blocks each 12m x 12m. The floor slabs are diagrids, supported by 4 columns placed at the middle of each external wall, augmented by diagonal brace to the corners. This created an internal office space free of obstruction. The central slot between the two blocks is used for circulation and toilets
The Client wanted a workspace which, through its very form, generates a controlled micro-climate, obviating the necessity for air-condition. The brief specified a programme that was incremental – hence the modular units, which are indented into a cruciform so as to bring more daylight to the workspaces. To minimize hear input, the units are sealed along the east on the west (which enjoys a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape) shade is provided by the large roof overhang – consisting partly of a slatted pergola and partly thin membrane of water which reflects the incident hear of sunlight back into the sky.
This office complex for the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is situated on the outer road of Connaught Circle, and acts as a pivot between the colonnades of Connaught Place and the new generation of high-rise towers that now surround it. Thus, the building is both proscenium and backdrop: a twelve-storey stage-set whose faceted glass surfaces reflect the buildings and trees around Connaught Place, and beyond which the new high-rise imagery of Delhi can be glimpsed.
The two lower levels of the complex consist of shopping decks and restaurants, while the upper levels of offices are located in two separate wings, generating a total built-up area of 63,000 square metres. Connecting the two wings, is a great pergola, 98 metres long, supported at either end by masonry piers and in the middle by a single column. A city proposal for an elevated pedestrian walkways (if ever constructed) will pass between the two blocks, allowing pedestrians to traverse the building as a great darwaza, i.e. gateway, defined by the portico-form.
The site, just down the road, from the UN Headquarters in New York, consists of two Manhattan city-blocks connecting adjacent streets, forming a narrow strip of land 60 metres long, with a frontage of 12 metres along 43rd St. and a mere 6.3 metres along 44th St. Into this crevice had to be inlaid a complex programme of offices for the Permanent Mission of India and an Exhibition Gallery (with direct access from 44th St.) located in the four levels of the podium, surmounted by a tower with residential accommodation for five different categories of staff, ranging from the security personnel (15.5 sq. metres each) to the Dy. Consul General (200 sq. metres in a triplex apartment with terrace gardens, at the top of the building). This wide range of apartment sizes were all accommodated in the same envelope (a tower 14 metres wide and 15.5 metres deep), wrapped in a taut metal panelled skin. The larger apartments at the top are interlocking duplexes somewhat like the Kanchanjunga Apartments in Bombay (1960-83), but with the double height areas glass-enclosed (so as to remain useable in the North American winters).
Madras is a low-rise city, with a quiet and relaxed life style. These new headquarters for MRF, the leading tyre manufacturer in India, gently follows the curve of the road to create a series of terraced gardens, recalling the waves on the seashore of the Marina along the waterfront in Madras
Rejecting the notion of a high-rise tower to convey the commercial pre-eminence of the client, this design generates monumentality though a single free-standing column rising to support the large pergola that floats above the terraces, protecting them from the sun. Within the building, the various levels of the offices open out onto a central atrium, linked through a casual pattern of connecting stairs, creating a focus for the building and a wonderfully casual way to walk from one department to another, or and to exit and go home at the end of the working day. At the roof terrace level, one emerges on to a large garden, with the trees and buildings of Madras all around.
Mauritius is an Island of Paradise in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Africa. It has an evenly-distributed poly centric pattern of human settlements, not unlike Goa. The capital is Port Louis, and this office complex is situated at the intersection of two important streets in the crowded centre of the city. While the boundaries of the site are defined by the pergola above and its large supporting column, the building itself steps back in terraces, opening up precious space at this very busy street intersection – a gesture which creates an urban lanai, filled with the exotic flora of Mauritius.
Apart from the main entrance to the office floors, the programme called for two other important entrances, each one has its own identity. The first is for the office of the Consul General of India – to be entered from a doorway directly off the main driveway, with the Ashoka Column (symbol of the Government of India) directly above. The second is for the Life Insurance Corporation of India – which is on the first floor and reached via the bridge which stretches out to the pavement in front.
This large complex of public sector offices in Bhopal, was designed for the Madhya Pradesh State Corporation. Developed from some of the architectural concepts initiated in the ECIL offices in Hyderabad, this complex is for a similar hot-dry climate.
It is designed to accommodate twelve independent State Government Corporation in four separate buildings which architecturally form a single mass, focussing round a courtyard, with a fountain at its centre. This courtyard is covered by a pergola at roof level, which not only protects the internal facades from the sun, but also ties the complex together visually.
Much of the lighting of the office spaces is from windows overlooking this central space; the external surfaces are either blank masonry, or double-walls with deep-set windows. The six-storey high blocks each have their own vertical circulation. At various points on the upper levels, they are interconnected by bridges. The driveway swings into the complex, passing under the overhead bridges – a classic pattern found in historic sectors of Bhopal city.
This office building is part of a new development by Reichmann International in the heart of Mexico City, on a site which was largely destroyed in the earthquake of 1985. Within the context of a Master Plan developed by the noted Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta, the design of the buildings has been entrusted to several international architects (Caesar Pelli, Aldo Rossi. Fumihiko Maki, etc).
This project is a low-rise building. located along the front of the site, facing the historic Alameda Park. It has the proportions of a cube – the lower two floors of the building contain shops which plug into the shopping arcade along the rear of the site. The upper floors are for offices, with the top three having Executive Suites opening on to terraces with marvellous views of the city through the large “urban windows at the top of the building.
From Alameda Park, these openings, floating just above the level of the trees, will frame the multi-faceted mural, painted in the great Mexican tradition of public art, so vividly exemplified in the work of Deigo Riveira and Orazco. The external walls are clad in black volcanic rock used in many of Mexico City’s oldest buildings with the mullions of the square windows in a glossy reddish-brown metallic finish.
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.
The campus is on a large site located at the InfoTech Park in Pune. Instead of creating the usual large floor plates that provide the anonymous workspaces in most such dot-com facilities, the Tata Tech Centre is based on the concept of ‘rent houses’ in the US- i.e. workspaces that are leased out as small computerized offices. Ten such centers are placed around three courtyards. Each technical center is a self-sufficient house with accommodation on 3 levels, including a small triple-height sky-lit courtyard (around which are located the studios), an open terrace at midlevel, a conference room, a pantry and toilets-so that each of them becomes a self-sufficient and independent ‘house’.
The houses, which are accessed from the arcades that surround the three large courtyards, have state-of-art security devices and access controls. They can be combined to form larger units, as the need arises-thus providing management with the flexibility needed to respond to different client requirements.
This new office building in Delhi will house the headquarters of NOIDA, the governmental authority in charge of developing the area just across the Jamuna River from Delhi.
To deal with the harsh hot-dry climate of Delhi’s summer months, the glass surfaces are all set well within the built form, so as to protect them from the direct sun. Instead, they will bring in the bounce light after it has been filtered through the various pockets of gardens and pergola covered terraces that are placed along the external surfaces of the volume – with the result that the built form resembles a block of cheese, from which pieces gouged out with a sharp knife.
Pedestrians and cars arrive in the main plaza, overlooked by the surrounding terraces and gardens on the levels above. From here rises the ramp which takes visitors’ up into the heart of the building, where special locations have been assigned to those NOIDA departments that require independent access for the public.