K-Lagoon residence - Where Tradition Meets Modern
The house is interconnected with multiple water bodies and channels and a hierarchy of traditional Indian spaces through a series of courts
The challenge was to construct the building with minimum impact on the abundant flora and fauna surrounding the site. In fact, the design concept was determined by the deeply forested site itself, and the architects were simply, the catalysts. To further reduce carbon footprint, the architect used four traditional materials in the main construction. Of these, three (stone, wood and clay tile) had been used in the region for centuries, while the fourth (fly-ash for blocks) was produced locally.
Since a thick forest covered the site, 'bald' spots were selected for constructing the building, so there was minimum relocation or cutting of trees. In addition, site levels were maintained to avoid losing top soil and flow of water through gravity.
Construction has been carried out using fly-ash cavity walls, wood and Mangalore tiles. The flooring is of natural (local) stones. Based on their experience of working in the region, the team used 'cavity' block walls and stones for the load bearing elements, and for the super-structure they used wood and Mangalore (clay) tiles. This was achieved by introducing a composite structural technology using thin steel plates sandwiched with wood planks. This opened up a fascinating window of achieving larger spans (yet using slender sections of wood) and also afforded them the ability to pick up the roof loads through numerous iterations and articulations. Considerable usage of wood was also thus reduced.
The 'scattered' components of the house were connected through an integrated network of water bodies and channels which were overlaid on the generated matrix. The process of layering ensured at every step that there was, at best, minimal intrusion on the forested site, and was achieved without disturbing Nature's equilibrium. The end result was a large house with interconnected multiple water bodies and channels and a hierarchy of traditional Indian spaces, from the formal to the private, through a series of courts.
The concept of the hamam has been derived from the stepped wells and Turkish baths. Circular openings in the slab allow natural daylight to enter the hamam and reflect in the pool. The sickaklik or hararet in a Turkish bath was traditionally provided with small glass windows in the domed ceiling to create subdued light. A straight flight of steps inspired by the steeped wells in Gujarat; leads one to the subterranean hamam. As a result, the hamam echoes two distinct architectural features. Over the slab of the hamam, a reflecting water body mirrors the pool below, and also providing thermal insulation.
There are two ring wells constructed on the site: one near the main entrance and a multi ring well near the kitchen. Storm water drains along the length of the compound wall (internally and externally proposed), roof drain from every building unit and surface drain charge the multi ring wells. In addition, 20 short bores allow water to seep into the ground and charge the ring wells.
A sweet water column on the site is 6 - 6.5 metres below the ground level. Sweet and salty water have different densities: sweet water is lighter and hence will float over salty water. By doing water harvesting, the ground water table in the surrounding area is increased with sweet water. 'Solution to pollution is dilution' is the concept executed for water harvesting.
Water collected in both the wells is pumped to the main water tank for treatment and used for watering the plants and lawns and for domestic use. The total yield of water is estimated up to 34,500 liters per day. An elaborate water harvesting scheme has been executed on the site.
|Site Area:||2.15 acre (+0.15 acre)|
|Project Area:||22,380 sq.ft.|
|Architect:||Malik Architecture, Mumbai|
|Design Team:||Kamal Malik, Amit Modi, Sunil Gavane, Rucha Pimprikar, Ketan Chaudhary|
|Status:||Completed in 2013|
|Civil Contractor:||Unique Construction Technologies|
|Plumbing Consultant:||Suhas Gangan|
|Rain Water Harvesting:||Mungekar and Associates|
|Landscape Consultant:||Design Consultans, Taera Chowna|
|Structure and Civil:||Unique Construction Technologies|
|Glazing:||Unique Construction Technologies|
|Cladding:||Vijaynath Interior & Exteriors Pvt.Ltd|
|HVAC:||Cool Air Systems|
|Pools and Water Bodies:||Silver Pools|
|Photo Credits:||Bharath Ramamrutham|
The concept of the hamam has been derived from the stepped wells and Turkish baths
To make the project more eco-friendly and reduce depletion of natural resources, only locally grown plants have been used in the landscaping to ensure minimum consumption of water. Plenty of natural daylighting, ventilation and use of low emission LED lamps for lighting contribute towards reduced energy load. The water bodies offer both leisure and cooling, while. deeply shaded verandas and semi-outdoor spaces throughout the house balance the indoor and outdoor spaces to create harmony.
Deeply shaded verandas and semi-outdoor spaces throughout the house balance the indoor and outdoor spaces
The new façade of Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza, designed and conceptualized by Jun Aoki & Associates
Ginza was the entrance to Tokyo, adjacent to Shimbashi, from which the very first railway station of Japan stretched to the port. The "modern" atmosphere of the forefront Ginza derived from art deco patterns in relation to edo-komon, the pattern of traditional Tokyo and the highly abstract and stylized geometric pattern in repetition.
Based on Louis Vuitton's damier, which also is a repeated geometric pattern, the façade of Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza becomes the first softer version of damier, imbued with delicacy and richness that is found in organism. From edo-komon to art deco to the soft damier, this is a journey to the history of Ginza.
|Location:||Ginza, Tokyo, Japan|
|Architectural façade design:||Jun Aoki & Associates|
|Contractors:||Taisei Corporation Permasteelisa Japan K.K|
|Renovated wall area:||1475m2 (projected elevation)|
|Number of stories:||LV façade 1-8F, LV interior 1-3F|
|Exterior wall (2-8F):||Aluminum Panel, Pearl paint Casting / Spinning / Cutting-sheet Assembling, LED lights 1F: Limestone, Honed finish / Sandblast finish|
|Entrance:||Marble, Polished-curve finish / Honed-finish Super Clear Glass t12+12|
|Windows Metal frame:||Stainless steel, Cross HL, Bronze color coating Super Clear Glass t12+12mm|
Gentle bulges and dents elaborate the façade of opal beige reliefs. With these patterns, the façade reveals various appearances in sunlight, and during the night, the LED lights behind the reliefs lit the façade to render another expression reminiscent of Louis Vuitton's monogram.
Palacio de Hierro located in Queretaro, Mexico designed by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos
The classical department store is defined by a strict physiognomy: a box with four façades. This constraint was the principal challenge to be overcome in the project. Dematerializing was the guiding concept used to create diffuse limits based on the horizontality of the solid and void elements to achieve an effect of floating layers.
The façade is comprised of these horizontal elements designed in a range of dimensions and sections, giving rise to a clean and fluid movement that culminates in the framing of the principal entrance to the store at one of its corners. This entrance is reinforced by a large welcoming vestibule that serves as a transitional element with a majestic double height that permits the permeability of the façade. From the interior of the ground and first floors—where the gourmet food area is located, the exterior may be observed, thus breaking with the typical blind walls that define most department stores.
Optimization of resources was essential to the modulation of the façade, meaning it was structured in such a way so as to employ a single aluminum panel prototype for all the "layers" even though these have different dimensions, sections, and movements. The "solid layers" range from 1.80 to 3.40 m across the façade and in each of its corners. They comprise aluminum panels anchored to a steel structure. The "void" elements are actually aluminium mirrored panels that reflect the project surroundings, vegetation, and the extraordinary skies of Queretaro. This effect of reflection creates an optical illusion of seeing through the material, making the solid elements appear to float with a magnetic force that prevents them touching each other.
|Facade Area:||9,000 m2|
|Architect:||Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos|
|Structural Engineering and Construction Coordination:||Grupo RIOBOO|
|Lighting Consultant:||Noriega Iluminación|
Palacio de Hierro is part of the Antea Lifestyle Center and is located at the north-end of the complex as one of its principal anchor stores. Antea is a linear development with a volumetry that is closed to the exterior and open to the interior, with a green backbone. The concept of the façade of the Palacio de Hierro in Antea seeks to contrast with the closed volumetry of the rest of the development, standing out with its permeable façade and an effect of openness to the exterior. Both Palacio de Hierro and the Antea shopping mall, are designed by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos.
RLDA incorporates a passive design in a traditional housing as a sustainable model
A recent revision in Delhi's building by-laws, a sociological shift amongst the inhabitants, along with the high cost of real estate, has led to the replacement of the 1950s and 1960s plotted single-story family residence with that of the modern multi-unit, multi-level, single family residence.
Timber screens have been juxtaposed with cleft cut sand stone on the building’s exterior
Timber screens have been juxtaposed with cleft cut sand stone on the building’s exterior
Physical Context and Spatial Organization: Located on the street corner of a residential plotted development, the house is open on three sides. Neighbouring buildings partly shade the west and southern facades of the residence while the north and eastern facades are shaded by an operable timber screen. Localized plantations in the form of trees and plants further shade specific parts of the building.
The building is organized over seven floors. A basement with a home office and theatre serves as a common living space for the two apartments on the ground and first floors and the duplex on the second and third floor. The ground plane provides for car parking while the roof has services along with an outdoor deck.
Structure and Materiality: Built on a reinforced concrete structural frame, the building's external walls are in masonry with a layer of insulation sandwiched between them. The exterior sandstone cladding is of two types: dry fixing with stainless steel clamps and wet wall (mortar) cladding. This increases the thermal mass and in the case of the dry wall cladding simultaneously acts as a cavity wall. Likewise, the roof slab is also insulated.
|Project:||Multi Unit Single Family Residence|
|Built Area:||11,698.09 sq ft|
|Status:||Completed on March 2015|
|Architect Firm:||RLDA, New Delhi|
|Principal Architects:||Rahoul B. Singh, Lakshmi Chand Singh|
|Photographers:||Randhir Singh, Rahoul B. Singh, Asif Khan|
|The building’s facade addresses two urban conditions: a residential street and an institutional front||The frailty of the timber screen along with the shadows it casts on the floor is in sharp contrast to the stoic and robust sandstone|
Project Significance and Impact: The significance and impact of this project lies in the recognition of a sociological shift and return to the traditional joint family residence on what was originally zoned as single family plotted houses. As a result, unlike in the past where the rooms were arranged on the horizontal plane, here they are arranged vertically. The incorporation of a passive design strategy in a reinvented traditional housing type makes this a sustainable model for the future.
Manifestation: Identifiable by the juxtaposition of the delicacy of a timber screen and the cleft cut sand stone on the building's exterior, the project exploits the resilience of traditional building elements that have characterized Delhi's architectural landscape over the centuries.
Spatially organized over seven floors - a basement office, ground level parking, two single level apartments, a duplex unit and staff rooms on the top, the building's facade addresses two urban conditions - a residential street and an institutional front.
The juxtaposition of transparency (of the timber screen) and opacity (of the stone clad walls) on the buildings institutional face as independent planes is "humanized" by way of inhabitation on the buildings residential side facade.
The frailty of the timber screen along with the shadows it casts on the floor is in sharp contrast to the stoic and robust sandstone. Together they create a space of great tactile quality. The operability of the screen creates differing levels of privacy for the inhabitants while simultaneously enabling one to engage with the residential street below. The screen's shadows shade the building's façade and protect it from both rain and sun.
The strong vertical planes of the timber and steel frame screen along with the adjoining cleft cut sand stone exterior face give the building an institutional presence on a street that faces the neighborhood's Sikh and Jain temples and the local recreational club. The building here is inset in the center to allow natural light to reach deeper into it, while windows oriented towards the prevalent wind direction ensure constant cross ventilation.
Contrary to the strong vertical planes of the facade that give it an institutional presence, the horizontal slabs of each of the dwelling units on the adjacent facade recognize the residential nature of its immediate streetscape.
Passive Design Strategies:
- The building's shape and form cast a shadow onto other façades of the same building that would otherwise have been exposed to direct heat gain. The strategy aids in the passive cooling of the building.
- The building form alongwith its operable timber screens on east and north-west, allow for large amounts of modulated natural light to enter the building while also enabling cross ventilation.
- The timber screens also act as a second-skin to the building.
- Projecting windows provide privacy while capturing the wind to allow for natural ventilation.
- Secondary service areas (such as bathrooms), opening onto the service lane, insulate primary living spaces (bedrooms) from the hot western sun.
- Localized plantations shade the windows of the habitable areas on the western façade.
- Roof insulation along-with pergolas and building services insulate the top most floor.
- A layer of thermal insulation is sandwiched within the external brick wall reducing the building's heat gain.
- The wet clad stone on the façade adds to its thermal mass; in other parts, the dry clad stone provides an insulating cavity.
- All openings and glazing have insulated glass to reduce heat gain.
- Automated, low-energy LED light fixtures are used with activity zone sensors.
- VRV (Variable Refrigerant Volume) system for air conditioning has been used for low energy consumption.
- The only full glass façade is inset between two building blocks and is north facing for reduced heat gain.
- A waterfall between the ground and basement levels provides a degree of evaporative cooling in the hot summer months.
An imposing and expressive architecture by Ar. Hiten Sethi & Associates - NMMC Head Office, Belapur
The iconic Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation's (NMMC) head office building is not just an office complex, but it also reflects the spirit of Navi Mumbai. The building was conceptualized to house various Administrative and Engineering departments of the Municipal Corporation and the Political Head offices and General Body hall under one roof. The Project is visualized as an imposing and expressive structure whose identity as the office of Municipal Corporation has established itself successfully in a very short span of time.
The challenge in the designing was to incorporate the various departments and in such a way that it would reflect what Navi Mumbai stands, that is progress, transparency, discipline, respect for art and culture, embracing technology, readiness for growth etc, all of which have been depicted very well in this piece of architecture. The design has set two National and one World record – Tallest Indian Flag Mast of height 225 feet, Largest Glass Reinforced Concrete Dome (Width : 37.314 m, Height - 16.409 m), and World's Largest Post Tension Beam Slab (Length -43.21 m ).
|Project:||Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation Head Office|
|Plot area:||27,422 sq.m|
|Construction area:||3,58,000 sq.ft.|
|Architect:||Hiten Sethi & Associates|
|Green consultant:||Godrej Consultants|
|Structural consultant:||Shanghvi and Associates Consultants|
|Civil contractor:||Ashwini Infra Pvt. Ltd|
The building is earthquake-resistant, and boasts of several modern technologies like advanced smoke detection system, CCTV surveillance, etc and has incorporated several energy efficient and eco-friendly features such as has rain water harvesting, biogas plant, and other elements of sustainability. It has been registered with LEED-IGBC for Green Building Certification for GOLD rating. Special consideration has been given to reduce heat island effect, increase efficiency of air-conditioning for the building which has been designed as a zero discharge complex. There is abundant flora and fauna to sustain the environment and grass pavers have been used for water absorption in the ground.
Studio Symbiosis’ designed Punjab Kesari Headquarters epitomises traditional Indian architecture
The facade: A hexagonal pattern was used as a base and through iterative process various porosity patterns were generated from it to create different light conditions. This resulted in a variable opacity condition in the facade that had a dual purpose of creating performative architecture and also created variable openings on the facade in various orientations generating a design for the facade that is animating and has an inherent meaning. This resulting pattern morphs from high opacity on the north facade to low opacity on the south facade, with an intermediate opacity on East and on west facade respectively.
Located at an urban corner in Delhi NCR the project looks at integrating with the surroundings with two bold gestures. A sense of invitation with an urban lobby is created whereby the landscape flows inside the building creating seamless movement trajectories extending into the central atrium space.
The inspiration was to translate a traditional Indian façade pattern by using digital simulations into an iterative processes to create a responsive built form. This traditional “Jali” screen creates culturally a sense of belonging.
Being an office space the building is seen as an interaction zone by creating moments allowing informal interaction. A central atrium connects the various floors creating a diffused boundary condition and a visual porosity between people working on different floors. Since the design looks at no artificial lighting it makes the user feel closer to nature and allow to work in natural lighting.
The office floors are dividable into smaller units to achieve flexible units ranging from 500 to 2000sqm.
The Jali facade is made of Glass Reinforced Concrete panels. In terms of construction tolerances a system has been adopted whereby through cnc milling, a mould will be created for the facade pattern and this mould will be used for casting the facade panels. The curvature of the entrance will be also casted using this process whereby by using digital fabrication of mould a higher accuracy in the design is achieved.
Lighting: Lux level of 500 has been achieved in the building at a workstation height from each floor plate, along with a daylight factor of 2 over 80% of the floor plate; this is done to ensure that artificial lighting is not required inside the building on a normal day. The main objective is to reduce heat gain and optimize façade opening ratio, ensuring no artificial lighting is required on a typical day. An animated façade is designed as an outcome of different façade opening ratio depending on the orientation.
|Location:||Delhi NCR, India|
|Built-up Area:||18,000 sqm|
|Site Area:||5200 sqm|
|Estimated opening:||Jan 2017|
|Architects:||Studio Symbiosis Architects|
|Design:||Britta Knobel Gupta, Amit Gupta|
|Lead Project Architect:||Akshay Kodoori|
|Project Team:||Isha Pundir, Manu Sharma, DentisaKoleva, S. Adarsh|
|Awards:||Winner Best Office Architecture India 2016-17, International Property Awards.|
Sustainability: Sustainability is at the epicentre of the project embedded in form of, optimized natural lighting, cross ventilation and reduction of heat gain. The double jali screen reduces the outside air temperature in front of the glass. The colder air is going in and pulled into the atrium through the chimney effect of the atrium space and resulting in natural ventilation and reducing the indoor air temperature naturally so the cooling load for the air conditioning is reduced.
Window to the World
The core of the glass façade of the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford is the "Window to the World", fabricated by the German glass manufacturer sedak. With an area of around 34 sqm, it offers an unobstructed view from one of the shared areas at Walton Street.
The 'Window to the World' is an oversize glass pane of 10.7m x 3.2m. It gives the students of the Blavatnik School of Government (University of Oxford, England) a remarkable view from one of the shared areas at Walton Street. To encourage interaction and collaboration among the students, the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron was awarded to create a building with an open design. The result is a five-floor complex with an oversize glazing that makes it an open building cubature. The core - a glass pane of 10.7m x 3.2m – is particularly impressive.
The architectural design reflects the open communication concept. It has its architectural culmination point in the Window to the World – a gigantic glass pane realized by sedak. The glass manufacturer produced the double insulating glass unit with an area of 34 square meters and an overall weight of 3.5 tons. The transportation of the oversize glass pane was organized by sedak as well.
Special know-howFor oversize glass units, a special know-how is as indispensable as exceptional capabilities in production and logistics. The Window to the World, fabricated by sedak, consists of one laminate made of two 10 millimeter low-iron glass panes. The glass units are laminated with a 1.52 mm thick PVB interlayer, processed into a double insulating glass and coated against glare and solar heat gains. To facilitate the installation, a stainless steel frame provided by the client had been bonded to the insulating glass unit in sedak's production hall.
|Owner:||University of Oxford|
|Location:||Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford, England|
|Main Contractor:||Waagner-Biro AG|
|Client:||W&W Glass LLC/Vidaris|
|Architect:||Herzog & de Meuron|
|Engineering:||Clad Engineering GmbH|
|Product:||Double insulating glass of 3.2m x 10.7m with a weight of 3.5 tons, and a special coating against glare and solar heat gains|
TransportationExceptional products demand for exceptional logistics. For a safe transportation, all glass panes fabricated by sedak are packed in special wooden crates. The 3 tons heavy Window was packed in a wooden crate with an inclined frame structure and then shipped overland. Thus, the height of the truck was not exceeded and the glass was not damaged on its 1,200 kilometer long way from Gersthofen to Oxford.
The building of the Blavatnik School of Government was designed by the architects at Herzog & de Meuron. The complex in Jericho, Oxford stands out due to its height: With 22m, it exceeds the height usually allowed around Carfax Tower by 3.8m.
Special Installation TechniqueSince the glass pane had to be installed under a building ledge, not only the logistics but also the installation technique presented a challenge. The usage of a common crane was impossible due to the overhanging façade. A special construction was fabricated to lift the glass pane from below into the building envelope. It was connected to the frame of the Window during installation.
Farm House in Shahjahanpur
Architect Harish Tripathi
Interior Designer Jyoti D. Tripathi
The design of this farmhouse takes optimal advantage of the prevailing climatic conditions in order to harness sunshine, ventilation, and the verdant greenery.
The farmhouse, located near Bareilly in District Shahjahanpur, (UP), is designed by Architect Harish Tripathi and Interior designer Jyoti D. Tripathi of Architect Harish Tripathi & Associates (arhta) for celebrated singer Basant Singh and his multi talented wife Ritu Singh. Set on a beautiful land parcel and surrounded by agricultural fields, it draws its design inspiration from the local architecture of the region. With its contemporary design and modern interior fittings, and set amidst a rural landscape, the farmhouse serves as an ideal retreat from the hectic city life. The approach road to the site abuts green fields on both sides, with expansive views of a forest on south eastern end, and overlooks a Gurudwara on the northern side.
Most of the existing landscape on the site has been retained and incorporated in the design, with minimum felling of trees. Thus ensuring the local ecology remains undisturbed. Existing trees on the site act as sun breakers to reduce excess heat gain.
The built mass has been placed in the centre of the plot to harness maximum sunlight and wind throughout the year.
The orientation of the house allows an optimized distribution of light, heat, and ventilation, which prevents overheating of interior spaces. Rooms have been zoned within the building in order to reject sources of internal heat gain. The verandahs covered by sloping thatched- roofs act as a buffer zone between the building and the sun.
The horizontally spread floor plan increases the effectiveness of cross-ventilation across the house, which is further enhanced due to openings throughout the boundary wall, parapet and other places.
Design elements and aesthetics of rural dwellings have been used to create an authentic village-like ambience with modern interior spaces and facilities. The outdoor furniture, pavers, machan, decorative elements, etc, have been designed with careful attention to detail. The choice of building materials, textures and finishes further enhance the look and ambience of the farmhouse.
Sustainable building design principles have been incorporated, which enable the building to maintain a moderate temperature, despite the harsh summer climatic conditions of the region.
Thatch covering of roofs for thermal insulation effectively decreases heat transfer from the roof, as roofs are a large contributor to the interior heat gain.
The informal sitting space on the first floor terrace covered by a canopy provides unrestricted views of the vast green cover, including the forest. A swimming pool located on the south side of the building offers privacy and also has a micro-climatic effect. Functional planning of spaces, window placement and daylight design, selection of suitable glazing for the windows, careful attention to detail in the design elements and aesthetics, selective use of materials for the building envelope and roofing, careful orientation decisions along with appropriate landscape design, have been crucial points while planning the farmhouse layout, design, orientation, and integration of eco-friendly aspects and features that optimize natural resources and thereby sustainability.
The White Habitat Farmhouse, New Delhi
The White Habitat's basic design philosophy was initiated from the client's ideology of massing the built volume around the greens to get constant views of Nature and the pool at any given place and time. A figure of about 15,000-20,000 sq.ft. was taken for the built mass on the 3-acre farm-spread. The client's ideology of open, pure, clean, and straight line spaces, was to keep the Habitat simple and slick. The design philosophy started with the pool as the main reference point of public movement and design pattern of the space. Many permutations and combinations of design options were sketched with the play of greens, pool, walkways, and clubhouse.
The three basic underlying principles for the external building were views of the Greens and Pool; plenty of Natural Light, and constant flow of Fresh Air. The built mass design philosophy of the client was to keep the farmhouse low-rise (Ground +1 max) so that there was a close connect between the enclosed pool space and greens and the family members living inside.
After the planning of the various built volumes, the architects divided the two floors according to the public and private interaction. The ground floor was kept very public with huge lavish dining, living, and kitchen areas looking into the blue and greens, and two huge guest bedrooms, while the first floor was kept very private with the main family occupying the first floor plate with three massive bedrooms and a huge family lounge with a small pantry.
|Built Up Area:||17,000 sq.ft., approx on a 3 acres spread|
|Sanjay Arora||Founder / Principal Architect|
|Sanchit Arora||Studio Head / Architect|
|Vandana Arora||Interior Designer / Decor Head|
|Virender Singh||Studio Technical Head / Architectural Assistant|
|Vibhor Yadav||Renesa’s Photographer|
|Mechanical:||TN Engg & Consultants.|
|Plumbing:||ZSA Engg Services.|
|Site Contractor:||Alliance Construction Co.|
The use of jallis for the façade, along with solid white walls along the classical wrought iron balcony detail, adds a very Indian-esque feature to the building. The jalli details have been used both as slabs for the walkways and as aesthetic treatment to conceal the vertical services of the building. Renesa has carefully placed the voids in the building with the greens growing and merging into the voids and added value to the spatial view inside.
Other than the main activity zone of the farmhouse, recreational activities designe include a clubhouse which was commissioned just outside the main complex for the spa and sauna, and a pool table with badminton court for evening leisure sports.
The servant quarters were designed away from the main complex and concealed with creepers. The rest of the available green space was designed on the lines of a small golf course, with a jogging track running along the course, and linking and merging into the main built complex.
Nowadays, where the materials need to be perfectly balanced with one another, the architects chose to assume a monotony in the color tone where white color tone would interact with the rest of the green and flower tones. The Farmhouse is spread over 3 acres with the built-unbuilt relationship being established by the beautiful landscaping throughout. Precisely the reason why the white color of this project aims to solve and conceptualize the disappearance of architecture through its material consistency.
Maximum Functionality Minimalistic Design
Gitesh Agarwal, CMO at D&M Building Products Pvt. Ltd., an integrated interior solutions provider, shares insights on the changing lighting needs in modern offices
When you look at service-oriented business like in IT, BFSI, R&D etc, the modern day worker has found a new freedom - freedom from geographical barriers, work from anywhere, increased collaboration, work spaces which are 'Agile' and 'Activity based', hot desking, and plug in/out.
Lighting is the most intangible asset that makes everything tangibly visible. It also affects health directly, both at the eye level and in the body, by affecting emotions and chemical reactions. The modern office thus, has to enable and ensure that the lighting too is equally flexible, sufficient, uniform, and available where it is needed. Also, since lighting is a major consumer of energy, modern day lighting has to be intelligent, efficient, and effective.
Light plays a crucial role for the ergonomics of a workplace. Good office lighting supports visual tasks and contributes to well-being. The luminous intensity at workplaces should be at least 500 Lux. Workplace-related office lighting include-classical workplace luminaires (desk luminaires), standard luminaires, ceiling luminaires, luminaires for desk-mounting or suspended luminaires, all of which offer best options for an individual lighting solution at workplaces. These luminaires can be switched on or dimmed to meet personal needs. Furthermore, desk luminaires represent highly flexible office lighting. They can be repositioned easily if the workplace situation changes. Mounted luminaires, wall-mounted luminaires, or tubular luminaires also provide the right lighting in office and administration buildings.
IOT is increasingly finding a happy partnership with lighting, along with sensors that harmonise with daylight and human presence. The shape of things would soon find wireless energy further changing how we absorb light. LED, with advancements, lowering of pricing, and initiatives by both the Government and the Industry, is helping the cause of quick migration. LED is now increasingly omnipresent, altogether due to its efficiency, flexibility, effectiveness, and modularity. It is also easily becoming intelligent. Automation, IOT, Tunable LEDs, Emotional, and Healthy lighting, the progress has been swift and will change for the better. Though, we have to be educated on good and better lighting.
Besides LEDs, all the old lighting lamps still remain. The CFL will not go out so easily. Incandescent and Tungsten Halogen have their own fan following, especially amongst the Lighting designers, who find them the most effective when it comes to enhancing colour play. But I think the writing on the wall is clear: LEDs that mimic these and get better and cheaper will become an automatic choice, since energy is becoming more and more expensive. LED is also greener since it is more energy- efficient.
Waldmann is committed to develop energy saving solutions with its innovative and sustainable luminaires and lighting systems that are of high-quality and people-oriented, and are characterised by easily comprehensible installation and application, modern design and a favourable price-performance ratio. The passion for light continues at Waldmann since its establishment in 1928. Today, its product range includes luminaires and lighting systems for offices, industry, health and care, and systems for medical phototherapy. Its 'made in Germany' products, especially in luminaire groups networked to buildings and users, ensure continuous optimisation of health, safety, productivity, and energy efficiency.
With a focus on Design and Sustainability, Waldmann aims to obtain maximum functionality with minimalistic design. It considers the design of an office luminaire from a holistic point of view and not isolated, and actively includes all parameters regarding modern office concepts, furnishings and furniture systems in the design process. As a result of this interdisciplinary working method and high-quality design objects, it is capable of meeting all current and future requirements of modern office lighting that include discreet appearance, optimum user-friendliness, and compatibility with different ambiences.
"Automation, IOT, Tunable LEDs, Emotional and Healthy lighting… the progress has been swift and will change for the better; though we have to be educated on good and better lighting"
Office environments today, are characterized by flexibility, mobility, and new technologies. This is why lighting has to take into account different zones and areas, and be attuned to work content, job profile, and the personal needs of the user. Latest workspace lighting solutions offered by D&M India, the exclusive partner of Herbert Waldmann GmbH & Co. KG, include PARA.MI and LAVIGO. The PARA.MI task luminaire comes in a range of basic forms and colours that can be combined freely to ensure optimal lighting and bring maximum individuality to the work place. The task luminaire allows individual elements and colours to be combined into one, whichever way one wants it. Options include a round or square luminaire head, adjustable single or double arm, round or square base, and various connection possibilities for furniture, combined with high-quality surfaces in black, white, silver or red. So, personal design features and adjustments for the modern office environment have no boundaries.
The characteristic joints are an especially attractive feature in an otherwise unobtrusive design. These maintenance-free, self-locking joints allow a high degree of adjustability. A bright LED module creates homogeneous, wide-angle task lighting, which is dimmable and glare-free thanks to a specially developed reflector. In addition, with only 8 W of installed consumption and upto 700 lux, PARA.MI is also an outstanding energy-saving measure.
Lavigo is simple, minimalistic in design, and provides maximum functionality for efficient lighting at the workplace. The free-standing LED luminaire is limited to a rectangular form. Designed by architects at Structurelab in Düsseldorf, it combines classic design with innovative technology. It has a flat luminaire head with a horizontal beam, and its clear, reduced design gives the luminaire a homogeneous overall look that is compatible with a number of furniture systems and most suitable for the modern office. It is available in three different performance classes and a range of connection, and model variants, which enables the luminaire to meet different planning and workplace requirements. The Pulse daylight and presence sensor technology can be integrated to ensure optimized energy consumption, while Pulse Talk enables wireless communication between several luminaires as an option, thus preventing islands of light.
The new LAVIGO free-standing luminaire, is a further development of the highly efficient Waldmann LED luminaires, with homogeneous light for office work stations. Combined with the new Pulse VTL lighting management system for biodynamic direction of light, it imitates the natural course of daylight in the office, promoting a feeling of well-being to the office occupants.
Office Lighting Solutions by Design Matrix
It is a common view that office lighting is about achieving uniform illumination throughout the space. However, for all of us who believed that the LG7: 2005 – the standard that lays down guidelines for workplace lighting, begins with dispelling the exact same myth. This article intends to describe the concerns, dispel myths, elaborate on the agendas and cite relevant examples of design approach and our experiences associated with designing for workplace lighting. At Design Matrix, with our experience of more than 250 completed and on-going projects in lighting and visual design and its associated consultancy, we believe that wherever the office, whatever its size, and whoever its occupants, it deserves to have the best lighting for the tasks that its users need to perform.
Workplaces themselves are undergoing huge transformations – the fixed desk that was once the unquestionable, undeniable starting point of any office design, is now slowly but surely losing its significance; there is increasing demand for non-assigned seating, adjustable-height tables for standing meetings and opportunities that afford the office-goer to move around effectively carrying his 'work' wherever he needs to be or feels comfortable. The considerations and challenges while designing the lighting are now much different from when one was used to dealing with fixed scenarios.
Daylight harvesting vs glare control
The incidence of daylight into an interior space not only serves to benefit energy consumption of artificial lighting during daylight hours, but also provides for enhanced wellbeing of the users. Like they say, even the most dedicated office worker looks up from his/her work from time to time and when they do, would it not be great to see at least a distant view out of a window.
The studio for the architectural design firm Hive, at Gurgaon enjoys a unique location advantage. The office frontage affords large glazing extending from one end all the way to the other, with a luxurious glazing width to office depth ratio of 1:4. Overlooking the hustle bustle of the city below, it provides ample reflected North light into the workspace. The artificial lighting therefore is minimal – a singular design element, that remains off for most part of the day. And because it is not required to come on during the day, it is designed such that is a feature even when switched off.
Office of Conscient Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, Gurgaon.
The contrast between office, working spaces and recreational/public interaction spaces is seen clearly not only in the use of type of light fixtures but also in the color and direction of light, and the quality of lighting. Linear, rectangular lights with a CCT (correlated color temperature) of 4000K that extend in an ordered, regimented arrangement in the workspaces break into circular discs of warm white light at the reception and public meeting areas.
Decorative LED lamps by Plumen hovering above the large suspended wood platform-of-a-table form the lighting for the space. But at the same time one needed to effectively tackle glare and control the contrast from the large glazed façade. Without resorting to window shades / dressing, architect Vikrant Sharma came up with an integrated solution - an intelligently devised pattern in film filters the light to create a soft ambient daylighting strategy for the office.
The selection of visible light fixtures relies greatly on the interior scheme. While some offices are intended to be an oasis for their occupants, other offices are meant to intimidate. A classic office that we did for an astrologer / gemologist / life expert client features chandeliers and mirrored ceilings and lighting that is far from uniform. In fact, taking a rather theatrical approach, the lighting is more as an accent tool to emphasize and highlight, that allows the client to take centre-stage and render him in a larger than life aura.
DCA Studios, MG Road, Delhi
The studio features iconic pendant and floor lamps in the cabins, meeting spaces and reception area. While these not only serve to provide lighting, they also render a warm character and a personal touch to the spaces. In contrast, the large open plan workstation area, receives lighting from long impersonal stretches of linear cylindrical light fixtures. Designed nearly four years ago, these use T5 fluorescent sources to provide diffused, glare-free volumetric lighting.
Technology of the LCD screen vs pen & paper
As we shift from analogue to digital, from hard paper copies to cloud based data at the workspace, there is a parallel, undeniable paradigm shift in lighting design as well. The disability glare caused of reflected light and light sources in the computer / laptop screen is suddenly a huge driving force in the design of lighting and selection of light fixtures in a space.
Design Matrix's own 2100 sq.ft. core office in New Delhi, features a non-office-like office lighting. The lighting from the ceiling is designed to achieve less than 150 lux average diffused, warm, general lighting in the space, to avoid any harsh light sources reflected onto the computer screens. This is supplemented by task lighting at the workstation using 6W/m of LED based IP44 rated LED strip lighting installed in a 45o continuous Aluminium profile and diffuser concealed within the overhead cabinetry. The weatherproof rating was insisted upon, to ensure ease of maintenance and longevity of the LED strips; the diffuser ensures homogeneity in the light output while the angled mounting helps avoid reflection of the light source on the worktable. The finish of the desk was also selected to be a dark, non-glossy laminate to achieve better contrast between the background and the reading/ drawing material and avoid reflection or glare on the worktop. The ample daylight is maximized by creating library and reading spaces in the north and providing for terraces and light shading devices in the south. The organic form of the ceiling lighting breaks away from a typical office feel, becoming an appealing art-like feature, and providing for a uniform layer of lighting.
Integration with mechanical systems
As we look towards futuristic, clean minimalist ceiling designs, the integration of mechanical services within the light fixture affords opportunities in this approach. Progressive lighting manufacturing companies are already producing light fixtures that integrate air-handling technology / acoustic elements, offering not simply a light but also a multi-functional design solution. It also affords reduced installation and on-site maintenance costs by incorporating the same function within a single ceiling element.
Progressive lighting companies are already producing light fixtures that integrate air-handling technology / acoustic elements, offering not simply a light but also a multi-functional design solution. It also affords reduced installation and on-site maintenance costs by incorporating the same function within a single ceiling element.
SVG Media office
A single element, a loudspeaker, becomes the unifying design element across different types of spaces. Powder coated in their signature green shade, and integrated with a high performance source of diffused light, it serves as pendant from the reception to the conference room, carrying through a definitive design theme as one travels through the different spaces within the office.
The design proposal for the Dharampal Satyapal HQ in Noida, sought to integrate the mounting of the light with the exposed HVAC duct. While it did not help combine two functionalities within one element, and only helped to mitigate the problem of a duct running where a light was needed, it was a creative interpretation and problem-solving technique for the low ceiling heights achieved in certain areas.
An increasing requirement of environmentally certified buildings is the ability to allow for individual control of the lighting. This is intended not only as an energy-saving technique but also affords the user a sense of responsibility and control over his environment, with the luxury to shape it according to his / her own personal needs and preferences. While we are all for individual control, the lighting scheme needs to be intelligently designed to allow for it and prevent trespass / interference from one workstation to the other. Considering a typical open plan office situation, one needs to design for an overall lower general lighting levels, and provide for task lighting at the desks which is then individually controlled / dimmed as required by every user.
Emergency and stand-by lighting
Employers are liable for the safety of their employees, and the suitability and sufficiency of the emergency lighting system – procedures to ensure regular testing, recording the maintenance of the same are a vital part of it. Newer types of emergency lighting systems that afford self-test / individual addressability as part of the building management systems are now available, easing up the need to fit, check and maintain self-contained battery units.
Future of Workplace Lighting
There are at least seven factors in operation within or upon an individual that have the potential to affect how light is evaluated. Physiological—the generic effect of light on all bodies with fully functioning eyes; biological—the variations specific to the health and medical circumstances of an individual; psychological—including pathological conditions, mental outlook and personal temperament; cultural—the associations between luminosity and meaning (including color); physical—the actual properties of light such as illuminance and spectral composition; environmental—regarding the weather and climate conditions in a particular geographical location; and spatial—the performance of architecture, scale and geometry and the behavior of light. Together, they emphasize the extent of instability in the relationship between light, space and individual. (Dutson, Claudia Light Volumes Dark Matters, Helen Hamlyn Centre, Royal College of Art 2010).
Harmeet Singh Issar, Design Director, Design Matrix
The negotiation between internal and external forces in each individual, which make up the wealth of lived experience, presents a challenge to the lighting design community. As Claudia Dutson says in her research publication entitled Light Volumes, Dark Matters, instead of trying to get the answer right, architects and designers need to come up with the right questions. As "The End of Sitting" installation by RAAAF marks the beginning of an experimental work landscape, challenging almost the entirety of our surroundings that are designed around sitting, the lighting fraternity must come to address what is preferable and sustainable.
Nivedita Sehrawat, Creative Director, Design Matrix
Nivedita Sehrawat, Creative Director, Design Matrix
Making of a Progressive Workplace
Resurgence of the office real estate segment bodes well for real estate developers, architects, interior designers, and for the office furniture sector. Godrej Interio, Vector Projects, Featherlite, and Steelcase, share their insights on the current trends in design and furniture fit-outs in modern offices, and their capabilities in meeting escalating demand, with Seema Gupta.
The need to create a fluid and vibrant workplace environment for India's increasing dynamic and highly qualified workforce is driving furniture manufacturers and office designers to study anew the ergonomics, lighting, space and layout in modern office design and furnishings.
Positive Outlook on Office Occupancy
According to the recently released report 'Indian Real Estate: Coming To Terms With Varying Speeds of Growth' by JLL India in partnership with CII, unidirectional growth within real estate sector has made way for corresponding growth trends across office, retail and residential markets. The commercial real estate segment (office +retail) has been on a fast recovery with strong demand for space and rents seeing a healthy upside. Given the promise of favourable impact from REITs and FDI liberalisation (in construction, retail and manufacturing), this enthusiasm is likely to continue.
Office sector showing resurgence
After witnessing sub-30 million sqft of net absorption during 2012-14 to above 35 million sqft in 2015, the office sector is resurging. An aggressive expansion strategy adopted by many companies, along with rising prominence of newer players in the e-commerce, healthcare and technology space led to the recent jump in occupancy. During 2015 the absorption was growing on the back of both lower rents and a positive economic outlook. Therefore, this recovery looked more sustainable and long-term in comparison with the one seen in 2011.
Steelcase ergonomic Think chair with an Integrated LiveBack™ System conforms to the user's body and moves as he/she changes postures.
As per 'Steelcase Growth Market Research', India's burgeoning middle-class growth will pose the biggest challenge for Indian workplaces by 2030. Growth is expected to accelerate and reach 475 million by 2030. This number comprises mainly India's Gen Y post 80s and 90s who have a mix of traditional values with a Western outlook. For this younger generation, the work they do is as important as the reputation of the company they work in and the salary they earn. Hence, to retain this younger, more vibrant and techno-savvy generation, a progressive workplace is needed, one that plays a key role in helping to retain and attract such a workforce. These findings came from Steelcase research conducted on eight growth markets including India.
Office Furniture Sales Picking Up
Gesture by Steelcase support user's interactions with modern technologies. The back and seat move as a synchronized system to provide continuous lumbar support.According to Research and Markets: 'India Office Furniture Market 2015-2019', the office furniture market is one of the key revenue generators of the overall furniture market in India; it accounted for 20.45% of market share in 2014, and is set to grow at a CAGR of 18.98% over the period 2014-2019. The market is mainly dominated by the unorganized office furniture segment. However, the organized segment is also growing gradually, with Durian, Featherlite, Godrej & Boyce, Stanley, and Zuari Furniture dominating the space.
The Indian economy has started to gather momentum after the global economic recession of 2008-2009. Emergence of e-commerce and establishment of various start-ups in the country have led to the growth of the organized retail market in the country. Apart from that, the direct sales approach is paying a lot of dividend to market vendors as the customers still prefer to purchase the products directly from the manufacturers. Many vendors are using online media (along with their physical stores) to enhance overall value for customers.
Most e-commerce websites offer customers the choice of making a well-informed purchase decision by providing all product specifications, colours and materials, along with extensive user reviews, and product catalogues online. This indicates the time and resources leading brick and mortar stores are investing to enhance their presence in the online retail market. Further, the report states that organized retailers in the market face infrastructure bottlenecks and poor logistics due to which they consider supply chain a cumbersome task, which has forced them to invest more in stock maintenance.
Featherlite Height Adjustable Tables have simple buttons that help user reach the required sitting or standing positions.
Godrej Interio, ranked amongst India's largest furniture brands, lays emphasis on furniture materials and designs that enhance user's comfort while delivering aesthetics and functional solutions for the workplace. According to the company, the three design pillars that the Godrej brand stands for in office furniture are- ergonomics (wellness of users), sustainability (wellness of planet), and predictive colours (bringing alive the users' brand).
Vector Projects, a leading turnkey solutions provider in the country, brings in to Indian workspaces- an ergonomic and stylish range of office furniture, designed for large office spaces and also for home offices where space and interior design is more intimate and personal.
Featherlite, a leading furniture manufacturing company in India, derives inspiration from contemporary aesthetic and tech-led movements that enable it to re-imagine and redesign office spaces so as to provide economic solutions to tackle modern day challenges. The company's objective is to maintain productivity, deliver comfort, and facilitate a conducive modern-day work environment.
Global companies like Steelcase have been creating great work experiences by studying the way people work - in social, spatial and informational contexts - and translating the insights into relevant products, applications, and services.
Godrej: In Tune With Changing Dynamics Of Office Spaces
Bedraj Tripathy, AVP Marketing, Godrej Interio"Today's smart offices are slowly but surely moving away from cubical segregation into a more open working environment. What is new is the introduction of privacy pods and nooks. This is a natural occurring trend to promote distraction-free spaces for workers who just need to be in the zone for a while. It is really an organic mix of collaboration and personal space."
Interactive & High-Tech
As technology advances and new communication tools are inducted, the way of working also changes. There are more interactive areas in an office today. Many new office desks come ready to become one with technology. In addition to power outlets, USB ports, and USB charging ports can now be found on task lights. This makes for ease of connection, so workers can quickly plug in and get to work. Future office furniture design trends seem to be technology focused.
Design, Colour, Materials
Some companies have taken the common sit-to-stand desk and turned it into an entire sit-to-stand workstation. This is great for startups which need office furniture that can expand and grow with them. As an office design concept, it is being embraced on all levels - as natural materials are being used to create a complete outdoor environment. Everything from stripped-back wooden flooring and natural-wood desk tops to indoor hanging baskets instead of wall graphics, and even water features.
Color rules as 'king' in the modern office furniture world. Usage of eclectic color and striking material in the smart offices can be observed as it brings the contemporary workplace alive. Also, colors bring alive the overall ethos and values that the company stands for. Another theme which is weaving colors into other dimensions of the office design and fit out industry, is the use of geometric patterns, especially for furniture fabric and carpet patterns.
Desire For Space
With offices becoming more collaborative, buyers prefer open spaces. This is more evident in new age economy companies in IT, retailing and other sectors, where they are accepting changes quickly. Start-ups have also kicked up a whole new wave of change, as many of their employees work from home or elsewhere; outside the office environment.
In traditional offices, about 30% of the space is kept for meeting rooms, but in other sectors, work stations are designed to ensure collaborative working. This has led to meetings being conducted at open spaces and hence, today, there is very little need for confined spaces to host meetings. Office furniture is becoming more open and comfortable. There is an increasing use of glass, which ensures a notional division between spaces but still retains the openness and good acoustics.
Furniture & Furnishings
Many consumers, both in the corporate and consumer segments, look for furniture that helps them de-stress. With the work environment getting increasingly stressful, both employees and employers are looking for softer furniture. One interesting trend that is huge is the introduction of residential style furnishings in the office. This includes solid wood desks that look more like dining room- tables or lighting that would look cozier. It is believed that a more inspirational or comfortable workplace will help employees feel more creative and motivated, thereby, increasing the overall productivity of an employee.
Vector Projects: Emphasis On Ergonomics and Aesthetics
Umesh Rao, Founder & CEO, Vector Projects (I) Pvt. Ltd."Today there is nothing permanent about office spaces; it is all about vibrant environments. Modern offices are breaking the monotony of the cabin system and becoming more interactive and flexible by promoting interactions and privacy at the same time."
Modern offices are focusing more on being collaborative and interactive with their employees by following the concept of 'WE Spaces' instead of 'ME Spaces'. Examples that best highlight the current change in trend are the desk based workstation systems with removable screens to convert them into team discussion tables; height adjustable workstations that offer flexibility to work at different levels; collaborative furniture for informal discussions; and identifying break-out spaces that use loose furniture to make workspaces informal.
An office is not just a place to work; it serves as an extension of one's business and values. The energy of the organization needs to be reflected in the interiors. Create a flexible office, and you can see a boost in motivation from employees. Today, organisations want to focus on making their workplace stand-out, attract as well as retain talent. Companies are not only building offices that promote great environment but also a better workflow. Ergonomics and aesthetics are given prime importance in any office design to increase productivity at work as they allow less exertion and ensure better health.
Vector Level-Up electrical height adjustment table offers sit-to-stand options, and includes controller with digital display for height read-out, microprocessor based control box for height changes, I-Beam screen for privacy,etc.Equipping the workplace with correct furniture that improves efficiency is one of the most important aspects to be considered along with personal preference and the budget. Make sure the furniture is multifunctional and ergonomic and blends well with the space. Ergonomically enhanced chairs, flexible desk systems and standing workplaces, are a few of the inventions that have changed the way people work. Along with this, layout, lighting, ventilation and colours on walls, use of organic paints with no or low volatile organic compounds (VOC) that radically reduce the amount of harmful toxic elements, etc are important considerations today.
Light ducts have seen a visible increase as they help harness and deliver natural sunlight into interiors up to 9 meters. When used intelligently, they reduce our need for electric lights during the day to almost zero. There is an increasing focus on ventilation of the premises. Some spacious offices make the most of the windows and open spaces, whereas offices with limited windows are installing mechanically enhanced ventilation systems.
Scalability and Versatility
Incontri Silence by Vector is covered with a padded steel frame and soundproof panels for privacy and comfortOne can factor in scalability in office design by using furniture that is versatile in nature. For example, Modular furniture makes the most of the place, be it small or big. It can be easily modified or moved by maximising the space. Open plan offices are the current trend, hence opting for desking systems that can be converted into meeting spaces, creating mobile and private spaces that can also be used for meetings, telecons, etc. seems to be widely accepted and appreciated. Along with this, the question of small working spaces confining the application of radical designs has also been solved by creating multipurpose furniture and systems that fit the needs and budget of clients.
An ergonomically designed chair that majorly focuses on flexibility, vibrant designs and finishes, and can provide comfort and support, thereby catalysing efficiency, can help transform the office environment. Essentially, flexible modern designs have made working much easier since people spend most of their times sitting in their office chair, which has resulted in a lot of health issues.
To maintain high standards of aesthetics and functionality we use materials that are of the highest quality, while remaining environmentally responsible. Our furniture is practical and durable and our returning clientele is testimony to that. We strive to create and sell furniture that responds to the demand posed by the market. Our product line is contemporary with a keen focus on functionality. We use the best quality of raw materials in our production and our furniture is made for sustainability.
While opting for the right furniture one needs to understand the nature and the type of work undertaken by the office. For example, in a start-up if the workforce is mobile, then it is advisable to go for the concept of flexi-seating, which helps in getting rid of unwanted square feet. Keeping the young workforce in mind, the mantra should be to devote less space to bulky desks, and more to collaborative or break-out areas. Whereas, in an IT firm, the design of the furniture structured by keeping "less rigidity" as a concept.
Artmatrix, the Malaysian arm of Vector Projects, has a range of workstations carrying Environmental Choice Australia (ECA) eco label. The manufacturing processes and products are assessed in accordance to ISO14024 and licensed with GES (Global Environmental Standard). In addition, eco-label products are laboratory tested against ANSI/BIFMA M7.1-2007
Featherlite: Keeping Abreast Of Market Demand
Manohar Gopal, MD, Featherlite Group"We as an organisation are constantly innovating newer products that are ahead of the design curve, keeping in mind market demands, retaining superior ergonomic standards that are currently setting new benchmarks, and keeping the affordability quotient intact with faster lead times on delivery."
India's Changing Workplace
The commercial real estate scenario in India has witnessed a phenomenal growth over the last few years resulting in huge office floor space being taken up. We are also witnessing a lot of global players increasing the competition by their presence. As the economy is currently opening up, this has led to a greater influx of start-ups mushrooming, thereby leading to a larger demand for office furniture.
However, most of the multinational brands that have set up shop in India are trying to meet the design standards for India since they are under cost pressures of the Indian market. So the designs and product offerings are entirely different from the ones sold in the American and European markets.
The emerging workspaces are changing in form and function; they are becoming more collaborative. This is changing the landscape of modern offices as they are moving away from partition-based systems to trendier desk- based concepts which are more versatile.
Current Market Scenario
With the growth in demand there are also more players in the market, which makes the competition stiffer due to varied price points being offered on the products due to different quality standards prevalent in the market. However, customers are discerning about quality and the cost of ownership, thereby creating a different bracket of furniture makers for small requirements, for instance, Malaysian products are also being accepted by the Indian market, although in small fragments.
As the real estate costs are spiraling, the density of workstations is also increasing in order to keep the infrastructure costs low. So, even the selling price points of furniture solutions have to be lowered. Increasing awareness and market response to ergonomics and green concepts have also caught up with office furniture manufacturers.
Overall, the environment has compelled organized and established players to operate at much lower margins. As the Indian market is exposed to global players, the quest for better finishes and aesthetics has increased multifold. To meet these demands, most of the manufacturing processes are becoming intensely automated, and the supply is squeezed for margins to keep the overall cost of the finished product competitive. The cost of labor is also increasing rapidly to keep pace with the inflation thereby making investments on superior plant and machinery to automate the processes mandatory.
Dynamics Of Design And Space
With the advent of imports and multinational players setting up shop in India, the overall design and quality parameters have improved. While the market is spoilt for choice, we as established manufacturers, encounter a new design benchmark quite frequently, thereby raising our manufacturing and design standards by several notches. For instance, we have introduced compact workstations to meet the needs of clientele requiring higher density of occupancy, with collaborative and desk-based systems
The importance of environmental and ergonomic factors reflects in the design of our products. As organizations grow, they often outgrow the existing workspaces and move on to newer and more relevant spaces, so our modular systems are designed to be reconfigured and laterally upgraded at a later point in time. This enables us to refurbish the existing offices at a much competitive price point in a price sensitive market like India.
Dynamic design changes globally as per the new trends of work culture. This reflects very quickly in our product line as we stay abreast with market trends. Newer design trends in the global market means that the shelf life of any design is limited, so constant innovations are key to stay ahead of competitors.
Pressure to lower operating expenses while the material input costs have been constantly on the rise in a price driven market is a major challenge for us. Also, the high cost for new machineries which are more sophisticated and which enable advanced features and better aesthetics in the end product can be an impediment when the customer is not willing to pay the premium.
Steelcase: Designing Workspace Experiences
Michael Held, Designer Director Steelcase India
When Steelcase, a global leader in office furniture industry and innovative workspace solutions, started operations in India in 2007, it brought its global knowledge, expertise and furniture products specially designed to meet the changing needs of the Indian workplace. The company sees India as a high caliber market with immense growth potential. Michael Held, Designer Director, Steelcase India, shares his insights on how the Modern Office Furniture Industry in India has evolved over the years:
In India, the kind of work done is evolving rapidly, therefore, it is extremely critical to design a workspace which is flexible and adaptable to the changing dynamics. In the past, India was relatively isolated from the rest of the world. Though some Indians were traveling abroad for education and trade, it was not very common and also global opportunities were rare. Now, Indian companies are focused on serving a global community. Multinationals are visiting India to take advantage of the high level of technical expertise in engineering, research, and innovation.
The Brody Worklounge creates a micro-environment by providing a private place free from visual distractions and an enhanced sense of psychological security so people can concentrate for longer periods of time on difficult assignments.
Earlier, the only thing to retain the employees was compensation, however, now what matters is creating an employee experience, a community, and build a sense of connection with them. The office environment is evolving as an essential element which influences employee's productivity, inspires people to do their best work, unleashes their potential and helps their organizations win. With booming economies and burgeoning populations of well-educated workers and prosperous consumers in India, it is forcing businesses of all stripes to rethink their strategies and create an employee experience.
Steelcase research says that the work environment in India has become more sophisticated. The ergonomic office culture is evolving as never before. New work trends, especially tablets, smart phones and other touch-based technologies—present a new set of challenges for worker's health and wellbeing. Therefore, organizations in India are now designing the office furniture to suit these varied needs and provide easy solutions to everyday work activities. Steelcase too has introduced office chairs, guest chairs, lounges and spaces based on the same concept, and which are artistically designed for the Indian work culture.
In India, organizations are also adapting to the open office culture. For many companies, it now appears that there is too much emphasis on open spaces and not enough on enclosed, private spaces. Office furniture is being designed to suit the growing needs of an open office culture, however, the major problem with open offices is the incessant chatter and noise which affects employee's ability to concentrate. We suggest that a mix of open and enclosed areas, "I" spaces and "We" spaces should be implemented. Instead of providing only open-plan work settings, organizations should create settings in which people are free to circulate in a shifting kaleidoscope of interactions.
India has emerged as the fastest growing start-up economy and is maturing at an increasingly higher rate. India's successful start-ups have specifically designed their offices to break free from the traditional and conventional corporate set up. So, a huge demand for smart and innovative office furniture that boosts productivity and also engage employees at the work is being observed. This is compelling many Indian companies to rethink their strategies and create an employee experience to retain talent. For example, Tata Sky, created a space for its 190 headquarter employees with designated areas for game playing and socializing. Its unusual circular floor plan gives a feeling of openness, with the company's branding prominently displayed.
As per Steelcase Growth Market Report, product innovations will continue to be a reflection of constant research in observing and understanding human behaviour. As we see shifts in the way work is being carried out, we need to adapt to these changes by altering the way space is utilized. In our view, the workplace can be designed as a catalyst for change that will help foster efficiency and creativity of employees, and help organizations amplify employee performance. The importance of employee well-being to businesses and the effect it has on the bottomline cannot be ignored.
Harley Davidson Corporate Office, Gurgaon
The Harley Davidson Corporate office, designed by Morphogenesis, was conceived to be a single, unified, significant space with compact enclosures that would open up and transform into gathering spaces
Harley Davidson's foray into the Indian market, necessitated the establishment of a marked presence of the brand which would imbibe individuality and create an office that complements the altering Indian work culture. The office is located in India's Millennium City, Gurgaon; being the country's industrial and financial centre, it was an ideal setting for the launch of the first Harley Davidson office in India.
|At a glance|
|Project Name:||Harley Davidson Corporate Office|
|Client:||Harley Davidson India|
|Built-up Area:||7,000 sq.ft.|
|Electrical:||Sunil Nayyar Consultant|
|Lighting:||Art Light Illuminations|
The preliminary objective was to create an indigenous space using traditional materials to customize and personalize the office in a way that it blends into the Indian context. The workplace was intended to be more than a corporate office; as a space that would provide for multiple space utilization for various activities such as events, workshops, and parties. A training centre for the maintenance of the Harley Davidson Bikes was to be included to integrate the adventurous ethic with the working environment.
In order to create an interactive working atmosphere, the office space was conceived to be a single, unified, significant space with compact enclosures that would open up and transform into gathering spaces. The overall design intent has been kept minimalistic and contemporary, in order to focus on the blend of the brand identity and the work ethos. The reception is the main highlight of the entire office space with an installation of a tank wall equipped with various Harley Davidson fuel tanks, painted by special artists. To add an informal nature to the space, lounge seating is accommodated. In addition to this, a graphic wall with inscriptions of the notions and ideologies of biking and adventure run along the reception area and the corridor. The wall has been fitted with black lacquer modules with bookshelves for the informal casual beat within the official environment, making it employee-friendly. A few Harley Davidson bikes are set up on display along the circulation space to complete the ambience so as to augment the office space with the notion of adventure. Perforated jaalis, a traditional Indian embellishment, derived from the abstraction of the Harley Davidson shield, are used to segregate the multiplicity of the nature of the office spaces and creating a transparent vista which also enables an open workspace where privacy is not a major concern.
Most of the detailing in design, both minute and large, has been inspired from motorcycles and biking. The handles for the toilet doors are the actual handles of the Harley Davidson bikes, the table in the pantry space has a set of supports that resemble the side stands of a bike, and the rear view mirrors of a motorcycle are exploited for signage. Basic and simplistic materials such as cement board and textured granite are used in combination with the Harley Davidson colour palette (orange, black, and grey) to give a constant, singular, contemporary character to the office space. Overall, the office sets the atmosphere of a contemporary workplace that is unique in design and inimitable in expression while symbolizing the advent of innovation in corporate offices in India.
New Headquarters Lille Métropole Habitat in Tourcoing, France
Designed by France and Austria- based design studio Dietmar Feichtinger Architekts, the new headquarters for the social housing organization in the metropolitan area of Lille, "Lille Métropole Habitat (LMH) is located on the boulevard Gambetta in Tourcoing, a major road connecting Lille and its surrounding communities.
The new building for LMH affirms its presence in the urban context by its dimension but the architectural expression is searching for lightness and transparency and avoids any monumentality.
|At a glance|
|Project:||Lille Métropole Habitat (Tourcoing)|
|Site area:||Surface terrain 8260 m²|
|Building costs:||24.6 M€ HT|
|Architect:||Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes|
|Client:||OPH LILLE METROPOLE HABITAT|
|Status:||Completed in 2015|
An open central space forms the core of the building. This inner court, protected by a glass roof, includes an open, central and light stairway. Steel bridges connect the offices on 3 levels and allow an easy horizontal and vertical circulation and communication in the building. Its generous dimension is unexpected. It provides the space for informal meetings.
On the ground floor, the restaurant area in the north and the meeting area for seminaries in the south, complete the central space. Mobile panels allow dividing these parts in several working areas for multiple use, exhibitions and events.
On the office levels meeting rooms and recreation areas animate the inner façade providing bow windows into the court. Large wooden indoor and outdoor terraces complete the building on each level.
Sun protection is provided on the south façade by horizontal aluminum elements situated above the windows allowing free sight and protection simultaneously. The ventilation ducts and electrical installations are part of the design, covered by a metal mesh. The main building materials for the primary structure are concrete, steel, wood and glass.
Blocher & Blocher Office, Herdwig
The Architecture of DialogueBlocher Blocher Partners, Stuttgart, designed their new office in Herdweg such that the new concrete monolith brings all employees under one roof. The building represents the corporate values of innovation and sustainability; and the standards were high here since colleagues were planning for colleagues
Much is demanded of today's office buildings, especially if they are to house many disciplines under one roof. In addition to the office for architecture and interior design, this building houses a firm that develops mono-brand concepts as well as an agency for communications, corporate design and visual merchandising.
The building brings together offices previously dispersed on three separate sites. A new site was found on the busy Herdweg Street, on the slope close to the city center. The post-war lodge building that once occupied this lot had fallen into disuse and disrepair, and was ultimately torn down. But the regulatory requirements for new construction were strict: For example, the new building had to match the footprint and size of the original.
The result is an architecture of dialogue that embodies the highest global ecological standards so much so that it earned the Platinum Certificate by DGNB, the German sustainable building council.
As the setting, the architects used the rather heterogeneous urban backdrop of Herdweg: The rustic charm of exposed concrete – a double-layered concrete facade with cavity insulation – plays off against the transparency of broad windows. Elements of Sipo mahogany, strategically placed, give the façade depth; and the clean lines add a sense of order and dynamics.
The percentage of glass reflects the specifications set by the DNGB for the platinum certification, while the wooden cubes minimize the appearance of the building's shell, and absorb sound. These cubes also allow for manual control of ventilation, in addition to the automatically controlled blinds that block sunlight.
The roof design is especially characteristic of the reinforced concrete construction, which is visible from all sides. The architects took advantage of the plasticity of cement to create a folded roof. The result was a completely new interpretation of the classical gable roof: Large-format pre-cast cement sections measuring 8x3 meters were placed over an inner supporting shell. The transition between roof and façade is marked by a horizontal metal band for the rainwater run-off, formed as an angle joint.
The office building consists of three full floors, a garden, a roof and cellar. At the rear of the building there is an elevated basement floor with an attached underground garage. Because of the hillside location, the first and second stories appear to float. The topography also calls for the relatively large retaining wall to the northwest. Planted with bamboo, it forms a back wall for the two large meeting rooms on the ground floor. The top floor, with its spacious loggias, was initially planned as an apartment. Which is why it not only affords a magnificent view of the Stuttgart valley, but also offers working spaces flooded with light.
In front of the garage entrance, a monolithic structure containing the staircase juts out into the Herdweg. This set-up also allows each floor to function independently. At the street level, there is an entrance for employees, while the main entrance leads up to the first floor via a broad, open stairway alongside a patio-like inner courtyard. Both the ground floor and garden level offer numerous opportunities to step outside. The underground garage links directly to the garden level, from which a ramp leads to another, higher garden, as well as to the building interior via a gateway.
The floor plan encloses a sandblasted concrete core that contains the necessary airshafts, lavatories, integrated cloakrooms and kitchenettes. Another core, whose lamellar wooden structure is composed of the same Sipo mahogany as the window cubes, is comprised of small meeting rooms for employees as well as copy rooms. These wooden cores are minimized as much as possible on the garden levels and on the top floor. Besides their esthetical appearance they also have a practical function: to absorb sound.
The simplicity of the interior design, with its sandblasted and exposed concrete surfaces as well as its cement screed flooring, works in harmony with the outer appearance. Heating and cooling are conducted via the exposed concrete ceiling. The use of geothermal energy, tapped through 35 ground borings down to a depth of up to 40 meters, was another prerequisite for DGNB platinum certification, along with gray water use, actively cultivated green roofs and cost-and energy-efficiency, to name just a few.
Open floors, which nevertheless have clearly defined spaces, make the boundaries between working areas disappear. A central aim of the planners was to enhance the amenity values of the employees. The management wanted to strengthen team spirit as well as the feeling of togetherness, and to optimally link the working processes. Three conference rooms are available on the ground floor to meet various needs on an average workday. Furthermore, every floor has discussion spaces in addition to a library, a workshop and small communication zones that adjoin the spacious hallway which runs along the street side of the building. A furnished patio adjoins the generous cafeteria on the garden level, flanked on one side by the single-story wing of the building, which houses the communications agency Blocher Blocher View. The other side opens out onto a two-story atrium, separated from the cafeteria only by a sliding glass wall. For major events, a large hall can be created in seconds flat. From the ground floor, the atrium opens into an impressive open space graced by a light-installation inspired by the 'jackstraws' or 'pick-up-sticks' game. There are also manifold visual perspectives to be enjoyed from the open-designed steel staircase, which leads from the garden level to the uppermost floor.
The open space is not only structured by the furniture but also by glass walls with acoustic absorbers. Cabinets, tables and sideboards reflect a straightforward design. Employees sit at long tables that are even large enough to accommodate unfurled blueprints. Elbow-high storage units serve as dividers between groups of four or six, or as bar tables for impromptu meetings. The natural light is complemented by LED light strips recessed in the ceiling as well as by suspended LED fixtures with direct and indirect lighting.
From their workspaces, employees look out onto the green space or have a view over the rooftops of the city. Through the patio area into the garden level and the landscaped or garden level on the ground floor, clear visual lines are created, along with orientations toward the outside. In order to meet the DGNB platinum standard, the landscape architect favored indigenous trees and perennials. Chairs and recliners offer a chance to convene with Nature - inside as well as outside. An appropriate environment with a promise of wellbeing was created for the 150 employees of this consortium.
The building incorporates a broad range of sustainability measures. Amongst them are the prevention of toxic materials or the reduction of the life circle costs. With a view ahead, it was also important to create dividable floors to be able to implement several offices or apartments in the future. The intermingling of ecology and economy also shows within the fusion of building construction and technology which includes a thermally comfortable room climate as much as energy saving at the maximum. The lighting concept which relies on daylight and LED technology belongs as much to the measures as do air hygiene and aesthetical aspects.
Office of Lightbox India, Mumbai
"Fun at the workspace" was the brief given by the client. The business of serious investing in young ideas definitely needs to be in a fun environment. The linearity of the space and the client's desire to have natural light throughout the office, resulted in the programmatic plotting of the plan in a train compartment logic.
|Client Name:||Lightbox India Pvt. Ltd.|
|Location:||Lower Parel, Mumbai|
|Flooring:||Black Slate and carpet|
|Partitions:||Wood and Glass partitions|
|Lighting:||Combination of direct & indirect lighting – Tungsten and LED filaments.|
|Architecture & Design:||Red Architects|
|Team:||Rajiv Parekh, Ekta Puri, Apoorva Shroff & Maithili Raut|
The quality of light in the space was fabulous; the partitions between each of the spaces had a glass relief close to the ceiling level to filter the light through the office. The partitions separating each of the functions were sound insulated from within for privacy and were clad in light oak veneer. A black slate floor was used through the office, which offset the light wood partitions to create the desired contrasts in the space. A linear wall connected the various functioning spaces through the office and this was highlighted with the use of a canary yellow colour, to emphasize the linearity of the space.
Silhouetted artwork was introduced on this linear wall that brought in humour to this corporate work environment. Its position on the linear wall made it a narrative connecting through each of the spaces, but also served as an individual entity standing its ground in each room.
The social space of the hangout zone really is the hearth where all the interactions business is done. The landscaped terrace outside added to the lighthearted café feel. This is where they meet young entrepreneurs and the unintimidating environment really helps break the ice.
Future Ready Smart Offices
Ashok Kularia, Managing Director, ANJ Turnkey Projects Pvt. Ltd., a Design & Build firm, shares his observations on the notable changes in the design concept of Modern Workplaces in recent years.
The entire concept of modern workspaces has evolved over the last decade. It's now more about smart and sustainable (future ready) workplaces. And the design concept has had to evolve accordingly. 'Smart and Future Ready' offices are technologically driven spaces that enable employees to undertake routine tasks more efficiently and conserve energy at the same time. Some fundamentals of a smart office would include intelligent space planning with ample break-out and collaborative areas, more of "we" spaces rather than enclosed areas to optimize space usage, use of eco-friendly and sustainable materials in addition to technological aspects, such as motion sensors, climate control, easy integration of all functions for seamless operations and connectivity to internal and external stakeholders by means of mediascapes, plug-n-play kiosks, audio-visual conferencing systems, security & safety features, etc.
In our 5000 sq.ft. ANJ office in Mumbai, for instance, the design brief was to accommodate the required elements in the most optimum fashion while maintaining efficient density of floor space. In addition, we wanted a clutter-free, neat and clean office environment with a modern design, with relevant technology wherever needed in the most economical commercials. Lots of open break-out zones, collaborative/recreation areas, phone booths, minimum enclosed spaces, optimal use of available floor space, natural lighting, and colourful furnishings define the modern office layout.
We have used LED lights with motion sensors for energy efficiency, and blinds to allow/protect from natural light. In the interiors, we have used marble flooring and veneer wall cladding in the reception area, carpets in the work areas and tiles in passages. An eclectic mix of acoustic/fabric panels, wallpapers, vinyl graphic films, etc for wall claddings of internal areas, have created interesting and attractive contrasts of materials that bring out their aesthetic features. Eco-friendly materials used on site, all polishing and painting done in factory to avoid VOC emissions and conforming to Green norms, was also our focus.
We faced many challenges but were able to achieve uniform ceiling heights to plan services, plumbing, and wet area management as per base building offerings (raised floors, etc), and were able to complete the project in 60 days of execution on site.
IDFC Office in Mumbai
The architect team of JTCPL has balanced functionality with aesthetics, and juxtaposed beautiful Indian art with the organizational discipline of a modern office, without compromising on the efficiency of the workplace.
Monumental, transparent, and free-flowing, this vibrant office space is inspired by natural elements and authentic Indian motifs. The warm tone is complemented by wooden paneling on walls and art wall panels with subtly animated patterns. To further enhance the Indian theme, the architect has used Jaisalmer stone, Indian jali patterns, and ancient Indian art such as Meena, Gond and Warli, as well as Indian scripts on walls and on the ceiling.
|At a glance|
|Location:||Airoli, BKC & Lower Parel, Mumbai|
Segregation of different functional pockets has been achieved through intelligent space planning such that the general work area radiates an open, organized, and interactive ambience. Flooring such as different carpets has been used with clever combinations of patterns to highlight in different areas. The lighting is defused line lights from Abby lighting used in the office area. Also decorative lighting have been used in client interaction spaces.
The cafeteria being the hugely popular avocation space in the office, the architect team took inspiration from the Indian festival of 'kite flying' to create a colourful, informal and interactive space. Unpretentious furniture, neutral shades, Indian motifs on walls and Jali patterns on ceilings exude ethnic warmth and connectivity with one's roots, while the modern design elements in the office induce a sense of responsibility and work efficiency,
Completing the project within the stipulated time frame was a challenge, which the team achieved, and without disrupting the employees at their work.
The Banking sector has undergone a sea change with the influx of multinationals in India, especially in Mumbai. When IDFC, a reputed and leading infrastructure development company in India acquired their banking license in 2014; the onus of designing a suitable workspace with an international appeal fell on JTCPL Designs. The team designed three offices of IDFC in Mumbai: the first in Naman Chambers spread over 60,000 sqft; followed by a 7,000 sqft office in One India Bulls tower; and the third – a 64,000 sqft office in Gigaplex in Airoli.
Museum of Tomorrow, Rio De Janeiro
Photo courtesy: Santiago Calatrava
Supporting the revitalization of Rio's Porto Maravilha neighborhood, Museu do Amanhã focuses on Future of Planet
The Museu do Amanhã (The Museum of Tomorrow), an innovative cultural space addressing the future of the planet designed by architect, engineer and artist Santiago Calatrava, opened its doors in December 2015 in the burgeoning Porto Maravilha neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. More than 25,000 visitors welcomed the new museum on its first weekend.
|Project:||The Museum of Tomorrow|
|Location:||Rio de Janeiro|
|Client:||Fundação Roberto Marinho|
"The city of Rio de Janeiro is setting an example to the world of how to recover quality urban spaces through drastic intervention and the creation of cultural facilities such as the Museum of Tomorrow and the new Museum of Art," said Santiago Calatrava. "This vision led us, in our first designs, to propose the addition of a plaza outside the Museum. The plaza creates a more cohesive urban space and reflects the neighborhood's greater transformation."
Photo courtesy: Santiago Calatrava
The design of the Museum is inspired by the Carioca culture and through its architecture, explores the relationship between the city and the natural environment. The Museum includes 5,000 sqm of temporary and permanent exhibition space, as well as a 7,600 sqm plaza that wraps around the structure and extends along the dock. The building features large overhangs 75 meters in length on the side facing the square and 45 meters in length on the side facing the sea. These features highlight the extension of the Museum from the dock into the bay. The permanent exhibition is housed upstairs, and features a roof 10 meters high with panoramic views of Guanabara Bay. The total height of the building is limited to 18 meters, which protects the view from the bay of Sao Bento Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Photo courtesy: Santiago Calatrava
The cantilevering roof with its large mobile wings and the facade structure expand almost the full length of the pier emphasizing the extension into the Guanabara Bay, while minimizing the building's width. A reflection pool surrounding the building on the outside—used to filter water that is being pumped from the bay and released back in from the end of the pier— gives visitors the impression that the Museum is floating.
Photo courtesy: Santiago Calatrava
Photo courtesy: Santiago Calatrava
"The idea is that the building feels ethereal, almost floating on the sea, like a ship, a bird or a plant. Because of the changing nature of the exhibits, we have introduced an archetypal structure inside the building. This simplicity allows for the functional versatility of the Museum, able to accommodate conferences or act as a research space," said Calatrava.
The building is orientated in the north-south direction, off-center from the pier's longitudinal east-west axis, maximizing a continuous landscaping feature containing beautiful gardens, paths and leisure areas along the southern length of the pier. A park walkway around the perimeter of the pier will allow visitors to circumnavigate the Museum, while enjoying panoramic views of the Sao Bento Monastery and the Guanabara Bay. The lower level contains functional and technical rooms, such as the Museum's administrative offices, educational facilities, research space, an auditorium, a museum store, a restaurant, lobby, archives, storage and a delivery area.
Located on the Maua Pier, the Museum of Tomorrow is part of a larger revitalization of Porto Maravilha, the port neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. The project allows for better integration between the Port District and the city center and is helping to make this area one of the most attractive neighborhoods in the city. The building "is the result of a consistent dialogue. The building was built to be a museum for the future, and an educational unit," said Calatrava.
The building features sustainable design, incorporating natural energy and light sources. Water from the bay is used to regulate the temperature inside the building; this source also supplies water for the Museum's surrounding reflecting pools. The Museum also uses photovoltaic solar panels, which can be adjusted to optimize the angle of the sun's rays throughout the day and generate solar energy to supply the building.
Photo courtesy: Santiago Calatrava
The visionary museum is focused on answering five key questions: Where did we come from? Who are we? Where are we? Where are we going? And how do we want to live together over the next fifty years?
The Museum's exhibits address issues including population growth and increased life expectancy, consumption patterns, climate change, genetic engineering and bioethics, the distribution of wealth, technological advances and changes in biodiversity. The permanent exhibition is curated by physicist and cosmologist Luiz Alberto Oliveira and designed by Ralph Appelbaum, with the artistic direction of Andres Clerici.
In addition to the main exhibition area, the Museum has space for temporary exhibitions, a 400-seat auditorium, a cafe, a restaurant and a gift shop. The Museum will also host the Exploration Lab of Tomorrow, a space for educational activities and sample projects and prototypes. The Observatory of Tomorrow will provide a space for technological and scientific research, which may be integrated into the Museum exhibitions.
The Museum of Tomorrow is made possible by the City of Rio de Janeiro and the Roberto Marinho Foundation, with the sponsorship of Banco Santander Brasil and the BG project. The project is supported by the Government of Brazil, through the Ministry of Environment and the Financier of Studies and Projects (FINEP).
Harbin Opera House, China
Harbin Opera House, aerial view from the east
In 2010, MAD won the international open competition for Harbin Cultural Island, a master plan for an opera house, a cultural center, and the surrounding wetland landscape along Harbin's Songhua River. The sinuous opera house is the focal point of the Cultural Island, occupying a building area of approximately 850,000 square feet of the site's 444 acres total area. It features a grand theater that can host over 1,600 patrons and a smaller theater to accommodate an intimate audience of 400.
The façade in contrast to the Harbin skyline
Embedded within Harbin's wetlands, the Harbin Opera House was designed in response to the force and spirit of the northern city's untamed wilderness and frigid climate. Appearing as if sculpted by wind and water, the building seamlessly blends in with nature and the topography—a transfusion of local identity, art, and culture. "We envision Harbin Opera House as a cultural center of the future – a tremendous performance venue, as well as a dramatic public space that embodies the integration of human, art and the city identity, while synergistically blending with the surrounding nature," said Ma Yansong, founding principal, MAD Architects.
Night view of the grand lobby and grand theater
Photo: Adam Mørk
On the exterior, the architecture references the sinuous landscape of the surrounding area. The resulting curvilinear façade composed of smooth white aluminum panels becomes the poetry of edge and surface, softness and sharpness. The journey begins upon crossing the bridge onto Harbin Cultural Island, where the undulating architectural mass wraps a large public plaza, and during winter months, melts into the snowy winter environment.
The lobby of the grand theater
The lobby of the small theater
View from side of the grand theater staircase
Photo: Adam Mørk
The architectural procession choreographs a conceptual narrative, one that transforms visitors into performers. Upon entering the grand lobby, visitors will see large transparent glass walls spanning the grand lobby, visually connecting the curvilinear interior with the swooping façade and exterior plaza. Soaring above, a crystalline glass curtain wall soars over the grand lobby space with the support of a lightweight diagrid structure. Comprised of glass pyramids, the surface alternates between smooth and faceted, referencing the billowing snow and ice of the frigid climate. Visitors are greeted with the simple opulence of natural light and material sensation—all before taking their seat.
The sculpted wood staircase leading to the grand theater
The sculpted wood staircase leading to the grand theater
Presenting a warm and inviting element, the grand theater is clad in rich wood, emulating a wooden block that has been gently eroded away. Sculpted from Manchurian Ash, the wooden walls gently wrap around the main stage and theater seating. From the proscenium to the mezzanine balcony the grand theater's use of simple materials and spatial configuration provides world-class acoustics. The grand theater is illuminated in part by a subtle skylight that connects the audience to the exterior and the passing of time.
|Project:||Harbin Opera House|
|Building Area:||850,000 square feet|
|Building Height:||184 feet|
|Grand Theater Capacity:||1,600 seats|
|Small Theater Capacity:||400 seats|
|Landscape Architect:||Beijing Turenscape Institute|
|Interior Design:||MAD Architects, Shenzhen Keyuan Construction Group Co., Ltd.|
|Client:||Harbin Songbei Investment and Development Group Co., Ltd.|
View of the grand theater’s main stage and the proscenium
Within the second, smaller theater, the interior is connected seamlessly to the exterior by the large, panoramic window behind the performance stage. This wall of sound-proof glass provides a naturally scenic backdrop for performances and activates the stage as an extension of the outdoor environment, inspiring production opportunities.
Grand theater balcony detail
Grand theater balcony detail
Harbin Opera House emphasizes public interaction and participation with the building. Both ticketholders and the general public alike can explore the façade's carved paths and ascend the building as if traversing local topography. At the apex, visitors discover an open, exterior performance space that serves as an observation platform for visitors to survey the panoramic views of Harbin's metropolitan skyline and the surrounding wetlands below. Upon descent, visitors return to the expansive public plaza, and are invited to explore the grand lobby space.
Panoramic window backdrops the small theater stage with the surrounding landscape
|Partial view of the façades’ aluminum panels and pathways
Photo: Adam Mørk
Surpassing the complex opera house typology, MAD articulates an architecture inspired by nature and saturated in local identity, culture and art. As the Harbin Opera House deepens the emotional connection of the public with the environment, the architecture is consequently theatrical in both its performance of narrative spaces and its context within the landscape.
Sunset view of the opera house from the pond with the small theatre in the foreground
Photo: Adam Mørk
Sunset view of the opera house from the pond with the small theatre in the foreground.
Sustainability, An Intrinsic Part of MEDA’s Office Building & Campus Design in Pune
|Client :||Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA)|
|Project :||Office Building and Campus|
|Plot Area :||8,000 sq.m|
|Climate :||Hot & dry|
|Architectural firm :||THE FIRM|
Mumbai based architectural practice-THE FIRM has designed MEDA's state-of-art Office Building & Campus in Pune, based on green-building principals. The project design provides a strong identity to MEDA exemplifying its values of sustainability and allows the company to operate in a comfortable environment that promotes the idea of a unified family of employees.
BriefEvery project is unique because every client is different. The architectural firm believes that it is vitlal that the client receives a building that not only meets their requirements in an efficient and cost-effective design but also emulates the values of the company. In this case, the practice that believes in sustainability to be intrinsic to design, was more than enthusiastic since MEDA, having the objective to undertake development of renewable energy and facilitate energy conservation in the State of Maharashtra.
Therefore, this building has been designed with a strong environmental agenda so that MEDA have an exemplar building of sustainable design which will give them a stronger identity and advertise their commitment to environmental design. The building program required the design to provide for the Office, Auditorium, Exhibition Pavilion, and Guest House.
ObjectivesThe design objectives were clearly laid which included providing MEDA with a superlative building of sustainability developed from initial design to operation that will promote and advertise the values of the agency, increase worker productivity & morale and along-with gain best GRIHA rating.
ZoningThe building mass was oriented on N-S axis as a response to the site dimensions. The form is split to provide necessary distinction between the office and the residential aspects of the project program. The guest house and the penthouse for the D.G have their level of privacy and adequate access to landscape areas. Car park and services are tucked away under the whole building mass to provide for unobstructed views. The public areas like auditorium and exhibition are planned through the foyer at first level of the office building. The core is placed on the west side to minimize the solar gain and glare in the office space.
Plan of OfficeThe plan of the office is an efficiently designed space. The programming of the space has been considerate to the different user groups and levels of privacy.The rooms which receive guests are situated near the lift lobby whereas the senior members of staff are located towards the private end of the office. The departments are necessarily bifurcated to distinguish them but share a linear core and circulation route so as to maintain inter-departmental connections.Open office arrangement does not obstruct natural light hence this stimulates employee interaction. High proportion of workstations has direct views to exterior or interior landscaping. Efficient utilization of daylight provides natural lighting to all workspaces.
Atrium, Exhibition & Living WallAtrium design affords quality natural light into interior office spaces, unifies all departments in the building and serves as an ambient circulatory space for all building users. It also functions to provide passive cooling and ventilation for all office spaces.
Atrium doubles up as a dramatic space to hold an environmental exhibition; also serving as an exemplar space because the building advertises solar cells in the roof, natural daylight and passive ventilation. Combining exhibition and circulation is an efficient utilization of space that also allows the employees to be engaged with the exhibition.
The atrium space is accentuated by large living walls that span all floors of the building. These walls offer the interior space views of nature and increase the air quality of the atrium.
The architectural practice perceives sustainability as an intrinsic part of design. And that implies such design sensibilities while the project is on tracing papers. The design tries to reduce the wastage and consumption wherever possible. The toilet rooms were consolidated at one location for the whole office building. Low-flow fixtures on all water dispensers minimize the water demand from the building. The total water savings compared with standard fixtures is calculated at around 60%. The building will recycle 100% of the waste water it produces, with the help of a STP plant which will provide water for landscape, flushing and natural cooling systems. Combined with the rainwater harvesting, 100% of all non-potable water requirement will come from recycled sources.The rainwater harvesting system is designed to capture all roof run-off rainwater which is stored in a tank for later use. The hydrological report revealed that there are two bore wells on site. All non-roof run-off will be collected by the Bore wells below the site and will contribute to the municipal water supply. The excess of water from the storage tank will also supplement the deep Bore wells, thus 100% of the water is either recycled into the building or contributes to the ground water level. The design also encourages ecological landscaping to reduce irrigation water requirements substantially.
The similar concepts are applied to the conservation of energy. The design has attempted to reduce the consumption and the wastage. It uses the renewable resource like solar energy to a great potential. At the onset of concept stage, the design thrust was focused on the right orientation. The North-South orientation and the location of core on west side are site responsive early decisions on design for energy conservation. Also, the design intentionally planned only a part basement and stilt for car park; reducing energy spends on mechanical ventilation and lighting systems.
The atrium affords light into the deeper parts of the plan. Each office floor plate has a long facade facing North and South to gain maximum daylight. The facades have also been treated accordingly to their orientation to the sun. The South and North facades have been designed to allow maximum light penetration because the solar gains are low. A multifunctional light shelf has been designed to shade the window from the high sun in the summer and also to reflect this light and illuminate the interior. The East and West facades are dominated by double walls to prevent solar gains heating the interior, only a few slit tilted windows allow North light to penetrate to the interior.
Using a BIM model, the design team conducted analysis of the designs to ensure that the regularly occupied spaces had maximum day-lighting. The evolved design achieved 90% of office floor area as naturally lit. The most critical savings on energy are based on the integration of natural cooling systems in the architectural design. Then there are other inclusions in design like efficient lighting systems, utilization of solar power and specifications for energy efficient envelope.
Landscaping: Design & Ecological Concept
Abundance of green landscaping provides attractive and inviting spaces for employees and guests to relax and socialize, resulting in boosting their morale. Access to podium landscape for guests and office staff allows both to benefit from a large outdoor green space. A central water feature provides an aesthetic focal point whilst also creating a cooled micro-climate in the shade of the focal solar tree. Green link unifies the atrium green wall with the exterior landscape at entrance inviting users to the podium landscape. The design focuses on creating visuals to green space from all areas of the building.
All plants and trees are native to Pune and as a result will use 66% less water than exotic species. Another advantage of proposing only native plants is that they increase biodiversity and vibrancy in the ecosystem. Hence the landscape design proposes to be low on maintenance, water requirement and costly chemicals; which is not the case with exotic species and manicured lawns. It is also designed to have a high proportion of xeriscaping which will further reduce the water requirement. The other parts of the landscape will be watered through a drip irrigation system which is highly efficient and will ensure minimal water wastage.
Natural CoolingThe users would get better comfort conditions and indoor air quality in the natural cooling systems compared to conventional refrigerant ones. In this case, the design utilizes the concepts of direct and indirect evaporative cooling, thermal mass, stack effect, and radiant cooling.
The synergy of these systems provides large savings over a standard water cooled HVAC system but does not compromise on thermal comfort. Indirect / Direct Evaporative Cooling provides cool air to the office spaces which has been cooled via a misting shaft.Hot western air draw in to shaft. Water that has pre-cooled in the water tower is sprayed down the shaft to cool the air to 26° as it drops down the shaft. The air is directed to vertical risers which transport it to the A.H.U rooms on each floor. The air is distributed throughout the office via ducts and nozzles directed at working stations.The radiant cooling system works in synergy with the PDEC system. It converts the heat radiated from lights, computers, solar gain and the human body more effectively than an air cooled system. The reason for its effectiveness is because the form of the heat is the same. As a result the PDEC system has a smaller thermal load and thus performs more efficiently. The hydronic slabs will have naturally cooled water running through them which brings the radiant temperature of the slab down. The analysis data shows that each space in the building maintains a comfortable and steady 26°C throughout the year.
ConclusionThe project design is in line with THE FIRM's commitment to MEDA that the Office will stand out as an exemplar building sustainability from design to operation.
Public Building for Recreation
Designed to house the cultural events, meetings, and recreational needs of a dense condominium gated complex, the Clubhouse is a three-storey building with a multi-layered rectangular plan that evolves around a double-height of the entrance atrium.
To make a contrast with the busy building exterior and surroundings, the practice 'AUM Architects,' founded by Ar. Nirmal Kulkarni and Ar. Neha Kulkarni, decided to make the interior and exterior palette monochromatic, making everything singular to remove the sense of weight and complexities of multiplicity of geometries. However, within this single color palette, the duo introduced a vivid variety of materiality and texture to express variation in space and atmosphere. Each room has a unique function, and each is given a different texture and pattern. The architects carefully cataloged multiple material options for all surfaces - floor, wall, ceiling, furniture - and coordinated them while considering the various scales and functions of each room.
|Location:||Gurgaon, Haryana, India|
|Architecture firm:||AUM Architects|
|Design team:||Nirmal Kulkarni, Neha Kulkarni, Rohini Shaurya, Prem Kumar.|
|Gross floor Area:||3000 sqm.|
|Usage:||Public/Recreational facility, small scale.|
|Floor:||3 Floors, Basement|
|Structure:||Reinforced Concrete with hollow concrete block infill walls.|
|Exterior Finishing:||External grade waterproof paints, WPC pergolas and shading devices.|
|Status:||Virtual Completion Phase|
|Client:||Orchid Petals Condominium, Gurgaon, Haryana.|
|Project Management:||Orchid Infrastructure.|
|Structural Engineers:||Mahendra Raj Consultants, New Delhi.|
|Public Health Engineers:||Krimens, New Delhi.|
|Landscape Design:||Design Cell, New Delhi.|
Designed for fostering community interactions, the clubhouse is a relaxed luxury space with a rich and distinctly 'Uptown' feel. The 30,000 sqft Clubhouse is bounded on two sides by multistoried towers of commercial and residential typologies making it imperative to shade these structures and their dominating and interfering views. With a direct view facing other villas, the clubhouse thus only responds to the low-rise urbanity of its own exclusive environment.
The design builds around the double-heighted entrance area, which is the heart of the facility, through which guests move in a rhythmic flow, to the many amenities that are spatially organized in a functionally optimum manner throughout the building.
Common area interiors match the high energy of club life by using the vibrancy of layered geometrical patterns in varied materiality. Schemes with a palette of natural shadings are used in the backdrops. Technological features such as flat-screen televisions, wireless internet and wireless surround-sound speakers meet the expectations of today's high-tech generation. Sustainable elements like cork flooring are utilized, and dropped ceiling features with contemporary light fixtures add architectural interest to all the spaces. The selected materials, furnishings and appointments are high-quality, maintenance-friendly and durable.
The architect duo also aimed to minimize the energy and plant required for mechanical ventilation, emphasizing a sense of place and using the air cooled ambient air for temperature and movement. Extensive overhangs protect louvered and stacking doors whilst providing ample natural light and connection to the exterior.
- Passive/Low energy ventilation strategy – mixed mode ventilation utilizing a plenum air delivery system to tempered air to level one Restaurant and Bar, supplemented by fans, and fully opening doors and windows to allow for natural ventilation and improve occupant thermal comfort whilst minimizing the use of air conditioning
- Shading devices and roof overhangs to ground, first & second floor glazing to minimize glare and solar gain
- Rainwater harvesting tank for the special use of the Clubhouse.
- Low use water fixtures to reduce the amount of potable water used.
- High efficiency lighting, and controls including an intelligent lighting control system, day lighting and occupancy sensors.
- Responsibly resourced materials including imported WPC timber members.
- Internal paint finishes and products with low VOC and formaldehyde content.
- Landscape – all plant species are contextual and locally sourced.
Directorate Complex, Guwahati, Assam
The Government of Assam has a number of directorate offices, ranging from revenue, transport to fisheries and agriculture, catering to the diverse portfolios under the state's purview. Their offices vary from 10,000sq.ft to 50,000sq.ft and currently are located in various parts of the state capital Guwahati, in public and private buildings. This scattered arrangement causes a huge drain on the government's resources and is not functionally convenient for the public interface either.
With this challenge in mind, the Assam Government came up with the idea of allocating a consolidated piece of land to house all directorates under one campus, the 'Directorate Complex, Guwahati' was therefore conceptualised.
|Name of Project :||Directorate Complex|
|Location :||Guwahati, Assam, India|
|Client :||Assam Government|
|Architectural Firm :||Design Forum International|
|Principal Architect :||Anand Sharma|
|Design Team :||Ashish, Vikas Sharma, Navdeep, Nishant|
|Site Area (sq ft & sq m) :||11.42 Acres|
|Built-Up Area (sq ft & sq m):||14.93 lac sq ft|
The site is just off NH-37, connecting Guwahati with the entire North-East region of India, in close proximity to the Interstate Bus Terminus, a very visionary selection since people come from all over the state to access the directorate offices. Site is approximately 11.5 acres and allows for a total built-up area of 7,50,000sq ft of office space plus requisite parking and services infrastructure in basements and site, total planned construction therefore being 1.3 million sq ft.
Structural DesignThe design challenges were straightforward, accommodating highly diverse portfolios with varied public interface in one campus, allowing for massive pedestrian and vehicular movement, both private, government and VIP, security and screening keeping the regional situation in mind.
The opportunities were therefore immense too:
Welcoming: The government offices are generally very intimidating and overbearing; there was an opportunity to create a built form which was more human in scale, growing as receding instead of imposing like a wall. The buildings, therefore, start small towards the front and grow in height towards the rear, blocks rising ground plus two to ground plus four, seven and finally eight floors arranged front to back.
Transparency: Equals visibility, comfort and therefore friendly spaces– all blocks are accessed through a semi-open corridor connecting the building blocks in a ring formation, all accesses visible and clearly identifiable.
Modularity: Common to all directorates, the occupied area is in multiples of 1000sq m or approx 10,000sq ft, therefore, design catered for a floor plate of approximately 20,000sq ft, able to accommodate even the two of the smallest directorates on one floor. All offices therefore could have their own dedicated floors allowing for exclusivity and privacy.
Form: The inspirations were many, a tea leaf, a crown on Maa Durga's head, the loved name of 'Seven Sisters' that the region is known for, all contributed to planning with seven blocks of office buildings, centred with a spinal green, congregation and performance space.
The building blocks are ellipsoids with a central spine forming the circulation line, connecting the vertical transportation and toilet cores at one end to an atrium at the other end. The roof is a doubly curved shell allowing for bigger spans and structural efficiency.
Office blocks: Right over the central spine lies the skylight in the top roof which brings light down throughout the day. The corridors on all levels have slit-shaped cut-outs, allowing for light to filter down to the lower floors. The external glazing walls are slanted outwards as they go up to allow for reflected light rather than direct, helpfully reducing the direct heat gain that comes with it.
Basement: Large cut-outs at the ground level allow for light penetration to the basement levels, reducing the dependence on artificial lighting.
Security and Circulation: The plan allows for screening at all entries and critical points; the traffic flow is planned to cater for different loops for private vehicles, government vehicles and VIPs and most importantly buses for mass transport. High level of transparency and visibility in the public areas contributes greatly to sense of user safety.
Sustainability: It is the key design criterion. The complex is designed for Griha 5 Star rating, the most stringent of all. It has been facilitated more by design intervention than by systems and equipment: High levels of day lighting in the work spaces and basements, green roofs over office blocks with water channels to capture rainwater for harvesting, and natural ventilation in the corridors by virtue of their being open from sides.
Contemporary Living - Sheelkunj Township, Meerut
The deep yellow/grey and beige coloured exteriors contrasted with their bold element (copper red tiles), arouse instant admiration and interest in the architecture and design of the township named Sheel Kunj. A flagship project of Indus Valley Promoters Limited, the 70 acre land is being developed along the Modipuram bypass road in Meerut (UP).
The design brief was to have a maximum number of independent built-up houses of 4, 3 and 2 BHK, besides Duplex and Simplex houses on plot areas of 200, 150 and 125 square yards. The idea was to build houses to suit every need, budget and lifestyle. The basic layout consists of 875 plots with more than 600 plots designated for independent houses.
Generous landscaping featuring water bodies, flora and fauna, and theme parks create serene environment and add to the beauty of the township
All the houses are integrated, functional, and expandable. Space has been created for car parking and for sit out terraces. The layout plan has been envisaged to have the maximum houses that face open green areas. The generous landscaping and serene environment add to the beauty of the township. Features include water bodies, plenty of flora and fauna, and theme parks such as the Hide & Seek Park and the Millennium Park.
The simplicity of the design of the houses is offset by use of bold colours, which complement each other beautifully
A huge glass pyramid surrounded by a colourful water body and set amidst lush green surroundings, is at the very heart of the township
|Architect & Landscape Consultant:||Jagdish. B. Karamchandani, K & Associates, New Delhi.|
|Structure Consultant:||Naresh Matia, Group Genesis, New Delhi|
|Plumbing Consultant:||Phanny Kumar, Kumar Endecon Pvt Ltd, New Delhi|
|Electrical Consultant:||Ajay Kumar, Analyst Consultant, Noida, UP|
This is a gated community with an approach from a 24 meter wide road, and is well connected to Meerut's landmark Modipuram colony. The township's imposing entrance gate leads through rows of trees, a Fountain Avenue, a central vista of sprawling open spaces, a colourful water fountain, and streetlights featuring state-of-the-art lamps. Landscaped green courts with jogging tracks evoke the thrill of living in such serene surroundings and draw up images of many other pleasant surprises in store for the inhabitants.
Walking through the cluster of built-up houses, one is struck by the sight of a glass pyramid square at the very heart of the township. Surrounded by a colourful water body and set amidst lush green surroundings, the area lights up at night to create a spellbinding effect. An amphitheatre in the same location is designed to serve as a stage for the community to hold plays and entertaining performances.
The township planners took a holistic approach to create a unique identity such that the integrity of the architecture design concept is maintained throughout the layout. The houses bear names of beautiful flowers such as Tulip, Aster, Gardenia, Carnation, Dahlia, Magnolia, etc, that reflect the visual and elemental bond with the landscaped green areas and water bodies.
K & Associates, a Delhi-based architecture and engineering firm, has emerged as a versatile consultancy service provider to all type of projects. It offers innovative design solutions, precise building execution, and sustainable development.
Jagdish. B. Karamchandani, the firm's Principal Architect, who did his graduation in Architecture in 1972 from Hyderabad, has more than 43 years of experience in Architecture and Town Planning. He has designed and executed more than 60 projects ranging from high rise to low rise group housing, townships, commercial buildings, sports facilities, clubs and educational institutes. Since the last two decades, he has been holding a senior leadership role of managing mega projects in Delhi's Real Estate sector. Clients include Parsvnath Developers, Omaxe India, and Ansal Housing & Construction amongst others. He has also served as President (Architecture) of JSPL Group companies.