I would like to believe that I am a contextualist, and the building I have designed fits into its neighbourhood without pandering to or copying its neighbours. Mumbai is the commercial capital of India, and Bandra, where this building is located is a busy suburb with mixed development of residential & commercial.. The building is located on an almost island like site and is surrounded by three different street frontages. It is about a five minutes walk to the railway station & thus makes good commercial & business sense. The plot, thus, generated is trapezoidal in shape, and so also the plan.
The juxtaposition of two kinds of forms generated a dramatic blend of solids and voids, intermingled with terraces, all moulded in sharp planes and angles, so as to generate a razor sharp aesthetic. The roof top oases and the double height void allow the prevailing winds to pass through the building. They animate the spaces to deliver a workplace that enables cultural change and, thus, provides improved productivity. Conceptually, the plan was derived by placing the core on the narrower southern side of the plot, adjacent to the main entrance to act as a solar buffer by reducing heat gain to the longer north facing office space. This is also the side which does not face the road, thus, allowing the office space to enjoy views from the three open sides.
There are two basements for parking. The ground and first floor in clear glass are meant for retail and act as a pedestal for the sculptural form of the tower above. The next six floors are full floors and trapezoidal in shape, until it reaches the eighth, here the plan of the office reduces to a half floor, with the other half of the floor becoming a terrace. This pentagonal profile generated, carries on through the eighth and ninth floor and slices through the full trapezoidal tenth floor creating a large double height void to rise up above into three more half floors above the 10th i,e, into the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth floor. Thus, creating another terrace at the eleventh floor. The idea was to generate two sizes of offices with the lower ones being larger, and the upper ones are smaller, these can also be combined vertically to form a single large office or can also be used separately as smaller offices, thereby, increasing options for the end user and promoter. The kaleidoscopic facade of the trapezoidal lower floors (2+6) is created like a composition, using three different glasses – dark green, light green and platinum silver.
No two panels have the same configuration, we wanted to create abstraction, and dynamism. The lines of the different coloured glasses generate a vertical geometry which we further fragmented by using horizontal triangular aluminium profiles which are scattered all over the lower mass in varying lengths creating a variety of shadow lines, which are backlit at night. This complicated geometry of the facade was shop fabricated in the unitized system with specific codes and numbers to make the installation process easier. The pentagonal tower which starts at the eighth floor and emerges through the tenth, thereafter, going up to the 13th floor, was intentionally clad in only a single color so as to accentuate its slender proportions and play up the complexities of the lower trapezoidal mass.
The roof profile of this mass was also sloped in both directions to reflect heat off, instead of absorbing heat like a regular flat roof, and transmitting it into the offices below. It thereby reduces cooling energy loads & acts as a cool roof. The tower thus generated, while emphasizing and fulfilling its site conditions with a side core, and a glass enclosure as paradigms of space and structural optimization also reformulates this paradigm by incorporating concepts aimed at the improvement of the users life quality through the incorporation of elements like natural light and ventilation, engaging views and the efficient use of energy. We used a technically advanced high performance, low e-coated double glazed facade, so as to improve the indoor environment quality and maximize natural light through sun penetration and seasonal sun pattern studies. This helped to identify areas and directions that needed higher performance glazing to increase energy efficiency by reducing the dependence on artificial lighting and air conditioning.
Thus, the office area was placed in the north block to enjoy good sunlight, without the heat, while the staircase block is in the south and has only platinum glass, which is high performance & highly reflective and therefore has low heat penetration capacities. The lobbies too use energy efficient tubes for lighting. Rainwater harvesting reduces the wastage of water and can be used for flushing and landscaping.
We are awaiting a leed certification for core and shell. Thus at 32,000 sq.ft.(2982 sq.m) it is a small building with big ideals !!
Architects: Architect Seema Puri & Zarir Mullan | Seema Puri and Zarir Mullan