Project in Detail
Office for an Advertising Film Production Company
SJK Architects, Mumbai, India
World Architecture Festival 2012 - Shortlisted
A box out of the box
A BOX OUT OF THE BOX
This is an office space for an advertising film production company. A film production firm that thinks out of the box, their films are a surprise – an unexplored humane perspective on a product. Their workspace is based on the thought that the connection of synapses creates ideas – not privacy or isolation.
The “box” for this office emerged, as with all urban buildings, out of a small corner plot in the heart of the busy & lush neighborhood of Indira Nagar in Bangalore, India. Optimizing space, site setbacks, allowable FSI (Floor Space Index) for a commercial project, are given, in gaining 750 sq.m of total built up area on a site of 280 sq.m. The building was built within a budget of INR 2.5 Crores (complete building inclusive of all services & interiors).
The unfortunate situation of the corner plot, open along its south & west faces, was reversed by adopting a design core, the N-S connector staircase that slices through the building with a huge skylight above, suffusing it with sunlight and natural ventilation much like a courtyard would in another typology.
However, this project explores the possibilities inherent in a commercial building despite the constraints of Indian real estate & state bye laws. The resulting urban typology overturns all norms – using almost NO electricity – for light or ventilation.
The divisions of work and non work, outside and inside are obliterated by the presence of the staircase core. The façade further facilitates the connections to the outside with the fixed glass and openable acrylic louvers.
Thus the louvers, opaque and solid, open in unison to allow the breeze in, modulating light, wind and rain. The notion of wall and window is interchanged, leading to a dynamic façade. The window is solid, the wall transparent and open. These louvers, built of 100% Acrylic solid surface sheets, were customized, and used as a moveable exterior element for the first time in India.
The staircase core needed a permeable flexible device, to allow light & ventilation, and yet block out rain and peering neighbors. This 6m high wood & clear acrylic “jali” (screen) is actually a set of 150mm wide, 16 louvers interlocked into each other, capable of moving in unison, again, and opening to ventilate the stairwell.
The solid black bathrooms, the only space that demands privacy, were created to contrast completely with the suffused light quality of the rest of the building.
The studied lightness of structure and material – no beams, and three materials – concrete, old recyclable wood and glass produces a building where light and shadow, thought and interaction become the protagonists.
The building raw shell forms its finished shell; in-situ grey cement IPS floor polished in coconut oil, form-finished concrete slab soffits, painted white walls, connected moveable louvers in faceted white solid acrylic, the moveable 6m high wooden screen and saw cut wooden benches (all made from old Burma Teak wood procured from local old markets). Reuse of old salvaged wooden windows, doors and few furniture pieces procured from old local markets ensure reuse of recycled resources, reducing demand for virgin materials.
The site has a large Mahogany tree( Swietenia Mahogani) on the west & copper pod (Peltophorum Pterocarpum) on south, thus shading most of the west & south faces, allowing for clear float glass on the facade, avoiding use of any reflective glass. Thus, daylight pours in through the day avoiding the use of artificial lights.
This being a creative advertising studio, with erratic work hours, artificial lighting had to be efficient. LEDs in leisure spaces & Fluorescent tube light fittings in task oriented spaces have been adopted, thus optimizing energy efficient lighting methods and conserving power.
The large trees also allow filtered air in, through faceted white openable louvered shutters, naturally ventilating the space and discouraging use of air conditioners.
Rain water from west-side roof run-offs is harvested in a water collection pond at the stilt level and used for landscape. Rain water down take pipes terminate into a filter medium around the bore-well, thus recharging the bore-well to increase eventual ground water level as well as reduce its hardness factor.
A contemporary building that ignores any “isms” and stands for innovation, sustainability and pluralism (all stylistic features co-exist – old classical chairs, kitschy graphics, old recycled windows).
The project’s success is revealed with the production team’s comments “We work longer hours & look forward to coming to work. We love the light and its everywhere”.
Ms Shimul Javeri Kadri
Ms Sarika Shetty
Client / Developer
Ms Sneha Iype Varma
Client / Developer
Mr Prakash Varma
Mr Thimmaraju H
Mr Charan Dev
MECA Project Engineers Pvt. Ltd.,
Ms Poonam Sachdev
Play Design Studio
Mr Shivanand BC
S & S Associates
Tristone Faceted Shutter Fabrication
Mr Sadanand Shinde