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Retrofitted Kinetic Brand Façade Script -The Flag Ship Store by Godrej, Bengaluru

By: Uttaran B. Ray

Signature projects require multidisciplinary Collaboration to achieve the design and performance intents. As there are no specific references as guidelines to follow; the execution approach is based upon numerous R&D driven trial & error results. Such projects demand immense time and resource investments by all stakeholders of the project. The hands-on participation of like-minded collaborators is what is essentially required for a successful delivery of a non-standard project.

Script -The Flag Ship Store by Godrej at Bengaluru
Script -The Flag Ship Store by Godrej at Bengaluru

Inspired by the constantly changing lifestyles, Script – by Godrej, is a movement to augment the ‘Freedom of Living’, through good design. Life should be lived with ease and joy. Hence, the aim is to make daily experiences memorable through innovations that naturally complement your lifestyle. The Script offers beautiful and intelligent products for people who seek a fluid, intuitive and aesthetic experience within their homes.

The Flagship Store

Relevant to the contemporary urban lifestyle, this flagship store boasts of carefully crafted and customised architecture, interior and furniture design. The Script store is an amalgamation of design and technology. This union, employed throughout the 14,000 sq ft store creates a distinct niche for the brand’s unique offerings in the urban furnishing market. Creating a bridge between mid-segment and luxury, this everyday premium store is aptly located on the 100 ft road, Indiranagar, Bengaluru.

The Location

The store design takes a step further by creating a glass box for visual merchandising
The store design takes a step further by creating a glass box for visual merchandising

Indiranagar 100 ft road is the upcoming high street of Bengaluru. It is also a residential area. This was the main challenge: to create a balance between blending into the residential area and standing out on the commercial street. Previously, a Godrej Interio outlet, this west-facing store also had several challenges with regard to the solar heat dynamics. The natural foliage in front of the store provided some shading. However, it overlapped the façade and signage. The orientation of the store created issues with the visibility of the signage from different directions too.

The Iconic Boutique Façade

Being the flagship store, the intention was to create an iconic design that provides a dramatic feel at different hours of the day. The store design takes a step further by creating a glass box for visual merchandising. This box with a double height atrium serves as a focal point of the façade. Winch suspension systems were used to hang the merchandise. All these details have developed a dynamic ever-changing façade that in turn becomes a “talk of the town” attraction.

Conceptualised by Gensler and detailed by FRDC; the technical design intent given to Studio Form Techniques was that of a façade with louvers with perforated artwork that would open and close in sync. The façade was required to have a “day face” in the open position and a “night face” in the closed position with the script brand logo backlit by dynamic RGB LED lighting. In addition to the visual and kinetic functions, the perforated louvers perform as sunscreens for the west facing façade to shade of the clear glass shop front glazing behind.

The entire structural animated modelling was done on solid works. A CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) study was done to ensure the movements were without any interferences and performed with the prevalent wind loads. The design intent, shop drawings and the prototype of the louvers based upon R & D was done in parallel with many iterations and revisions. Numerous trial and errors were documented and reported as fabrication limitations to the tolerant and supportive Godrej management.

28 kinetic louvers, made of 10mm thick aluminium panels – in closed and open position 28 kinetic louvers, made of 10mm thick aluminium panels – in closed and open position

Exo-Frame: The existing building showroom façade was dismantled and the outer main frame structural steel was retrofitted. Hilti was consulted on specifying the high performance anchors required for anchoring on to the old civil RC structure. The engineering report of interface reactions was reviewed by the structural consultant. 28 kinetic louvers, made of 10mm thick aluminium panels were used. The louvers size varied in height from 2.5 m to 3.4 m with a standardised width of 800 mm.

The artwork for the perforation pattern ‘SCRIPT’ logo spread over the entire façade was generated by Gensler. These various diameter holes were water jet cut onto the panels. Each of the 28 louvers had non-repetitive distinct perforation patterns. The panels were then TIG welded, bead blasted and matte black powder coated. Each of the louvers has a specific location; that would complete the logo when the louvers were in closed position.

The interiors with open and closed louvers The interiors with closed louvers

Mecha-Tronics: After an exhaustive iterative R&D process, gears, double ball bearing swivels and timing belts were sourced and applied. The working concept is based on CNC machines that have similar high precision synchro movements. High torque electric actuators were used to drive the pivotal rotation. The linear stroke was converted into rotational movement using an assembly of rack and pinion gears. Each of the actuators was wired to custom-made programmable controllers. These controllers had LASER diodes that were mounted onto the actuator pistons. This gives us real-time feedback as to how much the stroke length is required to open and close the louvers precisely.

To control the actuator for synchronous open and closed positions of the louvers; a mobile app was developed. The electronic communication between each of the actuators was developed on a patented addressable RF (Radio Frequency) platform. The mobile app GUI to activate the RF controllers is via WiFi /bluetooth. Lamberts U-Profile Glazing: It is noteworthy to mention that a part of the road facing façade which is recessed inside the building; comprises of structural U-profile glass panels. These vertical U-profile glass panels are extra clear, tempered and translucent glass. Generally used for art galleries to diffuse the glare of intense natural light. When used as a double layer, this system provides for thermal insulation as well.

The interiors with open and closed louvers The interiors with open louvers

Solid Aluminium Cladding: In this project, ACP has not been used at all. There are 380 panels of 2mm thick aluminium CNC cut and bent panels powder coated matte black.

QUICK FACTS:
Project: Script – The Flagship Store
Location: Indiranagar, Bengaluru
Client: Godrej
Architects: FRDC & GENSLER
Structural Consultant: BL Manjunath
PMC: CUBEZ
Materials used for façade: Aluminium Louvers Façade
Area: 110 sq m
Alminium Cladding Area: 400 sq m
Shop Front Glazing Area: 140 sq m
Lamberts LINIT U –Profile
Glazing Area: 80 sq m
Duration: 14 Months

Uttaran B. Ray

Founder & MD

Uttaran Baidya Ray is the Managing Director of Bengaluru-based design firm Studio Form Techniques Pvt Ltd. He completed his Bachelor of Architecture from MIT Manipal, Mangalore University in 1998. With an overall 18 years of experience in engineered glass design & turnkey contracting, understanding working with various other composite materials & fabrication methods is not a challenge for him. Uttaran Baidya Ray, with his innovative approach to provide design solutions by integrating emerging technology, has designed a number of remarkable projects. His mission is to be the market leader in the customised architectural products segment and steer the company as a corporate entity that will take “innovation India” to the rest of the world.

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