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The Perforated Façade Punjab Kesari Headquarters
By: Amit Gupta & Britta Knobel Gupta
The Punjab Kesari Headquarters, currently under construction, recently received the International Property Awards for Best Office Architecture India 2016-17. Sustainability is at the epicentre of the project embedded in form of optimized natural lighting, cross ventilation and reduction of heat gain.
Designed by Studio Symbiosis, the design for the 18,000-square-meter office space is a “Fusion” of traditional Indian architecture and contemporary office space. 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. The building is wrapped in a beautiful perforated facade that evokes traditional “Jali” screens and serves to maximize natural light while minimizing heat gain.
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. 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. The office floors are dividable into smaller units to achieve flexible units ranging from 500 to 2000sqm.
The Façade Design
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. 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 80per cent of the floor plate; this is done to ensure that artificial lighting is not required inside the building on a normal day.
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 façade that had a dual purpose of creating performative architecture and also created variable openings on the façade in various orientations generating a design for the façade that is animating and has an inherent meaning. This resulting pattern morphs from 81 per cent opacity on the north façade to 27 per cent opacity on the south façade, with an intermediate opacity of 54 per cent on East and 62 per cent on west façade respectively.
Main entrance – closeup
The Jali façade is made of Glass Reinforced Concrete panels. In terms of construction tolerances a system has been adopted whereby through computer numerical control (CNC), milling, a mould will be created for the façade pattern and this mould will be used for casting the façade 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.
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.
The project design was commissioned in 2014 and went into construction in August 2015. The opening date for the project is January 2017.
Project:Punjab Kesari Headquarters Location: Delhi NCR, India Client: Punjab Kesari Architects: Studio Symbiosis Architects Design: Britta Knobel Gupta, Amit Gupta Associate: Pranav Semwal Lead Project Architect: Akshay Kodoori Project Team: Isha Pundir, Manu Sharma, Dentisa Koleva, S. Adarsh Site Area: 5200 Sq m Built-up Area: 18,000 Sq m Foundation Stone Ceremony: 28th June 2015 Start Construction: August 2015 Actual Condition Site: First Floor is getting casted Image Credits: Studio Symbiosis Awards: Winner Best Office Architecture India 2016-17, International Property Awards
Amit Gupta & Britta Knobel Gupta
Amit Gupta has been involved in projects of various scales and sectors ranging from hospitality, commercial, residential, mixed use and master plans. Graduated from Architectural Association school of Architecture, London, he has been looking at creating robust and efficient forms of designs with sustainability embedded in them.
After graduating from Architectural Association school of Architecture, London, Britta Knobel Gupta worked in London as lead architect for Zaha Hadid Architects for a period of five years involved in a number of key international projects such as Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre, Broad Art Museum in Michigan, Dubai Opera House, etc. As co-founder of Studio Symbiosis Architects, she is involved in projects of various scales.