Commercial and corporate architecture in Mumbai has evolved a generic idiom and nowhere is this more apparent that at the Bandra-Kurla complex where a myriad of glass monoliths exist side by side, one indistinguishable from the other.
The site for the GMS commercial building, located at Kalina, is but a stones throw from Bandra Kurla. It was imperative that we make an informed departure from the existing architecture surrounding our site, and, in the absence of any valid programmatic density within the project brief itself, we harvested site, climatic and urban constrains as molding vectors for our concept. We hoisted the building 8.0m above the ground thus liberating the street level to be inhabited by trees, water and judiciously scaled lobbies and a common café, thus eliminating the presence of massive built up form at the street level.
Four levels of lease-able commercial space are bound by a volume shaped by the diurnal cycles of the sun, an even distribution of floor area and by the desire to visually lengthen the proportion of the structure.
Material affixation has been decided by the orientation of the building. The street facing West façade is clad with seamless corrugated aluminum with sun shaded fenestrations to reduce glare. Major services are stacked in the South whilst the North and East façades are skinned with laminated glass in order to suffuse the interior spaces with natural light. Services and glazing have been designed in compliance with ‘Green Building’ Standards.
The superstructure is composed entirely of steel with a 16.0m wide span central column grid providing flexible workspace, while deflected structural shear skins transmit cantilever loads to the ground. A rigid grid on the typical floors mutates into raked asymmetric jumbo sections on the podium level as offset superstructure and basement grids rationalize themselves through this interstitial void.
The fragmented roof office of the client visually disconnects itself from the typical floors, the only tangible link being a section of the structural skin turning over to generate the faceted roof and glass wall membranes of the upper two levels.
The client and his son occupy suites at the two extremities of a cantilevered tube that punctures the upper levels and projects into space.
We have made an attempt, through consistent datamining of various conditions, to imbue what has been a hitherto sterile and symbol driven genre of Architecture, with logic and meaningful content thereby establishing a new paradigm which in the near future would serve as a departure point for our forthcoming work.