This building is located on the main Pune – Bangalore highway where vehicles move at around 100 km. per hour. Thus the perception of this building had to be catchy and arresting enough to make an impact in those very few seconds of visibility. It was not important to see the displayed cars in the showroom while driving at that speed, but it was important to register the showroom image as an expression of Tata Motors.
Thus the design acquired a dynamic form – a modern, futuristic, high-tech image expressing a new innovative, progressive quality of Tata Motors – as against their normal conservative, traditional approach.
Steel seemed to be the only material to do justice to this dynamic, futuristic form.
The building houses three major functions – that of sales (with its display sales, account & administrative staff), service ( with its spares’ store, accounts staff, owners’ lounge etc) and a large workshop space with 36 car bays, a paint shop, body shop, wheel alignment, stores, workers’ rooms & toilets etc. Both the sale and the service wings have mezzanine floors for their related, allied activities. Both these wings are separated by a central driveway from the workshop area for the ready vehicles to come out.
The planning of these 3 major functions and their allied functions is such that there is tremendous functional convenience, ease of circulation and efficiency in the over all functioning of this small complex.
The showroom demanded a large floor space with minimum obstruction from columns. Thus 2 steel tree columns were introduced to achieve this. The steel pipes branch out to support the principal rafters (P.R) of the roof above. This could be done only with steel. These tree columns also create a unique spatial ambience within.
Similarly, the large spans of the workshop could be dealt with very easily with castellated steel girders. These girders not only bring about economy in the steel, but can also be used to pass service lines through them.
The steel structure of the workshop also helps in creating north light openings for light and on south side for utilization.
Though separate, each of these functions are interconnected and visual supervision is possible too, especially from the central mezzanine space.
Two large open spaces were provided, one for parking of new cars in the front and the other for accident vehicles at the back.
The steel framework for the front façade with the supporting steel columns kind of continues in a different profile as the roof framework – initially over the showroom & service areas and then onto the workshop.
Because of the steel space frame like façade (that was designed to withstand the lateral wind pressure), no other R.C.C columns or masonry walls were needed. Here the aluminum composite panels and the glass panels are not used as superficial, cosmetic cladding over walls but as actual walls and wall surfaces in themselves.
The glass and aluminum composite panels, used for the facade besides being symbols of modernity are also low maintenance materials. The multi faceted facade, looks different at different times from different angles because of the multiple reflections – more than 45 wall sections of the façade were worked out to facilitate the execution of this interesting but complex façade.
The multiple surfaces of the façade, on the steel space frame are configured in such a way as to accentuates entries, bring in light, ventilation and finally create a uniquely beautiful, eye catching and contemporary ambience.
The structural steel is used economically at approximately 20-22 kgs per square meter for the entire roof and front wall structure.
The overall cost of the building worked out to Rs. 8180/- per square meter (Rs. 760/- per square foot) . The use of the steel here was most appropriate because of the spans, ease & speed of construction and its versatility for this particular architectural built form. On the whole, the whole spatial – functional experience is a pleasantly attractive one for all – the owners, staff, workers, the customers and the car itself.