The design for the corporate office of India Glycols embodies issues concerning the workplace of today, and explores the paradigm of an office space as a social activity.
Located in a non-contextual suburban area of Delhi, the setting has led to the development of an introverted scheme that would address environmental and socio-economic issues from the first principles.
As is the nature of most corporate developments, the building had to exemplify the identity, corporate ideology of equity and the transparency in the workplace as an integral part of the architectural vocabulary. Conceived as a solid perimeter scheme with a more fluid interior, the morphology blurs the interface between the inside and outside. The site’s context, along with an optimum enclosed square volume, enabled a built form with minimum exposed surface area. The built form configures in 8m wide office bays that optimize natural day lighting and helps to define the programmatic requirements of the office.
A stacking system is used to generate a variety of open spaces; courtyards, verandahs, terraces, green roofs, etc. that help to structure the office spaces. A central spine, traversing the built volume, serves as the common activity zone, with other departments branching out. The design’s conceptual strength comes from the spatial organization, which creates overlaps between the exterior and the interior, and between the various programmatic requirements.
Enhancing the space into a vibrant and creative working environment.
Passive design techniques are employed throughout, taking into consideration the relevance of energy conscious design within the modern work culture. Solar exclusion is achieved by means of a solid external perimeter, only permitting diffused daylight into the office environs. Reliance on artificial lighting is substantially reduced as the courtyards were created in order to increase natural light levels on the floor plates. Green roofs and terrace gardens also provide a high level of thermal insulation. Water bodies aid in evaporative cooling, reducing dependence on artificial means of cooling and also create a microcosm of the civic environment rich with the potential for social transactions.
The underlying principle was that ‘The work place should manifest itself as a more flexible and integral part of an employee’s life rather than a separate entity of specified hours of confinement.’ Rhythmic articulation of volumes and spaces generates a scheme that is a radical departure from the structured differentiated spaces of the traditional office.
The IGL campus makes a cultural statement through the importance and relevance of energy conscious design within the contemporary Indian work culture paradigm.
Architecture Studio: Morphogenesis
Photographer: Andre J Fanthome & Edmund Sumner