Zydus Corporate Park, the official headquarter of the Zydus Cadila pharmaceutical company, is located outside Ahmedabad, Gujarat, in an extremely hot and dry climate (max 122°F). Through this project we aimed to achieve sustainability benchmarks and our design strategy was deeply rooted in the rich architectural heritage and traditional crafts of the region. Our concept revolved around creating a bespoke office design that would express the celebratory spirit of the close-knit Gujarati community. The architectural expectation was of being globally and locally relevant. This region is replete with contextual references such as the Bhadra Fort, the Pavagadh Fort, stepped courts of Adalaj and the iconic ‘Bhunga’ architecture from Kutch. The three large rampart like walls form the western façade and shield the project from the harsh temperatures of the highway (145°F). These doubly curved steel surfaces (14,200 data points) were inspired by the traditional metal work of the ‘Kansaras’ (vessel makers) of Gujarat, and their complex geometries were plotted through computational programming. The challenge was marrying the age-old knowledge of craftsmen, who build by hand, to the precision required in the geometry of these walls. In an amalgamation of technology and tradition, the parabolic bending of these trapezoidal surfaces, in accordance with the digital drawings, was entirely carried out by the workforce on site. The triangulated glass modules, sprinkled across the corten steel walls, reference the Bhunga mirror work (architectural ornamentation from Kutch). These provide contextual identity and have a dichroic finish that catches the sun's movement throughout the day, rendering the façade with perpetual dynamism. The façade sits beside a reflecting water body, and the water ripples lend a shimmering effect to the dichroic glass modules during the night. In addition to being an environmental shield, the 47m by 125m walls house the entire social space for 2000 people. The walls shield and create an oasis for the North-South oriented office towers that sit behind these walls. These towers are sufficiently apart to allow shade in the stepped courtyards below, thereby encouraging outdoor use even in this climate. The open work halls are 100% glare-free, 100% daylit and blinds free. The use of passive design and climate responsive strategies help lower energy requirements and consumption, resulting in an EPI of 56 kWh/sq.m./yr, thus consuming 50% lesser energy than the best green building standards. The walls were accommodated within the $70 per sq.ft. cost of the fully finished building. Other crafts such as in-situ terrazzo flooring, mould-cast cementitious pigmented tiles, and hand turned metal furniture, along with installations formed a key part of the materiality aspect within the project, whilst also promoting local crafts. Circulation spaces in between the walls run from East to West, where in all human engagement is concentrated. It consists of breakout spaces, alcove seating, bistros, employee engagement activity areas, setups for brainstorming sessions and informal meetings. This spine connects all the formal work areas, akin to a vertebral setup. In today’s context this spine space also serves as a social distancing space that allows the workforce to spread out. The lines of architecture and landform seamlessly converge and diverge to expand the planning diagram across the site. This is further layered in detailing and materiality by the five elements in nature. The Eastern side behind the walls hosts all the outdoor activities and the landscape is designed with shaded breakout spaces and courts. The design exemplifies the ideology of 'equity and transparency' within the workplace. Paying homage to local artisans is an integral part of our architectural vocabulary and enables us to be contextually relevant.
Established by Sonali and Manit Rastogi in 1996, Morphogenesis has developed an architectural language which is contextual and climatically sensitive. Our works are rooted in the cultural, social, and economic conditions of the region. Since the firm’s inception, we have successfully created exemplars that consume 50-70% lesser energy than established green rating benchmarks, without incurring any additional cost. Optimization of all resources is a pre-requisite to our architecture today and this has conservatively resulted in over 9 million sq.m. of built environment benefitting over 5,60,000 inhabitants, while also saving 22 billion litres of freshwater, 4.1 billion kW/hr of energy and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 3.3 billion kg. Morphogenesis has copyrighted its design process S.O.U.L.©2019, an acronym for sustainable, optimized, unique, and liveable. The firm has won over 120 international and national awards, and has been featured in 900+ publications.
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