The client’s brief required an administrative office at the factory site of a cement plant of an area 3300 sq.m. Located in the desert state, Rajasthan in India, this office building echoes the sand dunes of the surrounding landscape in angular planes covered with grass simultaneously contrasting with its surroundings & creating an energy efficient building. This is a building that imbibes tradition, responds to the desert climate of its location, is energy efficient and creates a sculptural presence with open & enclosed spaces interspersed interestingly.
Office spaces are laid out in a single level around a large courtyard space, imbibing the traditional Indian open courtyard plan with working spaces abutting it. The entire site is covered with grass with angular planes rising gradually over the built up spaces & shielding them from temperatures that vary between 40oC & 50oC during the extended summer months (April to September) prevalent in the region.
Throughout the year natural wind blows from the south-west in this region & to capitalize on this a large pool of water is created on the southwest side with a narrow opening into the courtyard. This would facilitate a wind tunnel effect drawing in air, cooled by passing over the water into the courtyard.
Each of the office spaces open onto shielded outdoor courtyard gardens that allow indirect sunlight into them. The planning of this building itself ensures cool naturally ventilated & naturally lit spaces within it. The large central courtyard is punctuated by skylights made up of triangular wedge shaped modules that are oriented to facilitate northern indirect light inside, while the southern side with direct light are made up of solar panels that would generate energy for the building.
The design of the building thus capitalizes on natural resources & the prevalent climatic conditions of the region to create an extremely energy efficient building. Harnessing wind for natural ventilation by the wind tunnel & water pool, expelling hot air by natural wind flow, deriving solar energy & simultaneously lighting the internal spaces through north facing indirect light while creating a series of spaces linked together in a traditional way by open circulation & courtyard spaces make a cohesive effort to create a sustainable environment. The sculpted feel of the spaces within the building create a unique work environment underneath the angular planes of grass that reduce the heat gain into the building substantially.
SANJAY PURI & TORAL DOSHI
BIOME , RAJASTHAN by Sanjay Puri in India won the WA Award Cycle 9. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.
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