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Industrial Architecture: by DesignCollab, New Delhi

Posted by
on June 03, 2017 at 06:16 AM

© Courtesy of DesignCollab

Architects Arnab Bannerji and Uday Wagle lead DesignCollab, a collaborative venture between their respective design practices (as the firm’s name suggests) based in New Delhi and Bangalore. Their collaboration integrates the benefits of architecture, interior design, landscape design and master-planning, and a wealth of over 34 years of combined experience, to deliver well rounded comprehensive solutions to their clients. This rewarding collaboration has won them the patronage of an impressive list of clients that includes some of the top corporates, industrial houses and even government agencies in the country, as has it also attracted significant recognition and media coverage. Their commitment to the green cause is also emphatically underlined in all their designs, be they residences, retail outlets, offices or industries.

The recently completed textile production unit for the upmarket Maspar brand of home furnishings at Sonepat, Haryana, is a distilled example of DesignCollab’s multidisciplinary approach and its inherent and consistent benefits. This industrial design, which successfully addresses a range of incumbent factors to deliver an operationally simple yet translationally sophisticated solution, manages to turn the textile industry’s reputation of being environmentally hostile on its head, even earning itself a ‘green building’ tag!  

© Courtesy of DesignCollab

Mahajan Overseas Private Limited used to manufacture its premiem Maspar brand of furnishing textiles from various production facilities scattered over Panipat, Haryana. With an aim to consolidate their production on a single premise, they acquired a 3.7 acre plot of land in Sonepat and approached DesignCollab to design the facility. The site, with its perfect north-south orientation, presented the designers with some appreciable pointers to the solution.

© Courtesy of DesignCollab

Electing to distribute the available F.A.R. of 16,800 sq. m. over three identical buildings of ground + 3 floors each, the designers sought to seek the north light advantage that the arrangement spontaneously lent by having the longer faces of the three buildings facing dead north. Moreover, this strategy enabled a phased execution of the project as was desired by the client.

© Courtesy of DesignCollab

The north light that floods all the four floors through the full frontal glazing is supplemented by the day light let in from the opposite southern face through vertical and horizontal shading devices that cut the glare. A predominantly open plan throughout the optimally deep floor plate helps evenly distribute this supply of daylight resulting in an ideal ambient light. This significantly reduces the need for task lighting, creating a comfortable work space for skilled workforce which mostly works by hand., 

© Courtesy of DesignCollab

A water trough runs along the length of the facade, as a landscaped reflection of the glazed front of the building rising above it. The air passing over it gets cooled before entering the building from the bottom of the glass façade, to rise up along the four storey high well formed by maintaining a gap between the front and all the floor plates. As the stacking effect leads this cool air to flow into all the four floors, its circulation is aided by the exhaust effect of the low RPM fans fitted into the rear wall. Not only does this arrangement help the building respire, ensuring a constant circulation of fresh air inside, but it also cools the interior air to 15 to 5 degrees lower than the exteriors from the first to the fourth floors respectively.

© Courtesy of DesignCollab

This application of apparently fairly simple techniques combined with an obvious clarity of approach seems to have led to the accomplishment of some lofty design goals. The pleasing exteriors contributed by sophisticated, minimalist façade aesthetics packaged in optimal landscape does convey the sense of serenity and order desired to combat the rough-and-tumble of industrial activity. The interior, in addition to lining up the efficient flow of function, takes care of energy efficiency and human comfort through effective natural lighting and ventilation and clean-lined aesthetics. Of course, this manufacturing unit of Mahajan Overseas Private Limited has been certified by the Indian Green Building Council.

© Courtesy of DesignCollab

That sensible building design can aid in reducing energy consumption and maintaining environmental balance as well as worker comfort in the textile industry, which contributes majorly to the Indian economic output, is indeed a cause for celebration. But, more importantly, the applicability and scalability of the simple design tools employed by DesignCollab to achieve this end must inspire change-making emulation. That would indeed amount to impactful architecture!

© Courtesy of DesignCollab
© Courtesy of DesignCollab

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