This Experience Center for Baashyaam is an expansive canopy floating over slender metal columns
Arranged in a free plan form, their placement defines a natural movement spine along the longitudinal axis says Amit Rastogi Associate & Studio Head CNT Architects
Where is this project located?
Located in Chennai metropolitan at a close proximity to the city’s transit hub, the site is approached from a highly buzzing Poonamalli high road. Koyembedu metro station is situated diagonally across the road.
What was the client brief when he approached you with the project? Accordingly, what was the design strategy you adopted?
The clients’ aspirations were to achieve a world class facility for the experience centre. Rest of the brief given was more in terms of the number of users & the programme they needed. We wanted to come up with something really unique not only as a space and experience. But a holistic design to create engaging and enthralling environments by amalgamating the Architecture, Interior design and Landscape.
What are some of the key materials used and colour scheme adopted in the dedicated and the common areas (including flooring and walling)?
Key construction material was Steel in terms of the architectural fabric. Generally, Finishes were kept more industrial in a tone of greys and colours were brought in by the Environmental graphics, lacquered glass, furniture and accent floorings to spiced up spaces a little. Use of wood at strategic locations brought the desired richness and warmth to the spaces.
How much ambient light does this project receive? What kind of lights have been utilized for artificial illumination?
Lighting strategies were the key to achieve the kind of ambience we were looking for in the spaces. Although natural daylight was abundant, we had to control, redirect and reflect the light to achieve the right balance. Natural light from the sides was controlled by tall compound walls and rich peripheral green to cut down the direct heat gain and reduce the brightness to comfortable levels. Along the spine right in the centre, a series of skylights were created to bring in light to the heart of the space, which creates a magical shadow pattern after passing through intricate trellis features in the ceiling.Artificial light followed a similar strategy, the circulation spaces are lit by numerous low consumption track lights, strategically placed to highlight the ceiling design & create good ambience for the spaces below. All the enclosed Pods are lit by diffused Led fixtures to maintain comforting brightness levels for the users. The lighting colour scheme is generally warm, achieved by combination of neutral white and warm white light emitting fixtures.
What are some of the features which make this project energy efficient/ sustainable?
Lifespan of the facility is five years; after which it will be dismantled. Hence, majority of the structure is designed in steel for recyclability and reuse. The modular structural elements are going to be used for another project of the developer, making this project as sustainable as possible. Circulation spaces are well shaded and allow a lot of cross breezes, essential for comfort in hot humid weather of Chennai; reducing need of air conditioning to the minimum.
What according to you is the USP of this project?
It is experiential architecture, The journey through the project reveals intricately detailed spatial sequences carefully and gradually which are crafted by the thoughtful blend of architecture, landscape and interior design. Visual frames and experiences unfold in layers to keep the visitor captivated & intrigued throughout.