The façade on this unique Indian building assists with ventilation and ensures no artificial lighting is required during a typical day
The Punjab Kesari Headquarters in Delhi, India is designed as a "Fusion" of traditional Indian architecture and contemporary office space, the main objective is to reduce heat gain and optimise the façade opening ratio, ensuring no artificial lighting is required during the day.
The inspiration was to translate a traditional Indian façade pattern by using digital simulations into an iterative process to create a responsive built form. This traditional "Jali" screen creates culturally a sense of belonging. Lux level of 500 has been achieved in the building at a workstation height from each floor plate, along with a daylight factor of two over 80% of the floor plate; this is done to ensure that artificial lighting is not required inside the building on a normal day.
A hexagonal pattern was used as a base and through iterative processes various porosity patterns were generated from it to create different light conditions. This resulted in a variable opacity condition in the façade that had a dual purpose of creating performative architecture and also created variable openings on the facade in various orientations generating a design for the facade that is animating and has an inherent meaning. This resulting pattern morphs from 81% opacity on the north facade to 27% opacity on the south façade, with an intermediate opacity of 54% on east and 62% on west facade respectively.
The Jali façade is made of Glass Reinforced Concrete panels. In terms of construction tolerances a system has been adopted whereby through CNC milling, a mould will be created for the facade pattern and this mould will be used for casting the façade panels. The curvature of the entrance will also be cast using this process using digital fabrication of the mould so that higher accuracy in the design is achieved.
Sustainability is at the epicentre of the project embedded in the form of optimised natural lighting, cross ventilation and a reduction of heat gain. The double Jali screen reduces the outside air temperature in front of the glass. The colder air is pulled into the atrium through the chimney effect of the atrium space resulting in natural ventilation and reducing the indoor air temperature naturally so the cooling load for the air conditioning is reduced.
The project design was commissioned in 2014 and went into construction in August 2015. The opening date for the project is January 2017.