Over the rainbow

25 Oct 2011

Vibrant facade of IMI in Kolkata adds colour and curves to chaotic urban fabric

Kolkata is an ancient city in eastern part of India. Post-Independence, this city has not grown like others in India, and has not yet adopted any architectural character; on the contrary, this city is becoming more chaotic and monochromatic. Yet the city definitely has vibrant life, with a love and passion for arts and culture amongst its people.

As the client vision was to give the most expressive, vibrant, technologically advanced and sustainable management institute, architects abin design studio thought about adding colours to city life.

The site, situated in a very dense residential urban fabric, was a huge constraint and dictated linear planning. Special efforts were made to ensure creation of non-monotonous spaces which did not follow expected linear patterns. The chromatic glass façade comprises two layers of 5mm clear glass, each with an intermediate PVB layer 1.2mm thick which acts as an insulator, reducing the heat build-up inside.

The façade becomes more dynamic by night when the inside lights are switched on, creating a mesmerizing effect on the plaza below. Circulation spaces and spill-out zones have been created along the curved glass façade, allowing them to be naturally lit in the day and giving them a more interesting and dynamic feel.

Emphasis has been given to interaction points not just for students but also for the faculty, encouraging exchange of knowledge and ideas at all levels. The reception has been designed as a triple height space, naturally lit by a huge skylight above. The corridors and spill-out spaces culminate around here at the upper floor levels.

Care has been taken to ensure that the library is also well lit during the day and has been designed such that it is surrounded by glass on three sides, shaded by the existing trees on site. Colour has subtly been introduced in the interiors as well, in the form of coloured glass partitions, coloured glass slits on the wall or simply in the furniture.

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