Design that cuts the mustard

Projecting floorplates define dynamic exterior for Food Corporation of India in Chennai

by Sian 25 October 2013 Sustainable Buildings
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    The Regional Headquarters for Food Corporation of India Ltd in Chennai, India designed by MQA is a 40,000 sq ft parcel, cut out of 28-acres of a food grain storage plot that lies in a predominately residential area. The site is accessed by a peaceful 9m-wide road via public transport.

    There are four free-flowing floor plates all of which were created and stacked one above the other. The different shapes of floor plates created a terrace garden and an outdoor space for each office. The huge canopy at the uppermost level looks to incite excitement while approaching the building. Simple façade detail was selected to keep the free-flowing shape untouched.

    The structure is designed to be green and sustainable. The interior spaces have been carefully planned and placed creating balance between shape and function with required connectivity. The corporate office spaces are complemented by isolated smoking zones, gymnasiums, a café and green terrace gardens for recreational use. Handicapped accessibility is also provided.

    The fourth floor plate is supported on one large column and floats across the driveway, creating a triple height approach porch into the building. This is the most noticeable feature along with landscaped green terraces, maximum utilisation of natural day light and views due to the façade design and floor plate organisation. Being a commercial building, energy optimisation was crucial.

    Projected surfaces create shadows onto the lower floors reducing direct sun light. In some locations, double glazed low emission glass was proposed. Flat slab construction for 90% of the building gives ample clear workspace and service areas.

    Indoor and outdoor noise level control is an added benefit for the occupants. The embodied energy of the building is reduced by appropriate usage of building blocks. Green zone, reduced hard paved areas, building blocks with low energy materials for the interiors and use of low VOC paints and adhesives all jointly contribute as notable environmental features for the Regional Headquarters for Food Corporation of India. 


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