Excerpt: Secure Sanand Factory, designed by Studio Saar, is an architectural project that creates an uplifting work environment and promotes staff wellbeing while reducing energy. The buildings in the masterplan feature distinctive sawtooth façades that reference early industrial architecture, as well as a playful recreation hub with a functional appearance of the manufacturing and utility buildings.
[Text as submitted by architect] Secure Sanand is a purpose-built industrial facility for Indian multi-national electronics manufacturer Secure Meters in Sanand, a city in the Indian state of Gujarat. The scheme has been designed to create an uplifting work environment and promote staff wellbeing while reducing energy.
Drawing on the client’s ethos that places employee wellbeing at the forefront of its operations, the ambitious development provides an inclusive environment for workers that seeks to promote communication and collaboration, breaking down silos and challenging the strong sense of hierarchy often found in manufacturing work environments.
Secure Sanand is situated on a 25-acre site, a former lakebed, that has been repurposed and designated for industrial development. Studio Saar’s masterplan creates three distinct zones within the site for manufacturing lines, employee recreation and for visitors.
The scheme comprises four buildings: a main manufacturing facility, utility bay, canteen and recreation centre, and reception building. These buildings are brought together by sheltered walkways that are covered with white, undulating kite-like fabric canopies that provide protection from the weather, while doubling up as a wayfinding tool to guide users through the site.
The main manufacturing wings consist of large open plan spaces, enabling additional work lines as well as a high degree of flexibility to meet the ever-changing needs of the workforce. The utilitarian buildings have a clear design language. A white colour palette was chosen for the structure and surface finishes, providing a lighter ambience, while grey stone cladding roots the scheme in its surroundings.
The buildings feature distinctive sawtooth façades that reference early industrial architecture, allowing natural light to infiltrate the working areas below and provide a space for solar panels which generate up to 50% of the overall energy demand.
With a highly efficient thermal envelope, the buildings are insulated to reduce the heat generated inside and an integrated floor-cooling system improves cooling within, providing a comfortable working environment throughout.
An entrance building is situated adjacent to the manufacturing facility. Covered by a tilted open canopy that welcomes visitors inside, the building houses meeting rooms, the APJ Abdul Kalam training room, changing and locker rooms, and a medical centre. The superstructure is independent of the pods below, allowing Secure to morph the use of each individual component, without compromising the whole.
A canteen and recreation hub dedicated to Balkrishna Doshi, which sits at the heart of the development, is designed to counter the white, functional appearance of the manufacturing and utility buildings, and is a playful addition to the site. Exposed concrete is juxtaposed with a characteristic corten steel entrance canopy, distinguishing the leisure area from neighbouring work areas on the site.
Housing a gym, recreation area, canteen, and kitchen, with 300-degree views out over the surrounding trees, the building is designed to provide a relaxing atmosphere for staff. The building allows for the creation of a heat stack and wide cantilevers protect the building from the sun. The air is cooled by water source cooling and circulated around the building.