Project Name: Corporate Office for VRV Cryogenics (Italy)
Practice: The Innercode Design Studio
Firm Location: Hyderabad
Completion year: 2014
Gross Built up Area: 2787 sqm
Project Location: Andhra Pradesh, India
Lead Architects: Chandan Suravarapu
Design Team: Chandan Suravarapu (principal), Rohit Perla, Rohini Biki, Heer Goradia, Sumedha Gopalakrishna (landscape)
Clients: VRV Cryogenics, Milan, Italy
Structural Consultants: Semac
Landscape Consultants: Chandan Suravarapu & Sumedha Gopalakrishna
MEP Consultants: Semac
Contractors: SSCO, Chennai
Interior + Furniture: The innercode design studio
Photo Credits: Chandan Suravarapu
Excerpt: The Innercode Design Studio designed Corporate Office for VRV Cryogenics (Italy) in Andhra Pradesh, India, which is part of a 26-acre manufacturing facility for a European Cryogenic tank manufacturer who entered India in 2009.
(“Text as submitted by architect”)
In the guise of modernism and desire to imitate west for its glass structures, offices in India are predominantly conceived as massive glass and metal cladded boxes with no regard for its function, context, climate or materials. Set in such an architectural culture and in Industrial SEZ (70Kms from Chennai in a village of the southern state of India – Andhra Pradesh) where office buildings bear no distinction from production sheds, through this office we asked ourselves if we can design an office in India with natural materials appealing to senses, do away with artificial lighting during the day and most importantly not make another glass box!
A 10M high curved concrete wall emerging out of the red earth with mounds of varying shapes and sizes as foreground capture ones attention right at the entrance of the facility. Walking along the length of the concrete wall glancing the landscape and the office space set in a shaded void beyond, the bulge of the concrete wall (taken straight from the cross section of the clients cryogenic container) directs the movement towards a frail canopy hovering over the podium. Conceptualised to keep visitors away from the main office space is dominated by two massive stone cladded boxes housing various meeting rooms at both floors as design elements. Bracketed by concrete walls on south and north sides, these boxes are set apart by a passage leading to the office space on the ground floor and a flight of stairs leading to the first floor. This public space is positioned on north-east side – the side with least radiation.
With various utilities on the south-west side insulates the office space from harsh south-west sun of this region. Office space is cocooned between service block and the public space remains private and insulated. With abundant natural light from north and south sides, the studio-like seating gets views of the landscape outside through the glazing which is protected by a deep overhang cutting the vertical south sun. Materials employed are in contrary to the prevalent architectural vocabulary for office buildings in India. Upon scouting various quarries for a stone worthy of the unpredictable concrete surface, this green stone – strewn across the quarries of Kota as wastage – was handpicked for its incredible wavy surface. Jet- black granite floor offers quite contrast to the composition. Light piercing the skylights along the concrete and stone walls heighten the unpredictability.
Details like beehives transforming into light fixtures during night, a carbon steel cylindrical tower holding toggle controls next to the concrete reception desk, meeting tables, shelves and hand wash counters made out of single sheet of steel, custom brass switch plates mounted on free standing anodised aluminium columns, railing and canopy patterned out of beehives are some of the few details enhancing the character of this space.