VR Bengaluru, popularly known as “Black Box on Whitefield Road” is located in Whitefield, one of the fastest growing business districts in Bengaluru. The centre is a mixed-use development covering an area of 9,00,000 Sq ft spread across a 4.5 acre plot. A unique community centric, integrated lifestyle destination, VR Bengaluru plays host to a multi-level premium retail arcade with an extensive portfolio of 114 leading global and Indian brands, a nine-screen multiplex that includes an IMAX and India’s largest Gold Class cinemas, a 54 key boutique hotel & residences – The Waverly, collaborative communal work spaces for start-ups and entrepreneurs – The Hive, phenomenal dining options including several pubs, cafes and restaurants and an upscale food court.
Front view of the facade – VR Bengaluru
The overall façade comprises of the following four key elements:
- Curtain Wall glazing
- Atrium Skylight
- Textured walls
- Punch Windows, Eastern and Nodule Glazing
These key elements have been played in such a way that there is a combination of light transmittance, reflectance and energy efficiency based on the demands of the space that they envelop.
A. Curtain Wall Glazing:
Clear glass of about 3 meters height has been used at the main retail entry towards the southern side. The façade for the entry has been treated with clear glass, to make it stand out from the otherwise tinted façade and therefore creating a clear access route for the customers to walk in. Also the entry façade doubles up as a backdrop for outdoor events such as live music concerts, art festivals, curated food walks, etc.
B. Atrium Skylight:
The atrium has vertical transportation, comprising of two elevators and two escalators, planned in the center for smooth customer movement. Covering an area of about 8000 Sq ft, the atrium acts as the congregation point for events, promotions and other branding activities. To reflect grandeur and showcase seamless integration of the outdoor and indoor areas, the atrium’s skylight provides sufficient natural light that illuminates the building across floors. The skylight is made of 10 mm energy-efficient, fully tempered glass. The atrium also has exhausts to vent hot air and thus reduce the HVAC load.
Back view of the facade – VR Bengaluru
C. Textured Walls:
There is a clever mix of black textured paint along with energy efficient low e glass to create an illusion of a black box that literally catches one’s eye while driving past on the Whitefield Road. The height of the parapet on the roof top is such that it ensures that the outdoor HVAC units, energy efficient chillers and other service equipments placed on the terrace are concealed. The black textured paint was selected because of its key properties as listed below:
- Water repellent
- Resistant to mildew
- Has good breathing properties
- Has an effective reinforcement of synthetic fibres so that crack formation is minimised
- Ease of maintenance as it does not gather dust
- Cost Effective
D. Punch Windows, Eastern and Nodule Glazing:
Ample fenestration had been provided across the internal and external façade to capitalize on natural light as well provide relief in the façade design. The Waverly Hotel & Residences and The Hive are located on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors respectively, and Food Box (the food court) has been planned thoughtfully to guarantee a right mix of both natural and artificial light.
The Nodule is an organic shape of about 3200 Sq ft that adjoins the almost square shaped floor plan across the seven levels. Considering the shape that it takes, the glazing for the nodule has been designed in both toughened and curved manner, therefore offering architectural creativity and versatility.
Some of the features of the low e performance (KT 255) glass are listed below:
- Energy saving glass that has effective light transmission and low solar factor; therefore resulting in economical use of air conditioning
- Improved visual comfort by reducing glare, while keeping natural light
- Double glazing unit, once assembled, is up to 5 times more thermally insulating than a single clear glass panel
Façade Lighting & Signage:
The façade signage has been integrated seamlessly into the design of the overall façade to position the center and the brand VR as well as to highlight the brands at the centre. LED lights have been used through the façade to minimize the usage of power.
A lot of careful thought and planning has been invested to design, implement and maintain the overall façade as that is the primary element that sets a precedent to the plethora of attributes that VR Bengaluru has to offer.
Project: VR Bengaluru
Client: Virtuous Retail South Asia
Visionaries: Siddharth Yog & Sumi Gupta
Consultants: RSP Design Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
Materials used for facade & fenestration: Clear glass
Commencement Date: May 2010
Completion Date: Aug 2015
Area: 4.15 acres