NEW MEETS OLD IN A SEAMLESS VISUAL INTEGRATION

By August 21 , 2015
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When Sabyasachi Sen &Associates(SSA) was approached by ITM University to build the new academic block to their existing building, it posed an enormous challenge. The existing building was built in the 1990s in the neo classical style of Architecture. The proposed site of the New block was immediately abutting and at right angles to the old building.

‘The owners wanted the new academicblock to reflect vision of the future without jarring & conflicting with the old one.’

Challenges Faced

A seamless and continuous visual impact was desired from thefaçade having good thermal performance combined with high visual transmittance keeping in mind the comfort and needs of the inhabitants of the building. It was particularly desired,that the ugly staining/ bleeding effects of external silicone based façade systems which plague many modern buildings, should be avoided.

Innovations applied

The Design team at SSA had to come up with an innovative & unique solution to address this challenge. They picked up the vertical proportions of the existing building and continued them in the new block at right angles giving a feel that it has just ‘burst out of its old shell’. The colonnade on the ground floor was continued up to half the length of the new building & then gradually made to merge with the upward flying lines of the facade.

“The facade of the new block is east & north facing and gave us the flexibility to play with large swathes of clear glass” – says principal architect Saby Sen.

Façade Highlights

  • Energy efficient double glazing is used to cut down on sound & glare.
  • Capping plates are consciously avoided in the left half of the building so as to afford a continuous & clear reflection of the old building in the new block which was meant to be a symbolic gesture reflecting the ‘old in the new.’
  • Dynamic angles in ACP are juxtaposed with glass to reflect the modern ethos of the institute. (Fig 2). The view of the large lawn through the crisscross pattern is a fascinating experience.
  • The façade facing the road is fully glazed & abuts a grand three storied atrium space with free flowing wave like lobbies.The large expanse of the glass façade enhances the scale of the atrium giving it a feel of grandeur.
  • The smooth curves break away from the strict rigidity of the institution creating a cheerful play of positive & negative space.
  • A crisscross pattern using ACP cladding over metal framework on the upper floor & the open staircase represents the ‘holding of hands’ or the unity of the student fraternity.

Applied Technical Interventions

  • The framing system which was finally chosen was an “Open Groove” system with no external silicone filling.
  • The panels were designed/ supported in such a way so as to reduce visual distortion in toughened glass giving a seamless and flowing aspect to the glazing.
  • The double glass units (IGU’s ) with a low Emissivity coating from a leading glass supplier were selected with a high VLT of 59% and a U value of 1.5 W/M2 K and low external and internal reflectance.

The major construction challenge was to replicateon site the typical geometry and shapes of the various crisscross elements in ACP and glass exactly as was planned in the design studio. With cooperation from the façade contractor and immense grit posed by all the parties involved, this enormous task was achieved impeccably.

Client: ITM University
Architect: Sabyasachi Sen & Associates (SSA)
Design team: Saby Sen, Pallavi Sukthanker Sen, Anuj Mittal
Structural Design: Arvind Gupta
Facade Manufacturers and Installers: Nitson&AmitsuPvt. Ltd.
Facade Consultants: Architects
Photo and graphic credits: Architects

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