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A building conceived as an assemblage of parts

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Architecture Discipline, a Delhi based, multi-disciplinary design studio engages in progressive architectural practice with an intent to make buildings last longer through the utility of longer life-span materials. Its project, Discovery Centre exhibits cultural continuity and creates built form that need not to be conditioned and spruced up timely.

Spread across 125 acres, the development is planned as a place-making exercise to craft an environment to attract people. The building is only placed for 6 years and post that, it would be relocated and moved down the site precinct and hence the building was conceived as an assemblage of parts. Being a Greenfield project in the outskirts of Bangalore, the design had to be more than just a rudimentary structure that would establish an identity even from the glimpse off the highway.

Design Brief

The structure of the project is purposed to demonstrate the upcoming progressive development at the Bhartiya city, Bangalore. The brief was to create a flexible city town hall that would also serve as the site office/sales office to illustrate the urban real estate initiatives of the Bhartiya Group. The brief also demanded the exploration of the possibilities of sustainable design and sustainable development on an extremely tight budget.

An egg-shaped auditorium amidst an urban plaza is therefore conceived, which would attract the urban Indian family looking to be a part of the township. Built with Glass fibre to introduce the narrative, the auditorium sits amidst a lotus pond that with its lotus motif pays homage to Indian design. Painted red, the egg on the plaza is aimed to bring the family together at one point.

While typically, a building of this nature is placed at the edge of the site as an open flexible shell that is dressed up, in order to enhance the spatial connect with the visitors, the Discovery Centre is placed at the heart of the site to engage the visitor right through the development. The building had to tell a story, the concerns of the township and of course demonstrate the residential and commercial characteristics of the development.

Concept & Built form

Optimizing the sky, light and air quality in Bangalore, the intent was create a progressive design experience that would demonstrate the core value of a high quality of life in the development. Innovation is therefore crucial, and something distinctive had to be created that would not only stand out in form but also in colour, revealing a narrative for the township. In a derelict zone with no clear indication of what was to come in up in the imminent future, a palette that would enable all these aspects is adopted.

Red as a colour has the longest wavelength, and can easily be spotted from a distance even in the back of beyond- an in the face gesture for the visitor. Every other element such as Golf cart, an ice-cream van, plasma screen is typological insert that may get amended over time. A single flight staircase in red steel & regional granite stands out as a distinct feature that brings visitors to itself. All other functions are planned as occurrences in an event that one happens to chance upon, inside the building. The Building opens out at a lower level, connecting the north-south plaza, while creating a spill out space.

A light weight building is hence built on compacted soil that is borrowed from the excavated foundation of the surrounding development. The structure uses longer life span materials in a modular manner for ease of composition and assembly. Earth fill has been used to create the plinth, in order to use all the material that is dug out from the lower levels. The idea is to take modularity beyond its conventional theoretical understanding, to a more literal level, that enables each panel, each nut and bold to be assembled, dismantled and then reassembled processing the building like a machine.

Functionally, what is created is a 90m long building with a 20m large span and a double height space and a deck that is suspended from the trusses to get a clear, multi-function space that can perform most functions (with a height of 4.5m). The structure is exposed in its entirety and painted with water-based paint to further allow for visual connections.

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