Eros Marketplace conceived as a traditional Bazaar was perceived as an opportunity to design a neighborhood commercial facility that engages with people in a friendly and inspiring manner. The plot of 3.2 acres is a part of commercial zone, which consists of mostly enclosed malls. It is in close proximity to high density residential development and is surrounded by institutional buildings on the other. This mix of land use around it makes the marketplace a potential hub of activities and varied footfall.
The intent was to create a public platform for exchange of goods and ideas, art and inspiration, and of spirit and will. The market is designed as an event space that endorses these exchanges and offers a platform for display and celebration. It is anticipated that the marketplace would serve as a landmark and a nucleus of activities that would support the needs of the community.
The theme of Courtyard Shopping was never explored in Delhi –NCR region. The designers proposed an iconic Clock Tower as an identity element which helps in orienting people towards the complex. The design of the tower stands out to invite people yet blends with the immediate surroundings, creating a harmonious environment.
The site planning with connected open courtyards act as an interaction/gathering space punctuating the total built-up area of 2, 65,000sqft. Earthy tones and textures are prominent. To create an interesting built-form, which is low on maintenance, plaster and paint finishes with sandstone cladding on exterior façade have been used. A series of interconnected courtyards designed as a street network also facilitates natural light and ventilation for all commercial areas.
Spaces varying in scale, texture and shadow pattern are incorporated to create a series of experiences throughout the complex. This assortment of spaces provides a platform for different types of activities that can be held at all times of the day in different seasons, thus creating an event platform for the community.
The streets are ideal for casual out-door seating, where people can overlook the performance and the play of activities of the courtyards. The inner courtyards can be used to provide a space for kiosks and other informal activities.
Special attention has been given to comfort in both horizontal and vertical movement patterns, within the complex. A feature elevator is designed in one of the courtyards to orient movement towards the upper floors. It is strategically located in the centre equidistant from the shopping, theatre and the food court. The escalators are also centrally located, so that they can easily be used by people while they are shopping and need to frequently move from one floor to another. They are covered using fiber-glass sheets, so that they can be used on a regular basis in all seasons. These vertical circulation points are located around a water feature that provides a view of the complex, while moving vertically.
Landscape features have been carefully designed to encourage outdoor activities in the courtyards. Sitting areas are integrated with the plants to provide shade and local ventilation, that makes them inviting for people to come and engage with. Water features are added at strategic locations to create interest among all age groups.
Challenges during execution:
While trying to achieve an open courtyard design, the challenge was to achieve maximum FAR area, at the same time create a feeling of openness. Vertical connections are critical; to be accessible yet weather-proof. A set of covered escalators was proposed complementing the landscape to create easy access to the shopping floors above.
Being an open courtyard, the tiles would be directly exposed to variable weather conditions rain and sunshine. Also an open to air structure would receive ample light making all facets of the floor visible from a distance. Hence the challenge was to design flooring which was weather resistant and insulated to corrosion due to weather elements like water and heat. Having anti-skid properties to avoid slipping on water during /after rains was also extremely important. Being an open courtyard meant a sizable number of patrons would utilize the spaces to sit around or be with kids/takeaway food. Therefore, the design had to be eye catching at the same time easy to clean.
Sustainable practices are integrated to reduce dependence on artificial means of lighting and ventilation. The size of each shop and courtyard are designed with proportions that enable ample natural light into all internal spaces. Shaded streets and walkways act as a transition between internal shops and open courtyards. The façade design also incorporates systematic detailing that complements the overall design and at the same time allows for natural ventilation through local cooling effects.
• Passive cooling techniques have been incorporated to minimize heat gain and reduce air-conditioning cost
• Building orientation minimizes heat gain
• Courtyard typology provides micro-cooling, reducing electrical load of air-conditioning
• Projections have been incorporated in façade to create shading
• Built-form modulation helps achieve light and shade at macro cooling level
• Façade glazing has been minimized and double glazing has been provided at some critical areas
• Sewage Treatment Plant has been used on site for minimum discharge and usage of recycled water for gardening.