Ahmedabad is a city on the go and Mondeal Square is representative of its burgeoning boom. Boasting the biggest media façade in India, this multi-functional commercial building was planned and implemented by the architectural and design office Blocher Blocher India Pvt. Ltd.
To be the landmark of a city, a built form should shape the face of a city and present a point of orientation for resident and visitor – the two characteristics, which Mondeal Square more than satisfied soon after its completion. Located in Ahmedabad’s suburb of Prahladnagar on the S.G. Highway, the ensemble offers a total floor space of 17,000sqm,of which 3,600sqm comprise commercial space with 10 stories of office area.
Commissioned by clients Safal Realty Pvt. Ltd/ Goyal & Co. Construction Pvt. Ltd., the Mondeal project is comprised of 40m high twin tower of 14 levels. The first two floors of the complex house the retail establishments. The development takes a significant locational advantage of being in India’s sunny west and has drastically reduced the use of air- conditioners to convey a statement for sustainable construction. The site plan gives a feel of the shape and elevation of the building while the terrace floor offers a complete view of the adjoining highway.
As a contrast to the main façade, the rear side of the building is stylishly more restrained with a horizontal lamella façade. This is where the stairwells are located, also providing access – besides the elevators – to the office floors from the third to the tenth floor. The way these can be designed is exemplified by Blocher Blocher India on the top floor.
Open exposed concrete ceilings and light grey tiles interplay with glass dividing walls, conveying a sense of minimalistic elegance and transparency. Wooden wall elements and the light interior provide the premises with warmth and increased quality-of-stay for the employees. The vertical struts and horizontal panes made of white aluminum profiles serve not only for a long-range effect but also for shade.
The buildings are defined by their remarkable facade structure. With their elliptical shape, they show an inviting gesture to passers-by. The urban development and architectural conception fits perfectly into the cityscape and during daytime can be seen and recognized over a long distance. Progressing into the night, the building transforms into a translucent highlight bringing the structure to life.
Light as an architectural element
What makes Mondeal Square a unique and interesting structure is the use of a smart architectural language. The design opts to use light as an architectural element, a defining medium, and this is a tangible part of the design. The integration of the lighting into the sun shade structure has been done so that occupants have unobstructed views even while the lights are on.
To express the merging of architecture with the public street without an obvious border or boundary, palm tree mounted lights create a welcoming green natural border, while avoiding the use of any extra lighting furniture that could obstruct views of retail space or the impressive architecture.
At night, the ensemble unfolds a very special charm. The buildings facade consisting of LED bands with a total length of approximately five kilometers, covering the 5,300sqm glazed façade. They can be lit completely individually to display movement, colour sequences or even silhouettes of moving figures. The differently sized, large square openings of the rear façade also light up then, and together with the illuminated plaza with furniture, staircases and vegetation, culminating in an illuminated crescendo. A touch of gaily colourful art in the urban space. And this in a deeply symbolic location. Situated on a striking corner plot, by virtue of the elliptical shape of the buildings, two lifelines of the city are brought together, namely S.G. Highway and Prahladnagar Road.
The buildings seem welcoming to the visitors & occupants by the virtue of the fusion of its architecture and the public space. The outdoor areas and staircases pick up on the height differences of the surroundings, and form an organic unit of plateaus and stepped landscapes. The Planners, moreover, renounced an obvious, structural boundary and relied on palms as a natural green marker. They are at the same time a symbol for the aspiring Ahmedabad and the rich history of the city. The benches and planters in the social spaces are also nattily illuminated, while radial lines drive onwards towards the corporate entrance to the building.