The architecture of Chimes Office Building in Gurgaon for Athena Business Solutions is about creating public spaces that enable the experience of nature within the built form. Design Atelier, a multifaceted design firm, based in New Delhi has addressed here the issues of sustainability, sociability, making room for nature and of providing space flexibility for large as well as small businesses.
The built mass of this multi-tenanted office building demonstrates a novel solution for floor plate size flexibility to create a mix of tenants from various service sectors and industries. The plan organizes each floor as potentially heterogeneous open-plan environment that can be combined or be separated as per user requests with controlled common community resources set up in the building.
The building with built-up area of 270,000sqft is a conjoined series of service cores and floor plates of varied sizes that allows flexibility and sustainability for its life span. For example, the sky terraces and solar facades are a complex integration of material, technology and insulating properties of the shell, oriented to climatic advantage. In addition, the architecture aims to create a sociable work environment by arranging the gardens and corridors around movement cores thereby also maximizing the use of ground, otherwise lost to building footprint.
The design of the building emphasizes diversity of all kinds – such as the juxtapositions of people, functions, built forms, spaces and activities. The building is raised up on pilotis, allowing free-flowing open spaces under the building with a variety of water pools and guided streams cooling the air and plants growing in and around the building to cool the ground.
At the ground, the concept of openness and spaces flowing together plays a major factor in the design. The public spaces including a restaurant/café are accessible and close to nature fostering community engagement and active participation in urban work life. Public function spaces like an open air performing arts theatre, a cafeteria with exhibition space, a restaurant and number of conference rooms and meeting lounges form a complete sociable and efficient center for the complex to respond to all business requirements. Sky terraces attached to each floor plate connect to nature during the work day.
To maximize the use of green spaces and the views from within and outside the gardens are placed around glass-lined movement corridors and staircase cores. The journey path through the spaces of the building, lift lobbies, holding areas, social spaces, cafeteria and reception are designed as people places. Visual connections are made through glass courtyards, corridors and lobbies together with the complex interconnections of interior spaces. Furthermore, the symbolism of the landscape and the architectural artifact are intended to enliven the whole ensemble.
The form follows the idea of raising the building to relieve the ground for landscaping and creating a sociable and welcoming space. Thus, the entrance reception forms a glass cube set in a water garden, using plants as tree cover and water as climate modulators. Open spaces and light wells working as courtyards relieve the bulk of the form and supply natural light to the inside of the office areas. A variety of water bodies and plants growing around and inside the building cool the ground and transform it into a space with positive energy.
The floor plates are modular and independently equipped with amenities/facilities that can be combined into heterogeneous open plan environments to suit a variety of needs for a mix of large and small businesses. With this profile, the flexibility in floor plate size makes for best possible marketing to create a mix of tenants from various segments.
Heat, Light & Ventilation
The Façade design is guided by its visibility and response to the street corner, visibility from the surrounding spaces and the main roads and the climatic considerations of the solar path, natural Light penetration and breezes. A number of strip windows in the otherwise massive walls are used to visually connect the interior and the exterior and heat is mitigated by the use of anti-dazzle e-glass, heat reflective paint and the insulated wall section. The North allows light but rejects reflected heat as it penetrates the floor plates through large higher performance glass surfaces optimizing natural light consumption. The ribbon windows on the west, east and south faces are set high on the floor plate to allow the deeper penetration of a limited amount of the harsher western and southern light, but freely allowing internal courtyard reflected light.