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Design Atelier

NEW DELHI, Delhi, India-110024

Plastics Application Development Centre, Commercial-Office Complex

PADC (Plastics Application Development Centre) is the Centre for Excellence in Indian Oil Corporation's research development thrust in Plastics Technologies. The Laboratory building is designed to take on an iconic position in the refinery complex, signifying the focus on research and the future. The architects first established a strong case for workspaces being designed within a harmonious form that sits well with its surroundings and environment. The building was sited for the best position for views, and heat mitigation and natural light penetration. The Centre was intended to significantly improve on Building performance through the sustainable and conservative use of energy and other resources. Indeed then the architectural facade not only forms the first impression of the building, but develops its crucial design and construction position, in fact it was intended to give it identity, and showcase the future it offers. When concept design of PADC building was being contemplated, the architects drew it symbolically as a diagonal rock formation, likened to the molecular structure of plastic and placed it against the barren landscape of the site. A curious form was conceived as a rock formation on a plain landscape, with the building designed as a rock plinth with a parasol roof penetrated with a glass lined inner courtyard carved out of it. The diagonal building parasol roof form orientation responds to allow self-shading from South and West, with larger surfaces on the benign directions of the North and East. A double height inclined glass facade generates interest in the outside from all parts of the building connecting the occupants to nature, and together with the granite courtyard garden lighting up the laboratories inside, returns the ground and the whole ensemble to the landscape. The building is visible uniquely as a presence in the serene landscape as sight lines show the form “in the round”. The experience vignettes from all interior laboratory spaces is designed for visual experience and indirect lighting from the sky-lit granite garden in the courtyard, placed centrally in the glass lined interior courtyard, making for an expansive feeling. The garden and form can be experienced through all the corridors and staircase cores around the inside of the building. This idea of a diverse visual experience to vary the daily experience of the workplace; of graded light, shaded spaces, and landscape variations that are made at each pause and transition experience. The courtyard serves to relieve the bulk of the form and supply natural light to the floor plates inside. The symbolism of the landscape, courtyard and the iconic architectural artefact create a unique ensemble of experiences. As a government institution building, PADC works to break away from the past, to strive to produce a building that is sensitive to the environmental context in which it is built. It is based on new ideas of a soft architecture that does not think of building envelopes only as fixed, permanent, passive, and hard. This idea is extended to think of energy as just another material in the language of architecture as it today faces a never before need for greener practices. PADC is responsive to the present day need to refocus attention on adding a performance dimension to form, rather than only aspects of style. Construction methods, Local Material selection, Conservation methods used in Electrical and HVAC Consumption, Lighting, Natural Light, Water Conservation and Discharge management of grey water, sewage and rain water are various techniques that were diligently applied. Given all the interfaces that needed to be resolved in the performance design, PADC is responsive to local climate, sun and light and local site characteristics and the supply chain involving glass, metals and energy skins with performance criteria to match all the present environmental challenges.

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Client
Indian Oil Corporation
Area (in sq.ft)
40,000
Laboratories

Laboratories

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Building and Entrance

Building and Entrance

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Skylit Internal lightwell

Skylit Internal lightwell

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