‘c28c’ is studio archohm’s head office in india. it is often labelled as a design fort on account of its monumental scale. the building reflects the ‘mad and fun’ philosophy of the firm. how should the planning of an office that produces more architecture be?
indian based studio archohm‘s office fits on a triangular plot in the thick of a dense urban jungle taking a somewhat diplomatic stance towards its challenging and enigmatic context. flanked by the ‘jami mosque’ on one side, industrial factories including a tobacco manufacturing unit on the other and a large slum development on the third, it responds individually to each side, remaining in tandem with the cardinal directions and its parameters of heat and light. without seeming audacious, it also feels obliged to be influential enough to become the architectural trend setter and inspire the articulation of the larger canvas called the city.
the main building is divided into five near platonic and bold volumes, each of which is draped by surfaces dedicated to a particular material, responding to its individual functions, climate and context. each is expected to reflect the intellectual diligence of studio archohm, to help build relationships at various levels, and strive to be metaphysical. each spatial atmosphere is compact and complete in itself but relates to the others and the whole. finally, a singular volume aims to shape its place in the context. the materials are treated with dignity and remain true to themselves while sitting cheek by jowl with each other.
the studio is a live three-dimensional canvas that celebrates colors, textures, forms and materials. this is due to the larger than life elements as the ten-meter high corten steel door, a moat with a drawbridge, a 150-meter-long stone wall with etched CNC elevations of projects and installations as slides, patented products and award-winning designer furniture pieces and interior accessories.
simple measures as ‘correct’ orientation and the employment of appropriate materials have helped solve most of the energy issues. soft, muted day lighting bathes the ecosystem making it a comfortable space for work. artificial illumination has been done with a mandate of minimizing ‘light pollution’. additionally, with the expansive use of indigenous materials showcased raw, untreated by toxic synthetic chemicals coupled with a huge fraction being shopped and reused as they are, from the ship-breaking yards of alang in the indian state of gujarat, the studio consciously gravitates towards green architecture.
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_edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom_
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