Advanced Facility in Information Security and Cryptology for SETS

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Advanced Facility in Information Security and Cryptology for SETS
AFISC CAMPUS FOR SETS AT CHENNAI, INDIA Location: Chennai, India Constructed area: 4710 sqm Cost: 2,674,022 EUR DESIGN BRIEF BY CLIENT: The Advanced Facility in Information Security and Cryptology Building for Society for Electronic Transactions and Security (SETS) was constructed at the gateway of Chennai’s IT expressway. Set amidst Chennai’s premier educational establishments, SETS is a unique public private partnership based institution, initiated by Government of India, whose prime function is research in Network & Information Security and Cryptology. The Client’s outline was to construct a building which will house an administrative and Office zone (Yellow), a High Security Research Zone (Green) and a very High security research zone (Red). CONCEPT STATEMENT: “Simplicity of Construction, clarity of tectonic means, and purity of materials have about them the glow of pristine beauty “– Mies Van der Rohe The title of an international best selling techno-thriller novel by Dan Brown - ‘DIGITAL FORTRESS’ was the stimulant behind the concept. To have a facade akin to a fortress that would reflect the impenetrable secured Network solutions developed by the users inside the shell was the foremost design idea. Exposed Concrete was the selected tool to articulate this effect. Three Cuboids, one for each zone are set in juxtaposition by a rectilinear Aero connecting bridge above a Courtyard. Chennai, one of the foremost Information technology hubs in India, has three seasons, defined as hot, hotter and hottest. The courtyard provides a secure outdoor place for the occupants, also providing shade to increase usability throughout the harsh summer months. This area has proved to be a highly interactive space and is frequently visited by the staff during breaks from the otherwise demanding work schedule. The 2.9 acre campus was designed to ensure proper circulation route as per zoning and sufficient space for future expansion. The building orientation was a direct by-product of the site profile, where space for future horizontal expansion had to be planned. The Yellow Zone houses the Main Reception, Office Spaces, Library, a 100 seats Audio visual hall and Office of the top brass in the Institute. A sky lit atrium is tucked into the heart of this Zone to serve as a congregation space and also as a circulation passage. When sunlight rakes across the sky, the character of the space keeps ever changing due to the asymmetrical geometry of the sky light. The public domain starts and ends here as access to Green and Red zones is strictly restricted. Minimal sheath of glass jutting out of Outer Concrete skin in Green and Red zone is the only visible part to the passer byes. The Concrete skin also acts as a shade against the harsh sunlight which is channelized by the angular walls with buffer landscape spaces, which nevertheless does not reduce the quality of light. The minimal or nil opening in the road facing façade too is a direct outcome of the Security constraint. The interior mimes the colors of the Zones with respective colors peppered into the space. Clear circulation based on location provides a sense of occasion, entry, reduces confusion, improves functionality and usability to the interiors. The outcome is that of a peaceful working environment to the Cryptologists away from the outdoor hustles. The Project involves an amalgam of soft circulation patterns, achieving a graded security condition, enveloped in a hard exposed concrete housing, lending the building a sense of solidity.


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