Suzlon One Earth Global Corporate HeadquartersEdit profile
Suzlon Energy Ltd. is the flagship Company of the dynamic Suzlon Group, and specializes in the area of Wind Power Generation. As a rapidly growing global leader in wind energy it requires an efficient and appropriate ambiance for its conglomerate companies, groups and their employees. The campus must reflect the organizational structure and operations of Suzlon, as well as its values- quality, commitment and technical expertise. The fabric of the build must be cost effective and suitable for rapid implementation. The ambiance must be “Indian` as well as savvy to the high-tech world in which Suzlon is major player. Architecture of the Corporate World Architecture has played a major role in the iconization of the world’s leading companies. I. M. Pei’s Bank of China in Hong Kong, Norman Foster’s design for insurance giant Swiss Re in London, have overnight elevated these companies through spectacular architecture. It has become the need of the hour for global corporations to have sensitively designed buildings which reflect their values, concerns for environment and the image of the new age. The Pune-Mumbai corridor, along with Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gurgaon-NOIDA has emerged in the past ten years as corporate growth areas. Unfortunately, any rapid development comes with its share of draw backs. Indian corporations are imitating the west in the design of their buildings, which are essentially designed with glass and steel structures for long cold winters. The new outrageous glass boxes over look the hot and dry climate of India, creating heat gain which can only be off-set by costly air conditioning. Adding to the misery is the ever growing demand for energy in an already energy deficient country. It calls for designing buildings with sensitivity towards climate that is both energy efficient and draws vernacular solutions. It is the need of the hour that architecture should borrow elements of critical rationalism, with over hangs, louvers, pergolas, courtyards, water and natural light permeation. The Suzlon campus has been designed respecting nature, evolving an energy efficient built form, comforting the end users who spend many hours in the enclosed spaces. Elements Elements are aspects and characteristics of the structures which persist through all of the buildings! Materials, colors, dimensional systems and proportions are examples of elements which persist through the Suzlon campus. This approach has resulted in a basic MODULE of construction which is square in shape both in plan and in elevation. The dimensions are drawn from the most logical ceiling to ceiling height, which is reflected in plan. The columns and beams leave a square cut out closed by horizontal louvers, which allow cross ventilation, while keeping our direct sunlight. This reduces the heat gain, the need for artificial lighting and mechanical ventilation. As an air conditioned structure the heat gain is minimized. The roof top insulation contributes to the blocking of heat. The system also allows uninterrupted views to the generous gardens which surround the complex. The basic MODULE can be added and subtracted so that endless combination and permutations can be created from a simple geometry. Twelve by twelve foot squares can be grouped or the columns can hold up the roof sections creating pergolas. Pavilions can be placed on the roofs. The spacing of the columns can be varied within the system! Components While architectural elements persist through the system, components are EVENTS which are both functional, as well as dramatic! They solve problems in poetic and lyrical ways giving a unique nature to the campus. They are often idiosyncratic solutions to notional problems, like stairways and sky courts bringing in light and allowing nature to grow within the fabric. Components may be atria, stair towers, or even very functional RELIEF MODULES which can be sprinkled about the fabric for the comfort of hard working staff during breaks. At Suzlon the architects have employed glass SKY Cylinders which mark the main entrances to the constituent parts of the company by bringing light within the structure. They are internal gardens for palms and other plants. The Suzlon campus is analogous to a LEGO building block set. The MODULES, SKY CYLINDERS, retreat areas and stairs can all be plugged in to the structures where required. The triangular stairs are set within circular cylinders. The Triangular sky lights within the roofs lend indirect clearstory light which illuminates down the conical shafts, along the sides of the stairs. These components add intrigue to the rectilinear walls and modular aggregations. Some COMPONENTS, like BREAK AREAS, have an elemental quality in the ease with which they can be inserted into the building fabric. These units include toilets; a convenient pantry for self-help coffee and tea; a small reference library for self-education and reference. They include a “smoking porch` as well as a small dialogue table. More iconic and imageable are the water basin, falls and lake, with the DEEPA STAMBH at its centre. The Deepa Stambh is a huge traditional Maharashtrian oil lamp, auspiciously places at a pivotal position in the campus. It can be seen from all of the entrances, and throughout the garden, and most important from the glass Brahmasthal. This lamp will be about forty feet tall and covered with LED lamps. The Deepa Stambh is set in the centre of the Suzlon reflecting pool. The pool rests at the basement level, wherein all of the cafeteria and the dining room open onto the water. In the background there is a cascade of water falls, flying down three tier levels, with traditional step-like objects giving rhythm to the backdrop. A long water basin feeds the water falls through a pumping system. The linear basin links the Brahmasthal to a fountain toward the east. These auspicious components protect the campus from unwanted influences and create a central focus. They bring very Indian features within a very global, high-tech ambiance.