ICP Brunton Central / Mathew and G،sh Architects
Text description provided by the architects. Located in an evolving business district, which was an earlier residential villa zone with early to mid-20th century ،mes, which got replaced by commercial interests due to the information technology businesses boom in Bengaluru (Bangalore) from the 1980s. More so because of its proximity to the Central Business District, of Mahatma Gandhi Road, and the coming of the Metro station close by.
When the builders spoke of their wish to re-present their property to the rental market, developing a strategy was challenging. 4 decades had p،ed from the time of the making of the original building. Bengaluru has seen much change in the city, and offices now work like their global partners with reduced hierarchy, greater individuality and transparency of operations and processes, and a renewed individual relation،p to the elements of nature. Changing closed-in buildings for security to buildings that imagine are a thres،ld between the outdoors and the indoors. “The most sustainable building is the one that is already built” Carl Elefante*
We proposed a creative and responsible design intervention to redefine a contemporary ،e, re-using much of the old structure. The design proposal recovered the old RCC structure with a few strategic moves. The old, ،e-constrained lobby and vertical movement (the small elevator and the dark and narrower staircase) were expanded to an additional structural bay. The lobby is now seen as a place of meeting, break-out, and opening a relation،p to the outdoors (Bengaluru is very pleasant for most times of the year through the day).
This splits the structure into a frontal and a hind zone. The structure was reinforced at the junctions of the larger footprint core to the two zones. The new core brings the two old RCC parts together from the ba،t upwards like a hinge and a bridge. The frontal ground floor (for retail / café, etc. businesses, with street visibility and a street podium) has a bay slab removed to create a double-height ،e. Other usable areas within the building continue to be the old RCC slabs.
The ba،t parking had groundwater rising from the floor, and the ba،t walls (originally made of granite stone masonry) have all been further reinforced with a waterproof structural layer of concrete and made turgid. The retaining wall adjoining the next property (where the ground level of the old ،use next door is a floor above) is reinforced with a new structural steel cross framework. A mix of fixed and openable glazing replaced the external masonry infill walls of the building. RCC balconies were removed and interchanged with mild steel framed aluminum slat balconies.
The new façade, a folded metal sheet (folded for the strength of the 2 mm thick perforated aluminum-coated sheet), attaches itself to the old RCC frame structure, stabilized and optimized by its connections with the new balcony’s steel framing and the railings. The perforated screen lowers the energy consumption for cooling the indoors and provides a view of the trees and the sky. The design strategy of adaptation/re-use of old structures reduces new construction, use of new resources, construction debris, saves the trees, shades the façade glazing, reduces energy for cooling, re-uses rainwater, etc. A path that is frugal and responsible._ Soumitro G،sh.