Friday, June 21, 2013

Keeping it Simple

By Marina Correa
Photography: Courtesy Design Bureau

Wrap Art & Design Factory by Ar.Ameet Singh
Note the terrace garden on level one

The Wrap Art & Design Factory situated in Chattarpur, south of Delhi is an intriguing study of sustainable architecture and interiors playing host to sleek, elite hi-end furniture…

Juxtaposed to the nature of its products – the 10,000 sq. ft. factory space, studio and showroom manufactures produces and showcases high-end furniture; the architects have created a rustic ambience of frugality and environment-friendliness using a simple material palette and recyclable elements.

Wrap Art & Design Factory by Ar.Ameet Singh
Staircase to level one

Wrap Art & Design Factory by Ar.Ameet Singh
Light wells on the ground floor

“The client wanted the cost of construction minimized in terms of the materials used, construction agencies and maintenance,” says Ar. Ameet Singh, principal, Design Bureau, who has built upon the existing warehouse structure maximizing on a well-lit and ventilated ambience with light wells, skylights and different patterns in traditional ‘galicha’ glass glazing. A frugal vocabulary of exposed concrete and brickwork (avoiding any surface plaster and facade treatment) wrap the ground floor with the factory’s production area and showroom, and first floor with a second showroom and studio space.   

Wrap Art & Design Factory by Ar.Ameet Singh
Mango-wood scaffolding railing for staircase

In terms of recycling materials, shuttering plywood is used for internal partitions, which not only creates a unique partitioning system but also brings down the cost. To add a further ‘experimental’ feel, the internal staircase railings and furniture display shelves are carved out of ballis (bamboo scaffolding) lending a raw, unpolished vibe to the space, creating an analogy to ‘site under construction’.  

Wrap Art & Design Factory by Ar.Ameet Singh
Dynamic viewing balcony from factory hall visually links showroom and factory

The factory space doubles up as an exhibition area so that during product launches it can be completely opened up to the exterior using a series of 10′ high sliding and hinged M.S. doors, along with the studio and showroom space on the first level opening up onto a large terrace garden. Being environmentally-conscious, all trees extraneous to the building footprint have been preserved and help control the microclimate of the site besides providing enchanting green vistas.

Wrap Art & Design Factory by Ar.Ameet Singh
Showroom naturally lit with light wells

The concept of using low maintenance building materials helped the architects minimize construction costs as well as upheld their client’s philosophy of promoting traditional handicrafts via ‘jugaad’ exhibited through this project.

Wrap Art & Design Factory by Ar.Ameet Singh
Landscaped garden on level one

It perhaps would have been more intriguing to see the use of used bottles as a replacement for conventional glazing; and an array of PVC pipes as an innovative means of getting light into the factory, as out-of-box architectural elements that were proposed by the architect but, declined by the client due to their experimental nature. Maybe Ar. Ameet Singh and Design Bureau will soon give us more sustainable ideas in their projects.

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