By Marina Correa
Photography: Courtesy 42mm Architecture
Delhi-based architectural and interior design firm 42mm Architecture designs and builds an office for Crystal Crop - an agrochemical manufacturer - using basic crisp forms created out of natural raw materials to achieve an earthy yet sophisticated aesthetic…
The inspiration to opt for a completely green built form stemmed from the fact that the company is firmly rooted in agriculture and allied industries and the client’s brief also emphasized showcasing the fundamental essence of the company.
Located on Ring Road, near Wazirpur in Delhi, the building is acoustically treated to shut off the noise, whilst retaining views to the industrial surrounds. The first and second floor of the 34,000 sq ft structure houses the corporate office, while the ground floor is left undefined for future expansion.
The reception area boasts of a reclaimed wooden reception table that sits in front of a solid green wall flanked by strand-board wall cladding and a naturally illuminated and ventilated space; giving a visitor a first-hand peek into what lies ahead. The highlight of the entrance is a double-height area with a light well ushering in filtered light percolating through a passive solar device.
Concrete flooring juxtaposed against wooden slats or bamboo ceiling juxtaposed against reclaimed wooden flooring give an earthy and organic feel to different spaces – enveloping the office in a basic, no-fuss kind of way. Stripped down furniture placed over green grass comprise the break-out areas, meticulously integrated within the overall façade design.
Furthermore, the spatial planning endeavours to dissolve hierarchy by collision of spaces into an open office plan.
Interestingly, the central design revolves around a light well with filtered light percolating through a passive solar device, which helps collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat during winter, while reducing cooling requirements during the summer. It also ‘crowns’ the office, while maintaining a visual connect.
Working in tandem with terracotta louvers on the external façade, which protect the building from the direct south sun – a bold architectural form takes shape making it stand out from the run-of-the-mill urban streetscape as well as puts it in the race for a LEED rating.