Compiled by Udita Chaturvedi
Photography: Courtesy AKDA Team
The fast-growing urban village of Anangpur in Faridabad houses a large, ingeniously acclimatized, fully-automated warehousing facility that is designed for minimum human occupancy…
Planned by Amit Khanna Design Associates (AKDA), the 1,40,000 sq. ft. warehouse is categorically divided into three sections - the warehouse, a loading bay, and an office block. In fact, the brief given to the architects clearly stated that the building was to be designed for minimum human occupancy, with the exception of the office block.
Each block of the building is thus designed very meticulously. The warehouse is planned as a large square, with 20 ft. high ceilings to ensure maximum efficiency, where the dimensions of robotic arms and stocking pallets dictate spatial planning. The office is thin and narrow, facing the north through a glazed wall that brings in optimum daylight and the loading bay provides the interface between the two and the exterior cargo area.
Both the warehouse and the loading bay are wrapped in a perforated brickwork screen “instead of a conventional window-based punctured façade over the structural frame. This brickwork screen acts as a glazed dust barrier by creating a buffer zone that cuts glare, serves as a utility zone and provides a high degree of passive insulation.
Meanwhile, the exposed brick unifies the various façades and minimizes the visual impact of the building on the surroundings. A space of nearly 4 metres around the building allows natural light to illuminate the parking and canteen areas. The architect explains, “The layout of the warehouse enables easy stacking of future expansion with no loss of efficiency in material or human movement.”
Besides the latest automation facilities, the USP of the building is that the AKDA design team has fought three major challenges of the rocky terrain, Delhi’s extreme climate and its notorious pollution levels with sustainable solutions. Adopting a comprehensive environment and energy strategy, habitable temperatures are maintained throughout the year. Also, thick walls ensure structural integrity and an increased thermal mass that minimizes heat gain.
The surrounding site slopes away from the subterranean floor, saving costly retaining walls and providing views from within. These sunken areas catch rainwater for harvesting, while the roofs are covered with reflective tiling to augment minimal heat gain. Successfully, a post-occupancy evaluation of the building has shown a temperature differential of over 10 degrees between the exterior and interior spaces.
“As if that wasn’t good enough, the light quality within the building is even, cool, bright, and without any glare. Which, in a climate like Delhi, is nothing short of a miracle,” the architect exclaims.