By Marina Correa
Photography: Vinesh Gandhi; courtesy Sanjay Puri Architects
Sanjay Puri in his trademark sculptural style has designed a single-storey office in Surat, Gujarat, which is wrapped in a steel frame structure - with a metal roof and Corten steel sheets for external walls…
The most challenging aspect of the project was that it had to be completed within four months, which Sanjay Puri Architects accomplished with aplomb. Situated on a tiny site abutting a road junction, the curvilinear volumes congregate to augment the half-moon curvature of the built form.
In a location, where temperatures are in excess of 35°C for eight months of the year and the sun is always on the southern side; overlapping arched contours orient each of the internal spaces towards the north, whilst creating a semi-enclosed, north-facing courtyard between the office spaces - making it contextually relevant.
Hugging the boundaries on the east, west and south sides, the 4,905 sq.ft. built form opens northwards into a courtyard, where vertical north-facing incisions infuse interior spaces with indirect light, while a central water body maintains cool temperature; thus substantially reducing heat gain.
In terms of materiality, steel, Corten sheets, cement flooring, gypsum ceiling, galvalume-coated metal corrugated sheets etc. lend endurance and sturdiness to the structure as well as ably assist in speeding up project delivery.
Always known for pushing the envelope, Sanjay’s choice of Corten steel is deliberate so as to enable the façade to weather over time, whilst forming a protective patina; thus carving out a distinct identity, an energy-efficient form as well as allowing for its graceful ageing with the evolution of time.