By Shibani Punekar
Photography: Courtesy SWBI Architects
Read Time: 2 mins
Konterra by SWBI Architects takes eco-friendly design to a new high with a terracotta and glass façade.
Following their signature mantra of exploring newer materials and design techniques, architects Bina and Sanjay Wadhwa of SWBI Architects Pvt. Ltd design an office building that is both, spatially well planned and climatically responsive, besides its other green features – clearly a gold-rated LEED certification in sustainable design.
Set for single or multiple commercial tenancies, the 32,000 sq.ft. five-storey (four floors and a basement) building is spacious - minimum of 80% column free space flooded with ample natural light with access to views from approx. 90% of its interiors. With approx. 6500 sq.ft. floor plate area, each floor has a clear ceiling height of a whopping 13 ft. 4 inch!!
But the highlight is incidentally, its façade! Shaping its identity, the unconventional approach to the façade speaks highly of environmental and climatically responsive architecture as an intuitive and sensitive approach to the exercise.
Being introduced in the industrial hub of Udyog Vihas in Gurgaon, the unique external façade system comprises imported terracotta clay tiles and a high performance hermetically sealed DGU system with a SHDC index of value 0.24. This is combined with point fixed glazing fin system with 1.52 mm PVB holding the sandwich glass together. This arrangement provides the façade with an earthy tone, a warm palette and a world class finish.
Terracotta effectively plays skin to the brick and mortar body and allows for a ventilation shaft thus forming a film of air between the façade and the actual building; becoming an important feature that helps regulate the extreme Noida temperature by cooling the interiors during summers and providing warmth during winters. What’s more, permanent low maintenance exterior finishes are a bonus feature.
The terracotta facade follows tenets of sustainability and passive solar architecture norms; standing apart for its visual appeal, a breath of fresh air from generic glass and ACP facades. The building is due for completion in early 2017.