Unique Architects and Sustainable

The first thing that strikes the viewer is the asymmetry in the building. This is achieved through the concentric and telescopic flap roofs which create pockets of spaces than open up as balconies at various levels. So when you view

Origami, an ancient art of Japan, is a creative method of folding paper to develop beautiful shapes and forms. In the mid-90s it evolved into a modern art form and became a trend in contemporary architecture which many architects took inspiration from.

The client brief was to create a landmark structure as his office space.

The first thing that strikes the viewer is the asymmetry in the building. This is achieved through the concentric and telescopic flap roofs which create pockets of spaces than open up as balconies at various levels. So when you view the building from certain angles, it looks like a 'V' that is opening up.

Constructed on a 3500-square feet plot, the basement, ground and four floors above contribute to a built-up area of 13500 square feet. All the floors are being used as office space, with ample balcony spaces for a terrace garden. The fourth floor is occupied by the owner and his business, with an extended terrace space that gives a wonderful view of the city. The sloped walls here are not only unique, but also safer, considering people lean on balcony walls for a better view.

The design infuses earth-friendly materials with innovative techniques and principles. So although you are looking at a different approach, it is still blending in with nature. We made a conscious effort to reduce glass so as to avoid the greenhouse effect. The rest of the exterior is extruded terracotta blocks sourced from Kerala, and textured surfaces which add to the visual appeal. While textured surfaces enhance the cosmetic value of the structure, the extruded terracotta blocks serve a dual purpose. Not only do the earthy red hues of the blocks look good, they also reduce the heat within the premises.

Walk into any floor and there is ample natural light filtering into through the glass panels. The structure results in corners that are asymmetrical and used as a garden space, or simply an area to unwind. The last floor was originally intended to pan out as guest suites with private balconies, and with the owner now using this area for their own venture; they have access to a seamless terrace space on all the four sides.

Amongst the many challenges, the building had to be cost effective which meant that the technology had to be indigenous and the construction had to be done by an in-expensive contractor. This in turn, demanded simple engineering skills to be deployed in construction. Perfection in lines and levels for the flap slabs, tilted columns, openings and walls were achieved by using the technique of embedding prefabricated 'nosing' mild steel 'L' angles in concrete. Achieving all this with locally available materials and workforce was also a challenge.

Though the art of Origami takes time, effort and skill its results can be very transient, limited by the material used. But apply the same techniques and visuals to architecture, and suddenly the intriguing geometric and mathematical qualities take on a sense of simplicity, elegance and permanence.

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Architecture