In India IT parks are as common as lamp posts. You may find a city in India without public park but its hard to find a city without IT park! This makes the life of architects that much difficult as they have to strive hard to ensure buildings designed by them remain distinct and unique. Here is an example, EON IT Park in Maharashtra which has a unique shape and design. Do you know what inspired its design?
The IT Park, an elegantly arranged quartet of buildings totalling 4,000,000 square feet (400,000 square meters), was designed by the international award-winning architectural practice, Form4 Architecture, in 2014 and is located in Pune’s EON Free Zone, a Special Economic Zone established by the government to encourage development.
Of course, the inspiration for the design of the building is clear, lotus flower – white lotus, India’s national flower. According to the architects, the design began as different iterations of the shape of the lotus flower petal. Ultimately, four “petals” were arranged like a four-leaf clover in plan with an open space at its center.
In response to the extreme heat and humidity and the goal of populating the outdoor spaces for more than just a few months of the year, the buildings themselves contain semi-conditioned, shaded atrium spaces that serve as meeting or gathering spaces for the buildings’ occupants. At dusk, each courtyard morphs into a giant kaleidoscope by the delineation of building elements with neon lighting.
Raised on the ground plane, the complex picks up a teleological dimension in that it becomes a quasi-temple devoted to the future of technology and its own iconography. As the eye follows the sweeping shape of the roof line, a vivid image of the fluid plane emerges. The building opens up and embraces the users of a new society. This iconic project, both in its construction phase and completion, exemplifies technology as a transformative force for the language of architecture in a fast-growing country like India.
Sustainability factors too have been given due significance in the design and eventually achieving LEED Gold. “Our strategy included addressing energy needs, water use, waste, materials and heat island effect,” says the practice.
Final outcome of this strategy too is visible -68% reduction in water usage. Further, treated waste water is reused for landscaping. Energy conservation measures like under deck insulation in the roof, efficient lighting design, occupancy sensors, wall insulation, VRV system in office areas, and double glazed high performance glass have resulted in 20% reduction in energy consumption. Further, 75.60% of the total project’s materials, by cost, were manufactured within 500 miles (800 kilometers) of the project site. Also, 98.18% of construction waste like reinforcement steel, cement bags, plastic and broken tiles was diverted from landfills.
Thus, the Falling Lotus Blossoms project is the 21st-century workplace, which sets a grand scale in counterpoint to the rugged Indian countryside, overlooks a river and the fields beyond on a flat site that was previously almost entirely untouched.