Rupa Renaissance is a 1.8 million square feet IT Park in Turbhe, Navi Mumbai. It consists of more than 1.5 million square feet of Commercial/IT space and the rest is service apartments and guest house rooms that cater to this commercial development. It is one of the largest commercial projects in steel composite construction in Navi Mumbai. The project aims to set a benchmark for other developers who are considering steel technology.
The plot has been designed in a way that circulation is streamlined and there are only unidirectional roads along the perimeter of the plot. Pedestrian circulation is designed to be independent at the center of the plot and never intersects with any vehicular circulation. The pedestrian entry opens up into a plaza with shops and restaurants in it. There is also a double height grand lobby for the IT building. All amenities like the restaurants, gym, swimming pool, service apartments and guest rooms are designed and provided within the plot to help optimize utility by the employees. The project also aims at being self-sustainable with the use of solar energy and optimal building orientation for sun incidence.
Much like Arjuna did with his quiver of arrows, one must inherently understand the tools available at one’s disposal. Composite steel construction has been a relatively new building technology available in India for residential, commercial and hospitality buildings. We have always believed in the significance of understanding new techniques of design or construction to add value to the projects we plan and/or design. Having designed almost a dozen buildings using this methodology, it allows us to recognize the advantages of steel construction and use it correctly in a location like Navi Mumbai, where cost of construction must be minimal. To use it cost efficiently, one must plan and design for composite steel construction from inception
JAY SHAH, Director, Access Architects
From their varied and vast experience in designing commercial buildings, the team at Access Architects was very focused that every aspect of the design needs to be efficient and coherent. Structure, services, circulation, materials, urban and interior planning has been coordinated concurrently to create this efficiency. The core was specifically designed so as to reduce the size of the columns. The plan was designed to simplify the parking circulation and outdoor circulation. All parking floors have separate shuttle elevators which makes the entry to the office spaces above streamlined with a single point of entry from the lobby below. The best in HVAC and electrical systems have been proposed to optimize efficiency, also keeping in mind the practicality.
Access Architects has delivered exceptional design ideas and solutions to more than a thousand buildings through their creative blend of human need, environmental stewardship, value creation, science and art. The firm’s emphasis on providing value-added design services to their clients in a range of marketplaces has resulted in the design of projects throughout India. It’s award-winning portfolio of projects spans across the country and addresses a range of scales and typologies including residential, commercial office buildings, hospitality venues, corporate offices, cluster development and education facilities. They have become particularly well known among the Mumbai community for complex high rise, mixed use projects within the dense urban fabric.
The form of the building evolved considering the circulation of people and climate. The plot is designed in a way that the guest house and service apartments create an urban plaza, whereas, the commercial building breaks its immense scale with terraces every few floors. There are two completely independent wings that can be made into one large floor plate, if the need arises from a tenant. The two wings have two different orientations – one wing faces the vast expanse of the highway, and the other wing offers the view of the hills and terrain nearby.
Steel, even though it’s been extensively used all over the world until recently, has not been used as often in India. With the fall in steel prices serving as a big incentive among other factors for this project, steel construction was the most appropriate for this development. The IT building has been designed from scratch considering steel composite construction.
Some of the important factors for choosing this kind of construction are the amount of time it saves, overall cost comparison with RCC, more flexibility in future design changes if any, increase in usable floor area, reduction in constructed area when compared to RCC, similar to international construction methodology for commercial spaces and a reduction in concrete use.
Access Architects is one of the earliest firms to complete full projects on Autodesk Revit. With an experience of 10 years on Revit, the architects are using this software for the whole project design, since it provides the BIM level and sophistication that is needed to execute a project of this size in a timely manner. Access Architects aims to complete the construction of the shell of the full building within 18 months, and this is only possible due to the steel construction technology used. Design development on this project began 6 months ago and the construction has already begun. The aim is to have the full building ready in approximately 30 months’ time.
The steel sections (computing to 7500 MT) that have been designed, will be manufactured according to the plan by the chosen steel contractor. LERA Consulting Structural Engineers have been hired as peer review for the structure of the IT Building. The architect’s design process is an interactive and collaborative one, promoting open communication facilitated by effective leadership. Throughout the design process, clients are engaged and informed in making decisions in order to reach consensus and move projects forward to successful completion.
Access Architects believes in moving ahead of the time, and this is evident in their early use of new technology from conception to execution. In the early 90’s, it was one of the first firms in India to begin using AutoCad when this was still a relatively new product in the Indian market. They were the first firm in India to complete a large project on Revit. Kanakia Samarpan Royale, a luxury residential building, was completed in Revit in 2006. As with any new tool used for design, there has been an evolution in use. In the first few projects, Revit was mainly used from design development to construction documents. As its use in the office increased, it started being used for schematic and concept design. Aside from visualization, it was also used for analysis.
As a result of this, it was used in the concept stage for various other things like wind analysis or sun path diagrams and these helped to envision and design projects more efficiently in the earlier stages itself. Added information was derived earlier in the design process which aided in designing a building more efficiently.
To allow for cost effective and fast construction, the architects were one of the first to use aluminum shuttering as well as pneumatic shuttering systems for high rise buildings in India. More recently, they are using steel and precast concrete technology in a proprietary blend that complements the economics of development and the contemporary Indian ethos. They have completed more than 1000 buildings, including 2 residential projects on the ultra-luxurious Altamount Road, 5 completed buildings in Bandra Kurla Complex including Sofitel, and a 5 star plus Luxury Hotel. They also recently completed The Ruby, the tallest commercial building in India.
To express that ‘outside the box’ thinking, the design team uses Revit as their choice of design tools. The drawings and plans produced with the program play an integral part in all phases of the project. Access Architects has an internal group that works on finding the innovative solutions for the potential issues such as the use of eco-friendly materials, pre-cast concrete, steel and using an innovative approach to avoid direct sunlight in glass building. It has earned success with numerous local and regional awards, and most of their design work has been constructed. But, it’s the quality of drawings and renderings that has been the basis of their growth.