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The key to a successful design is to find the ideal balance of its production feasibility , cost to the design. An increasing number of large scale structures such as public buildings and transportation hubs are being constructed using steel, making them usable ,fast, saving both money and time in the process, articulates, Ar. Anirban Bhaduri, Partner, INNATE Architects Planners & Engineers


What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
Its ability to overcome design limitations, put forward by conventional materials, and techniques. With the use of steel members, dimensions such as span, height and grandeur can be designed in an expanded scale. The whole concept evolves, once a designer decides to use steel instead of conventional materials. A much more experimentalized approach can be made and attained, resulting in realizations of such avant-garde concepts as Deconstruction and Parametricism in Architecture

The other major advantage of using steel is time-economy. Today, steel buildings are best known for diversity of their shapes their architectural expressiveness, which makes them more reliable than other types of structures. In addition, steel structures have high strength, hence, steel member can resist high load with comparatively light weight. With advent of newer quality of non corrosive Steel members ,gas and water tight , Its members can be readily replaced or are assembled increasing sanitary conditions, environment conservation, and flexibility.

Steel offers design flexibility- structures which are easy to install, and, is also cost effective and rarely fluctuates in price. Steel allows for improved quality of construction and less maintenance, while offering improved safety and resistance, high strength, ductility, choice of coatings are added advantages

How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
For the more progressive nations, steel has been used consistently as exposed material, to finish a building for a long time. Most notable masterpieces, post Art Nouveau phase ,during Modernistic era, to expose the steel in built form, in a grand scale. Architects like Mies Van Der Rohe, Victor Horta and Henri Sauvage have made immeasurable contributions in architecture.

The key to a successful design is to find the ideal balance of its production to the design. An increasing number of large scale structures, such as public buildings and transportation hubs are being constructed using steel, making them usable, fast, saving both money and time in the process. Particularly well suited for the facades of buildings, steel is functional, practical, and long-lasting material with a universal aesthetic appeal.

The use of long span sections for buildings creates large, open and flexible spaces. Using steel columns instead of concrete ones could deliver additional floor area on floor plates. Steel can be used alongside conventional materials or individually. Dedicated member-sections can be used in modern buildings to add to the Identity and symbolism, few of the key points in any design sector.

What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
The availability of steel members in various sections/grades only helps expand the horizon of a designer’s imagination. On the other hand, it is arguable that a designer’s imagination is only limited by the finite number of steel sections and grades available. While, it is true that the number of sections is huge and increasing every day and a greater number of design-specific sections, and, grades are welcomed, which would eventually lift the aforesaid limitation, making designs truly limitless.

As time progresses, the unbelievable number of grades lead to the use of steel, even stainless steel as a finishing material, compete with external grade specifications and weather-proofing.

What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
As designs and concepts of spaces evolve, we shall be witnessing the role of steel change, from its primary use as reinforcement to a more exposed form. To take the lead in defining the very Identity of the building that it helps stand. In conjunction with cutting edge software in designs, and use of unconventional materials, steel would be playing multiple roles in shaping the urban fabric. The comfortable humanistic scale would eventually expand, to entertain consumers and users with new experiences.

What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
As a designer, we feel the need for new material which are not just different in texture and feel, but also different in properties. The under-use of steel as an elevation and a building element, especially in our country, needs to be addressed so it can be used exclusively and not merely as a support. In such a scenario, we feel the need of more interaction between designers, architects and material industry, to understand the need exhibited and come up with more innovative and design-specific results.

Frankly, although the above scenario may be envisaged, the growth in this sector is exponential and the true nature of progress can only be felt after the stipulated time frame.

Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
We would love to share our experience in design and execution of the project – “Sinclairs Retreat, Kalimong” in West Bengal.

We have chosen to use steel as a replacement for Framing of roof structure, to attain the desired result and help hold the design-Integrity of the building intact. It reflects the designer’s intent to exude vernacular design elements in an innovative manner, allowing users a unique experience.

The site at Kalimpong is one with evaded change of levels, with a 75m drop across a 5acre site. The entry into the site is through the top most level, which graduates into a ramp leading to the main reception, and hotel block with the intent that the welcome view of the hotel reception would be a dramatic surprise to the visitors, as one enters further into the site steps lead downward, and into more private spaces such as duple cottages, children’s park and niches and corners for private tẻtẻ-ằ-tẻtẻ.

Further, down the site a single cottage suits, the spa at further lower level is the ultimate lap of luxury within the resort with an infinity swimming pool overlooking the mighty mountains and the wilderness below. The existing rocky terrain and the gradient has been retained and fused with the landscape. The large spanned roof structures are designed in steel along with shingles as the basic roofing material. Steel has enormously helped us in negotiating with the design constraints and achieving our desired built envelope.

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