Steel Marvels

4 World Trade Center New York

Intended to
The goal of the 72-story, 2.3 million-square-foot tower’s design was two-fold: to construct a powerful and efficient structure that would emanate a quietly dignified presence, and to enrich and enliven the surrounding urban environment.

4WTC meets these demands through significant yet restrained structural innovation, recognized by the 2017 AISC IDEAS2 Presidential Award of Excellence in Engineering.

Structural Specification
A typical office building of this size and shape would contain 7 to 10 perimeter columns on each side, spaced at roughly 20- to 30-foot intervals. 4WTC, on the other hand, has only four. The columns are grouped in pairs with an 80-foot clear span between them and 20 to 45-foot cantilevers at each end, providing dramatic column-free corners.

Beneath 4WTC lies a precarious maze of subway lines, commuter circulation, and mechanical spaces. The below grade complexity affected the retail column placements. A massive split V column supports the retail entrance, with additional steel structure built around the elevator and escalators, acting together to meet demanding load path requirements.


Structural steel was key in overcoming the unique challenges faced during the design of 4 WTC. LERA worked closely with the design architect, Maki & Associates, to come up with innovative structural solutions to speed construction, decrease construction costs, and create the desired open spaces for the offices. The limited number of perimeter columns created expansive city views through four 80-ft-long clear spans, six column-free building corners, and cantilevers of 20 to 45 ft. These long cantilevers and clear spans would typically add extra cost and time to the construction of the project. However, LERA designed the steel spandrel girders to pass continuously through the composite columns at the perimeter, splicing the spandrel members only at locations of low internal forces. This innovative approach saved time and money by removing 75% of the moment connections and reducing the total number of steel pieces/crane picks per floor.

Partner, LERA Consulting Structural Engineers

Steeled Efficiency
An innovative construction sequence was implemented for the construction of the tower: a structural steel frame was erected first, followed by an encapsulation of the service core in reinforced concrete. Typically, for steel-concrete buildings outside of New York City, the concrete core is constructed first with embed plates and followed by steel floor framing.

In the typical construction of perimeter steel columns, the steel beams and columns are aligned. For the long spans and cantilever conditions at 4WTC, however, the standard method would have required a significant moment connection at every column. To overcome this, the spandrel beam was offset from the columns, allowing the beam to be continuous and bypass the column uninterrupted. This drastically reduced the number of moment connections required to support 80-foot clear spans. Splice locations were then chosen at points of low moment along the length of the spandrel beams, thus simplifying the connections and providing additional savings in cost and time.

The advantage of this approach was threefold: on each side, it reduced the number of moment connections from eight (one at each face of the four columns) to two; it reduced the required number of spandrel pieces from five to three, resulting in more efficient shipping and fewer crane picks; and it reduced the size of the remaining moment connections since they were designed for much smaller forces than would have been required at the face of the columns.

The steel frame also led to efficiency in the link beams embedded in the core. Link beams, which connect two very stiff vertical elements, such as elevator cores, are highly stressed elements. When done in concrete, they are very congested with reinforcement, which can also lead to problems with concrete consolidation in construction.

In 4WTC, the link beams are made from steel built-up shapes. Steel is much better at resisting shear forces than concrete, and the steel link beams were much smaller than comparable concrete beams would have been. The steel link beams were also erected with space left between the top of the beam and the floor above, allowing ductwork and other utilities to be run above the tenant-finished ceiling.

Another significant technique to reduce construction time was in placing the erection columns to which these link beams were connected within the elevator core wall but offsetting them from the end of the wall by 6 feet.

This meant that the steel-link-beam-to-steel-erection-column connection could be a simple, cost effective shear tab instead of the highly stressed, expensive moment connection that would have been necessary had the erection column been placed at the end of the wall. The shear forces from the link beam were directed into the concrete by composite action between the end of the wall and the erection column. This approach simplified the connections, resulting in further savings in time and cost.

Sustainable Edifice
Awarded a LEED-certified Gold rating by the United States Green Building Council, sustainability was at the heart of 4WTC’s design. Recycled and sustainable building materials were used throughout and rolled steel members were incorporated into the concrete-encapsulated core. Additionally, the use of steel floor framing allowed for lighter floors within the core, thus reducing the overall weight and volume of concrete materials.

All the structural steel innovations present in 4WTC were made possible using cutting-edge computational design software in the planning and optimization of the project.

Prior to the initiation of construction for 4WTC, the design team worked with a steel detailer to create a 3-D Tekla model of steel components of the building. Developed as a quantities survey and early coordination model, this model proved crucial to the success of the bidding process. The design team also performed structural steel connection design for all non-typical connections, including all moment, truss node and beam-to-perimeter column connections.



Client: Silverstein Properties
Architect: Maki & Associates, Adamson Associates
Structural Consultant: LERA Consulting Structural Engineers
Status: Completed

Owara Restaurant, Nashik

Owara located in the Chandsi area of Nashik, is a stand-alone restaurant which automatically makes the design brief inclusive of the exteriors starting with the entranceway.

The otherwise regular concrete and brickwork construction makes use of an unusually sloped roofline and angularly placed M.S. columns supporting the canopies of the outdoor seating to create an impermanent bamboo tent like impression, akin to a tribal structure.

Coupled with all the Warli painting that adorns the compound wall as well as the entrance gateway, the structure doesn’t just stand out against the regular built scape of the city, but also emphatically announces its tribal Warli theme through all the modern metaphor of steel and glazing.

It has four seating categories, like Garden Seating, Main Plinth seating, Kopchi (a hide out for college students) and a mini banquet. This restaurant has 6 types of kitchen.



The combination of a prominent built form, uncommon roof scape, steel and glazing and brilliant lighting are sure to make “Ówara” stand out in the Nashik skyline and enjoy local popularity. The eatery scores on double ends by successfully showcasing a tribal theme without compromising on any contemporary technological contribution towards its comfort and ambiance.
Dhananjay Pawar
Managing Director, Synectics Architects

An interesting alternation between modern or contemporary design elements and tribal insignia has been used in Owara to balance modern catering requirements with a tribal theme.

As the mannequins of a Warli couple and a centrally placed Tulsi planter welcome a visitor at the entrance, he or she then passes over a glass bridge framed in M.S. sections, placed over a fish pond visible through it, to enter and be lead to the various dining areas of the restaurant. Pausing at this bridge, gazing at the fishpond beneath, one can decide which area to dine at and proceed towards it.

The bridge also leads to the main entrance in the indoors through a double height teak wood door with bamboo handles entering through which one can find himself in the indoor dining area spanning almost the entire building length.

This large dining space is abutted by an open kitchen at one end and by a staircase leading upstairs to the banquet hall doubling up as a discotheque at the other end. Located right opposite the main entrance is a doorway leading to an inner dining area, a secluded one preferred by youngsters and couples, aptly named ‘Kopchi”.

The structure has an interesting elevation from all sides. A traditional stone wall at one end which relates to a contemporary block cladded with Shera Planks. It has different moods in the day as well as in the nighttime. In the night times it glows with a very different mood than in day and not a single drop of water is wasted from the property as it is getting recycled.

VMRDA Children’s Arena, Visakhapatnam

The Children Arena is an auditorium which is owned by VMRDA (Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority). This auditorium is meant for children which is multi- functional with a seating capacity of 1000.

The idea of children arena started with the following:
“Every child, when starts writing first there appears directionless and confusing lines. Then, the first form he writes is the circle… may be representing the philosophical, natural and celestial link with life. The first form recoginsed by and always held close to them clearly is the circle aesthetic, functional and psychological attributes of the form “ circle” are exploited and taken advantage of .. To form the central concept of vuda’s “children arena”

Structural Specifications
This structure is located in the heart of vibrant city of Visakhapatnam. The floor space was well designed with all the circulation with multiple entries and exit routes. The structure contains a grand foyer with front elevation circular in shape for height of 16m. The main auditorium width is 21m with passages of 4.1m on either side. The main building elevation is circular in shape with two level variations to enhance the aesthetics.

The consultants, we were asked to design entire envelope as per the Architects intent. The main structure has been designed as a plain lattice of depth 1.35m which starts from plinth level on both sides and making a beautiful curvature at the roof and it is seamless. The max overall width of the structure is 38.5m and the height at the peak is 18m. There are multiple lattices which are placed at a distance of 5.7m and the total length of building is 57m. The lattices were fixed at 6 locations thereby we could make each lattice into 5 segments for the ease of fabrication and erection. For some portion of length the architect has given height difference in the same profile. To address this problem, double lattices were provided at these location without hampering the idea of architect.

Facing Challenges
The main challenge in this project was front elevation. During the erection of lattices, inspection of lattices was done at site and there was a discussion about the front elevation. VUDA engineers did not want to dig anything in the front to support the elevation lattices, as they have finished the RCC Structure which they have laid foundation 20 feet below the floor level. They wanted to avoid any kind of excavation. Understanding their problem the consultants started thinking affresh, and came up with a solution. They re-analysed the RCC Structure for staircase on either side of the building for lateral loads due to wind, and luckily the structure found to be taking lateral loads and also the foundation was safe for the intended loads.

Then the front elevation was designed by providing horizontal lattices which were supported onto RCC structure on either side and the vertical lattices were supported on these horizontal lattices. All the lattices in this area are triangular in shape to take care of the vertical bending due to self weight and glass weight and horizontal bending due to wind load. Ultimately a world class auditorium was designed which was appreciated by one and all.

Kartarpur Corridor, Punjab

On the eve of 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, a messenger of god, missionary and reformist who preached oneness, harmony and unity, Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India and Prime Minister of Pakistan unanimously took an initiative to open up a corridor so that pilgrims from both the countries could visit various shrines of Guru Nanak at Kartarpur.

The work on this corridor would be a landmark in the history of these two countries and shall be a helpful resource in creating unity and both the nations can look beyond physical boundaries and collectively work for the economic growth for this part of the sub- continent.

The very vision of the state-of-the-art Landport, a terminal building at Dera Baba Nanak is being carried out by Landport Authority of India. The objective was to construct a world class, State of the Art infrastructure for ICP Passenger Terminal Building at Dera Baba Nanak, to help the Sikh pilgrims from India to visit Dera baba Nanak at Kartarpur located about 7kms from the International boundary.

The project brief was aimed at providing comprehensive architectural services for the terminal building which will house adequate immigration and customs clearance facilities to process the smooth movement of nearly 10,000 pilgrims per day. The Terminal Building and associated land development was to cater to the utilities and amenities like toilets, waiting areas, security hold areas, adequate number of Immigration counters, drop offs & pickup areas, parking areas, allied facilities like safety, security, barrier free environment, retail & concessionaires etc. Our endeavour was to design a building that will always be looked upon a global facility which is Green, Smart and Sustainably relevant to the topography, culture, heritage and social fabric of the state it belongs to.

This was a step towards spreading universal message and the teachings of great Guru Nanak in terms of creating peace, harmony, unity amongst particularly between the two nations. This dream project is visualised as a physical homage to the great Guru Nanak Dev ji and also to create the sensitivity of Art & Architecture in symbolizing the universal message of oneness and humanity through various elements of visuals, dimensions, space and volume, particularly in creating State of the Art& Architecture thus establishing an environment which is spiritually empowered, emotionally bonded and solely connected which justifies the statement of Prof. Charanjit Singh Shah that : “A Building should not be treated as a mass of brick and concrete but as a living organism which breathes and embodies within the nature.”


This project showcases engineering capability of developing India wherein we are able to conceive and build a design of such magnitude and complexity in a record time. It is also an initiative to create a zero ground for both the countries and provide access to historical shrines of Guru Nanak for Sikh pilgrims.

Gurpreet Shah
Principal Architect, Creative Group


Using Steel
The flexibility of steel was utilized to create a large open span structure with limited columns. Surreal form of the building was realized by the malleable nature of steel, making it possible to construct the exact computer engineered design. Integration of steel frames, use of tubular sections and I-sections, reflective metal panelling, and façade glass has enabled to achieve large wide-open spaces with natural light in abundance.

Concrete and wet construction was kept to a minimum to save time. Steel fabrication was propagated wherein fabrication could take place in a yard and quick assembly can be achieved at site with not only guaranteed precision but also enabled an unheard timeline for the project.

The building form originates from Khanda, of Sikhism symbolizing unity, peace, and sending out a universal message of global brotherhood and coexistence. Disabled – friendly building will have immigration and clearance facilities to process movement of 10000-15000 pilgrims a day and provide a visa free access. The gateway crowning the port with the composition of 5 petals symbolizes the 5 vows of Sikhism.

The frame of the building is entirely constructed out of steel, with the use of trusses and various steel sections to achieve large open spans. The cladding on the roof is of aluminium standing seam while some areas also use zinc cladding and double-glazed glass units used in the façade enable natural lighting within the building while use of aluminium composite panels reflect the contemporary aspirations of the project.

The Wall of Fame will be showing the journey of Guru Nanak Devi ji since his birth, episodes of his understanding, his realizations and his journey towards enlightenment. His various Udasi’s or travel covering more than 40,500km across the globe where he preached the message of truthfulness, brotherhood and oneness of God, while criticizing and protesting against the rituality and fanaticism of religion is depicted in the form of Modern Art. The artwork also depicts certain other profound figures in Sikh history. The Guru’s philosophy of Mool Mantra’s essence is felt by the kinetic art which is unique in the world and is seen as sending the message of peace across the world.

Geometrics and Software used
It has been designed in a manner that it can efficiently respond to the future growth of the passengers in a logical manner to ensure that the increasing passenger movement can be dealt in a manner without negatively impacting the existing process. The passenger movement has been planned in a linear manner by providing a centralized position for immigration, customs and security check posts by minimizing confusion. The simple layout is designed to ease the passenger movement and function as an efficient transit point. This complements the otherwise dynamic form of building which has a spiritual inspiration behind it.

After the conceptualisation of the project and basic decisions regarding the planning, architectural software like AutoCAD and modelling software like Google Sketchup were used for generating drawings and 3- D for the project.

This was a very challenging project with such magnitude and of international importance, which had to be created with a signature design. It was a major challenge to design and tender this project within 2-3 weeks and construct a project with a site area of 50 acres, 3000 tons of steel and execute within 4-5 months.

The project had to be completed in six months. Both Creative Group and Shapoorji Pallonji worked Day and Night along to finish the project on time. The project was inaugurated on 9th November 2019, in lieu with Guru Nanak’s 550th Birth Anniversary.


Fact File

Client: Land Port Authority of India
Architects: Creative Group
Contractors: Shapoorji Pallonji
Steel Supplier: TATA Steel & APL Apollo Tubes Ltd
Steel Tonnage: 3000 tons

Elcom International Pvt. Ltd, Kolhapur

The client is an exporter and manufacturer of electronic components and consumer products. For several years during the nascent stages of the company the manufacturing was done in a small facility near Kolhapur (Maharashtra).

After a surge in growth, the client was in the midst of complete rebranding of the company and its products. Part of their rebranding strategy was a brief to us to conceive and design a green field industrial and research facility, which will aid the company’s rebranded image of a state-of-the-art global manufacturer of electronic components.

Building Specifications
The campus consists of a R&D / administrative facility, mould and press shop, assembly/store building and affiliated facilities like staff cafeteria, electroplating shop, effluent treatment plant etc. The layout not only takes advantages of the local climate and transportation but expedites the production process and create a coherent environment for the staff.

The tight MIDC plot of 160 Meter x 100 Meter was to accommodate a built-up area of 11,000 Square Meters. The task of achieving spaciousness in a tight setting of building was achieved by placing long lengths of the two major buildings – the Assembly Building and R&D Building in the east – West axis. This strategy facilitated keeping an 800 square meters of green space surrounded by above two main structures and the mould and press Shop buildings.

Production process of any industrial building consumption of hydal energy and also a substantial depletion of natural resources. In such a situation an Architect’s role is to minimize energy consumption through as many ways and means as possible and yet give a laterally thought out Eco-Friendly built form for the various buildings involved in the campus. Savings in the involved structural steel sheds was also accomplished through use of three hinged open web trusses, which reduce span to half and tubular purlins. Such aims have been largely achieved at our ‘Elcom Project’
Pramod Beri
Chairman, Beri Urban and Environmental Planners

The R&D Building’s form and façade is conceived to be dynamic and modern with use of inclined glass mass with exposed mullions which houses the reception on the ground floor and the conference facility on the upper floor. The North/South ingress of light continuous strip of glazing is provided, which receives relief through solid services accommodating boxing strips thus achieving the solid / void play. So that the Tools design team areas and testing laboratories get ambient north light throughout the year.

The production process is quite complex consisting of manually assembling several small components either made internally or sourced externally. This poses a huge planning challenge in terms of raw material procurement, handling and storage. Material and men movements were mapped to optimize flows and improve overall industrial efficiency.

The Assembly Building also portrays the same dynamical design idiom but on a modest scale. The highlight of the building is an open well with covered glazing from top assuring ample daylight and natural ventilation needed for the process. The processes in the mould shop are heat generating and pose a unique challenge in terms of worker comfort. Ridge ventilators and roof mounted turbo fans help in venting out the process-generated heat taking advantage of the natural chimney – stack effect.

The interiors of the office portray the same modern idiom, though the use of uniformity, minimalism, attention to detail and judicious use of color. The walls are white but do not appear stark due to the branding images / lettering used on the glass partitions and walls. A large table with white glossy PU finish dominates the conference room with the chairs adding the necessary color. Slanting motorized blinds over the external glazed façade control the light in the conference. It was necessary to portray the same dynamism in the interior design of the project. This is achieved through affecting the design idiom in the reception table and various other interior elements.

The landscape primarily consists of the central lawn, which aids in regulating the microclimate. Tall trees on the south east side reduce the smoke and particulate matter from entering the assembly facility from the next-door foundry facility. Boulders from the excavation have been used for creating a rockery in the central lawn. Most other plants are flowering, drought resistant varieties.

Eco-Friendly Measures

  • The centrally located greens act a necessary aid in achieving microclimate.
  • The double-glazed windows and other glazing work with low solar heat gain efficiency were used to minimize direct heat gain and reduce A.C. load.
  • Efficient HVAC – VRV system bring down the energy performance index of the building.
  • Solar electricity generation through roof top installations
  • Zero discharge facility with the grey water from the ETP/STP being reused for gardening
  • Use of water efficient water plumbing fixtures
  • Energy efficient fittings are used in electrification for the various buildings.

Night Architecture
In an industrial unit, night architecture is of prime importance. With minimal and efficient placing of outdoor electrical fittings, stunning night architecture for the campus is achieved.

The Warehouse Park, Hyderabad

The project mainly consists of several PEBs, with a cumulative area of more than a million square feet, to be constructed in phases. This warehouse park is situated near Hyderabad (T.S.), India. The PEB designed in the first phase is a warehouse with an area of 1,90,000 sq. ft.

Structural Details
The warehouse is modeled as a space frame, with 23 single-gable multi-span frames at 8m spacing. For alternate main frames, there are three intermediate columns, in addition to the end columns, thus making the transverse column-to-column spacing as 25m. Remaining frames rest on jack beams that run along three intermediate rows for the entire length of the PEB.

The 16m long jack beams serve as intermediate supports for alternate frames. There is a 5m wide cantilever canopy on one side that runs along the full building length. It is in reverse slope with 5m clearance above the warehouse floor.

The choice of space frame, instead of a plane frame, was based on below criteria:

  • To depict correct structure sway and deflections in the longitudinal direction.
  • To enable the design of longitudinal braces, for both columns and rafters.
  • To design wind columns at gable ends.
  • To allow the consultant, the flexibility to change the intermediate columns to ‘trestles’, if a need be.
  • To account for torsional forces induced, as a result of eccentricity between center of mass and center of resultant force, for the various load cases.

Consultant started the structure analysis & design with ‘pinned’ support approach. But, after completion of the geotechnical investigation, the existence of shallow hard rock strata, with an SBC of 2,000 kN/sq.m was ascertained. It was then that the support type was changed suitably to transfer most of the lateral forces, i.e. shears and moments, onto the sub-soil. As a result, member deflections, structure drifts and lateral sways could be kept within permissible limits, with relatively lighter column and beam elements. Though this resulted in 60 per cent more foundation cost, the overall project cost came down by approximately 16 per cent i.e. by around INR 15 Million.
Sayed Hyder Hussaini
Managing Director, Epicenter Consulting Engineers Pvt Ltd

The 5m cantilever canopy, on one side of the building, posed some difficulty initially. With ‘pinned’ column support, the cantilever deflection was beyond acceptable limits. In view of this, and the presence of hard rock at founding depth, the support was changed to ‘fixed’ type. Isolated footings had been designed several times for various support options, to reduce structure cost.

The consultant used a customized footing design software, requiring less than a minute per footing design, which helped them design the foundation system in the most economical way. And, with their customized wind load calculator, they were able to absorb client’s changing requirements with extreme ease.

Salient Features
Structural design was done as per AISC–ASD, while serviceability criteria were based on MBMA-2006 and the structure was located in seismic zone-2. Wind loads were calculated as per IS 875 (Part 3): 2015 with below wind parameters:

  • Basic wind speed = 44 m/s.
  • Design life (for k1): 50 Years.
  • Structure class (for k1): General building.
  • Terrain (for k2): Category 2.
  • Topography factor (k3): 1.00 (Upwind slope < 3⁰).
  • Importance factor (k4): 1.00 (Other structures).
  • Wind directionality factor (Kd): 0.9
  • Area averaging factor (Ka): Depending on tributary area.
  • Combination factor (Kc): 0.9

The warehouse had sprinklers and solar panels as roof loads, in addition to the usual live loads. The ‘ka’ factor was calculated separately for columns and rafters to get accurate loads on the various elements. This may have contributed to an extent, to overall structure economy, as it were the wind load combinations that governed the structural design for most members. The effect of canopy and roof monitor, on design wind pressures for members adjacent to those, was carefully considered while applying wind loads on the columns and rafters. Roof monitor was modeled, primarily, to enable application of correct wind pressures on windward and leeward rafters, and on the monitor itself. The presence of the roof monitor induced appreciable amount of additional shear in the extreme columns.

A customized automated template was especially prepared to obtain the design wind pressures for the various structural elements of the warehouse. As a result, consultant could try several design options, with different structural configurations, to arrive at the one with the perfect balance between strength, serviceability and structure optimization criteria. Wind was considered from each of 4 horizontal directions, considering both pressure and suction inside, thus, making it a total of 8 load cases for wind alone.

While a single-gable frame, for a width as large as 100m, is uncommon for warehouses, the primary challenge was to keep the overall height to within 18.5m above the road level. The 5m long cantilevers, over the entire warehouse length, were unique to this warehouse. The other unique feature was the exceptionally high soil SBC that enabled the consultant to reduce the super-structure cost by tactical support selection, and with heavier foundation design.

Aquatic Gallery, Science City, Ahmedabad

The upcoming Aquatic Gallery at Science city is a 5th generation, world class public aquarium providing catering to client’s vision of education and entertainment. It is an Inland Aquarium planned in a 2.5 Acre site with a built-up area of 13000sqmts and estimated cost of 250cr.

The form of the building is inspired by the nature, and, natural forms like spiraling gallery and shell-like structure found in abundance along the Gujarat coast.

Architectural Features
It is an Inland Aquarium planned in a 2.5 Acre site with a built-up area of 13000sqmts and estimated cost of 250cr. It is planned to house –
• Underwater viewing walkway
• Multi-level viewing gallery
• Interpretation Centre
• Advanced life support systems
• Indigenous and freshwater species

The Aquarium has 72 different tanks, housing approx.181 types of species, and, around 11500 total fishes. the galleries offer the visitors a sensory and absorbing experience of a world below the surface. the combination of lights, sounds, av technology, projection, movies, interactive elements, graphics, signage is provided at various points to enrich the experience.

The building form is sculptural with its 7 different volumes rising to different heights, depending upon the location and functions. The form of the building is inspired by the nature, and, natural forms like spiraling gallery and shell-like structure found in abundance along the Gujarat coast.  Based, on the principles of the golden spiral, the form gets wider as it moves further from the origin, but, yet maintaining the ratio for every quarter turn it makes.


The relatively easy process of fabrication and mass production of steel members and their accurate detailing helped in arriving at uniform quality, and, made it economical. Offsite fabrication of components and rapid on-site assembly by skilled personnel makes steel an inherently safe construction material. Moreover, steel sections designed along with concrete made the project simpler and affordable in line with construction methods and construction cost of the project.


The circular spiral form of the building adapts nicely, to the space needs and continuity of the galleries. Each segment varies in height, and, volume in the natural order of the spiral and the program needs of the gallery within. This gradually increasing height of segments creates a dynamic exterior form as well, as the galleries are expressed on the outer facade.

The central circular atrium structure provides a multipurpose space from where the galleries emanate; its form rises at the center of the spiral, reaching upward for light, received through clerestory windows. The spiral from allows for drawing people into the aquarium. The movement within the building is also similarly developed, with clear and easy and clear
Movement paths.

The building materials used mimics the natural forms. On the exterior three materials are used in the overall building development – metal cladding, concrete and glass. Clad in metal panels, the facade is designed to suggest the scale of a fish or the pattern/texture of the shell. The openings within the facade also similar to that of the gills of a fish. The metal panel provide for an ever-changing aesthetic quality to the facade.
The panels will reflect the surrounding, thus when the sky is blue the panels will look blue, orange during the evening, and the double curve facade will reflect the light in different ways thus making the building unique from each angle. The glass is provided along the few public and support areas, allowing for natural day light into the building. The building entrance is enhanced with a steel canopy, in a huge cantilevered petal form. There is a 26mt diameter atrium covered with steel deck slab resting on fabricated trusses.

Tools and Experience

  • The software used for designing and details – Revit, Sketchup, Photoshop, Auto Cad, Etab, Staad.
  • The static and dynamic analysis of the structure, designing of steel members and columns were done using 3D ETABS modelling under various loading conditions and their combinations.

The experience of working with steel was a learning curve for the entire project team. Steel being strong but relatively light and versatile, provided flexibility to achieve the desired form. In steel buildings, the time of delivery, lead time, curing time and other factors that are involved while working with concrete structures get eliminated because of the completely mechanized process that steel construction follows. This made the construction process rapid and helped in the substantial elimination of delays.


Fact File
Client: Gujarat Science & Technology Department
Architect: INI Design Studio Pvt Ltd
Consultant: Ducon Consultants Pvt Ltd
Steel Contractor: Shapoorji & Pallonji
Steel Tonnage: 185 Tonnes
Status: Ongoing

LIC Gift City, Gujarat

The LIC Smart Tower, speaks of ground plus 25 upper floor structures designed in an Iconic fashion, with a total construction area of 30,500 sqm. To break the monotony, an arch feature is added at the top. This curvilinear option is created to express the dynamic look of the LIC’s GIFT City Tower – the top Arch feature with intermittent ribs balanced with ‘U’ shaped facade glazing on all faces – to create a good geometric balance.

The idea was to create something iconic & smart which in India’s first Smart City, GIFT at Gujarat. The requirement also covered the factor of flexibility to enable each floor to be individualistically self-sufficient in terms of future planning; the development was bound to be green / eco-friendly – all these to ensure that the tower ‘makes a statement’ of its own.

The brief was simple and thus difficult to cater to – one needed to analyse & understand this to be able to come-up with best possible options

Analysis was done to understand the most minimal requirement shared with the architects – the same was elaborated with ‘what is needed?’, ‘what is envisaged?’, ‘what could possibly be expected in future?’ and much more to ensure the future growth was also inculcated in the design.

Multiple options, sketches, design basis were generated, a lot of brainstorming as to how to ensure that the said tower is smart, elegant, green and lives up to its iconic look – yet ensuring the best of design flexibility; a parallel mind set was also being worked upon the materials to be used and an alternative construction technique/material be used.


In my award winning carrier of 50 years, I have been responsible for many firsts, including, India’s first revolving restaurant at Ambassador Hotel, Mumbai, India’s First health spa and resort, Golden Palm resorts at Bangalore, India’s first Fast Track IT Building for Morgan & Stanley of USA at Mind Space Malad (Mumbai), India’s First platinum rated Green campus, Cygnus World School, Vadodara; to name a few – now with Smart Developments being in at the forefront – I have been ensuring that the best of technique and experience is being applied to be able to create something unique, something smart and dynamic – the future is Smart Sustainable Spaces.
PREM NATH, Principal Architect, Prem Nath & Associates


Steel the essence
The flexibility of steel in terms of curved three-dimensional design, the diversity of material, its capability to be able to take-on different design forms/shapes and be able to simply be perforated, and much more and just a few of the reasons steel was considered to be one of the major parts of building material. Apart, from the base RCC Structure, the entire “façade to roof” structure was planned to be built in composite-steel which itself was the major component of steel applicability; other ancillary components too were to be built with steel keeping in mind the flexibility of use, ease of constructions & achievable speed in development. Steel not only gives one the opportunity to design big, design freely but also enables one to think variety of forms and shapes.

Architectural Features
The visual appeal of the building is through the linear and symmetrical form. The building structure is aesthetically designed in a way that the service core is planned towards the western side of the building so the office space makes maximum use of the natural daylight and outside view. To break the monotony, an arch feature is added at the top. Moreover, apart from the architectural features, a lot of green features are inculcated, viz. the use of low solar heat gain coefficient glass that ensures maximum reflection of heat through glazing. Use of extended structural projections as sun cutters and shading devices- cutting down incidental heat percentile; Integrated Building management systems shall be used in the building.

The services catering the building are taken care of by the main via-duct as per the GIFTCL with uninterrupted supply of RO water, flushing water, electric power, and sewage treatment. The complex is planned as zero disposal building; the garbage directly goes to the underground pipelines and treatment plants. Smart security systems shall be used, everything would be monitored and managed by a central control room. Smart power generation via use of solar panels, the arch feature shall have integrated solar panel assembly on the roof-top of the building, which shall add to power saving amounting 5-8 per cent of the total power consumption.

The curvilinear geometry is created to express the dynamic look of the tower at the GIFT Smart City – the top Arch feature with intermittent ribs balanced with ‘U’ shaped facade glazing on all faces – create a good geometric balance.

The top elevation feature is planned with Pergolas, supported with thick elevation bands commencing from the bottom all thru upwards; these bands on four corners add to the highlight of the building’s elevation.

CAD/CAM Software were used for both 3D modelling & 2D planning, along with multiple visual rendering software.

Each project enables one to push their own boundaries – while Prem Nath And Associates have created many landmark structures, green developments and have achieved an array of accolades – it is important to go beyond – extend the boundaries towards the Smart development, high-tech structures, eco-friendly & sustainable spaces – while yet maintaining the principle of not making the development too acrobatic (read gimmicky).

Ar. Prem Nath & Associates ensures that while the design & techniques are up to the most innovative & contemporary, the concept yet lives the test of time being simple at its core.


Fact File

Architect : Prem Nath & Associates
Structural Consultant : SACPL
Tonnage : 2000 Tonnes
Status : Concept Stage

Airspace – Family Entertainment Center, Seawoods

‘Airspace’, is a sculptural icon, designed above Seawoods Railway Station. The area considerations for the design have been governed by the statutory dimensions, of the railway station measuring 65 M wide & 271 M long. The floor plate is the roof slab of the platform area.

The development encompasses an avant-garde Family Entertainment Center that consists of an 11 Screen multiplex, food court, sports zones, restaurants, cafés and multiple social and entertainment zones. The total area of development is about 2.25 Lakh square feet.

Client Perception
‘Airspace’ – is a component of the transit-oriented development (T.O.D) project designed by Ar. Hiten Sethi. It is a Family Entertainment Center (FEC), Theatre complex and Commercial Center – presently under construction at Seawoods, Navi Mumbai.

A key design feature is the seamless connectivity channels for users in transit, who shall be able to access the Airspace directly from the railway station lobbies, connecting skywalks, and transit passages. Other occupancies of the development such as the retail, commercial and residential, are also connected to this facility.

Considering the ergonomics and human dimension during the design process, the aim was to create pedestrian-friendly zones with interactive spaces within the complex. Multiple Lift and staircase cores have been positioned in the basement along the total length of the Family Entertainment Center for pedestrian access.

Vehicular access to the airspace is designed through a road over bridge at an elevated level and a ramp from the main complex entrance has been designed as an alternative route.

The proposed development is a part of ‘Rail Mass Rapid Transit’ system that shall connect current and future railway lines with the adjacent mall building and housing complex while establishing integral connections over and under the proposed infrastructure.

With the ongoing construction of Navi Mumbai International Airport (N.M.I.A), the anticipated development of housing, commerce, industries, and various other domains in the city of Navi Mumbai, are projected to be one of the largest of 21st century India. The vision plan was to design facilities and features that shall create tremendous footfalls within the complex, associated with the overall growth of Navi Mumbai as a city and economic powerhouse.

One of the biggest challenges during design and execution of the project was the site location, which was above the existing RCC slab of Seawoods railway station. It was essential that the construction had to be carried out without disturbing the routine operations of the existing railway station and mall. The new structure is designed as a combination of R.C.C & Pre Engineered Building (PEB) system construction on an existing RCC railway slab. Resulting in a light weight structure that allows flexibility in terms of accommodating various services and expedites the speed of construction along with efficient site management. The construction on site resembles more like an “Assembly Workshop”, where almost 70% of the elements are made off site and only assembled in place on site. A monumental infrastructure project, Airspace, will be the go-to place for the coming generations. We anticipate the project development to create a dynamic social, financial and cultural impact for the city of Navi Mumbai
HITEN SETHI, CEO, Hiten Sethi & Associates

The canvas area of design – a rectangular slab, provided a strong geometric base to the project. To maximize the features of the design, efficient space planning enabled the conceptualization of a 30 M tall, rectangular structural form above the railway station.

To create an iconic design, a contemporary theme of ‘the geometries of motion’ has been implemented for the architectural expression of the project. The dynamic perforated aluminum façade design aims to create a timeless expression of energy.

Post daylight, the facade lighting features, and perforated panels characterize the built volumes as a glowing entity, creating a visual emotion of architectural poetry in motion.

For the interiors, the focal point of the project is a double height Atrium with a quintessential elliptical poly-carbonate skylight that welcomes visitors, creating a sense of grandeur and opulence in form.

The double height lobbies, common corridors, and interactive entertainment zones have been designed with a contemporary, polished aesthetic appeal. The aspiration was to create a building that would be interesting and perpetually attractive for users.

Steeling Structure
The structural system at Airspace has been designed as a composite system of steel & concrete – that consist of ‘PEB (Building envelop and roof)’ and ‘Non-PEB (Deck slabs for service areas, service platforms, projection rooms, and services)’.

The superstructure framework is in structural steel columns and trusses. The façade envelope is designed with standing seam aluminum sandwich panels, polycarbonate skylights and domes as the roof.

The roof structure is designed as a combination of Steel Rafters and Jack beams of 15.00 m c/c span with a slope of 1:20 lightweight Aluminum sandwich panels. The maximum depth of Jack Beams in the project is 900 mm, alternatively, if the same span was to be developed in RCC, the beam depth would have been more than 1800 mm.

This arrangement makes the proposed structure much lighter than a conventional RCC structure. The roof consisting of 52 skylights and 3 large domes is supported by the extension of central columns, while the façade is supported by the peripheral columns. The perforated aluminum panel cladding on the façades keep the adjacent fire corridors and service corridors ventilated.

The entrance facade has been designed in glass and aluminum panels for an inviting aesthetic appeal. To enable a faster construction process and lighter super structure, structural steel is adopted for the framework. Thus, making it a composite structural design. The steel sections are pre-fabricated, transported to site and installed as per design.

Considering the challenging timeline for project completion, the use of steel has contributed to a much faster and efficient project execution process.



Designing & Detailing
At the concept stage, the above parameters of construction and design development were designed and developed with the use of multiple design softwares. Trimble SketchUp & Autodesk Revit were used extensively for the concept design stage.

Autodesk software’s – AutoCAD, Revit & 3DS-Max were used as primary tools for the design development process and generation of working drawings. Tekla, a design detail and project communication software was used extensively to ensure impeccable structural design and drawing results towards the project execution process.

A multiple stakeholder development venture, HSA has worked closely with L&T Seawoods Limited as the Client, getting into the depths of market analytics and its impact on the design development & implementation for the project.

HSA has worked with a large team of experts from the fields of civil construction, steel manufacturing and fabrication, façade specialists, MEP professionals and interior designers for the fulfillment of the project. Thus, enabling Hiten Sethi & Associates to add another architectural marvel to its repertoire with excellence in approach, efficiency in delivery and exclusivity in design.


Fact File

Architect: Hiten Sethi & Associates
Structural Engineer : Mahimtura Consultants Pvt. Ltd.
Steel Fabricator : Volta Green Structures Pvt. Ltd.
Steel Supplier : JSW Steel Limited
Tonnage : 1800 MT
Status : Ongoing

Swaran Dwar, Ambala

The Government of Haryana intends to celebrate Swarn Jayanti year of the State of Haryana Keeping in mind the Golden Jubilee event the Government of Haryana has decided to install a Commemorative Structure and Tableau depicting progress of Haryana in last 50 years Rich heritage/Culture/History etc. are required to be displayed.

Initial Thought
Haryana is the land where knowledge of Geeta was imparted to Arjuna by Lord Krishna. The thought of a structure which could easily span the 55 m wide road, be a symbol of Geeta Gyan and yet be iconic. Bow n arrow symbolizes focus, which, is arguably the most essential thing needed for achieving success in any endeavor be it the war, implementation of any state policy or for prosperous business.




The Swarn Dwar is an amalgamation of cultural beliefs, portrayed through a contemporary design. Stainless steel was chosen because of the flexibility of steel and the idea that stainless steel requires no or minimum maintenance and does not get affected by moisture dust or water. Also, the cladding PVD coated gives the
structure a unique look. The entire project was completed from foundation to erection in just 30 days and this was due to the flexibility of steel. The Contemporary Dwar will stand to greet all passerby of NH-44 CHD – Ambala for a long-long time.


Design Idea
The concept design of the Swarn Dwar is envisaged as a Bow which is to be placed on the National Highway near (Apprx 500 Mtrs) Kingfisher resort towards Delhi. The Bow is so placed as it covers all three road (road from Delhi To Chandigarh which further diverts to Chandigarh and Amritsar and road from Chandigarh to Delhi and road from Chandigarh to Ambala Cantt. The Bow is spanning approximately 180’-0” with two side anchorage in shape of steel columns and one central column placed on the median. The height of the bow is 18’-0“ to 40‘-0” as per minimum height guidelines.

The bow structure is made up of stainless steel 304 grade pipes which are cladded with PVD coated laser jet cut stainless steel sheet supported by stainless steel columns. The material chosen stainless steel as it is permanent material and it has very less effect of nature i.e. water, moisture, dust etc. No or very minimum, maintenance is required for stainless steel in compare to mild steel.

The pipe structure has LED lights inside from which the it highlighted and the stainless-steel cables suspended from the central columns are lit by colour wash façade lights to create a peacock feather effect. The project also involves Lighting upto 500 mtr of the Swarn Dwar. Also decorative lighting LED are placed on both sides of the Dwar. The bow is like the primordial OM sound and the arrow is like the Jeev-atma which achieves Nirvan through Brahmanaad by the Shankh or Conch. Hence we also used 18’ long conch.

Steeling Structure
Ease of Construction with steel made it possible for us to implement the structure without having stopped the traffic even for a single day. It’s steel columns n Dhanush were prefabricated n simply placed in position by cranes.

The cladding material here too was stainless steel sheet envelope which was CNC cut to give the desired perforations out which lights radiated outward s which made it look like diamonds in a golden bow.


Fact File

Client: PWD Buildings & Roads, Haryana
Architect: Renu Khanna & Associates
Consultant: Renu Khanna & Associates
Steel Fabricator: Krishna Constructions
Tonnage: 25 Tonnes (SS 304 grade)
Status: Completed


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