Steel Marvels

Jumping Heights- Extreme Adventure sports facility, Goa

After having successfully designed one of India’s only extreme adventure sports facility – Bungy Jumping, Flying Fox and Giant Swing facility at Rishikesh (Ranked as no.1 tourist place of visit by Trip Advisor), For Jumpin Heights adventures pvt. ltd and Goa Tourism Development Corporation, Kalayojan was opportuned to design yet another extreme adventure facility for the same client at India’s foremost tourist destination, Goa.

As one leaves the bustle of Panjim behind, the landscape gives way to a sprawling expanse of green hills, lakes and quaint villages leading up to Bicholim.

Kalayojan was invited to associate with Jumpin Heights and the Goa tourism Department Corporation (GTDC) on a project that would potentially change the very representation of the area.

Design and Technical challenges
The project consists of three parts:

  • The main Tower
  • Ancillary facility like merchandising, ticketing, café etc
  • A natural trail/ pathway connecting the two.

The site given to us to construct a tall tower over 50mt was just 8m*8m i.e.64 sq. m.

This was probably the smallest site that Kalayojan has worked on. One of the key aspects that was kept in mind while designing was that for a visitor the adventure should start before reaching the actual tower. This was done by carefully orchestrating the movement of people so that one could see and grasp the magnanimity of the tower from a distance and probably also see people jumping from it.

This would fill the visitor with adrenaline giving them an unforgettable experience. Even as the architects envisioned a 58m high tower, to give it a visually taller effect, the square plan of the tower was restricted to 6m x 6m only towards the lake. This cantilevered platform was 24mt in length. Keeping the maximum possible reverse swing towards the tower structure in mind 20m length for cantilever was optimised. At the height of 58m, 20m long projected a cantilevered walk-way and platform for bungy jumping.

The tower has been provided to accommodate two lifts of 10 passengers capacity, toilets, fire escape staircase and a central passage within a tight but efficient plan. The orientation of the transparent lifts was a conscious design decision so it could be viewed from far. The crown of the tower was imagined having on all four sides, a large signboard of “Jumpin Heights”, our client. To be able to construct a sturdy, high tower while minimally interfering with the environment, the structural designer opted for Pile Foundations. The bungy tower is constructed using galvanized structural steel to ensure longevity in the humid conditions. Owing to its high strength to weight ratio, steel was the most favourable choice for a tall tower strong base in the rock below. The bungy tower is constructed using galvanized steel to ensure longevity in the humid conditions.

Architect’s Interpretation

The Goa Tourism Dept envisioned a new identity to boost tourism at Mayem Lake making it an epicentre of adventure, thrill and rejuvenation. Kalayojan worked with them to build a nature trail, using natural elements and local flora and fauna to elevate the Mayem Lake region as the perfect tourist destination for adventure and nature lovers visiting Goa. With a 55 mt jumping height, the Bungee site, which is opened to people from the 28th of August, will give visitors the chance to challenge their fears and experience the thrill of one of world’s most challenging sports, against the stunning backdrop of the Goan hillside and take a leap over the inviting waters of the Mayem Lake.

Sanjay Porwal & Pathik Joshi
Lead Architects, Kalayojan Urban Designers & Architects

After careful study of the structure type and design, all the parts were pre-manufactured and galvanized in a factory in Mumbai and assembled on site with only 2mm tolerance. Advanced construction technologies and cranes were employed to put the structure in place bit by bit and segment by segment as the soil and topography condition made access to the site difficult. The sway and oscillation of the tower (due to wind pressures) at the top level was minimised to 60mm. Yet installing a stable lift to withstand even this oscillation was found difficult and many lift providers restrained from coming forward. Yet one did by employing suitable technology.

The result is a landmark structure along the banks of Goa’s most famous Mayem Lake. A bungy tower constructed on a footprint of only 6m x 6m with its height towering to 58m – that is close to a 16 storied building! This is also a remarkable achievement from an architectural point of view, paving way for modern, eco-sensitive infrastructure that puts paramount importance on the environment.

The Goa Tourism Dept envisioned a new identity to boost tourism at this lake making it an epicentre of adventure, thrill and rejuvenation. An exciting natural track of 2m width help link the tower and another ancillary facilities. The entire development was done keeping entire existing flora and fauna intact. This elevates the Mayem Lake region as the perfect tourist destination for adventure and nature lovers visiting Goa.

IMTMA – Bangalore International Exhibition Center (BIEC), Bengaluru

This unique structure is an exhibition hall built near the three buildings which were also designed, fabricated and erected by Kirby India in 2008. The size of the hall was conceptualized with the years of experience of holding many international exhibitions by Bangalore International Exhibition Center (BIEC) as a solution to common complaints of the many participants in different exhibitions such as lesser width for machinery display, non-availability of constant heights for hoarding hangings, non-uniform distribution of AC ducts, aesthetics of the building, etc.

BIEC & Mistry Architect (Architects) had put forward their plans and Kirby India having a decade long relationship with BIEC proactively offered unique, innovative and optimized structural design with the usage of pipe truss elements for their structure which is different from regular PEB designs. The steel sections were supplied by Tata Steel and major sections used was YST 310.

Steel Applicability
The complete structure is built of steel which is more than 90 per cent recyclable. All the raw material such as plates and coils are procured from India’s leading steel manufacturers or imported as per the customer’s specifications and then processed as per the shop floor drawings with different dimensions and modularities with strict control on accuracy.

High grade steel material of 550 MPa is used in the complete structure. All the welded joints are tested with non-destructive weld tests.


  • The structure is with 3 Nodal Open Pipe Truss arrangement of 2.4 m Wide x 3 m Height. Main pipes are at 3 nodes of approximately 300 / 350 mm diameter and the main nodes are weaved together with the smaller diameter pipes. This is the best solution, where economy, soundness, aesthetics has complimented each other.
  • Truss is repeated at 9 m intervals along the length
  • The open space within truss is utilized for routing of AC ducts.
  • Services are placed on sides of the hall with covered roof and louvered elevations to enclosed it inside.
  • Roof and wall external sheets are meeting Green Building standards having SRI Index above 78.
  • Curved Standing Seam Roofing system with clear span of 75 m is provided for the first time in the PEB industry.

Challenges Resolved
All the challenges with respect to the design, fabrication and erection were resolved mutually after series of discussions with the client and consultant to arrive at the best PEB solution. Lot of internal deliberations took place among the teams with respect to the structure to give a perfect and innovative solution which was successfully given to the client and well appreciated by the outsiders as well who participated in the exhibitions held in this hall recently.

Software/Software Solutions Used
The processes right from design, fabrication, supply and erection were well coordinated using high end technical softwares and SAP systems to ensure timely delivery and completion.

All the buildings supplied by Kirby are green in nature as they are environmentally friendly. Steel is one of the preferred green construction materials that is growing rapidly in the construction sector because of its recyclable quality. These buildings are cost-effective, energy efficient and provide better quality environment due to the favorable roofing material and natural ventilation.

These buildings also help in energy saving due to more amount of natural sunlight through skylights and wall lights installed in the building thereby reducing the overall power consumption. Effective usage of insulation materials, louvers, turbo vents and other materials also help in making Kirby buildings as green buildings. All the materials used in making these buildings are recyclable and are not harmful to the environment. This building also reduces the emission of greenhouse gases to the environment. All the environmental protection rules and other guidelines were strictly adhered as per the local authorities.

The newly constructed Hall 4 has been awarded ‘Gold’ rating by both Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and US Green. Building Council (USGBC) under its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating level for its environmentally friendly design.

Fact File

Client: Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers Association
Architect: Mistry architects
Structural consultant: Sterling Engineering Consultancy Services
Project management consultant: Potential Project Managers Pvt Ltd.
Steel Contractor / Fabricator: Kirby Building Systems India Pvt Ltd
Steel supplier/s: Tata Steel
Steel tonnage: 2,200 mt (approx.) 500Mt (tata steel hollow sections)

Residence of Sunil Nandini, Kochi

The client’s brief for having a column free indoor sports hall, large enough to accommodate a basketball court and two badminton courts (or 6 badminton courts overall), led to this contemporary solution using RCC and structural steel in the same building.

This Multi-purpose hall, spanning 60 meters in length & 21 meters in width, judiciously utilizes the compressive strength of RCC in columns and flexibility of steel to achieve a clear span volume for indoor sports facilities at the ground floor & a 500 students capacity dining hall above it, having a curved steel roof.

The building is part of a larger school campus & is strategically placed along the length of the football field, in between the senior & Junior school. It offers a clear panoramic view of the campus from the dining hall level, which is at approx. 41 feet height, due to its uninterrupted structural glazing spanning 51 mtrs.

We wanted to design a house with water as a theme. As soon as you open the gate you have a series of stone slabs placed over a small pond. This leads to a large red door. As soon as you open this door you see a combination of ramps and steps which act as the circulation area of the house. The water continues below this space with skylight on top. The building is designed in steps so that you have a view of the water from every room. Since, we have only steel column supports the house is open end to end right from the living room to the kitchen. The house is open to a landscape with a large lawn by the side of the lake where parties can be organized. The roof is exposed with corrugated steel painted in black. The colour white is emphasized from exteriors to interiors with splashes of warm colours making the interiors interesting
S. Gopakumar, Principal Architect, Kumar Group Total Designers

The building volume is divided primarily into two halves, one at the ground level is a 39 feet high indoor sports multi-purpose hall with steel trusses (6ft depth) & composite deck slab above it, while the upper level is a 20 feet high dining hall with a 51 meter clear span steel truss offering an uninterrupted view of the playfield. The upper level has steel girders and purlins supporting a curved PUF panel sheet roofing.

The length of the building is divided into 10 bays with maximum bay spacing of 6.5 m, out of which the first one and a half bay is assigned for the reception lobby, main staircase, fire/ service staircase, two lifts & ancillary rooms. The remaining bays are assigned for the multi-purpose hall at ground level & dining hall above it.

Architectural Features
The brick wall facade enveloping the ground floor level multi-purpose hall, which has motifs depicting the various forms of sports, provides a robust base for the dynamic profiling of the curved roof with its clear span glazing.

The inclined steel columns projecting at the ends adds to the dynamic form. The dining hall structural glazing up to a height of 27 feet provides a panoramic view of the entire campus. A steel connecting bridge was also added as means to access the Senior school building from the dining hall lobby on the 4th floor.

The intelligent use of glass and curved steel floating roof for the dining hall enables the overall building to look much lighter & aesthetically appealing. The webbing created by the girders & purlin for the steel roof, creates a harmonious pattern for the ceiling below & also serves as supports for the hanging ceiling lights.

Fact File

PMC : Kumar Group
Structural Consultant : Ravikumar Associates
Steel Fabricator : Eyescon
Steel Supplier : Tata Steel
Steel Tonnage : 60Tons
Steel Sections : YST 310 Grade
Total size: 13.59mtrx25.58mtr.
Room span is 5.2mtr , used single tubes.

Renovation of the Bharat-Ratna Maharshi Anna Karve Memorial

To commemorate his contributions to the society a circular memorial with a statue of Bharat-Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve was installed in the year 1980 on a three-way intersection of Karve Road in Kothrud area of Pune. This installation also doubled up as traffic island for the junction. Over the past few years the three-way intersection grew into a very dense node of the city because of rapid urbanization and surge in the number of vehicles, inadvertently causing heavy traffic snarls around it.

This situation was aggravated with the gradual encroachment of illegal hawkers and fast-food stalls flanking around the circular memorial making the place dirty and polluting its sanctity. MKSSS and the Pune Municipal Corporation were concerned about the alarming situation and equally determined to resolve the plight. Under the able guidance of Dr. Anurag Kashyap, the Principal of MKSSS’s Dr. Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture (BNCA), a collaboration was materialized between The Department of Digital Architecture at BNCA and Studio_DRA[AFT] and a design brief of “Re-invigoration of a Compact Urban Dense Node” was formulated to propose a novel design solution to re-vitalize the Bharat-Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve Memorial to not only transform its immediate environment but also re-engage the citizens into a virtuous socio-cultural experience.

Maharshi Karve was a great social reformer and a visionary. He always questioned and acted upon the conventional and rudimentary traditions which were followed blindly by masses. He thought beyond the conventional and took great efforts to materialise his unique ideas.
With such a background of his personality, if we take a cross section of canopies and installations that adorn his statue, it could be observed that these are mere replicas of “Chattris” which are traditionally used to a large extent and reflect the design philosophies of bygone eras. Such designs visually lack the basic approach of questioning the conventional and thinking beyond the boundaries. Considering these as core observations, We, the team of professors and students at the Department of Digital Architecture BNCA Pune and Studio_DRA[AFT], conceived the persona of Maharshi Karve as the one who struggled, gave, developed, nurtured and radicalised his contemporary society. These keywords helped us manifest Anna Karve as a “Giving Tree” whose different parts symbolises his life and how it has changed and benefitted the lives of people who are associated with him.

The Roots of this “Giving Tree” relates to MaharshiKarve’s strong and radical ideas, the stem symbolises Anna Karve himself. He and his ideas lead to the incubation of several initiatives that benefitted the society at large, which are envisaged as the Branches of the “Giving Tree”. These initiatives resulted into the blossoming of several Institutes which work on the philosophies he set, thus, aptly are considered as the sub-branches. These institutes today are world-renowned and have created individuals who take pride to be associated with their beloved Anna Karve. They are the beneficiaries of the effort of the great man himself and are seen in the form of leaves and fruits of the “Giving Tree”, thus, manifesting the completion of the entire cycle of growth that was initiated by Maharshi Karve.

Using Steel
The ‘Renovation of the Bharat-Ratna Maharshi Anna Karve Memorial’ Project was primarily an effort towards regenerating a compact urban dense node of Pune city. The site is at a cross-junction of three major roads of the city and was heavily dominated by hawkers and vehicular traffic. Hence one of the major challenges was negotiating space for construction of the structure.

This resulted in conceiving the design as a prefabricated entity which could be processed and assembled off-site and could be installed quickly and easily on site. Hence, Steel seemed to be an obvious choice which would not only make the structure light in weight but also provide strength and durability to perform against the plethora of forces that would act on it within the context.

It’s an exceptional challenge to design a unique structure and materialize it using the most cutting-edge technologies available today within the domain of design and fabrication. Our practice is happy to be a part of the young brigade of Indian Architects who don’t shy away from experimenting with the design briefs and question the conventional approaches. This project has amplified our design sensibilities and induced a confidence to experiment, explore and innovate further in the realm of architecture, engineering and construction to provide novel solutions at various scales. We are more ready to accept new challenges and are equipped with the most state-of-art skillsets required to solve them successfully.
Swapnil Sanjay Gawande
Computational Design Expert & Architect, Studio_DRA[AFT]

Architectural Features
This “Giving Tree” was abstracted into a parametrically generated canopy that would adorn and accentuate the statue of Maharshi Karve from all the three roads at the cross-section of which it is now situated. The parametrically generated canopy is an output of rigorous computational experimentations done within the domain of Digital Architecture which is an avant-garde movement in current world trends of Architecture. Hence, this design completely manifests the futuristic ideologies and vision set by Maharshi Karve.

The canopy majorly consists of parametrically derived hexagonal pyramids with lights recessed at the tip of each. This will il­luminate the canopy and create a unique environment at dawn and night. The unique structure and design exudes an ambience that is un-matched in any urban setting within Pune city. It has now become an urban attraction and helps re-synergize its immediate surroundings by booming the economy of the zone. Being an iconic structure of a Bharat-Ratna itself, it is also helping in re-defining and accentuating the identity of contemporary Pune city.

The entire canopy is an anticlastic shell structure that is composed of discreet hexagonal pyramids which are made up of 900 variable triangulated MS plates. 3600 disparate joinery modules hold together this entire complex assembly. The canopy starts at a base diameter of 1.5 metres till it blooms into the upper diameter of 5 metres. The entire structure stands tall at 8 metres from the ground level.

Software used
Although I am of the opinion that softwares doesn’t really help to “design” spaces, as the process of designing relies a lot on intuitional and intangible parameters, but they certainly aid in speedy visualization, minute detailing and swift materialization of the project.

The project turned out to be an interesting and successful collaboration between Academia, Industry, Government Agencies and various citizen groups. It gives us as sense of pride as India has handful examples of path-breaking and innovative design solutions and projects like these, however small they may be, add up to that list. We are very happy to be a part of this project which will stand the test of times successfully for several years to come.

Biswa Bangla Gate, Kolkata

Biswa Bangla Gate–City icondepicts the image of the metropolis for united in strength, dynamic in progress and the liberal outlook for all streams of creativity. The design concept is an attempt to pay homage to Hon. Rabindranath Tagore and his composition ‘where the mind is without fear’. Designers were invited to create a sculpture as a welcome gate by HIDCO, under the government of West Bengal. The client’s brief was to create an iconic structure for the identity of the new town development.

The idea was to give the visitors a memorable experience of 360 degree, viewing of the well-developed Kolkata New Town from an elevated perspective. The platform will also serve as an exhibition space portraying the culture and heritage of the town. In coming years, this iconic City Gateway will be a magnet to attract people for celebrating events of national and international stature

Dhananjay Dake
Creative Director
Construction Catalysers Pvt Ltd

Kolkata city with a rich heritage and cultural background is growing into a large metropolitan. Hence, there was a need of a new modern urban space to accommodate the thrust of population and urban infrastructure. This new town demands to have its identity depicting the new modern culture, at the same time showcasing state of the art technologies.

The site chosen to place this iconic structure is at intersection of two major arterial roads. This square is also the entry point to the new town while coming from Kolkata International airport. Hence, this way the structure is one of the first overwhelming icon to be spotted by a visitor and has become the first impression for the new town. The sculpture with two imposing arches is stabilized with the ring walkway that facilitates visitors to experience an aerial view of the new town as well as it will be an iconic structure.

Architectural Features
The crossroad square has four traffic islands each located diagonally opposite, which allowed raising four massive curved steel pylons to form two intersecting arches. The total height attained by these arches is 55m. At midway height of approximately 25m from ground a 60m diameter circular ring shape platform is placed. This 4m wide platform has been simply anchored on the 4 main pylons.

The platform is a lightweight steel complex structure in itself consisting of an approx. 8000 sqft of air-conditioned enclosed space with glazing on the outer periphery. The access to this platform is by two lifts and two decorative staircases which are wrapped like a vine around 2 main arched pylons.

Design Innovations

  • Iconic structure for new township at Kolkata
  • Viewing gallery for the visitors
  • Wall graphics dedicated to the schemes and achievements of the state government
  • Glass Lift block and spiral staircases
  • Cross arched structure with bridge for view of cityscape during day and night.

The structure is made of totally recyclable materials like steel, glass and membrane. Being pre-fabricated structure, the usage of materials has been minimal for the scale and grandeur.

Fact File

Developer: HIDCO
Structural Consultant&Fabricator: Construction Catalysers Pvt Ltd
Steel Supplier: Tata Steel
Status: Completed

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