Steel Marvels

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.