Structural steel shall not be seen only in the context of large-scale structures but also should be brought into various design elements like facades, canopies, and interiors for more dynamic design approaches, says, AR. SAUMIL MEVADA, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR – ARCHITECTURE & URBAN PLANNING, INI DESIGN STUDIO PVT LTD
Q. What are the major advantages of using steel vis-à-vis conventional materials?
A. Steel being pre-manufactured offers more of assembling construction techniques, provides with more accuracy than the conventional materials. It also offers a time saving process for the same. Steel structures can also be executed at a faster pace with minimal skilled labor as compared to conventional materials.
Q. How structural steel can be innovatively used in construction to provide design aesthetics and at the same time offer economical solution?
A. Numerous opportunities can be borne out of striking the right balance between steel and other materials to be used at various scales. Structural steel shall not be seen only in the context of large-scale structures but also should be brought into various design elements like facades, canopies, and interiors for more dynamic design approaches.
Q. What is your take on the variety of sections/grades provided by our steel producers for various demands of creativity?
A. The steel producers may take up working on additional variety of grades and sections with customizable options so it can be used at a wider range of scales and places. The sizes available could be more confirming to normative modular sizes like 100x100mm, 200x200mm etc., so it can be used in cohesion with other conventional masonry construction techniques.
Q. What trend are we going to witness in next 5-7 years, as far as designing structures with steel is concerned?
A. Numerous publics, civic and infrastructure projects are encouraged in these times and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. This will result in increased demand for steel in construction for its durability, strength, and faster execution. Additionally, the construction projects in the current times have required faster execution and time-bound deliveries. The use of prefabricated steel structures can expedite execution process and enable these timelines.
Q. What should be the strategy of industry in promoting structural steel construction in India?
A. Industry has largely limited to industrial and large civic structures for its usage. It shall target other scales of projects like the residential and commercial for larger adaptability. It shall include more modular options and work towards bringing economy to varied scales of execution.
Q.Which are the iconic steel-specific projects executed by you?
A. Some of the projects include:
JSW Headquarters, Mumbai:
JSW corporate headquarter is one of the largest completely open office complexes in Mumbai. The form of the building has two elliptical sides that glide fluidly into one another. It incorporates most advanced building technologies.
Aquatics Gallery at Science City, Ahmedabad
The gallery is designed in a shell shape not only as symbolic representation of the aquatic life, but also as a form that allows connectivity and free movement. The canopy at the entrance is made of steel and provides a great dynamicity to the overall form of the building.
Astronomy & Space Science Gallery at Science City, Ahmedabad
The Astronomy and Space Science Museum has a diverse program including a Planetarium with 200 seat capacity, an Observatory (with 40 Inch Aperture Telescope) and Retractable Dome, Solar Telescope (with 10 Inch Aperture Telescope), and various Virtual Reality Exhibits and Large Exhibits with Thematic, Scientific Content and Originality. The form of the museum is dynamic, multi-faceted and modular. The special elements of the gallery like the 36x36x30m atrium, 24m diameter planetarium and the dynamic 8m long cantilevered gallery spaces in the overall building are designed in steel. These have contributed largely to enable the vision of the project.
Eden Garden Cricket Stadium, Kolkata
In anticipation of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, the Cricket Association of Bengal decided to engage an expert international firm to renovate this hotchpotch stadium to meet the standards maintained by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The arena now includes new and improved exterior wall, more comfortable seats, better concession stands, roof structure clad with a new metal skin, superior patron amenities, better structured stairs, modernized entry and exit points and a topnotch club house with world class facilities. Steel played an important role in the execution of these.