Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India
Project Work Status: Ongoing Projects
Area: 1,972 Sq.M.
Project Started: 2009
Vir.mueller architects was invited from a shortlisted group of architects to design an institutional building for the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) on an urban plot in New Delhi. The institution has a built-up area of 2155 square meters including a service basement, stilt parking and office blocks of six stories and three stories respectively, connected by a corridor. Located above the stilt parking level, the research wing of the building is ground plus five floors, whereas the administrative wing is ground plus two floors. These two wings are connected by a naturally ventilated passageway that also serves as the central gallery between floors, a social place. This central stair is partially protected from incoming rain and sun by vertical granite louvers.
The practice of addressing issues of sustainable building design is a hallmark of Vir.mueller architects. Our philosophy of environmental sustainability combines building orientation and facade design with energy efficient technology, renewable energy sources, and environmentally friendly materials. In the case of ICRIER, the mandate was to achieve green building certification and this necessitated that the building be in compliance with TERI's GRIHA green building norms. The two-bay building is thus designed as a series of parallel walls with the services and circulation stacked towards the west creating a buffer between the harsh western sun and the main office spaces. The north-south orientation allows natural light to penetrate deep into the building reducing the energy consumption on artificial lighting during the daytime and solar panels provide for about 10% power backup, The building also proposes to harvest all its rain water. While the occupiable roof garden on the administrative wing helps reduce the heat load of the building. The garden in the courtyard helps in modulating the temperature of the inside of the interior spaces by creating a pleasant micro climate within the building envelope.
Structurally, the project is simple, yet rigorous: the substructure is planned as an earthquake reducing box with shear wall and flat slab superstructure frame without beams. The primary construction material for the building is to exposed concrete embossed with subtle, repetitive pattern - much like the ancient block printing art of India. In addition to the elegance and aesthetics, this structural system offers other advantages of function and economy. The beamless construction simplifies the construction and, hence, the speed of execution whilst permitting flexibility of partitioning when in use.