The construction of a power plant and ancillary service functions, and a future township in a poor area of western Gujarat, provided a complex brief. At the outset, it involved design of a main site office, and combined hostel for workers and guesthouse for visiting officials.
The main site office required more than 80 workspaces and support facilities, as well as management areas and storage. It is positioned near the future plant to minimise the distance engineers and staff have to walk, and its design draws on the regional vernacular.
The hostel/guesthouse functions were to be located together, side by side. The hostel component accommodates 80 engineers and support staff living permanently, with dining area, sports and recreation facilities and storage. The guesthouse component contains short-term accommodation for top government officials, ministers and specialist consultants.
The hostel/guesthouse occupies the highest point of the site, with a commanding vista. The curved building form ensures privacy and gives each room a view.
Regional vernacular houses had a bearing on the design of the site office for climatic and constructional reasons, and because the workers would be eating together and enjoying time off in each others company, rather like a family. A house form is appropriate for this intensive working environment. A central courtyard plan tempers the hot, arid climate, provides light from all directions, gives shade and overhangs over each opening, withstands rain and glare and yet allows in breezes and light to offices ranged around the courtyard. A small courtyard garden is a place for any recreational opportunities and for evening get-togethers, as the site is only a few kilometers away from Bhavnagar.