Having established the Jamnagar Refinery the previous year, in the year 2000 RIL was in an expansion-cum-consolidation mode.
On the one hand a new business was being launched : Reliance Infocomm - and on the other the array of offices scattered across the city were required to be consolidated - both at a single location.
TFIL a minor group company held a 135 Acre largely undeveloped Site at Navi Mumbai - and this was envisaged to become the Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City, DAKC.
While at CRA, Salil Ranadive as Lead Design Architect, with his Team, were involved in this Project at two levels :
to establish a Preliminary Master Plan for the entire 135 Acre campus - delineating its primary entries ; network of traffic movement for private vehicles, shared internal buses, cycle tracks and pedestrians ; utility facilities - substations, chiller plants, STP/WTP ; Zoning for the various functions and entities envisaged - HQ's , Data Centre, NOC, Guest Houses, and a campus designated for the 1-million Sft. requirement for the new Infocomm Business.
For this dedicated campus, rather than being a mega-block, the company accepted our proposal to establish a set of ten low-rise walk-up individual buildings carefully located in relation to one another around two plazas across a 35-acre pedestrian "only site. Each of these buildings emerged from a series of manipulation and articulations done to a basic simple Work & utility Module that resulted in building - Configurations that individually begin to address specific requirements that emerge from the nature of the business that was being established, viz : data centers, server farms, software development teams, admin & corporate areas, conferencing and training areas, gyms, cafes, browsing and reading areas, etc.
This greater intent remained to establish a true "business - park" - as an environment for work - but in a decidedly non-urban, quasi-academic environment - in an attempt to re-connect with the heady days of one's early dreams and optimism that fuel start-ups, and gives impetus to flourishing businesses.