The First International Financial Center (FIFC) is a 14-story office building within Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex, a hub of multinational corporate offices in a new central business district established by the government near the city's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The project, which has achieved LEED Gold certification, combines local techniques with twenty-first-century technology to sensitively respond to the urban and environmental contexts of the site, while delivering office space exceeding the highest international standards. A pedestrian scaled arcade gives the building a civic presence on the street. The arcade is delineated by a glowing, white-glass tube that stretches across the street faade, covering the pedestrian space at its base and providing a terrace on its roof. Rather than the heavy stone arcades typical of the area, the white-glass tube appears to float, lending a light elegance to the overall massing of the project, while creating an immediately recognizable feature for the building on the BKC Link Road, the area main thoroughfare. Both arcade and tube mine Mumbai's history of arcade spaces and cantilevered enclosed balconies as a precedent.
A continuous trellis element covers the building's south faade. The trellis shades the building to reduce solar gain. The roof will help in storm-water collection and filtration. Integrally colored vertical glass fins shade the building's east and west faades. Their color recalls the red sandstone prevalent throughout Mumbai's historic core. During the day, the trellis and glass fins generate a dynamic interplay of light and shadow on the building. At night, this effect is maintained by energy-efficient lighting. The FIFC's expansive floor plates and higher-than-average ceiling heights accommodate a wide variety of layouts, servicing the office requirements of international business tenants. The through-lobby presents a feeling of openness and transparency, an unusual amenity in an area of tightly sited buildings. The lobby's side walls are articulated as undulating stone feature walls recalling India's long history of refined stone carvings exemplified by historical sites such as Ellora and Ajunta. These walls use traditional Indian techniques to achieve a contemporary expression.