Stark minimalism is what strikes you, when you first catch sight of the Thapar House. Situated on one of the prime arterial roads in the city of Mumbai, its presence is certainly imposing. The project began as an invited design competition, during which many of the elementary tenets were established. The design brief stated that the building should have a distinct presence within the busy urbanscape. So the architect looked to create a dynamic highrise structure that would enjoy greater visibility.
The plot was broader at the major roadside and narrowed down at its rear end. This factor supported the idea of a highrise structure which would occupy minimal ground area. The design was also developed with an assumption that the Thapars would occupy half the building and sell out or rent the other half to multiple users or tenants.
The ground level, which has a massive volume, forms the common atrium and houses elevator shafts, services and staircases along either sides of the building. This part of the building has clear glass glazing and the major appeal of this composition lies in its tryst with the outer landscape. The transparent glass frames the raised landscaped lawn at the rear end of the site, giving the entire building a novel dimension. It creates an enchanting visual link for a passerby with an engaging integration of architecture and the natural landscape. Even as the greenery in the backdrop adds to its charm in the day, it takes a fife of its own in the evening when illuminated - the fighting enhances the austere simplicity of the space in the surrounding darkness. The transparent lower glass facade a bo creates a grand spectacle when viewed in composition with the austere opaque stance of the other materials.
The Thapar Group has occupied the duplex office space at 5th and 6th-floor and the other floors have been leased out. The sky deck, an open hollow at the higher segment of the structure is a fascinating element. Positioned, at a height of about 10 storeys, this void of huge volume gives a sense of vitality to the entire building. Further, the higher levels with their slight outward incline abo go on to reverberate that feel of dynamism.
The building manifests itself as a sturdy monolith and establishes a dramatic silhouette on the urban skyline. The building is outwardly articulated with the use of natural stone. An envelope of glass curtain wall, occasionally interspersed between natural stone, surrounds the upper floors of the building on all the sides. The combination of the austere blue-grey natural stone and dark blue glass is indeed striking in the otherwise architecturally mundane surroundings.