by Anupama Kundoo Nov 28, 2020
The ambitious Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor - one of the largest infrastructure projects in the world - will be India’s first smart high-tech industrial zone. Designed by IMK Architects, Auric Hall will stand as a deserving landmark to the promising city of Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC), being built as the face of development, housing administration and commercial functions, and incubation spaces.
The master plan for AURIC city had located the administration in the central business district within a cluster of buildings around a public green and a water body to the north. IMK Architects proposed to rearrange and relocate the structure such that the water body could be incorporated into the landmark building.
As the administrative centre for the smart city, the building houses the main command control room to centrally manage all the civic utilities on a real-time platform. The centre offers incubation spaces to the industrial houses setting up at the township and will additionally function as a sales centre, ensuring it caters to the needs of the staff and visitors.
The 16,660-sqm building responds to Aurangabad’s rich context, history and climate. Ceremonial gateways, arches and distinctive jaali screens recall the times when Mughal architecture flourished in the neighbouring regions, bringing inspiration from the old tomb complexes of the city into the design. A memory of the Char Bagh and the Paan Chakki water mill is held in the landscaping of the centre, marked by a central water body and an internal driveway.
A modern interpretation of the garden, a large atrium enclosed by offices and indoor terraces on three sides form the focal point of the space. The building seeks to promote cross-engagement and collaboration with its varied heights and volumes, allowing information and ideas to flow throughout the structure. Contrasting the Mughal-inspired geometric facades, the interior spaces unfurl a couple of asymmetric zones of varying heights, promoting visual connectivity.
The building’s transcendent design matches the clear functionality of the building, holding space for monitoring, administrative and sales hub. A collage of offices is scattered among open green spaces; each floor has access to outdoor terraces that overlook the atrium as well. The layout gradually blends from public to private enclosures, following the clever planning strategies of Mughal architecture.
Earning an IGBC Gold rating, Auric Hall incorporates passive cooling, open and semi-covered spaces, natural landscaping, and high-performance materials to respond to the city’s semi-arid climate. The laser-cut aluminium latticework on the facade, a vernacular passive building strategy, minimises solar heat gain and controls airflow through the building. CO2 monitoring enables indoor environment quality control and solar panels and energy metering further contributes to energy efficiency.
Taking note of the monumental legacies of the Mughals, Auric Hall stands to reflect the notions of solidarity, progress and connectivity that will accompany the development of Aurangabad Industrial City, India’s first greenfield, smart industrial city.
(Text by Ankitha Gattupalli, intern at stirworld.com)