The Crescent by Sanjay Puri Architects is a single-story office building with a C-shape form, located in the city of Surat. The office space is for a local property developer with requirements of a reception area, office cabins, dining area, and a small conference area. The building design is energy efficient and sustainable in response to its site location and climate.
Case study of The Crescent
- Architects: Sanjay Puri Architects
- Location: Surat, Gujarat
- Area: 4905.0 sq.ft
- Architect in charge: Nimish Shah, Deep Dodiya
- Client: Happy Home Group, Surat
- Commence Date: August 2015
- Completion Date: October 2015
- Consultants: Technocrat Consultants (Structural), Milan Enterprise (Electrical), Narvat Enterprise (Plumbing), Sanjay Puri Architects (Landscape)
- Materials used for façade: Corten Steel Panels, Clear Glass
- Manufacturers: Philips, GYROC, GORANA
Site & climate constraints
The office building is on a small corner plot in the city of Surat in Gujarat. The climate in this part of the country is extreme and the summers being very harsh last for almost 8 months of the year. Surat is the second hottest city in Gujarat with temperatures reaching up to 41.8°C in peak summers. The sun is always on the southern side. The location of the site is profitable for the builder as it is easily approachable for the clients and functions as a promotional landmark in the vicinity. A minimum of 3M setback from all sides of the plot is there as per the building bye-laws of the city. Also, an under-construction 9 story building is on the southern side of the office.
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Climate responsive design solutions at The Crescent
The curvilinear form of the building is in response to the sun’s orientation thus making it climate responsive. For instance, the curved walls protect the inner space from the south sun and create a series of north-facing windows.
Zoning of the space at The Crescent
Additionally, all the interior spaces are towards the north. This, in turn, makes the office energy efficient by reducing the heat gain from the south significantly. A semi-enclosed north-facing courtyard is in between the office spaces. The inner office spaces are daylit with indirect light coming through openings on the north. These are created by breaking the curvilinear form into a series of consecutive spaces as per the office requirements. And hence the energy consumption of the building for lighting reduces significantly.
Moreover, a pool of water in the courtyard surrounded by glazed walls cools the space through evaporative cooling which reduces the load on air conditioning to some extent. At the same time, the reflection in water allows the users of the building to experience the outside environment while being inside.
An under-construction building is present on the south side of the site. So, a buffer zone is created between the two major spaces namely the director’s office and dining space. This is done by a small garden in between. The building’s high walls protect this south-facing outdoor space which is accessible from the connecting passage. Also, the connecting passage wraps around the central north-facing courtyard.
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Orientation of the building – The Crescent
Moreover, the orientation of the building ensures that the heat gain from the harsh south sun reduces notably and no office space faces the nine-story under-construction building. The office building has a varying height with 9M on the north side to 4M on the south side and gradually stepping down the roof. Natural light penetrates in the building through clerestories at varied angles in the stepped roof.
The entrance to the building is through the reception area at the northwest corner of it and is around a two-meter-wide passage that further separates into portions containing offices, conference rooms, dining spaces. Even though the office spaces are comparatively small, the open courtyard around the circulation space makes the space look larger and open to the exterior.
Material and construction
In order to maintain the architect’s signature style in form and design, the office is built completely in the steel frame structure. The structure frame is in mild steel sections. The exterior walls are clad with weathering steel, pre-rusted copper chromium alloy popularly known by the brand name Corten, which enables the façade to withstand the destructive effects of time and other external elements. The prominent orange color of the material brings attention to the structure easily and carves a distinct personality. Also, as the material ages with grace and beauty, it adds to the sculptural built form of the office building.
Moreover, its simple construction enabled the assembly in just three months. Corrugated galvanized metal is used for the roof as it provides sturdiness and longevity to the structure. Moreover, the internal partitions are of drywall system using gypsum panels over a steel framework. The toilet partitions are of blockwork.
Key Features of The Crescent
- The form of the building is responsive to the site and climate.
- The building design is energy efficient and sustainable.
- The materials used in the building made the construction work simple and fast.
- Varying height of the building with stepped roofing allowed light to come in through clerestories.
- The north facing courtyard with water body keeps the building environment cool as compared to the outer surroundings.
- The courtyard surrounded by glazed wall also brings in north light and keeps the space day lit.
- The main circulation moves around this courtyard and allow the inner volumes to be perceive as larger.
- The building has a sculptural appearance which is because of the artistic amalgamation of form and material aesthetics.
- The fins also serve as solar shading as they stretch far beyond the actual volume of the building.
- Large glazed openings illuminate the workspace with natural light and create vistas of the cityscape.
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