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A CAPITAL IDEA

by Suzanne Miao on Jul 17, 2013 in Architecture
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In Mumbai’s shiny new Bandra Kurla Complex, James Law Cybertecture molds form and functionality to create an office building that is simultaneously graceful and elegant – and highly sustainable

With modern times come modern needs, and for one of the fastest growing economies in the world, nothing less than a structure that is bold, innovative and unique would do. In the hands of Hong Kong architecture firm James Law Cybertecture, however, all this was assured when it came to the conception of The Capital, a commercial building located in the heart of Mumbai’s new financial nerve centre, the suburban Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).

The Capital is first and foremost an extremely eco-friendly building. From its cooling devices to its plumbing, to its utilisation of natural light, it is tremendously energy-efficient. Every feature and function is based upon enhancement- and performance-driven design which benefits both the occupiers and environment through a minimal carbon footprint. “Amid constant contest with design criteria and constraints, we have always positioned environmental issues as our top priority,” says James Law, founder of James Law Cybertecture.

At the podium level, diffusers installed at the ceiling level reflect natural light into the three-storey high atrium, which significantly reduces the lighting energy demand. A spot cooling system also helps to avoid an unnecessary cooling load, while openable windows on the office floors allow for natural and cross ventilation. The building’s architectural features ensure that it does not contribute to any increase in the ambient temperatures, has no significant impact on the wind-flow of the surroundings, and does not cast a shadow on the adjacent MCA grounds or other eco-sensitive areas during any time of the year.

“For the building enclosure, there are three major features of note: an incredible stepped-in glazed valley façade has been created at the west elevation. The façade is stepped while each floor is supported by feature columns and cantilevered in a way that the building itself acts as a shading device,” Law explains. “A masterpiece egg-shaped structure is also inscribed inside the wonderful sky lobby at the east elevation.”

The gigantic oval diagrid – dubbed the ‘Ring & Egg’ – is a symbol for development. Break-out terraces on both sides also act as a natural cooling system and, additionally, there are natural waterfalls and vegetation on both sides of the Sky Lobby, which enhance the cooling effect of the atrium. Sparkling LED stripes protruding on the façade are more than just information display device – they also provide shading from the sun. The PVDF coating used for both interior and exterior cladding is easily maintained and UV-resistant.

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