Ur­ban Ar­chi­tec­ture

Ar. Sabeena Khanna, Prin­ci­pal, Stu­dio K.I.A., finds in­creas­ing op­por­tu­nity for cre­ativ­ity in high-rise build­ings

MGS Architecture - - Contents -

De­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for high-rise build­ings are di­rectly pro­por­tional to the global econ­omy. The cur­rent de­sign­ing sce­nario stresses upon the ca­pa­bil­ity of the de­sign team, wind engi­neer­ing and ge­ol­ogy, which fo­cus on the seis­mic­ity, soil con­di­tions, ma­te­rial se­lec­tion, ef­fi­cient struc­tural sys­tem, and fi­nan­cial as­sess­ment so that the build­ing gives the high­est func­tion­al­ity with min­i­mal funds, writes

Ar­chi­tect Sabeena Khanna, Found­ing Prin­ci­pal, Stu­dio K.I.A.

Ar­chi­tec­ture is very di­verse and dy­namic. While sky­scrapers have been a def­i­ni­tion of var­i­ous cities and coun­tries world­wide like New York, Dubai and Chicago, In­dia too is keep­ing pac­ing by re­defin­ing the sky­line of ma­jor metropoli­tans.

Even though high-rise con­struc­tion has cre­ated scope for cre­ativ­ity with the use of ac­tive and pas­sive strate­gies of con­struc­tion, ju­di­cious use of tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tive ma­te­ri­als like fly ash, ACC blocks, hol­low blocks and even steel struc­tures for con­struc­tion to

achieve de­sired heights; de­sign­ing such a sys­tem is not a vanilla de­sign the­ory.

De­sign­ing a façade sys­tem en­com­passes struc­tural engi­neer­ing, build­ing physics, ma­te­ri­als sci­ence, weath­er­proof­ing tech­nol­ogy, ar­chi­tec­tural de­tail­ing, pro­duc­tion engi­neer­ing, con­struc­tion man­age­ment and build­abil­ity. The façade also ac­counts for a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of project costs, so the en­gi­neer’s role is to bal­ance vis­ual and per­for­mance re­quire­ments to cre­ate an eco­nom­i­cally vi­able so­lu­tion that can be built safely. High-rise façades are be­com­ing even more com­pli­cated as ar­chi­tects aban­don the glass box in favour of am­bi­tious mul­ti­fac­eted forms.

Pre-cast tech­nol­ogy is one so­lu­tion that is gain­ing pace wherein all build­ing com­po­nents are man­u­fac­tured in the fac­tory to achieve bet­ter qual­ity, ac­cu­racy, faster erec­tion, even­tu­ally sav­ing time. It makes no sense to con­struct a build­ing or retro­fit a build­ing that is not a green build­ing. Sen­si­bly de­signed green build­ing costs the same or even less than a con­ven­tional build­ing. The ben­e­fits and op­por­tu­ni­ties to save on the op­er­a­tional costs are enor­mous. The client’s con­cern over the ini­tial costs re­mains the pri­mary re­sis­tance to green build­ing but the com­bi­na­tion of en­ergy sav­ings, water re­duc­tion and main­te­nance costs will trans­late to bot­tom line ben­e­fits. The re­turn on in­vest­ment in green build­ings can help re­duce ev­ery­day con­ven­tional costs from 10-15%.

Amal­ga­ma­tion of in­tel­li­gent de­sign­ing, us­age of lo­cal ma­te­ri­als, sun and wind di­rec­tion uti­liza­tion to ben­e­fit the com­fort lev­els of the build­ing, etc into the fab­ric of build­ing de­sign is what will be the fu­ture. Ar­chi­tects also need to re­mem­ber that they have a so­cial and cul­tural re­spon­si­bil­ity to cre­ate build­ings that uplift the hu­man spirit in ad­di­tion to the func­tion they serve. They cre­ate phys­i­cal en­vi­ron­ments and sub­tly in­fuse pos­i­tiv­ity and rel­e­vance, which im­proves qual­ity of life. Th­ese col­lec­tives make ar­chi­tec­ture mean­ing­ful be­yond its phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion. High rises have come to change the sky­lines and only sky is the limit where high rise op­por­tu­ni­ties are con­cerned.

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