KOCHI REFINERY HEADQUARTERS

Kochi, Kerala, India

This corporate headquarters is located along the Kerala backwaters near Kochi, where a river turns sharply affording views up and down its edges, lined with coconut trees and thick forest cover.

Both, the needs of the client and the architect’s experimental interests in space and volume anticipated the form, spatial and functional nature of the building. The design problem was to seek a holistic solution integrating the structural system, mechanical system and functional program into a system of “fixed” and “flexible” parts.  Technologies were drawn from the site conditions and its vernacular context. Traditionally horizontal wood jaalis are employed to temper light and air, which is reflected in the employment of horizontal aluminum louvers in this work.

Deep piles with broad caps provide a resting-place for the columns, which ring the structure around its exterior edges, connecting into a reinforced concrete vertical shaft housing vertical services. The system allows the structure to absorb lateral forces in the event of an earthquake.

It was essential that the headquarters of this energy enterprise be built around the concept of energy efficiency. The building is a glass cylinder, set inside a shading jaali tube, cutting down heat, while illuminating the interiors and saving energy. The strong building envelope allowed for space shaping within its geometric volume. The ground level structural glass walls are set back into the shade of the upper levels allowing the ground floor to act as one continuous open space flowing up through an atrium, while flowing out the ground level café and entrance lobby into the horizontal natural vistas.

The building becomes a prototype for multi-stored offices in tropical climates. In its fabric live many ideas and concepts about sustainability that found prominence in later works that are labeled as “Green Buildings!”

LocationKochi, Kerala, India

Built Up Area4,000 Square Meters

Site Area1.62 Acres

Completion2002

Client

Kochi Refineries Limited

Prime Contractor

Voltas International Ltd.

Services

Structural Design : IIT Madras

Landscape Design : CCBA Designs, Pune

MEP Design : Design Bureau, Mumbai

Interior Design : CCBA Designs, Pune

Construction Management : Kitco Ltd.

Photos

Ramprasad Akkisetti and Deepak Kaw

Design Team

Prof. Christopher Benninger, Santhosh M.P, Daraius Choksi and Rahul Sathe

Awards

2004   IA&B Awards

Designing Corporate Cultures for Corporate Building