a. Layout and Organization
Due to space constraints, the building has been designed as one large block. Vehicular access has been restricted to the lowest floor of the building and the floor above can also accommodate multi level parking with added technology. The cold storage is also located on this floor in order to provide easy access to the loading and unloading and transfer of produce.
The floor above houses all the offices of the building along with the lecture rooms and ancilliary services that would accompany the offices.
The three floors above the offices would be housing additional offices requirements, and largely shops for wholesaler, retailers and vendors.
The terrace of the building would house the vendor’s market (haat bazar) along with landscaping and gardens – essentially, an extension of the public space flowing down from the MG Marg.
As a typology, the building tries to address the issue of ‘Designing in the hills’ and it works along with the topography in locating the buildings as in the proposal. It also serves as a critique to existing building practices whereby most of the currently designed and built buildings do not use the roofs and terraces effectively.
a. This proposal takes the roofs of the building and converts it into a rooftop garden. Since the building is built from below the road, the garden is directly accessible from the main road above and one does not need to climb or descend to access the garden.
b. Since the proposed building is located between 2 important roads, it is designed such that there is pedestrian movement possible through the building to connect the two roads thereby adding to the urban pedestrian network of Gangtok.
c. Gardens within the building. Because the building is relatively massive, it will make it very difficult to get direct natural light into the building. In order to overcome this problem, the building has been designed with perforations and courtyards so that the nature of the building with its ‘green’ roof has been taken inside the building and the notion of landscaping and garden has been integrated with the shops and public corridors in the building.
d. Multi-level car parks are considered to be ugly and generally utilitarian in nature. The building in this proposal has been considered to address this issue by landscaping the roof and locating the ‘haat bazaar’ above it so, the building does not appear to be only housing cars.
e. The architectonic quality of this building has been considered to be a balance between what is traditional and contemporary. The architectural elements that are visible from the main road are designed to be expressive and drawing references from the traditional architecture of Sikkim. The windows and facades are designed to echo the architectural tradition of the state. The other utilitarian and functional areas are designed with minimal ornament but expressing simplicity in its articulation. Form finished concrete will be used to clad the facades of the structures. This robust yet elegant material will at the same time be protecting the building from the elements while looking like it is perfectly crafted. This will call for a high level in the workmanship during the execution but, once it is built, it will be extremely easy to maintain and, no further costs will be incurred to plaster or paint the structure.
c. Light and Ventilation
There is a clear measure of light and ventilation through the design of the buildings. Areas requiring light and ventilation have been identified and been provided for, atrium spaces for shopping and display have been provided whereby there is a general light requirement but not one for a view and adequate ventilation across all the levels. The cold storage does not require light nor ventilation and has been appropriately located at the basement area of the building. Offices require copious quantities of natural light and ventilation and they are located above the entire complex hovering and floating – and segregated from the main blocks.
There is a clear definition to the circulation throughout the building where areas are clearly demarcated. There is clarity between the served spaces and the service areas. The service areas include staircases, lifts, storage and toilets. There is clarity in inter building connectivity where the service area of one building coincide with the service area of another. This will make it possible to seamlessly transfer from one building to the next. These circulation networks are concentrated within cores which make it possible to transfer directly from one level to the next without interference from other programs.
The various services for the building have to be designed and dealt with intelligently given the size and volume of the proposed building.
1. Water Supply
Even though water supply has not proven to be a large problem in Gangtok , a building of this volume would have to have a rain water harvesting system augementing the supply from the PHE Department. Water tanks can be constructed below the parking level on the lowest floor and since, there is a large terrace and roof area, calculations will substantiate in exact figures, the tremendous volume of water that can be stored in these tanks.
Even though the building has a considerable volume, a STP will not be required. The sewerage generated by the building can be fed into an existing municipal line or a septic tank and soak pit will be required.
Adequate 3 phase line will have to be installed with provision for a 440V connection in order to install elevators within the building.
4. Air Conditioning
Air conditioning requirement will be necessary for the cold storage and possibly some of the offices. Otherwise, Gangtok is at an elevation where air conditioning is not considered essential.
5. Fire Fighting
Adequate fire fighting measures will have to be adopted. For a building of this magnitude, there will have to be a sprinkler system and a system that will be based on the National Building Code.
6. CCTV and Security
Adequate security measures will have to be taken in order to protect the building and its contents from vandals’ and asocial elements. All entrances and exits have to be manned and areas that are not manned will have to be protected by video surveillance cameras.
7. Garbage Management
A tremendous quantity of garbage will be generated by this building since it will be dealing primarily with perishable products with a low shelf life and, while it is possible that most of the produce will be in the cold storage, there will be a large part of this that will decay and rot. The offensive odor from these decaying products will need to be dealt with efficiently. Garbage chutes and efficient methods of garbage disposal will have to be adopted. Part of the garbage may need to be refrigerated. It will also be essential to segregate the garbage between the bio-degradable and the non-degradable.
It is imperative that a building of this volume is designed and built in a sustainable manner. It is not only the need of the hour but, it is how all construction and design should be considered in any part of the world. Sustainability would mean the reduction in the energy usage in the design and construction and final use of the building.
Building one large building instead of several smaller ones would be considered a sustainable practice since all the energy is expended in one location and, it would also save energy to travel to several locations when all the requirements are fulfilled within one location.
The Layout and Organization of the buildings have been designed to reduce energy consumption. All the areas that require natural light and ventilation have been located in the higher areas of the building. The areas that require air conditioning such as the cold storage have been located such that it is embedded deep within the earth which would reduce the costs for insulation and prevent gain in temperature.
Harnessing Solar Energy – Solar panels can be placed on the rooftops of the buildings or on the terrace at the level of the terrace which would generate electricity as well as heat water for use in kitchens etc.
Form Finished Concrete – All the external walls are designed to be built out of form finished concrete. This will reduce the need to transport more bricks to the site. It will provide more stability to the structure which when integrated with the structural system, will behave as a structural member. It will also produce a finished surface right after casting and it not be necessary to plaster and paint the surface which will be a further running cost that will have to incurred in order to maintain the building.
Atriums in order to assist ventilation – the large atriums in the center of the building will work as wind and air collectors and will assist the transfer of air between levels.
Rooftop Gardens to cool the building – The rooftop gardens and the landscaping on the terraces of the buildings will work to cool the building further and prevent heat buildup.
Rain Water Harvesting System – the rainwater harvesting system supplementing the PHE connection will work to provide adequate water to the building.