Project team:

Client: HN Safal Developers + Goyal & Co.; www.hnsafal.com
Architects: Blocher&Blocher; www.blocherblocher.com
Structural engineering: N K & Associates
Façade design: BES Consultants
Façade construction: Glass Wall Systems
Lighting design and video content design: Atelier dada – Marie Ikram Bouhlel and Nirmit Jhaveri, with Yagnesh Mistry and Rahul Mishra; www.atelierdada.com
VFX: Atelier dada – Sundar Mahalingam
Façade lighting installation: BEPS and AHL
Landscape lighting installation: BEPS

Products applied:

Façade lighting: AHL, Meyer, Osram
Landscape lighting: Osram/Siteco, Simes, Arcluce, Unilamp,
GenLED, Neo-Neon.

14. Aug 2015

Enjoy the breeze

Text: Joachim Ritter
Photos: Atelier dada – Neha Mevada und Pratik Chandresha

Globally speaking, Ahmedabad is not necessarily known as the hub of the modern world. And even the most well versed historians among us will not immediately know that Ahmedabad was the place where Mahatma Gandhi lived after his time in South Africa and from where he embarked on his legendary Salt March, a non-violent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India. Right now, the city is on the brink of a new era, which also means turning a page when it comes to architecture and technology. A typical case for a media facade. And yet this example demonstrates a very special quality.

Ahmedabad is one of the largest cities in India and a fast-growing metropolis. The multifunctional “Mondeal Square” building complex in the suburb Prahladnagar was designed to contribute towards shaping the face of the city and is a fine example of sustainable construction: the curtain façade is specifically constructed to provide solar protection and reduces the need for air-conditioning inside the building. At the same time, the two high-rise buildings comprise the largest media facade in India, displaying movement, colour sequences or even silhouettes of moving figures in the hours after dark. What can you give to a beautiful historic city in the west of India that is inundated with garish billboards, unplanned glaring signage and glazed buildings that disregard any traditional wisdom or know-how related to dealing with sunlight and media? The old part of city is renowned for its Islamic sun screens (jaali) and Hindu sculptural facades, architectural traditions which are climate responsive and culturally engaging, but both are becoming lost now the city is growing so rapidly. The Mondeal Square project is a twin tower complex comprising ten and twelve-storey office buildings with a two-storey connecting retail area. The brief for the lighting designers from the client and the architects was to integrate static monochromatic lights into the façade. A simple request, but involving substantial technical expertise. Applying a creative approach, the team from Atelier dada took this a step further, opting to use sunshade screens across the over 5000 square metre area and integrating energy-efficient linear LED luminaires to enable flexibility for subtle lighting visuals. The lighting design team received a further request from the architects: the landscaped grounds were to be designed as a continuation of the façade and as a transition from the building into the surrounding environment. This applies specially to the lighting, which can be programmed to flow gently across the façade like a breeze moving through the park. And there is something else that is basically different from the many other LED facade projects that have been published, in which all too often the LED media align with the fundamental grid structure of the facade. That is not the case in this project, at least it does not appear to be so. The LED strip lights appear to be installed according to their own lighting layout, which ignores the rigid grid-like structure of the sun-shading system. The lighting design thus seems to be independent of the façade although it is part of it. This is what creates the tension, and an element of contradiction, in this solution: the lighting complements the facade and at the same time enhances its overall effect. […]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 98

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