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VRV Group founded in 1956 and headquartered in Milan, Italy is into Design and Manufacturing Cryogenics vessels and tankers. A 26acre manufacturing facility was envisaged in Sri City SEZ in Tada (90 km off Nellore and 70 km from Chennai), in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. A 1.5acres out of this 26acres was earmarked near the site entrance for their first modern office building outside Italy.

Project: Corporate Office for VRV Cryogenics, Italy
Client: VRV Group, Milan, Italy
Location: Tada, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Principal Architect / Author / Photographer: Chandan Suravarapu

The brief was to design an office building that would give a visual identity to VRV in India and facilitate their Asia-Pacific operations. Various departments like Design, Production, Sales, Finance, and Administration were to be organized in a Non-Hierarchical manner in a built form which doesn’t resemble a mundane sheet cladded box often seen from the manufacturing sector.

Office buildings from the manufacturing sector are often represented as drab and uninspiring boxy structures cladded in sheet metal with no distinction between a factory/warehouse to that of an office. From the inside too they are highly energy-consuming spaces with no or less regard for natural illumination. Functionally one can experience various unrelated activities overlapping and creating a chaotic character. Lack of spatial experience makes them highly monotonous to work in. Set in such an industrial context the challenge was to make the building stand out through a change in built form, introduce spatial experience, make it energy efficient.

Can we design an office building

  • Without making it an all-glass / all-ACP box?
  • With natural materials appealing to the visual and tactile senses?
  • Which does not require artificial lighting during working hours?
  • Where Architecture does not need any “third-party” certifications?

These were some of questions we asked ourselves and tried to answer them honestly through this project.

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