The Crowd in the Cloud

type: mixed-use

location: Greater Noida, Delhi, India

date: January, 2011

status: competition

client: Spire World

area: 62,750 sq. m.

credits: Vlado Valkof – project architect; Rumen Yotov – designer

Our project responds to the context which is planned to be built by the time the project is completed, and to the dynamically twisted site. Our attempt is to increase density and pedestrian traffic. We strongly believe that high-rise typology is an oxymoron of sustainable development in its base and is in contradiction with the promoter’s goal for a green complex. From the program, we identify five major functions: Research Institute and Knowledge Centre, Offices and Incubation Centre, Hotel, Residential, and Retail-Food-Beverage. We clearly differentiate four of them into four wings grouped around two inner courts in two separate buildings (Research Institute and Offices in one building and Hotel and Residential in the other). In the area of the conjunction of the two buildings, we design an outdoor distributing hub/plaza/promenade which connects to all functions and the underground parking garage. It contains the fifth function of shopping and dining and combines the similar function of Research Institute food court with the F+B and retail outlets into one shopping center like hub. Because of the specificity of Noida climate, the plaza is not enclosed, just covered by the buildings above. The plaza is open to serve not only the new building’s population but also people from the IT Park and from outside. With the creation of the outdoor plaza, we break the 220m long “barrier” of the site for better circulation.

The inner court scheme is inspired by the Indian tradition. One of the courts is developed around a water pool and serves both Hotel and Apartments. The Hotel and Apartments also share Banquet Facility/Service Area and a common drop-off area which is an additional access point. The other court is surrounded by the thematically grouped Auditorium, Lecture Hall, Gallery, and Library and could be easily transformed into Open Air Theatre. Functions like Auditorium, Lecture Hall, Gallery, Library, Bank, and Lobbies are located at the ground level and are directly accessible to the public and building occupants. Each one of the four wings with restricted access has an individual entry accessible through the inner court and a vertical core in the corner. Both buildings connect at the fifth shopping level and sixth level where the taller building leans above the lower building and covers a natural shaded space of a food and beverage terrace on top of the lower building.

The pattern on the sustainable double/secondary skin of the facades is inspired by traditional carved stone lattice screens of Hoysala Temple in Belur.

We also propose lightweight tent structures against sun and rain to connect the new building with the office buildings from the complex. They could be executed in the next stages.

For landscaping, instead of a regular grass lawn, we propose areas with agricultural crops typical for the fields around Noida – Indian tea, rice, corn, sugar cane.