Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Hero Global Center for Innovation and Technology (HGCIT) in Jaipur, India by William McDonough + Partners
November 3rd, 2017 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: William McDonough + Partners
William McDonough + Partners Lead Architects for Hero MotoCorp Ltd.’s New Global Centre of Innovation and Technology.
• William McDonough + Partners (WM+P) was engaged by Hero MotoCorp Ltd. (HMCL), the world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheeled vehicles, to design three projects: A motorcycle assembly plant in Neemrana, completed in October 2014; the Global Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT), which opened in March 2016; and a newly operational assembly plant in Halol, Gujarat.
By engaging WM+P as the lead architect for these projects, HMCL signalled their intent to exceed conventional notions of environmental sustainability in their facilities. As with all WM+P projects, the buildings are inspired by the Cradle to Cradle® philosophy articulated by William McDonough and Michael Braungart in their book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (North Point Press, 2002). Cradle to Cradle is a design concept and optimization process that assesses products and whole systems at every scale. It starts by optimizing for human and ecological health, differentiating between biological and technical cycles – also known as designing for the Circular Economy. Under the Cradle to Cradle philosophy, biological nutrients are safe to return to soil where they rebuild soil health and store carbon. Technical nutrients are returned to industry for transformation into new products. These durable goods are seen as multi-generational materials that can be used repeatedly without the loss of value. Cradle to Cradle espouses intelligent carbon management and energy use, water as a precious resource, and social fairness.
Not only do the Hero projects achieve high environmental aspirations, but they are integral to the success of the Indian government’s “Make in India” program. In particular the extensive rooftop photovoltaic arrays spurred the creation of a new home-grown company, Hero Future Energies, which is furthering the country’s goals for bringing renewable energy solutions into the mainstream.
Global Centre for Innovation and Technology
• The CIT is a facility for two wheeled vehicle innovation, connecting people with nature and inspiring creativity in a lively, colourful atmosphere. The 250 acre campus is designed to be flexible and adaptable; anticipating the changing needs of future technologies.
The complex is a research and development facility for new vehicles. The site includes an extensive proving grounds with multiple test tracks for differing road and weather conditions. A control/observation tower provides views of the tracks, and is accompanied by a covered grandstand.
“Boulevard of Wheeled Dreams”
WM+P created the design around their concept of a winding pathway running through the middle of the campus, called the Boulevard of Wheeled Dreams. This path serves as a hub for activity within the complex. Cafes, tea houses, and a large cafeteria are strategically placed along the boulevard to reinforce the sense of community and maximize opportunities for collaboration.
The boulevard runs through an enclosed oval-shaped atrium courtyard, which has sliding glass doors at each end to accommodate pedestrians and the occasional motorcycle. Bridges cross the courtyard to connect the two sides of the complex at an upper level.
An outdoor ramp connects the design studio level in the tower to the boulevard. When new vehicles are unveiled, they will ceremoniously descend to grade level from above.
• The focal point of the design is a sculptural tower containing studio spaces for designer and engineers, overlooking test tracks and providing laboratory spaces below.
The tower is ringed with planter boxes embedded into the floor at each level. Over time the vines growing in the planters will cover the building with vegetation. Metal louvered sunshade panels on the exterior of the tower block the sun as the solar path changes throughout the day and year.
• Beneath the tower a Commons Building contains a visitor center, showroom, theatre-style auditorium, and the cafeteria.
• Campus buildings feature:
– Rooftop greenhouses for growing food for employee consumption.
– Photovoltaic panels on the rooftops, installed above vegetated roofs which reduce the temperature and improve PV efficiency.
– State-of-the-art LED lighting and energy technologies.
– Workspaces and meeting rooms designed for access to daylight and fresh air.
– Vegetation chosen for drought tolerance in the arid climate of Rajasthan.
– Underground parking garage beneath the center courtyard.
– Building structure of cast concrete. Walls of solid masonry clad with insulated metal siding. Curtain wall and Structural glass walls incorporated in different sections of the buildings.
• A translucent canopy over the courtyard atrium is constructed of multi-wall polycarbonate panels manufactured by SABIC. The cellular structure of the panels increases energy efficiency by providing insulating air space between layers of polycarbonate. The canopy collects rainwater and directs it to outdoor reflecting pools.
A ductless, “Bigfoot” air conditioning system serving the atrium courtyard is finely tuned to positively pressurize and filter the air, in addition to controlling temperature and humidity.
Ground source cooling is used to transfer heat from the atrium through buried pipes and finally to a pond.
• A gatehouse at the street entry to the complex is covered with photovoltaic panels, which also provide sun protection for the occupants.
•The project received a LEED Platinum rating from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).
Cradle to Cradle® is a registered trademark of MBDC,LLC.
Client Quotes – from Hero MotoCorp press release at time of building opening, March 10, 2016
“The CIT is the result of our bold vision to position Hero MotoCorp as the leading source of innovation and green technology. This facility is a giant stride in our relentless endeavour towards strengthening our in-house technology capabilities.” Hero MotoCorp
“The CIT is a defining step, not just for Hero, but also for the India Story to truly blossom on the global stage as a technology powerhouse. Rich in diversity, the CIT brings together a multi-national group of automotive experts, creating an environment of engineering excellence and innovation. With the CIT now becoming operational we have the ideal combination of world class infrastructure and talent pool to ‘Innovate in India’, not just for the country but for the world.” Hero MotoCorp.
Contact William McDonough + Partners