Architect Firm: I-con Architects and Urban Planners
Principle Architects: Dhaval Rangani Design team: Vishal Akabari, Chetna Shethiya
Design Team: WU Min, LI Rongrong
Location: Rajkot, India
Total Floor Area: 494 m2
Completion Date: October 2019
Photography: Bhavesh Raghavani, Yellow-Frames Photography
Gopal Printpack Solutions is one of the leading companies in Gujarat delivering customized packaging solutions. The factory is located in Metoda, an industrial zone in Rajkot. The office building is designed to be the most representative element, while the factory acts as a backdrop. It is a square-plan structure that is deliberately tilted at an angle against the rectangular site and factory, so that it stands out on the site.
The intention was to develop a design language that showcases the typical manufacturing process that takes place in the factory, where a blank plastic sheet is dipped sequentially into inks of various colors, so they amalgamate to form the final Printpack. This idea of amalgamation is abstracted and expressed through the landscape and the façades. The factory façade is clad in Corten steel, chosen for its inherent property to withstand weathering, resulting in an amalgamation of changing colors, which is representative of the client’s manufacturing process. This façade acts as the backdrop to the entire complex, while the foreground features extensive landscaping that seamlessly integrates with the office building. The core façades of the office building constitute tilted concrete walls that act as a skin, wrapping around the building.
The curvilinear steps in the landscape act as an amphitheater and spill into the congregation space. This space directly connects to the factory and is tucked away from the sightline of the main entrance to allow privacy. The arched walls at the periphery are structural elements that bear the entire load, creating diffused light that makes the space an intimate gathering area for factory employees. The extensive landscaping situates ramps that lead to the office building, allowing staff to slow down and meander along the landscape; seating is also incorporated, so factory employees may enjoy a comfortable and calming space among nature to take a break from the industrial work environment.
A stone pathway leads to the entry bay of the office building, which stands out invitingly against the blank façades of the structure. As one enters the building, one arrives in the waiting area facing the courtyard. The greenery in the courtyard extends the outdoors and offers the respite of nature within the office building. The workstation, private cabins, and meeting room are organized around this space. Although physically segregated to justify the efficiency of function, these spaces are visually connected to the owner’s cabin, which is suspended from the roof, thereby transcending the restrictions of closed office habitats. The suspended cabin connects to the factory with a bridge that overlooks the manufacturing process on one end, while leading to the dining area and guest hosting rooms on the other. This bridge allows the owner to share an overview of the factory to clients without disturbing the manufacturing process.
Along with exposed concrete and metal, raw wood is also used in various areas to impart warmth and tactility to the space. A skylight that runs around the core of the structure and the tilted walls situates triangular openings among them that create a play of light and shadow on the raw concrete walls, while keeping the spaces well-lit throughout the day.