Gurgaon Building, McKinsey & Co, Image, Architect, Design, Development, Photos
McKinsey & Co. headquarters, India Architecture
Contemporary Gurgaon Building, New Delhi, India
20 Feb 2008
McKinsey & Co., Gurgaon
Design: Currimbhoy Design & Architecture
The India headquarters for the multinational consultancy firm of McKinsey & Co.is located in Gurgaon, a fast growing satellite city of New Delhi. Less than a decade ago, this dry dusty plain was used for subsistence farming, or secluded country homes of the Delhi elite. One of the fastest growing cities in India, Gurgaon has now turned into a microcosm of the “new India” a fast paced, crowded landscape of shabby shopping malls and garish skyscrapers. The development has been ad hoc. There is no visible master plan, and little attempt at preserving or beautifying the environment.
Building a corporate headquarters in this region came with the dual responsibility of providing a well appointed, beautiful working environment, as well as creating a serene well panned counterpoint to the surrounding chaos.
Accordingly, architect Tarik Currimbhoy has used an “oasis” approach. The design, which marries the sophistication of the global to the romance of the local, is based on an abstraction of the Mughal garden and is created around a hierarchy of water bodies. One enters the offices through a pavilion that floats upon a lotus pond, and through to the central courtyard, where a canal flows from a “bubbler” into a still pond enlivened by handcrafted lotus fountains.
The 90,000 structure is composed of four interconnected pavilions placed around a central courtyard garden, as is traditional in the hot arid regions of India. “I wanted to make the offices inward facing in order to create a bubble of serenity amongst the ad hoc urban development in this fast growing suburb of New Delhi,” says the architect.
All support systems as well as parking for 100 cars is housed in the basement below the central garden. The building has a system of water-harvesting of rain water.
In the exterior, the sleekness of the steel and glass is juxtaposed with marble. The building is clad in hand chiseled local white marble slabs. The reveals, in polished stone are aligned to the fin-like metal shades investing the building with a modern, aerodynamic look. The stone serves to give the steel and glass building a rich, “high touch” crafted look. The use of local stone, handcrafted, in this highly visible building has helped to vitalize this ancient craft. A whole community of stone craftsmen came in from surrounding villages to work at the construction site during the construction phase of the building.
The stone wraps into the interior of the building, so bringing the outside in. The horizontal grooves echo the rhythm of the steel bands in the exterior glass. Additionally, the rough surface of the hand-chiseled stone and indents of the polished grove create an interesting interplay of light and shadow.
The cathedral ceiling of the entrance pavilion contains a clerestory that lets in diffused natural light. The interior ceiling takes the form of the architecture, so expressing the structure both with its shape as well as by its materials.
From the staircase one glimpses the white marble “bubbler” and the canal leading to a pond with hand-carved stone lotus fountains shooting water into the garden. Rice paper sandwiched between glass brings natural light into the interior. “The romance of this design is that every desk and office has a garden view,” says the architect. For the landscape designer, the romance of the building is that “it floats like a butterfly upon the landscape.”
The building, which has become a local landmark, provides a rare example of how technology can be married to the rich local craft base, and the viability of regional architectural traditions in the modern architectural language.
McKinsey & Co. Gurgaon Headquarters – Building Information
Architecture & Interiors: Tarik Currimbhoy/Currimbhoy Design
New York & Mumbai.
Architect of Record: Anuraag Chafla/Mani Chowfla Architects, New Delhi.
Engineering Consultant: Asish Sengupta PE
Interior Design: Tarik Currimbhoy & Pallavi Prabhu/ Currimbhoy Design New York & Mumbai. Jyoti Rath/Jyoti Rath Associates, New Dehli.
Landscape Design: Professor Shaheer
Photography: Jyoti Rath
McKinsey & Co. Gurgaon images / information from Currimbhoy Design & Architecture
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Gurgaon Building – page