There is no better mantra in reducing the carbon footprint in the building industry than by being modest and optimum in the size of building.
Sabyasachi Sen & Pallavi Sen - Architects, Sabyasachi Sen & Associates
Consumerism is driving the need for excessively large spaces, symbolizing power and prestige. But ‘bigger’ does not necessarily equate with ‘better’. It’s time to break this stereotype. The concept of rank has become more flexible and is better determined by factors such as spatial layout, accessibility, aesthetics, and the overall design concept, rather than solely by size. As architects, it is our duty to take the sustainable path and make economical use of space. Every square foot of built mass adds to the carbon footprint. The mantra ‘Less is More’ is more relevant today than it ever was.
At SSA, we aim to design a space determined by specific needs of its users, rather than adhere to the antique, rigid hierarchical notions of rank. In the spirit of minimizing use of concrete and steel, we tailor our designs to be functional, user-friendly, and sustainable. Our design principles prioritize flexibility, adaptability, and efficiency.
Developing a thorough design brief always leads to logical options, which are painstakingly evaluated for functional, aesthetic, and ecological parameters, eventually leading to an optimum design solution. Small sustainable steps need to be taken beyond the architect’s studio and into site execution to mitigate the negative impacts of the built environment and create more resilient and adaptive spaces, which also aid in saving costs and enhance user experience.
Situated in the heart of the Asansol-Durgapur Belt in West Bengal, our 32-acre site shares the neighborhood with thermal power stations and steel plants from where fine ash is recycled into fly-ash bricks, slag cement put into concrete, and slag boulders made for canal linings.
The form of the staff welfare building is carefully crafted as per the client brief and further rationalized for better space optimization and climatic compatibility. Louvers provide shading from direct sunlight, the fenestration is designed to harvest maximum natural light, and low-E double glass used in windows to reduce heat gain. Instead of the commonly preferred cladding of ACP sheets, we chose local terracotta tiles (used for centuries in Bengal) to provide a more economic and natural alternative.