Striking Angles: Agashiyan in India, by Sanjay Puri Architects.

Agashiyan is a very unique high rise office development in the rapidly urbanizing city of Ahmedabad, India, designed by Sanjay Puri Architects.

Its form and premise are both adventurous and refreshingly different. The architects started by carving out the form from an offset of the shape of the site, ensuring that the building maximised the limited space on offer, placing the proverbial square peg in a square hole.

As with most commercial developments, Retail spaces line the unified ground floor of the building to maximise the traffic of the site which sits at the junction of two arterial city roads, but as the structure begins to rise, it starts to get interesting.

Per, the clients request, small offices ranging from 100 -300 sqm were required on every level. The execution of this requirement saw the architect creating 5 individual towers sitting on a unified ground floor, each of the required area (as opposed to one large expanse of floor space) then staggering the blocks by shifting the each floor inwards as the tower rises. This also allowed them create stacked corridors inspired by organic city street networks, a sharp contrast to the long central ones that are typical of generic highrise design. The approach created ensured these corridors or ‘streets’ if you will were both naturally ventilated and well lit. It also eliminated the usual narrow rectilinear tower to create a geometrically dynamic form.

This form also allowed the architect include open landscaped spaces in the form of terraces for each floor. These terraces offer the experience of low rise development within a high rise context as they allow users connect with the outdoors, something not typical for this building typology. Further more, the terraces were oriented to the North of the site to curtail excessive heat gain into the offices from the south which happens to be the location of the main road into the building. It would’ve been nice to have the view of a terrace lined facade welcome users into the site, but comfort trumps vista.

To further maximise the internal spaces created from the staggering form, communal landscaped areas were including of specific levels. This literally breathes new life into the spaces outside of the designated office areas. Landscaped rooftop terraces also feature atop each tower with adjustable solar panels lining a the louvered roof structure to maximise the solar potential of the city. Altogether, the landscaped spaces generated in the design of the building were about 2 times the size of the plot. This is a very welcome development as average temperatures in the city get to an excess of 35°C, thus, the cooling effect of the landscaped areas would play a vital role in dropping the temperature of the building.

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