Orbit IT Tower with its high-tech façade by Fundermax, is a landmark building in Mohali. The Chandigarh-based architecture firm Creative Consortium designed it for a distinguished developer, Mr P.S. Grewal, Orbit Private Limited.
Orbit IT Tower – an Introduction, Design, and Concept
The design is the brainchild of Ar. Mohita (Garg) Vashisht, the dynamic and acclaimed Partner and Design Head at Creative Consortium. The project has won Indian Concrete Institute’s Most Outstanding Concrete Structure Award 2021, in the Office Building Design category. The cutting edge design of the building makes it the perfect precedent for future urban built forms. The project has been acknowledged as a masterpiece –”A true example of architectural excellence chiselled into a perfect state through vision, dedication, and determination”. The multi-faceted jury accredited the Orbit IT Tower Project as a design innovation for a better future and recognized it as an example of design excellence. The tower’s exterior facade showcases an example of futuristic urban façades that are not just aesthetic but hold a story of committed functionality. Fundermax’s panels have played a major role in delivering this intended dynamic and rhythmic look.
The project site is in Mohali on a rectilinear plot of 83′-6” x215′ with the shorter side facing the street. The client brief was to break away from the typical matchbox approach of IT buildings. They wanted to create something modern and cutting edge. However, this tight and right-lined plot made it challenging to formulate a fluid and dynamic exterior. A grid-based approach was hence used by the architects as they brought along the benefits in three stages – planning, functioning, and parking.
The façade had 3 key elements, the glazing, Fundermax’s panels, and the aluminium louvres, all of which work in synchrony to provide the users with unobstructed exterior views and letting in ample sunlight while minimising heat gain. Application of the principle of modularization, standardisation, repetition and pre-fabrication of façade modules allowed for a reduction in material wastage while promoting time and cost-efficiency.
The final module is a product of multiple simulations and mock-ups, thus giving shape to the present form. Standardisation and pre-fabrication of the panels proved sustainable.
The structural system used in the building is splendid. The front façade is designed in a way wherein two large volumes are projected with no support. One volume is a 3-storey-high office block that is cantilevered and looks as if it is floating in the air. The second volume is 25 ft. (ca. 8 m.) by 25 ft. (ca. 8 m.) RCC cantilever with smart glass panels. This remarkable configuration was possible owing to the decreased dead load from Fundermax’s lightweight exterior panels. These panels are not only less in weight, but are also aesthetically pleasing. They help in achieving the desired modern and fluidic look. The panels also encase and hide the structural systems that support the floating masses. This accentuates the illusion of rhythm and fluidity.
Ar. Mohita (Garg) Vashisht
Partner & Design Head, Creative Consortium
With a Master’s degree in ‘Integrated Sustainable Design’ (2013 with First Class (CAP-4.55)) in ‘Integrated Sustainable Design’ from the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore, and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA), Chandigarh, (2007), Ar. Mohita (Garg) Vashisht is a highly motivated & ambitious woman architect. She has versatile design knowledge and practical experience drawn from her contribution to various large scale architectural design and urban development projects over the last 15 years. Ar. Mohita Vashisht was also shortlisted for WADe Award in the Young Emerging Architect category (for Most Innovative Project) in 2018 at the national level.