Disciplined Asymmetry

Project: Rosedale Gardens, Kolkata

Architects: Maniramka & Associates, Kolkata

The project is a housing complex designed primarily for NRIs who wish to own a house in Kolkata. For them, the Indian living standards can be unsuitable, for reason such as the hot weather, etc. At the same time, they wish to connect to their roots and relive memories of being in India.

All of this led the architect to design this dream project, introducing Indo-Western theme in the designing. The largest common basement in east India, estimated a total area of 2.7 lakh square feet which connects all six towers from below in the basement, was introduced for the first time in east India.

The project was divided into five parts – the residential towers for the families, fully serviced senior citizen apartments, residences, executive apartments, the club and the retail building. The six towers (all G+25 storeyed) of various units ranging from duplex, 2BHK, 3BHK, sky bungalows and large apartments on the 18th floor, led an air of exclusivity with a private pool and terrace garden, and offered a wide range of units to choose from depending on the need of the users.

The design concept was evolved by keeping in mind the aspiration of the builder who wanted a project that fi t the lifestyle of NRIs, and at the same time to tackle all segment of users. The client was keen that the allowable area of the project was achieved to maintain the viability of the project and at the same time, large landscape area was also required to fulfill the requirements.

The orientation of the building avoids the typical regimented look prevalent in most housing complexes. The buildings are set back from the 18th floor to give an asymmetrical look from that floor. All the towers have different orientation and offer privacy – giving a mesmerising view of the ever-changing skyline outside and an excellent view of the landscape area below on the south side, as the maximum apartments are south-sided with 80 percent of apartments being three side open and 20 percent of apartments four side open.

The building form acts aerodynamically to let the cool air enter between the clusters of towers by creating a venturi effect. The exteriors of the building are all designed in prevalent shape with minimum ornamentation to add sleekness by ensuring a balance of design emphasis between tall buildings and the landscape garden below. The plan of the building looks like a truncated ellipse giving the building a much desired slender look and the apartments a sweeping view of the landscape outside.

The circulation of the site is interesting and never lets one get bored by being too predictable. The services offered in this project overtakes the current standards of the typical Indian buildings by debuting some new features, like a huge basement providing car parking for 1000 cars and connecting all the towers below the ground by which each tower can be accessed from the lobby area in the basement and each building has two car parking for the differently-abled near the lobby along with wheel chair ramps.

The senior citizen building is placed at the longer axis of the site so as to provide them with maximum views. There are sit out balconies in each of the unit on the periphery to minimise heat gain in the building. The fully serviced senior citizen apartments come complete with nurse station, lounge, TV room, sick room, dining hall, kitchen and large barrier-free spaces, and separate entry and lift is provided for the services so as to cause minimum disturbance to the senior citizens.

Gas reticulated system, laundry mate, state-of-the-art surveillance system, waiting area for drivers, meeting rooms and indoor recreational spaces for children are provided for each tower. The executive apartments have been placed away in the corner of the site. This was purposely done by keeping in mind their busy lifestyle. The club building was to be strategically placed so as to be convenient for all segments and at the same time should offer unobstructed view of the garden and the pool. It is located in close proximity to the senior citizens apartments and has barrier-free access to them. The single storey retail building abuts the main road for welcoming the access from outside for better movability. The access is avoided from the site for security concerns.

All the apartments are cross ventilated to avoid humidity. Most toilets and kitchens, and other service areas open in the three side internal courtyard that are well lit and ventilated. The staircase and lobby open up in the direction of the wind and are also well lit ventilated. A huge aluminium pergola canopy above the roof provides shading of the roof by minimising the heat gain from roof in the topmost floor. The top of the entire basement is extensively landscaped which fully reduces the heat island effect, and at the same time adds to the greenery of the complex. The rainwater harvesting, STP, dual plumbing all add to the green components of the project and minimises the use of water through effective recharging and conservation. The basement is naturally lit in most areas to let the light penetrate from the open-to-sky ramps and acrylic covered staircases.

Fact File

Client: Rosedale Developers Pvt Ltd

Architects: Sunil Maniramka and Stephen Coates

Consultants: Acta International (Singapore) Pte Ltd (Concept architects), Meinhardt India (Structural Engineers), Dhiren Chandra Pal (Structural Engineers), Meinhardt India (M.E.P), Belt Collins International (Singapore) Pte Ltd and Quintessence India (Landscape Architects), Maniramka & Associates (Interiors), Voyants Solutions Pvt Ltd (Project Management)

Contractors: Ahluwalia Contracts, K&D (Civil), Mitsubishi (AC & Lift), ICI Paints India (Paints), Saint Gobain (Glass), Integral Fire Protector (Fire Protection), SG Trading, Power Control, Abdul Electronics, Klystron Electronics (Electrical – internal), D R Consultants (Electrical – external)

Built-up area: 163,563.56sq m

Total number of residential units: 621

Year of completion: 2015