The Crescent is an office building designed for local property developers at Surat by Sanjay Puri Architects. It is a small plot situated at the junction of two roads, plus the building is being built here to attract the developer’s clients and remarkably planned to act as a promotional landmark feature.

The site is situated in Surat, where the temperature is not less than 35o C for eight months a year, and the sun is always facing towards the Southern side. The plot is at a T junction abutting the site’s northern and western sides. The overlapping curvilinear volumes orient each of the spaces towards the north, thus utilizing maximum daylight. 

The Crescent by Sanjay Puri Architects: A Sculptural Presence Sheet1
The Crescent_©Vinesh Gandhi

The zoning restraint enforced was to leave a 3 m setback from all sides of the site. The design implemented was according to the site’s climate and orientation. In response to the sun’s position, the building was designed with curvilinear massing to reduce the impact of the sun by inducing courtyard space in the middle furthermore, adding the maximum amount of space for the office cabins.

The Crescent by Sanjay Puri Architects: A Sculptural Presence Sheet2
Concept_©https://www.theplan.it/eng/award-2016-officebusiness/the-crescent

The Circulatory spine houses a pool of shallow water within the courtyard space, engaging the user’s to experience the outdoor space from inside the office. In the neighbourhood context prefixing the site, there was a nine-storey building being constructed close to the southern side of the office, intending the green spaces to create a buffer between them. 

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Neighbourhood context_©Vinesh Gandhi

The form was a series of curvilinear spaces, intended to provide lighting to the spaces. Orientating the building in such a way as to induce indirect daylight from the north, thus utilizing energy efficiency in design and minimising the heat gain from the southern side. Parallelly, the office is designed with the intent of not letting cabins facing a built entity. The water pool in the courtyard space reduces the heat by the technique of evaporative cooling.

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The view of courtyard from inside_©Vinesh Gandhi
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Conceptual sketches_©https://www.theplan.it/eng/award-2016-officebusiness/the-crescent
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Plan_©https://www.theplan.it/eng/award-2016-officebusiness/the-crescent
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Elevation_©Vinesh Gandhi
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The courtyard_©Vinesh Gandhi

The height of the building varies from 9m on the north to 4m on the south where the roof gradually slopes down. Ventilators within the roof are placed at varying heights to enlighten the space with additional daylight. 

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Site section_©https://www.theplan.it/eng/award-2016-officebusiness/the-crescent
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Corten steel appearance in the exterior_©Vinesh Gandhi

The external façade skin, thoroughly made from Corten steel sheets and Galvanised metal used for the roof. Each fin is made with weathering steel, a pre-rusted metal often termed “Corten”, giving the building a distinct rustic orange outlook. As per the Architect’s perception, the intent behind choosing Corten steel was to bring a beautiful aged look that adds a sculptural look to a small building.

Angular form used in the external facade is a strategic approach intended to reduce the extreme temperatures in a year. The curved wall forms a protective layer against the sun’s southern heat as it pens out through a series of north-facing windows. “The layers are based upon the interior spaces, deriving light from the northern side to make it cooler interior spaces,” stated Sanjay Puri Architects.

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Site section A_©https://www.theplan.it/eng/award-2016-officebusiness/the-crescent
 A Sculptural Presence Sheet12
Site Section B_©https://www.theplan.it/eng/award-2016-officebusiness/the-crescent

Visitors and staff enter the building through the reception area at one end, which separates the office furthermore into, Director’s room, kitchen, and dining room. “While the office spaces are small when compared to the clientele brief, the open courtyard around which the spine of circulation moves allows the interior volumes to be perceived bigger, moreover opening the interior spaces to the outside,” added the Architect.

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Director’s office exterior_©Vinesh Gandhi

The Director’s office and dining area are positioned on either side of the turfed courtyard which merges along the rear end. The south-facing outdoor space is protected by the building’s higher wall which can be accessed by a central corridor. A steel framework supports the entire structure, and the construction was completed in three months. The design creates an energy-efficient sustainable building in response to the site’s context. Sanjay Puri Architects have once again proved their design intelligence through their exemplary work.

This project was completed in 2015 by the architect team of Nimish Shah, Deep Dodiya under Sanjay Puri Architects. This 4905.0 ft2 site has won the prestigious LEAF World Future Building of 2015, adding to which was also the overall winner of MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects 2014 at Cannes, France, and winning 3 A + Architizer Awards in New York in 2014. 

Sanjay Puri Architects have also been in The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture & Design’s International Architecture Awards in 2014, 2012 & 2011. Including the World Architecture Festival Awards in 2015, 2014,2012, 2011 & 2010. Sanjay Puri Architects has also been listed in the top 100 architects worldwide by Archdaily Architizer, New York includes Sanjay Puri Architects in their list of the top 136 design firms worldwide. The firm also tops the list of WA Community, UK award winners across the world. Winning in the World Architecture Festival’s Best Housing object of the Year 2018 in Amsterdam and also in the World’s Best Residential Building in the LEAF Awards, London, the firm has won over 225 awards including 150 international awards and 80 National awards.

Creating spaces which will engage people holistically and foster active social interaction, plus evolve spatial relationships that are contextually responsive, is the backbone that forms our design philosophy. -Sanjay Puri

References | Sanjay Puri Architects

Plan, T., 2021. SANJAY PURI ARCHITECTS – THE CRESCENT. [online] Available at: <https://www.theplan.it/eng/award-2016-officebusiness/the-crescent> [Accessed 15 August 2021].

Griffiths, A., 2016. Sanjay Puri. [online] Available at: <https://www.dezeen.com/2016/06/18/crescent-office-sanjay-puri-surat-india-weathering-steel-facade/> [Accessed 15 August 2021].

Singhal, S., 2017. The Crescent in Surat, India by Sanjay Puri Architects – AECCafe. [online] Available at: <https://www10.aeccafe.com/blogs/arch-showcase/2017/07/02/the-crescent-in-surat-india-by-sanjay-puri-architects/> [Accessed 15 August 2021].

Anon., 2021. The Crescent | Sanjay Puri Architects – Arch2O.com. [online] Available at: <https://www.arch2o.com/crescent-sanjay-puri-architects/> [Accessed 15 August 2021].

Author

Prakriti is an Architecture graduate from MCE, Chennai. She is an enthusiastic person and is passionate towards writing perspectives that are profound and narrative. She gets fascinated by Tadao Ando’s minimalistic approach and loves to explore new avenues of architecture in a sustainable manner.

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