The Garware clubhouse, a high-end sports club in the heart of south Mumbai, has been a “Member’s Only” private club since 1974. The club needed a new face to accommodate modern facilities. The 53-year old Shashi Prabhu and Associates, a firm with a wide range of expertise in sports, health care, education, hospitality and other infrastructure, were approached by the Bombay Cricket Association (BCA) in 2006 to redesign the club to suit the sports needs of the city and the members.

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Project Location: Churchgate, Mumbai, India
Studio name: Shashi Prabhu Associates
Project Completion: 2010 (Phase 1)

The club that already existed was demolished to bring in the new design proposal with upgraded modern amenities for the wellness of the members and to enhance and organise sports events. The newly designed urban sports club is a six-storey modern structure built up in a 2,00,000sq.ft area. It has been housed in the 12-acre property of the renowned Wankhede stadium.

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Garware Club House by Shashi Prabhu: A contemporary Combination of Balance and Harmony - Sheet1
Entrance Lobby_©Amol Prabhu

The site is situated at Marine Drive, one of the largest art deco regions in the country; and while designing the façade, it was only appropriate that a hint of the art deco language be present somewhere, if not in entirety,” says Architect Shashi Prabhu. Thus the facade was designed with bold and repetitive strokes of Art Deco with a modern finish.

As the partners believe that “adopting sustainability should be a duty of every citizen” and a small contribution towards sustainable elements in design is intuitive, which makes the design successful. Thus a conscious selection of sustainable materials was used both in the interior and the exterior of the building. 

As the available foreground for the club was limited, the facades were designed sleek and light,” says Shashi Prabhu Associates. Aluminium composite panels in plum colour, with high-pressure exterior laminate, glass, and UPVC louvre were used for external cladding. 

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Garware Club House by Shashi Prabhu: A contemporary Combination of Balance and Harmony - Sheet2
Front facade design _©Amol Prabhu

A scooped corner in the front facade with an ornamental staircase balances the overall mass of the building. The louvred part of the facade counters the massive ACP cladding and also acts as a screen for the plumbing and ventilation services. The club members and other banquet users were segregated at the main entrance under the large glass canopy. In general, Architect Shashi Prabhu says he chooses the materials in a way that it extends the life of the building. In that way, it also adds to the sustainable aspect of the design.

As the club is a stack of multi-functional spaces, careful design thought on the envelope has been planned for better interior ventilation and natural lighting. The envelope has been designed in a way to balance the functions and aesthetics of the iconic structure. 

The material chosen to design the envelope plays an important role in insulating the building from harsh weather conditions and also helps in saving energy,” says Architect Shashi Prabhu. He also says cladding is a necessity to protect the building and adds vibrance to the city. The facade of the Garware clubhouse shows the importance of choosing a material, exploring the material, and giving the building an identity through materials.

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Garware Club House by Shashi Prabhu: A contemporary Combination of Balance and Harmony - Sheet3
First floor restaurant _©Amol Prabhu

The interior spaces have been designed around a 30ft high atrium, overlooking the central courtyard with a cafeteria and swimming pool on one side and brass-clad elevators connecting the six-story floors on the other side. The interior spatial design mainly focuses on the function of the space. Some of the other functions of the clubhouse include 5 restaurants, 64 residential rooms, and suites, 4 banquet halls with 180 people in each or 900 people overall facilitated with a sliding partition of all four halls, a 6,000sq.ft health club and gymnasium, children’s play area near the restaurant on the first floor so the parents can have a better meal with a safe place for their kids, 4 squash court, rooftop tennis court, 2 badminton court, table tennis court, billiards room, other indoor games, consumer store, library and an acoustically treated mini theatre with 35 seat capacity.

Restaurant interior _©Amol Prabhu

The awe aspect of both interior and exterior is achieved through maintenance-friendly materials, with longer life adding to the aesthetic value—overall achieving a sustainable design in every small aspect possible!

References

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Author

In a predominately visual profession, Suvetha Arun who is a self-practicing architect and an architectural lifestyle blogger, desires to enlighten architecture through her writings. Keeping the traditional essence of architecture in her research and practice has made her stand out. She strongly believes in practicing what she preaches.

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