Formerly an abandoned industrial shed in the centrally located NSIC area of Okhla, New Delhi, the building structure for Crayons has been redesigned into a contemporary commercial space. The dilapidating brick building has been transformed into a vibrant office space for an advertising agency, in order to uplift the work environment and inspire creative thought.
The shed was surrounded by overgrown shrubs that covered large parts of the facade, blocking accessibility. Concealed by the untamed trees and bushes that grew in the fields around it over a long period of time, the structure was isolated from its surrounding buildings.
The existing shed was stripped of all its non-structural elements on the northern side and replaced with full length, transparent glass glazing. This allowed natural light to filter in unobstructed, while giving a clear view of the new well-manicured lawns, making the interior spaces appear larger and more spacious.
Glazing members have been introduced at the mid-level to reduce glazing cost and generate the possibility of taking window dressing. The north light openings have been retained to enhance the quality of light and maintain a connection with nature. The east facade is made transparent in order to let in maximum natural light and maintain connectivity with the well green expanse that is outside. The west side of the structure has been blocked with a complete solid mass, with a closed office below and a service floor above, to provide thermal insulation to the open office, thereby reducing the HVAC as well as electrical load. The pole lights also give an option of compartmentalisation and save energy in the process.
Since the existing building was half a century old, it required a lot of repair and many challenges were encountered. Complete waterproofing was redone on the roof and new structural members were introduced to reinforce and strengthen the existing structure. The rainwater drainage outlet which was initially from the roof, was changed and moved towards the west side. The existing roof did not have the capacity to take any extra load other than its own dead load and hence, the ceiling could not accommodate any services. This constraint aided in inspiring us to opt for a minimalist theme. We aimed to design an interior that absorbs the context and extends its boundaries to become an ‘interior-architecture’ design.The modern design solution infuses a new life to the redundant industrial shed in the centre of the city, while also connecting it with the green envelope surrounding it.