The proposed Allahabad Bank’s Building at Pedder road is set in a landscape of high profile urban residential and commercial backdrop of Cumballa Hill, thus demanding and iconic trendsetter design for its complex. Keeping in mind of the above, the building is designed by extensive use of Glass and Steel /ACP as its key architectural elements. The building strikes a balance by use of metallic fins, pergolas, balconies and flowerbeds to effectively reduce the harshness of the metallic elements and making it into a much soothing Green building.
As per the design brief the building is designed as a mixed use building comprising of the banks requirements of ‘Pedder road Branch office’ and a ‘Zonal Office’ – strategically placed on the ground floor and the ‘Residences of the bank officials’ on the upper levels. The Pedder road branch office operates directly from the road end to gain maximum frontage keeping in mind its commercial aspect and frequency of customers visiting the bank. The Zonal Office is placed on the west end of the plot and is only assessed through the Main Entrance Lounge of the complex. Both ‘The Branch Office’ and ‘The Zonal Office’ are also interconnected through this Lounge area, thus reducing the movement of outsiders within the building premises. The Entrance Lounge has a 16’ high Ceiling and connects the upper levels with a series of two lifts. One of the Lifts is a structure lift that can be effective for heavy movements and in case of emergencies. Service ducts and Fire ducts are also placed along the sides of the lift block. The staircase block is placed on the rear side of the lifts. Servant toilets are also provided on each floor which is accessed through the mid-landing level of this staircase block, thus making it invisible to the visitors. The residences comprising of 3 BHK’s and 2 BHK’s for different grades of officials are placed 1st floor onwards. All residential floors, except the top 5th floor houses four blocks each for officers of various grades. Each of these units have a large living cum dining area of about 275sft carpet area and an additional balcony of more than 5’ width giving a breather in the plot which is engulfed by buildings on three of its four sides. All the bedrooms of these blocks open up on the east west axis, so as to allow better air movement and cross ventilation within. All rooms are enveloped with flower beds on their outside giving a green character to the building and also acting as an effective means of micro climate control.
The Guesthouse for CMD/ED and another Guesthouse for others are placed on the uppermost floor of the complex. This not only gives them a privilege of the pristine view of the surrounding areas but also a bit of privacy from the other occupants of the building. The Guesthouses are also provided with a personal terrace in addition to the double height balcony area in the living area. Recreation facilities are also provided on this floor. This space can be effectively utilized for Indoor Sports activities or a Gymnasium or as a hall with an attached party terrace for the residents. A long curved metallic roof over the entire block is designed to obtain a symbolic and dynamic perspective and distinguish the building, giving it an iconic appeal. It even functions as an effective shading device for the entire building and its slits give a play of shadows on the building façade. Another interesting feature in the form of irregularly placed elliptical cutouts is added in the building façade to break away from the horizontal monotony of the flowerbeds and balconies. These cutouts also add interest as one passes by it at entrance lobbies above. Considering the size of the site (about 1240 sq. m), parking for the residents, officers and for the visitors as per the Development Control Regulations seems much a challenge. In order to effectively use the land to the maximum advantage, the parking is mainly proposed in the two level basements. The use of ramps is deliberately avoided which would have otherwise left the site with no free movement and the open feel of the plot. The vehicles are taken into the basement through a set of two Hydraulic lifts. This would even help in restricting misuse of parking space of the residents by outsiders and provide better security. Both the basements are well connected through both the lift blocks and the staircase opening directly into the entrance lobbies of the respective floors.