Mumbai’s most innovative concrete factory
Indian architecture firm sp+a has completed a concrete factory building on the outskirts of mumbai. Rather than its surrounding structures, which are opaque and create a hard edge with the passing street, the building seeks to enter into a more open dialogue with its context. At the north-west corner of the plot, the architects created an opening in the concrete façade, which not only provides views inside the structure, but also contains a sunken void.
Located on a part of the site prone to seasonal flooding, this void allows monsoon waters to flood in and out of the site — without disrupting the building or its workers. When it is not filled with water, the space can be used as a shaded breakout space for employees. To traverse this chasm, a bridge connects the street to the building. A courtyard is positioned at the center of the site, with the factory’s production floors organized around it.
The building itself contains a variety of spaces that range from production and dining areas to shipping docks. Meanwhile, relatively thin floorplates ensure well-lit work spaces. Externally, the heavy concrete appearance of the building exists in sharp contrast to the lightweight but opaque steel sheathing of the surrounding buildings. ‘the corner void connecting to the central void courtyard creates an extroverted factory type, visually linking to the access road beyond the site as well as offering relief from the impenetrable adjoining building masses,’ explains sp+a.