The Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) is a state-owned public sector company located in the state of Odisha, India. This company has a prime location along the highway that connects Chennai to Kolkata, two of the primate cities in south and east India. The state approached Design Forum International (DFI) to create a corporate headquarters for Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).
Based on their requirement for housing their staff and accommodating their growing business needs, it was decided that approximately 1/3 of the site would serve similar functions as the OMC headquarter. The state also expressed an interest in commercialising the remaining plot.
The exact nature of the commercial enterprise was not specified, but it was clear that the state wanted to maximise the use of the land, being in a prime location, to its fullest potential. The objective has been to create a corporate headquarters whilst harnessing the commercial potential of the precinct by proposing co-working and recreational spaces within its premises that are accessible to the public. The six-acre site is endowed with a 500-metre-long frontage, thus making it ideal for corporate headquarters and commercial/recreational use.
The project is designed to create a corporate building for OMC that could be used for commercial purposes while keeping provisions in place for a coworking tower and recreational purposes for the community. This meant the building had to be large enough to accommodate OMC’s operations and be functional and aesthetically pleasing. Furthermore, acknowledging the business growth in Odisha, the overall industrialisation and the way business incubation has been moving to co-working spaces, the state also wants to create a benchmark for co-working destinations.
Thus, to make the project more economically viable for the people, the design of the corporate building also includes provisions for a coworking tower. This would generate additional revenue and help maximise the use of the available land while simultaneously catering to the growing demand for flexible workspace solutions in the region. The project consists of three towers: Tower A to house the Convention Center on the lower floors, an auditorium, an art gallery, and meeting rooms; Tower B is allocated for the Odisha Mining Corporation’s corporate headquarters, and Tower C is planned to be an utterly leased-out model tower for private or public corporations.
One of the project’s key features is the almost 400-metre-long SkyDeck at the top of the towers. This deck is a unique recreational space that provides citizens with an unparalleled viewing experience overlooking the upcoming hockey stadium and the Badminton Academy. The idea is to create a pedestrian connection from the ground level to the suspended SkyDeck and on the intermediate, fourth, and fifth floors. The concept of ‘walk to work’ is one of the primary considerations of the project, and the design intervention aimed to promote it. As a result, there are multiple landscaped areas between Towers 1 and 2, including a drop-off zone for Tower 1 and dedicated drop-off zones for Towers 2 and 3.
These drop-off zones provide access points and house staircases that connect the drop-offs to the basement, allowing light to percolate into the basement. In addition, there are food courts on levels 4 and 5, catering to all three towers while simultaneously acting as breathing points, relaxation, and recreational areas for the employees. Some of the unique features of this building are its multiple ground floors, presence of collaborative spaces and the idea of ‘walk to work’. The design comprises multiple bridges and terraces facilitating the seamless connection between the three towers. which will use the same infrastructure in terms of parking, MSME infrastructure, same engineering, and backbone, like power, water and sewage treatment plant.
The project boasts a distinct feature that sets it apart from other buildings – optimising a kinetic treatment on the Southwestern facade. Due to the harsh exposure to the sun, an innovative and unique functional facade is installed to mitigate the impact. Consisting of perforated aluminium fins strung with motion sensors, it is governed by the sun’s movement. The sensors enable the louvres to open or close depending on the amount of sunlight that needs to be allowed into the building. This feature effectively controls the amount of daylight glare percolating the building, creating a comfortable working environment for its occupants. At the same time, it also creates a stunning visual effect on the facade, adding a touch of elegance and beauty to the building’s overall design.
The proposed building design also includes the projection of AI-controlled animation onto the connecting bridges using HD projectors. The animation creates a canvas of art that presents itself in various forms and patterns throughout the day. The projection will also be visible on the overhead canopy, turning the entire building into a panoramic projection screen at night, courtesy of the kinetic facade. The building aims to be a vivid, dynamic, and continually changing structure that adapts to its environment. It is designed to be a GBC Gold-certified building, meeting all the requirements associated with green buildings of this standard.
The Odisha Mining Corporation project amalgamates several innovative ideas to create a built environment coalescing corporate headquarters, commercial spaces, and recreational areas together within one closely-knit landscaped complex. The building aims to function as a centre of corporate excellence, showcasing the growing stage of Odisha in the industrial and investment climate. The design intends to showcase technology’s power by creating a functionally optimised, responsive, aesthetically pleasing structure. By using changing facades through projections, the designers hope to create a unique and memorable architectural experience for all visitors. Replete with old traditional technology and the latest advancements in Artificial intelligence (AI), this new OMC structure is an intelligent building with an ever-changing facade embodying a modern workplace. The foundation of design rests upon the time-tested intelligence of indoor and outdoor flexible spaces amalgamated with the strength, flexibility, and versatility that AI brings. The age-old wisdom of flexible spaces has coalesced with the intelligence that comes from artificial intelligence to create an intelligent building that is responsive, ever-changing, adaptive to the context, responsive to occupants, responsive and respectful of the environment and yet, always dynamic.