Mall of Fame
The steel superstructure of India’s largest specialIty mall designed by Malik Architecture was responsible for saving construction time, reports Maria Louis.
Not far from the Golf Course and just a short drive away from both the international airport and the city centre of Pune, the second largest city in Maharashtra after Mumbai, lies the famed Ishanya Mall – an international design and retail centre for the construction industry.
The only design centre endorsed by the Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID) and the Confederation of Construction Products and Services (CCPS), it is a business destination by day and a cultural centre after hours. With its amphitheatre and art galleries, the speciality mall features the finest in the visual and performing arts.
The concept, a rather unique one, was to create “a hub that brings together the visual arts, architecture, fine arts, music, theatre and cinema, that introduces a cultural syntax and brings together the realms of public and commercial space,” explains Arjun Malik of Malik Architecture, the firm that designed the mall wonder.
This they did by visualising a series of spaces such as the main street, courtyards, wadas and kunds, weaving them together into a tapestry that echoes the “timeless philosophy of India” and results in an environment that “speaks the language of tranquillity and serenity that is so essential to creative thought.”
Wadas were the traditional form of Maratha architecture predominant in and around Pune. Its style was an amalgamation of features from Mughal, Rajasthani and Gujarati architecture, recreated using local construction techniques.
Features like high walls, distinctive fenestrations and buildings of two or more storeys arranged around open courts, have been incorporated in the design. Kunds (step-wells) were not just wells, but also used for religious ceremonies. The building scheme features an amphitheatre that overlooks a kund-like leisure pool.
Ishanya, meaning north-east in Sanskrit, is located in the auspicious north-east corner of Pune and housed in a lush green 10-acre campus. Under one roof made from steel and glass, you will find consultants, technology, building services and materials that enable architects, engineers and interior designers to fashion their masterpieces.
The layout unfolds to visitors in a sequential hierarchy of spaces: from the intimate human scale of the street to the intermediate scale of the courts and secondary spaces, and the almost industrial scale of the tertiary arcade spaces.
Using a combination of concrete, glass and steel sinuously woven together in symphony, the glass and water bodies skillfully enhance the lightness of the architecture. Carefully designed lighting provides an effect that is at once dramatic and aesthetic.
The mall is divided into six arcades linked together through the main circulation spine, the Street, which runs laterally through the site and behaves like a civic space. So, the visitor is not confined to a closed environment, but is constantly interacting with the outside. This continuously infuses life into the public spaces, which otherwise tend to wither due to neglect. Every arcade has its own distinct feature that sets it apart from the rest, simultaneously echoing a unified architectural language.
The landscaping provides orchestrated views of different vistas around the site, and its intricacy creates surprise elements along the way. The main courtyards are connected through spaces, forming a creative visual and experiential treat. Throughout the building scheme you can see instances where local architecture has been redefined by using contemporary design parameters, thus seamlessly relating the project to its surroundings. The interior spaces are designed for flexibility to provide large exhibition spaces without making any structural changes.
With 6,00,000sqft of retail and services space, Ishanya is a single sourcing point for over 52 categories of products and services, materials and knowledge, drawn from across the best in India and across the globe. It offers over 100 outlets and over 5,000 brands and services, besides a research centre, mock-up/simulation centres and a creativity centre. There is something for everyone, as the range offers choices right from the ultra-designer league to the cost-competitive.
Among the vast range of designs, materials, construction technologies, finishes, popular lifestyle and décor choices on offer today, it is a challenge for an individual to get a sense of what can be done within a given space. No doubt Ishanya offers a multitude of choices; but it is also about making choices, as it offers the required support through its services to make that one choice – resolving dilemmas, helping find solutions, and making dreams come true.
Ishanya is designed as a venue for the latest in world-class design inspiration, ideas, expertise and solutions. A place to holistically plan, design and build an office, commercial outlet, residence or any other architectural marvel. Whether you are looking for a product or service, you will find it here. So the speciality mall is an integral part of the lifestyle of consumers as well as the business strategy of architects, interior designers, builders and service contractors.
Here is a destination for all those who like good design – be it the aesthete, the connoisseur, the amateur, or simply someone who would like to be surrounded by beautiful spaces.
Tempered by Steel
The use of steel for the buildings, coupled with concrete and glass, has been a major factor in saving construction time. Prefabricated steel sections were brought in from the workshop just before they needed to be installed – thus reducing site storage space. Recycled steel was also considered for its value as a sustainable construction material.
The concept of energy storage is incorporated for the purpose of air-conditioning applications. Intelligent building systems are implemented for functional safety as well as energy conservation and efficiency through rainwater harvesting and waste management. Besides, the design centre is equipped with a sophisticated fire detection system, fire-fighting systems/sprinklers, CCTV and access control. The roofing is specially insulated, keeping in mind the energy consumption for air-conditioning. Skylights on the roof take in the North light and provide natural lighting.
Project: Ishanya Mall
Location: Pune, India
Architects: Kamal Malik, Arjun Malik
Design Team: Ketan Chaudhary, Meghna Tipnis, Dhanasree Ramanujan, Geeta Thakker
Consultants: Sterling Constructions (Structural), Bangale Associates (Electrical), Amod Dikshit (HVAC), Vinod Menon (Plumbing & Fire Fighting), Franklin Po (Landscape), Lightbox (Lighting)