KSM architecture clads vishranthi office in chennai with bricks
all images courtesy of KSM architecture




located on a busy stretch of lloyds road in chennai, india, the ‘vishranthi office’ by KSM architecture is commercial building that nestles itself among a line of residences, apartments, and shops. the main architectural intent was to work on a passive method that evokes a better indoor environment. therefore, the designers wanted to provide well distributed natural lighting, reduce the load on the air conditioning systems, and minimize noise from the street below. these goals manifest themselves in the form of a traditional brick jali screen wall along the north, east, and western sides. it consists of lattice geometries that are staggered at every alternate course in relation to the programmatic requirements, creating a play of mass and void.

ksm architecture vishranthi office chennai india
fonrt of the building with a landscaped berm at stilt level




the overall façade is broken down into 600mm clear panels with white aluminum mullions that set defined the edges. the infill skin space between the mullions is divided into two distinct types: a panel for light and a performance screen panel. the light panels are distributed evenly across the surfaces, allowing for beams from the sun to be dispersed through the space. in doing so, no distinct bright and dark spots are created on the interior. simultaneously, the aluminum joinery allows the luminance to bounce and multiply by reflecting off of the white-colored floors and ceilings.

ksm architecture vishranthi office chennai india
view looking up at the east façade




the material choice for the jali screen panel is hollow brick with two cavities running along its length, granting a composition of three distinct zones. the outer exposed 100mm thick wall creates a 50mm freely ventilated air cavity and a 200mm double-sided, plastered concrete barrier for the offices. the voids between the bricks and the cavity work to ensure that there is little direct heat transferred from exterior face to the indoor environment. the inner block work receives minimal amounts direct sunlight at any time of the day, because the tracery absorbs the sun’s rays and in turn, releases it outwards. this greatly reduces the heat radiated within and lowers the amount of power exuded on the HVAC systems. on the northern face of the building is the main road, which is fairly busy and can be quite noisy at times. by applying the same clay pattern, the structure allows these noisy disturbances to attenuate and fade before they enter the office.

ksm architecture vishranthi office chennai india
ventilated hollow bricks set as modules




a standard problem faced with jali screen walls in urban situations has been the roosting of pigeons. the dilemma has been tackled in many ways with the use nylon guide wires, metal spikes, and low voltage electrical wires. here, the architects counteract the birds with the 50mm wide brick. the blocks are bonded by a cement-based adhesive, creating dimensions different from a conventional 10mm mortar joint. this size allows the craftsmen the ensure that the voids are fractionally larger than 50mm in height as they are too small for pigeons to roost.

ksm architecture vishranthi office chennai india
tall, linear windows maximize the distribution of light and allow for light to reflect off of interior surfaces 

ksm architecture vishranthi office chennai india
cladding diagrams

ksm architecture vishranthi office chennai india
light distribution diagrams



project info:


location: chennai, india
site area: 865 m²
built area: 1800 m²
typology: multi-tenant office
value: 765,500 USD
client: vishranthi homes pvt. ltd.
KSM team: siddarth money, sriram ganapathi, KS money, G thievanayagee, S seran, P mathivannan
landscape design: ravikumar & associates, chennai
civil contractor: vishranthi homes pvt. ltd.
structural consultant: P raman, chennai



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