This Mohali Office Takes Inspiration From Le Corbusier’s Iconic Façades

  • 12 Jul '21
  • 6:44 pm by Yamini Kathuria

Stationed in a bustling industrial area of Mohali, stands a landmark structure, carefully articulated and apertured with a standout facade. Aptly called the ‘Never Never Cube’, Chandigarh-based Studio Ardete’s brainchild is a masterpiece in commercial architecture that plays with the idea of animating an office building into a vivacious and interactive working space.

The principals at Studio Ardete, Prerna and Badrinath Kaleru, believe in focusing on the betterment of our existing environment by creating thoughtful and impactful interventions. To keep up with the standard functionality of an office space, the architects decided to romanticize the building’s frontage. Inspired by Le Corbusier’s iconic façade treatments throughout Chandigarh, the sculpture-like ‘Never Never Cube’ amplifies its individuality by highlighting its double-skinned façade. Lined with various angular pop-outs in the form of deconstructed cubes, the building makes its balconies flirt with the line that differentiates art from architecture. The structure breaks the monotony of regular geometry and makes its balconies act as private niches for the inhabitants that spark captivating connections between the inside and the outside.

The building plays with its façade to revamp the idea of a conventional office building. Image Credits – Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

Oriented towards the southeast, the niched sun decks throw in ample amounts of daylight and filter out the harsh southern sun through its carefully articulated angles. These sun decks, framed by tall and linear railings, give the users various paths for visual and physical connectivity, resulting in a beautiful interplay of interaction as one peeks from one sundeck to another. The niches are designed as a beautiful landscape for the users to sit back and relax while taking that much-needed mid-office coffee break.

The minds at work at Studio Ardete also let the building explore a compelling drama of neutral colors, juxtaposed with raw wall textures to provide a feeling of airiness in the space. The stark white railing and the underlying concrete walls create a strong language that acts as a neutral canvas for the perfect play of light and shadow. Just the right amount of green is supplied by the row of oxy-planters that line the dramatic balconies. In contrast to the airy and flexible feel of the sun-decks, the open plan of the building offers a much cozier environment internally, stroked with the much calmer beige and white walls. “Never Never Cube is a matrix of parallelepipeds. Fractals of the sun deck, assuring natural light run through the dormers into the dormitories and cubicles of the office allow the inmates of this commercial space enough vitamins for the body and soul,” say the architects at Studio Ardete.

Studio-Ardete- Design-Pataki
Punctuations in the façade. Image Credits – Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

The ‘Never Never Cube’ impeccably romances with an industrial look that breaks the prosaic norms. The ideation for this unique design stems from the need to create an intervention in an otherwise mundane, mechanical context. Studio Ardete believes in designing spaces that evolve into art and enrich the day-to-day lives of the people inhabiting them. This Mohali building is envisioned as an inspiration to many more prenatal structures that have the potential to bring a reform in our current understanding of building typologies. A case study in the concept of ‘less is more’, this sculptural building with its strong and simple lines, allows its form to do the talking.