When Exploration Architecture set out to design a zero-waste textiles factory in India, they looked to biomimicry -- the practice of solving human problems with inspiration from nature -- for answers. By doing so, the team was able to conceptualize a design that achieved the client's goal of meeting both human and environmental guidelines with a structure that radically reduces waste in the resource-intensive production of textiles. The final plan revolutionizes the factory experience for workers within a sustainable, zero-waste building.
Unlike the typical factory setting, Exploration’s client demanded that this facility “should be designed and engineered to use the least material possible and should provide a world-class environment for the 600 people who will work at the factory,” according to the firm’s press release. To that end, the textile factory is surrounded by green space that will be visible to workers at the facility, thanks to large pane windows along the side of the structure.
Smart use of resources is at the center of the design, and inspiration from nature is the root of the water and energy system for the textile factory. The Exploration team partnered with engineers, with the work of Janine Benyus as inspiration. Through the scope of biomimicry, the team rose to the client’s challenge of designing a new paradigm for the textile industry in India. Architects and scientists came together to develop solutions with long-term benefits.
Designs for the building itself were inspired by hierarchical structures in biology such as the Euplectella glass sponge. That structure led to the design of a lightweight roof that integrates structure, solar power harvesting, and allows for natural light to filter into the building.
Images © Exploration Architecture except glass sponge structure, which is courtesy of Kelly Hill Photography for Exploration Architecture.