Pharmaceutical companies have a bad reputation for making the big bucks even as millions of people go without decent medicine, but Malik Architecture has inspired scientists at the Lupin Research Center in India to take a more sensitive approach to their work. Located in an especially arid area, this beautiful terra cotta-colored complex is modeled after the iconic mandala in order to encourage enlightened thinking. It also has a gentle environmental footprint. By harvesting and recycling rainwater, using recycled materials, and incorporating passive cooling into the design, the India-based design team has given the pharmaceutical company a sustainable headquarters. We are fascinated by the rich play of light and shadow, which has both atmospheric and environmental benefits, and the symmetry of the built environment with its stark surroundings.
The head of the mandala is comprised of the administrative complex on the top of the hill while the main research center travels from south to north and wraps around a central courtyard. Attracted to the notion that scientists need peaceful and intuitive spaces in which to foster their inner creativity, Malik Architecture added several water features throughout the campus. These also serve to harvest and circulate water and have been positioned so that wind drafts will wash over them to create a cooling effect.
Apart from the laboratory which has to be kept consistently cool, most of the rooms are naturally ventilated and stay cool thanks to their North/East orientation. Perhaps the most impressive feat is the way light is harvested, particularly throughout the pergola-covered avenues, so that very little electricity has to be used. The bricks are made from recycled materials, which finished in terra cotta-colored paint evokes the ambience of an ancient village. Malik Architecture has been celebrated on Inhabitat before. We think it’s easy to see why.