The imposing Pegasus complex in Gujarat was designed with a shade screen as protection from the hot Indian sun. What looks like a black and white checkerboard facade is a series of specially oriented slats that from a distance give the illusion of a solid mass. But from inside the commercial building, viewers have an uninterrupted view from behind the slats. Designed by Jagrut Patel of Vitan Architects, the commercial space is sensitive to the climatic conditions of the semi-arid region of Ahmedabad.
The 87,300 sq ft Pegasus complex is part of the recently developed Prahalad Nagar Road, situated in the north-west of Ahmedabad city. A large underground parking lot is covered by a public courtyard between the two buildings of the complex built from concrete and metal. Patel bases his design for the complex on the phenomenon of persistence of vision, which occurs when the eye receives even nanoseconds of exposure to an image, which results in milliseconds of reaction (sight) from the retina to the optic nerves.
The exterior of the complex is composed of powder coated aluminum vertical fins and multi-layered poly-carbonated sheets. The fins or slats are angled in such a way that from a distance the exterior looks like a black and white checkerboard, even though it is actually not solid. Serving as both a functional and an aesthetic feature, the shade screen protects the building from the heat, encourages ventilation and serves as a buffer for the interior. The double wall with an air cavity in between reduces the cooling loss and energy consumption of the building.
Images ©Vitan Architects