GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture


GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Pointed cantilevers project above an office block that is sandwiched between a corporate complex and a slum in Mumbai (photographs by Edmund Sumner).

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Designed by Indian studio Malik Architecture, the GMS Grande Palladium building has a faceted exterior of tessellated glass and ridged aluminium.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Six floors of office accommodation are raised onto a podium eight metres above the ground, creating a terrace and thoroughfare at street level.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Penthouse office suites for the client and his son are contained in the two uppermost floors and within the narrow cantilevers.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

A cafe, gym and members club are located on the podium floor, which can be accessed by car via an external ramp.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Two basement floors provide car parking.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

This building is one of many recent stories to feature crazy cantilevers, following a house with projecting concrete slabs and a hotel with a mirrored underside - see all our stories about cantilevers here.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Here's some more information from the architects:

GMS Grande Palladium

Project Description

The uniqueness of this project is that it operates on multiple levels. On one hand it uses technology and intelligent design to improve the working environment of its inhabitants, while working inclusively in an urban context.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

On the other hand, it is a critical commentary on some of the antiquated notions that have plagued contemporary commercial design in the subcontinent.

The eschewment of ornamentation, the treatment of structure as skin, the repudiation of self-aggrandizing atriums, the moulding of building volumes to perform multiple functions simultaneously, the treatment of landscape as an integral part of development and an exploration of its varying moods, the focus on sustainability, the holistic approach to design and execution are a direct result of a critical analysis of the exigent and often superficial buildings proliferating in the subcontinent.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Commercial and corporate architecture in Mumbai has evolved a generic idiom and nowhere is this more apparent than at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), where a myriad of glass monoliths exist side by side; one indistinguishable from the other.

The site for the GMS Grande Palladium, located at Kalina, is but a stones throw from Bandra Kurla Complex.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

The street interface for almost all existing buildings at BKC is a three level podium. This provides a definitive barrier between the street and the building. A heavy, almost impenetrable profile is created which presents almost no visual and physical connection between the street and the building.

The area is outside Mumbai’s Heritage District and therefore there were no constraints as far as conserving existing architecture as well as, no connection need be established between the existing architecture and our site.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Essentially we were given a Tabula Rasa, free of compromise or complication of what stood around it.

With GMS Grande Palladium, we have made an attempt, through consistent data mining of various conditions, to imbue what has been a hitherto sterile, symbol driven genre of Architecture, with logic and meaningful content It was imperative that we make an informed departure from the existing architecture surrounding our site, and, in the absence of any valid programmatic density within the project brief itself, we harvested site, climatic and urban constrains as moulding vectors for our concept.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Four levels of generic commercial space are bound by a series of faceted, profiled aluminium planes, a subtle nod to the random agglomerations of the Dharavi slums (Asia's largest slum development), which is located only minutes away from our site, and whose individual tenements are sheathed in scrap corrugated metal sheets.

We hoisted the building 8.0m above the ground thus liberating the street level to be inhabitated by trees, water and judiciously scaled lobbies and a common café, thus eliminating the presence of massive built up form at the street level. This represents an inversion of the Bandra Kurla typology by creating a solution that is more inclusive to street communication.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

The transition from the street to inside the property is experienced seamlessly, one drives through a gate, up a ramp to access the podium level. The ramp is flanked on one side by a landscaped garden, the slopes of which transition from the entrance stilt level to the upper podium level.

In a city like Mumbai where green areas are diminishing everyday, this garden provides an oasis of relief from the hardscape of the surrounding areas.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

The clubhouse emerges from this landscape as a sculptural element of glass and profiled aluminium. In most other buildings the Clubhouse is provided on the uppermost levels, but in view of better access and usability, we chose to place the clubhouse on the stilt level with a double height gym space.

A mezzanine forms the yoga room over the gym and can be accessed from the garden as well. A double height open to sky court brings in light and ventilation into the gym room. A juice bar and spa on the stilt level serve as areas for rejuvenation and relaxation.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

The 8.0M high podium is designed to address functional issues as well as theoretical inconsistencies that we have observed in the design of commercial and corporate properties in the vicinity. Four months of heavy rains mean that a covered drop-off point is mandatory.

The suspended building volume negates the need for extraneous canopies, and the ubiquitous atrium has been replaced with functionally scaled lobbies, that use space efficiently and visually include the landscaped podium and allow the eye to roam unfettered to the grass berm beyond.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Water has been expressed in two ways; a shallow water sheet explores the reflective and depth inducing properties of water, while adjacent to it, raked and textured stone surfaces generate rippling water surfaces; a gesture that not only explores its auditory properties, but also geometrically links it to the building structure.

A common café is skinned with canted glass walls and an outdoor dining area allows inhabitants to sit amidst the trees on the podium.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Click above for larger image

The superstructure is composed entirely of steel with a 16.0m wide span central column grid providing flexible workspace, while deflected structural shear skins transmit cantilever loads to the ground. The structural skins are expressed internally by recessing the internal membranes between the structural members.

The four typical floors are designed to be leased out. Each floor has been divided into two wings which may be leased out independently with a common lobby space opening into independent reception areas. The two wings may be combined if desired to create a bigger office space by removing the dividing wall between the wings. The structure also facilitates higher floor heights with the false ceiling dropping down in the cabins and lobby to accommodate services.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Click above for larger image

The fragmented roof office of the client visually disconnects itself from the typical floors, the only tangible link being a section of the structural skin turning over to generate the faceted roof and glass wall membranes of the upper two levels.

This was the only part of the design brief where the customized program was known. The office was placed on the North end occupying two internally connected office floors. A double height cut out in the floor plate visually connects the two levels together. The sense of space and openness in this office space alludes to the old buildings of South Mumbai with higher floor heights and double height spaces. A projected roof on the East and West facade facilitates large floor to ceiling windows which flood the interior with daylight.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Click above for larger image

The client and his son occupy suites at the two extremities of a cantilevered, north facing tube that punctures the upper level and projects into space.

Besides the regular municipal guidelines (height, setbacks, minimum landscaped area, etc.), there were not too many planning restrictions. We encountered stiff resistance from the planning commission when we suggested the idea of the podium, but after numerous meetings and thoroughly scrutinizing our justification of it being a new form of street interface that operated inclusively as well as the fact that it reduced the amount of built up mass at the lower levels of the property, thus allowing us to increase the landscape footprint at the street level. They allowed us to proceed as they were convinced that it would set a precedent for commercial properties trying to establish a better urban connection.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Click above for larger image

The North façade, as originally designed intruded into the setback line, however, the planning commission allowed us to continue with the original scheme when it was explained that the North façade helped form an important visual connection between the office spaces and the landscaped garden below as well as facilitate the daylighting of interior spaces, thus reducing the use of artificial light.

In the absence of rigid planning restrictions we have created a non-conformous building where the volume is shaped by the diurnal cycles of the sun, an even distribution of floor area and by the desire to visually lengthen the proportion of the structure. Material affixation and size and shape of fenestrations have been decided by the orientation of the building.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Click above for larger image

West façade

The street facing West façade is clad with seamless corrugated aluminum broken by small sun shaded fenestrations. The south-west sun in this part of the northern hemisphere has the harshest glare, the sun shades therefore, have been designed to project out on the south side to cut out the glare. These projections rake back on the north to maximize exposure to the cool northern light.

East façade

The East façade is skinned with laminated glass in order to suffuse the interior spaces with natural light. On the upper floors the skin cants up, thereby opening the fenestrations more towards the northern direction. Similar to the fenestrations on the West Facade, these fenestrations are designed with raked back sun shades.

GMS Grande Palladium by Malik Architecture

Click above for larger image

North Façade

The North façade is made up entirely of triangular pieces of laminated glass interspersed by skin truss members; the façade is raked back on the upper levels. This deliberate gesture was made in order to suffuse the interior spaces with as much natural daylight as possible, and also provides a visual connection to the slopes of the landscaped garden below while cutting out any glare.

South Facade

In this region of the world, the South sun is the harshest, with a strong glare and warmth. Also the southern property line abuts the back of the Trade Centre Building, which was not a desirable view. The major services were thus stacked on the southern end presenting a dead facade of shear truss members clad in Kalzip. A few horizontal openings have been provided to bring light into the service area.

  • Glocal everywhere

    "Four levels of generic commercial space are bound by a series of faceted, profiled aluminium planes, a subtle nod to the random agglomerations of the Dharavi slums (Asia’s largest slum development), which is located only minutes away from our site, and whose individual tenements are sheathed in scrap corrugated metal sheets."
    Seriously at first I could not believe you actually wrote this, second I cant believe that dezeen has no editor on board to advice……..which you clearly need. Thirdly that great huge GATED public space you are so proud of is the most generic of imaginations every architect including your own father comes up with time and again so please………next time try doing something that is worth our time.

    • rac

      cant agree more. To add to your comment – there are only 2 or so images of the interiors – from the sections and plans, clearly the only 2 areas which have the character of form (not that it is any good) affecting the space and light quality inside.. I'm sure the rest is all generic, typically mundane office space with fancy materials and graphic treatment… the plan at podium level looks as if done by 4th year student..
      only credit I wud still give is to be able to convince clients and build it in India…

    • PMB

      true that

    • flytoget

      In my view this is the worst.

      "The suspended building volume negates the need for extraneous canopies, and the ubiquitous atrium has been replaced with functionally scaled lobbies, that use space efficiently and visually include the landscaped podium and allow the eye to roam unfettered to the grass berm beyond."

    • Anna

      That quote was from the architects, it wasn't written by Dezeen

  • Adarsha

    Like the experimentation, especially because it is located in India. Would like to see it in reality.

  • DCV

    Thanks to the photographer for giving honest pictures of a context that is nothing but sad.

    I don't mean this is bad architecture, or that the architects are responsibles of this conditions. This context, with the addition of this building, is probably one of the best reminders I've ever seen of a global social problem that responds to problems far beyond architecture

  • H-J

    First I thought it was a vintage Morphosis but then I noticed the truck and the slums and realized that it's not in Cali…

  • Hassan

    “faceted, profiled aluminium planes, a subtle nod to the random agglomerations of the Dharavi slums”

    Most pathetic ever explanation for a project! Hardcore.

  • ki

    Sometimes architecture is making me sad

  • Rajeev


    Would like to see more like this in India.

    Oh!, what we get here in the name of Architecture.

  • Jacana

    It is hard to appreciate such architecture which is totally acontextual. The images seems to be an act of political overpower over the slums around and trying to create an point less iconic image.

  • Jacana

    Building is screaming with a Morphosis Hangover!!!!

  • Colonel Pancake

    Generic techno-tecture. No soul.

  • arjun

    ideally, it would have been great if the podium plaza and grass berm were accessible to everyone, but this simply isnt possible in the current sociological context in this area of mumbai, or for that matter, anywhere in india. were it a public building, the hierarchical extremes could possibly have been overlooked, but certainly not for a private project.
    that being said, it has been assumed that sooner rather than later, with increased gentrification, individual buildings would be better placed to integrate at the urban scale and this solution is meant to provide one of many possible solutions for that eventuality.
    currently, its used by the buildings occupants, during the day as well as at night where they host events and it is also meant to reduce the built mass at the street level and replace it with landscape . it also provides a visual porosity at the street level, and if one were to assume that future developments in the surrounding areas followed this principle, it would lead to a very different streetscape than what we currently experience.
    the facade has been influenced by the random stitching together of scrap corrugated metal and the reference for this is a 5 min drive from the building site.
    it would be immensely presumptuous to claim that this concept provides a solution to complex issues, because it doesnt and it cant , but it is attempting to address flaws in certain existing archetypes.

    • Trash

      Let' cut out the fancy long words, show it to some people and ask them if they think its an attractive building? If re-building an area which looks normally like a rubbish tip why on earth would anyone that lives there want it it STILL look like a rubbish tip???? Absolute trash I'm afraid. The building and the explanation.

  • yuc

    This made me think about the ideology behind the language of deconstruction (or its latest derivatives). I think its main difference from the language of modernism and classicism is that it gives the impression that it's not exclusive; that it is suitable for co-existance, like in this example the slums seem to be "understood" by this new expensive thing (or by its owners); that they are not disregarded, disrespected.

    But we know that this is not true.

  • Vma

    Firstly I can't believe that someone is naive enough to use such formal work without a valid programmtic or strategic need. Secondly how does the metal skin work in the harsh climatic conditions of Mumbai city?

  • TMS

    this project is related to slum development like a gold platter to a banana leaf. If your ideas and inspiration suck but your architecture is interesting, don't document your ideas! At face value this could be a cool morphosis project, but when you read the text it makes your brain hurt. This problem goes beyond this firm though, it plagues contemporary architecture.

  • Daniel

    Strangely, I find the building on the extreme left (of the last pic) is more contextual than this ginormous monstrosity of a building. At least there is some attempt by that building to introduce layering of spaces, with a covered (& probably naturally ventilated) walkway to mitigate the tropical heat.

    The Architect is obviously obsessed with the so called "dynamism" of a SO-dated idiology that building needs to appear "dynamic" in order to address (and in this case, certainly CONFRONT) the chaos of a nearby slum. Inspired by the hectic pace and music of slumdog millionaire, maybe ?

  • Bradly

    the contrast with the surrounding context is sad.

  • car

    "… at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), where a myriad of glass monoliths exist side by side; one indistinguishable from the other.
    The site … is but a stones throw from Bandra Kurla Complex."
    So they take the glass monoliths, hybrid them with "random agglomerations" and "scrap corrugated metal sheets" of Dharavi slums and make this techno-monster which does not fit either context!!

  • tar

    From the initial text, it appears that the only purpose of the architects was to defy what's happening in the 'subcontinent' and the surrounding (whereas they should have focused on their work). Its an act of defense and proving a point so to say. One would only wish that they learnt from the rich culture, climate and traditions, the cosmopolitan, all inclusive society of mumbai, the many positive opportunities that one of the prime locations of mumbai provides, context (n I dont mean slums by that) to set a better example. Having said that, I would still appreciate pulling that over in the 'subcontinent' where nothing else seems to be right (according to the text).

  • hugo

    Having visited and worked in derelict neighborhoods for a short while, I can assure you, there are no random agglomerations in those places. Everything has and order and a place and it grows in an almost organic and harmonic way. This is not to say that a slum is an ideal place to live, just that it has its own logic of hierarchies of spaces and functions. It is never random.


    "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talents, new creations." – Anton Ego – Ratatouille. – THINK ABOUT IT????

  • TMS

    ketan: buildings can costs tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. You have to be critical, and to be careful about what you build with that kind of money. Its more money than most of us will ever know in our lifetimes. If anything the contemporary world is not critical enough about its buildings. It is mostly fueled by rich patrons hiring rich architects. A bad building can be as bad financially as a bad movie. Even worse, as there is not as much gain from the monetary risk. It is not impossible to make experimental works, and there are plenty of people out there who succeed today, but for the most part the only thing we can use to predict the future acceptance of these buildings is the rigor and logic of their ideology.

    • arjun


      you make a very valid point although you do have to accept the fact that the success of the building at a financial level is often disconnected from its ideological antecedents. frankly no one here has even tried to analyse the building machine, they have focussed purely on its context, and to take excerpts from an overall conceptual structure and view them in an isolated manner is pretty myopic, to say the least.
      this building offers works with 16.0 m spans, which gives tenants massive flexibility, their energy consumption is low due to a the design as well as the MEP scheme, and they get very well lit offices. on a working level, even if you ignore the references and form, tenants have appreciated the spatial configuration and layouts of the building. the building makes sense once you have walked through it, and worked in it. and the client has been able to charge a premium over the surrounding properties simply because, without sacrificing massive expensive floor space, the design has managed to create an experience and working model that gives tenants more than they would get in the surrounding properties.

  • Yes this building is totally out of place, but when Zaha Hadid makes her stuff in rome, middle east , etc its perfectly alright.

    Just because its India and there are slums does not mean there needs to be no modern buildings in Mumbai. Not India.

    Also this building is really ugly.

    I am from Mumbai.

  • regarding slums – 78% of Mumbai's population is in slums.

  • cedric

    @munawwar… Modern does not always need to be aluminuim and steel, its the contextual approach that matters may it be rome or mumbai…

  • Enrique

    It looks great inside, outside hmmm banana leafs look better than that!

  • sackthi

    To many this may be an out of context project. For me it marks the beginning our new era. To convince an Indian client with such a radical idea is the biggest achievement of this project. This project is an inspiration to the masses the live behind the slums. To wake up to their dreams. I use to drive down every night just to see this project coming up. What surprises me is people are talking about the slums but not about the multi billion dollar neighbor hood just behind this project. Whish you could so one area view of this project with BKC at the back drop.
    This project represent the youth of India. A youth that has global access to wisdom and knowledge. The slum dwellers in this context are not far behind.

  • horrible haridas

    if we really have to talk about slums – i guess a shabby slum dwelling is far more aesthetically, physically and in every other sense possible, more appropriate in its presence and relation to its environment than this literal weight upon the earth of a building.

    and if architects didn’t care about critics – they also wouldn’t bother emailing dezeen with their pictures and drawings. a public response in whatever sense – from a local passerby, the inhabitants, the visitors, the neighbours, online blog viewers like us etc. is desired by every creative unit or being.

    true that a big reactive audience here concerns themselves with the aesthetic appearance, but why not? – physical beauty as well its appreciation is one of mankind’s core constituents, and is certainly no crime.

  • shahzad

    D attempt is good….can anyone let me know how an office building be raletd to a slum area….the site is located near slum area….so that means that has to be like them n moreover guys its an office building….Bravo to architect…..

  • Zdenko

    Hm, I'm browsing the site from my phone so on the first glance i saw this building for what – taken out of the context – it is – formalistic mishap. But when i scrolled back up for another look – on my small mobile screen – pictures of the building within context showed it's unintentional brilliance.

    The building itself is unNoticible, it is one big chunk among other, smaller ones.
    Building in it's formalistic rigidnes fits perfectly, and does not posses ones Surroundings.

    Architect in his atempt to create something stellar created invisible building that is truly appropriate social criticism and if it is intentional – I'm immpresed

  • Papiotis

    i agree with most of the comments but .
    those images with the existing context are really cool , i mean really interesting ,like 'district 9' the movie :P

  • Papiotis

    its also weird because everybody liked this project ( witch is in the same country by the same arhtcts because the context seems green on the pics even if scocial and economic context is exactly the same …

  • Ishan

    Fresh new idea (in the Indian context) of using materials.