Dezeen Magazine

Restello by Piercy Conner Architects

A residential block clad in perforated steel shutters by UK architects Piercy Conner Architects is about to begin construction in Kolkata, India.

The shutters will fold back to reveal double-height terraces between the facade and a second glazed skin.

Called Restello, the project will provide twelve apartments.

See also:

Golf’s Tower by Hackenbrioch Architekten (October 2009)
Altis Belém Hotel by Risc (March 2010)

The information below is from Piercy Conner:

Living Steel ʻRestelloʼ goes to market

ʻRestelloʼ the radical steel apartment project designed by UK architects Piercy Conner and winner of the Living Steel International Architecture Competition in 2006, is ready to go to market in Kolkata, India. The scheme won not only because of its bold, elegant design, but also because of the strong concept of cross-ventilation and solar-shading that use steelʼs properties to make an environmentally sound, high- performance building. Built with renowned developer Bengal Shrachi, Restello will be Indiaʼs most modern steel residential project, and it looks set to sell exceptionally well.

The apartments bring a new standard in residential construction to this fast-developing area of Rajarhat, New Town, Kolkata. Aimed at the flourishing high-income group (HIG), the twelve luxurious boutique apartments combine the best in architectural thinking and practice. Restello combines elements of traditional Eastern architecture with innovative sustainable practices to create a truly modern living experience. The steel structure allows for a balance of flowing open living spaces and private rooms, while its perforated steel façade filters sunlight and provides natural ventilation.

The ʻskinʼ of the building comprises one permeable outer layer of perforated steel screens, and a second inner skin of floor to ceiling glazing. Between the two layers lies the enviable, unique feature of double storey terraces at the front of the apartments, providing a harmonious flow between the outside world and the internal home. Taking the design cue from traditional permeable architecture of Kolkata, the outer screens act to shade sun and rain, while maximising natural light and maintaining external views. The effect in the six three-bedroom and six four-bedroom duplex apartments is of dappled patterns of light and shade that create an airy effect, belying the strength of the steel.

Working closely with a team of world-class experts, the Restello project will embody the highest standards in steel design and construction. Internationally renowned engineers Price & Myers bring an exceptional level of consulting to the Restello project, ensuring Piercy Connerʼs design. The steel structure is of a high grade and manufactured to international standards with Tata Bluescope Steel and Tata Steel. Galvanised and painted steels are used for corrosion protection and to ensure a long life for the apartments.

The use of steel in Restelloʼs construction also fits well with the demands of the local climate. Dampness is a major hazard for people living in Kolkata due to the high levels of moisture content in the atmosphere. This means houses can look ugly, shabby and ill-maintained prematurely. Steelʼs resistance to dampness and soiling is advantageous as it does not shrink or swell from time or humidity, which contributes to an improved dry wall and exterior appearance, as well as improving the quality of the fit of doors and windows. In this way, by providing an aesthetically perfect exterior and interior, the steel homes at Restello save time, energy and money when it comes to maintenance. Scott Chubbs, Living Steel Programme Director said: “Demand for new housing at this luxury level in India is high, and New Town is growing very quickly. We are excited to see our competition-winning design help meet this need in such an innovative and beautiful way. Steel is a very versatile material for residential construction industry and the Restello project is a prime example of a quality home for the higher income groups in India. We have an outstanding team working on this project and it is through this collaboration with developer Bengal Shrachi, architects Piercy Conner, Tata BlueScope Steel and Tata Steel that we are able to bring this beautiful, ground- breaking building to life.”

Stuart Piercy, Director of Piercy Conner Architects commented on the importance of cultural acknowledgement throughout the design process: “India is on the verge of a building explosion but we wanted to avoid the anonymity of Dubai-style development. Instead we wanted to offer a culturally sympathetic yet environmentally intelligent building which retained an Indian identity and created a role-model for sustainable living.”

Restello is already selling off-plan, and marketing of the project locally is now underway.