Dezeen Magazine

Architecture Discipline wraps New Delhi office in "protective armour"

Indian studio Architecture Discipline has renovated an office in New Dehli to create an inward-facing headquarters for Rug Republic that is wrapped in a weathering-steel shell.

Created in response to the "hostile" local environment, the three-storey building was wrapped in a banded Corten-steel shell to protect it.

"It has been designed as a protective armour offering very little views of the outside, keeping the hostile and acrid environment away," said Architecture Discipline founder Akshat Bhatt.

The design has an armour like shell by Architecture Discipline
Top: Rug Republic HQ by Architecture Discipline. Above: the exterior is wrapped in banded corten steel

The building has a rigid exterior, with its bands of Corten-steel cladding almost entirely enclosing the block.

Described by the studio as a "post-industrial aesthetic", the building's appearance was also designed to intrigue visitor's to the headquarters.

Granite, glass and steel are combined by Architecture Discipline
It has aperture-style openings in the facade

"Instead of hiding under a veil of glass and granite, the design aims to make a post-industrial statement that would intrigue the visitor," he told Dezeen.

"The building is a reflection of the current time and creates a strong impression with the onlooker."

The facade is removed of its windows by Architecture Discipline
The corner of the building is curved

In places, the cladding is broken by aperture-style openings that are covered in steel chains that serve as shade screens and prevent monkeys from entering.

On its ground level, the steel shell is interrupted by glass windows alongside the building's entrance.

Chain screens also have a weathered look by Architecture Discipline
Steel chains covers openings preventing monkeys from entering

Inside, the building was renovated to create a warehouse-like aesthetic.

"It's fascinating to take something forgotten and to give it new life; this is the century of recuperation," Bhatt said.

"There is no space, no water, and no forests anymore for the continuous production of new things. So it makes sense to take something old and make it special."

The staircase has a weathered steel finish by Architecture Discipline
A helical staircase occupies the corner of the building

Its ground floor has temporary exhibition spaces and offices, while the upper two levels contain permanent exhibitions, product display spaces and private offices.

The interior has a minimal palette, employing raw materials and a simplistic, tonal colour scheme to create a neutral backdrop for the company's rugs and furniture.

Pale firebrick covers the floors by Architecture Discipline
Large open spaces act as showrooms for products

Walls were painted black and combined with fire brick flooring and rebar cages to create an unfinished, industrial look.

A helical, weathered-steel staircase occupies the corner of the building and was designed to be a counterpoint to the building's mostly linear layout.

An elevator is covered with a rustic render
A terrace is accessible from the top-level

A small terrace at the top of the building provides a bright open air space to admire the surrounding views.

On the ground floor, several shipping containers with chipboard interiors were designed to be used for impromptu meetings and employee breaks.

The shipping container has chipboard interiors
A shipping container has a similar weathered steel finish

Architecture Discipline is an architecture studio founded by Akshat Bhatt in 2007. The studio creates work across many disciplines including retail, residential and large-scale public works.

Other New Delhi projects include a light-filled four-storey home with a windowless facade and the interior of Bodice's flagship store.

Photography is by Jeetin Sharma.

Project credits:

Architecture: Architecture Discipline
Design Team: Akshat Bhatt and Heena Bhargava

More images

Ground floor plan
Its shell protects it from monkeys
It has a chains that protect the openings
It has a weathered steel aesthetic
A staircase spirals through the building
It has corten steel balustrades
It has a raw material palette
Views from the interior to the terrace