Studio Saar’s modern industrial facility in India reimagines factory architecture

Studio Saar’s modern industrial facility in India reimagines factory architecture

The new Secure factory in Sanand by Studio Saar brings industrial architecture to the 21st century

Studio Saar has just completed a contemporary industrial facility in India’s region of Gujarat; welcome to Indian multi-national electronics manufacturer Secure Meters outpost in the city of Sanand. The architects, based between Frome, Somerset (UK) and Udaipur, Rajastan (India), have crafted a modern space that ticks the boxes for the state of the art production its function requires, while also providing a work environment that promotes wellness for its employees and sustainable architecture, through a strategic eco approach. 

Indeed the user’s experience was placed at the heart of the design process with this project by the young studio, which is headed by partners Ananya Singhal and Jonny Buckland. This means that the factory campus encompasses – beyond the main manufacturing facility, reception building and utility bay – a canteen and recreation centre for the employees to use. Spread across a lushly planted green site, the four buildings are connected by open air walkways that are sheltered by a white, geometric canopy structure. 

Secure Sanand factory by Studio Saar, as seen from above

The campus is further enhanced by a seasonal lake (which ’fluctuates between one to three acres in size to allow for rainwater harvesting,’ the architects explain) and will have an additional 2,000 trees planted on the estate in due course. The presence of greenery and water is a nod to the site’s previous life as a former lakebed, which has recently been repurposed and earmarked for industrial development. Meanwhile, solar panels take care of some 50% of the overall energy demand, and clever insulation and an integrated floor-cooling system help manage the temperature inside naturally. 

The complex’s overall aesthetic is clean and utilitarian, putting function at its core and alluding to its industrial use. Swathes of glazing brings light in, white plaster surfaces, concrete and grey natural stone complete a fairly restricted but effective and calming material palette that compliments the various uses housed within. Inside, high ceilinged, bright, open plan spaces are far removed from the conventional image of a hectic working factory, bringing the typology to the 21st century. 

’We were keen to demonstrate to our client how factories should and can be inspiring places to work and bring joy to the people that use them. By placing the canteen at the centre of the development, we have been able to provide a place for workers to relax and unwind. This project has not been without its challenges, but through close collaboration with the project team and efficient engineering we have been able to create a series of buildings that are genuinely adaptable to meet the everchanging needs of the teams to ensure its longevity for future years,’ says Singhal. §

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