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Delhi architects design HQ for iconic bike in Chennai

Spread out over approximately 4 lakh sq ft (built-up area only), the Royal Enfield Headquarters, Chennai, will house the iconic brand’s corporate headquarters and product development facility.

Studio Lotus designed the space such that marketing, design, R&D and engineering departments would collaborate seamlessly here, along with state-of-the-art testing facilities for Royal Enfield’s global product programme.

The Delhi-based firm of architects is well-known for designing buildings in direct response to the site and locally available materials. So, the complex is liner as opposed to a high-rise, and administrative blocks are connected via courtyards.

Keeping Royal Enfield’s industrial lineage in mind, the complex has distinctive exposed steel framework and aerocon block infill. Terracotta tiles are mounted over the metal frame of the façade, punctuated by vines growing from planters embedded in the structure.

Brand iconography is visible everywhere by way of cement fibre boards in swivelling frames; these also regulate air inflow in the corridors running along the courtyards. The energy requirement of the structure has been lowered considerably thanks to skylights and clerestory glazing, as well as ventilation control through the terracotta louvers.

Workspaces are large open-concept layouts, with meeting rooms and private offices along the periphery of the floor plate. All interior partitions have either been glazed or done away with to encourage interaction among employees from different levels within the department.

A modular metal screen is designed as a key spatial device for these workspaces – to demarcate zones for different teams, house shelving units, and create ideation and workshop areas. Locally-sourced timber and metal furniture dot the space, and engaging environmental graphics have been conceptualized as overlays to the exposed interior shell.

The facility utilizes a unique hybrid construction technology consisting of a pre-engineered metal structure, form-finished concrete and vernacular materials expressed in a contemporary format to create a campus for Royal Enfield that celebrates the brand’s own legacy as well as the local context.