Infinity sign facade from dental college cafe
Ghaziabad-based Rahul Jain Design Lab has designed Cafe Infinity, ITS Dental College in Greater Noida, The design brief and aim was to design a sustainable structure that pushes boundaries of design and build, to create a recreational space for students, faculty and patients alike.
A bird’s eye view of the built form looks like an infinity sign, a lateral figure eight or a lemniscate, with the two curved planes encircling two courtyards. This design was chosen to emphasize the infinite possibilities that arise in the combination of the eight form with the versatility of shipping containers. The façade, when viewed from different sides, exhibits playfulness in terms of material, movement and geometry due to the form factor.
Recycled shipping containers were chosen due to their sustainability, modularity and economic feasibility compared to the conventional RCC structure. Form and positioning distinguish the design and break the rigidity of the site layout. The focus upon the outer structure and the containers’ industrial form is balanced by neutral interiors.
The courtyards tie the surrounding facilities: two cafe outlets, two dynamic stairways that double as seating spaces with access to viewing decks that open onto the courtyards, toilets, seating areas for faculty and visitors and a lounge area for students. The seating is focused around the courtyard and provides an ideal view point for the inner courtyards and the outer landscape, which is often utilized for sporting and other activities of the institute.
The organic landscape layout complements the rigid geometry of the containers and provides fluidity to the site circulation. Large glazing of staircases merges the rigid built form with the landscape. The landscape complements the industrial nature of the architecture, but also promotes activity and vibrancy.
The structure, services and functionality are designed with a focus on sustainability. Passive cooling and insulation is provided with the use of 50 mm Rockwool insulation, gypsum panelling, fibre cement board for rooftop flooring, tinted windows, mechanical cooling, strategic placement of windows and openings to make the building adequate in the extreme weather conditions of the site. Louvers made of reused shipping container doors located in the south direction minimize heat gain as well as afford privacy from the public hospital adjacent to it while providing the view of the stadium.