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The Pinnacle of Adaptive Architecture: Caféteria Dome at HCL Technologies

Steel dome structures are typical architectural beautiful and structurally sound shapes that minimise material usage. Steel domes offer several advantages, including strength, durability, and large clear-span capabilities. Steel is known for its strength and durability, making it suitable for structures that need to withstand various environmental conditions. Compared to traditional construction methods, steel dome structures can be assembled relatively quickly, reducing construction time and costs.

Client’s demand
The senior leadership of HCL Technologies were keen to create a different architectural language and form for the cafeteria building having a span of 27 x 64 m. This was to set it apart from the office towers. In other campus projects, it had interpretations of the dome form for the cafe, and thus the design team decided to continue the theme to this campus as well. The architect played around with the material and structure to achieve a unique building.

Elevating the dining experience at HCL Technologies Ltd in Vijayawada, a monumental dome structure has been erected using a 7-layer roofing system and PTFE fabric, soaring 16 m above ground level. This massive dome boasts a commanding radius of 60 m and a structural height of 24 m, with arches reaching a total height of 30 m at the mid-height point. The project stands as an iconic marvel in modern architecture.

Material par excellence
The project’s strength and durability are owed to the high-grade structural steel, specifically Tata Structura’s YST-310 grade. Archineer Daler Singh Mathadu, CMD, Western Outdoor Structures Pvt Ltd, claims that using high-strength steel hollow sections from Tata Structura resulted in steel saving and gave exceptional finishing to the project.

The roofing system, comprising seven layers along with PTFE fabric, a key architectural element was used to cover the dome. To ensure ample natural light, a skylight DGU Glass System from Saint-Gobain graces the dome. The Tata Structura steel hollow sections used offer a seamless connection and continuity of geometry, maximizing daylight indicating easy and relaxed flow emphasising the atmosphere of the cafeteria.

Architectural brilliance
Crafted by CR Narayan Rao Consultant Pvt Ltd, the dome structure is a testament to architectural & structural brilliance. The design seamlessly integrates the massive radius and structural height, creating a spacious and aesthetically pleasing cafeteria. The intricacies of the diablow system, with 3400 joints intricately fabricated, showcase the meticulous attention to detail.

The placement of aluminium louvers and the 7-layer roof installation from 16 to 30 m elevate the dome’s architectural grandeur, offering a unique and inviting dining space. Dr CN Srinivasan, Managing Director, CR Narayan Rao Consultant Pvt Ltd strongly feels that it was a combination of conflicting requirements of structural optimisation using Tata Structura to arrive at economic design against optimising air-conditioning space requirements to minimise the running cost.

Challenging encounters
Constructed amidst scorching summer heat, reaching 41 degrees Celsius, this project faced unique challenges. The diablo system, consisting of 3,400 joints, required meticulous fabrication on the part of Western Outdoor, with each joint taking half a day. The entire structure was assembled on the ground and later raised with precision using jig fixtures under the supervision of engineers and a quality control officer, alongside the CBRE PMC team.

Navigating the site’s varied topography, cranes were strategically positioned for proper erection, ensuring the complex shape of the structure was accurately realised. The installation of the skylight DGU Glass System at a height of 30 m and the placement of aluminium louvers between the skylight and dome added additional intricacies to the project. The installation of the roofing, a 7-layer marvel, commenced at 16 m, culminating at an impressive height of 30 m.

This innovative use of Tata Structura steel hollow sections, roofing systems, PTFE fabric, and advanced glass technology has not only transformed the cafeteria into a stunning architectural masterpiece but has also ushered in a new era of possibilities in construction, boasting strength, versatility, and durability.

Fact File
Client: HCL Technologies
Architect: CR Narayan Rao Consultant
Structural Design: Dr Pradyumna
Contractor: Western Outdoor Structures
Steel Supplier: Tata Structura
Tonnage: 207 tonnes

“Building freedom given to Designers to arrive at integrated solution keeping in mind the end use and assembly of personnel working under great pressure coming to Cafeteria for a breakout.”
Dr CN Srinivasan, Managing Director, CR Narayan Rao Consultants

“The success of the project is a testament to the precision and innovation inherent in our architectural execution. From intricate planning to seamless on-site management, our ground-level team, comprising skilled engineers, workers, and our in-house experts, navigated unique challenges with meticulous care. The use of high strength Tata Structura hollow sections enabled economical & lighter sections that were easier to handle. The dedicated efforts of our entire on-site team, from engineers to workers, and our in-house specialists, despite time constraints, underscore our unwavering commitment to excellence in architectural craftsmanship.”
Daler Singh Mathadu, CMD, Western Outdoor Structures


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