The design of the new Consulate in Hyderabad, India skillfully balances the functional needs of space, security, sustainability, energy efficiencies, and aesthetics creating a landmark iconic building; it serves as an expression of the local identity, reflective of the country’s rich history and culture. The building acknowledges its context, surroundings, and responds to the unique features of the site, and climate. This project employed the fundamental principles of design excellence; it is representative of the best of American Architecture and Government.
Gandhi led India to colonial independence through his simple approach to teaching and encouraging the Indian people to spin and weave their own cotton products, short-circuiting the exportation of wealth from the country. The spinning wheel of the weaver is universally recognized as a symbol of independence. This scheme borrows from this concept of intertwining disparate functional elements into a cohesive whole. The functional “strands” of the building program are brought together in a continuous element that links the high side of the site to the low side at the base of the bowl.
The Strand concept links the main entry at the high side of the site to the service entry at the low side by weaving a linear building between significant rock outcroppings. The site organization clearly separates the public and service sides via the main consular building. The northeast façade curves to create a receptive gesture to both the main views to the site and the internal consular garden. Additionally, this organization provides a protective edge from westerly monsoonal storms and focuses the view to the native boulder formations as well as the adjoining open space. This high-performance building integrates many sustainable design strategies; it is designed to meet or exceed LEED Silver Certification.