Michelin Corbett Headquarters
ABRD Architects + S.P.A. Design, New Delhi
+ Stepahne Tissinier (Graphic Designer)
STRUCTURAL /MEP CONSULTANTS : Arup India Pvt. Ltd.
GREEN CONSSULTANTS : Kamal Cogent Energy Pvt. Ltd.
THE MICHELIN CORBETT PROJECT:
The values of the Michelin Group, revolving around the human project throughout its existence, as reflected in the longevity of the Michelin man, owe to be reflected in a project of this importance for the image of the Group and its future in India. In a dynamic Corbett project associating Head Quarters and Research Development and Industrialization Center for Africa, India and Middle East (AIM), the Michelin Group positions itself as a facilitator of invention toward the future of mobility in the world.
THE MICHELIN ROOF:
The image of the roof reflecting the philanthropic history of the group has been portrayed as an inverted roof, or a massive M that gives a strong message from the road and a roof over a social space. Every Michelin employee counts and is part of the Michelin adventure. It is a federating element of the design that brings people together. The idea of researching and designing together as a co-conception is central to the Michelin work ethos and shall be reflected in the design.
THE MICHELIN BRIDGE:
From the side elevation on North and South, the multishape structure becomes a large bridge that connect different entities. It appears as a high tech spaceship in the agricultural flat landscape of Haryana, having the Aravalli hills as a backdrop. The bridge, a strong image and symbol, is also a structural achievement of franchissement or outreaching that portrays the general commitment of the Michelin Group toward the future of mobility.
THE INDIAN VILLAGE:
If “the soul of India lives in its villages” as declared Mahatma Gandhi at the beginning of the XXth Century, the same is still true today where 68% of India still lives in the villages. This very fact needs to be reflected in the design as part of the Indian Identity of the proposal. The Haryana villages that surround Delhi with the background of the Aravalli Hills are to be made part of the design as a stylized collection of red ochre colored cubic blocks of different heights and growing organically as per new research needs. They reflect the Indian spirit of the project and house the workshops and laboratories that need a strong connection to the ground and the external spaces. Within the RDI complex are the village spaces where invention shall take shape in the rooms, courtyards, streets or galis, and gardens. The identity of the metaphoric village is the one of “Jugaad” that can be translated as bricolage but also as invention, a belief that invention is a diagonal thinking process that does not follow linearity. The Indian village recreates the link with the origin of the Michelin Brothers, experimenting in every direction more than 100 years ago.
THE LARGE INTERIOR URBAN SPACE:
Being far from the “city” the project aims at creating an urban oasis outside the city limits, a protective social space where people will meet, exchange, work, live in a completely unique place offering multiple possibilities and opportunities.
As the Indian city is still largely a working place where work can be seen in the streets, on pathways, in open workshops, on roof terraces and literally everywhere alongside commerce and food place, a city that has not been replaced by the gentrified identity of the western city that specializes in entertainment and commerce, the aim of the project is to re-create this ambiance combining work, discussion, food, experimentation, invention, all that in a large internal public space where one function does not exclude others, visually, physically or socially.
More than a collection of buildings housing different functions, the project aims to bring together all activities under one umbrella and turn any opportunity like the roof terrace of the labs and workshops into a large public plazza set up on different levels, accessible to all for meeting, eating, playing and working.
THE CELEBRATION OF MOBILITY:
Bringing together the high tech linearity of the Michelin HQ and RDI offices, like a science fiction spaceship with the “Indian village” into this large interior urban space requires a last ingredient: mobility. These elements are interlinked at all levels. Mobility is to be understood as visual, physical, but also intellectual, social and spiritual. The project looks at providing mobility in its different forms at all these levels. The visual mobility is ensured by complete visual connections between the front and the back of this 200 m long project, the top and bottom levels from the solar umbrella to the stone plinth. The physical mobility is enhanced by a network of paths, ramps fully equipped with signage based on mobility icon and a central core clubbing 4 high capacity transparent observation lifts that link seamlessly all floors without visual interruption. We expect the horizontal, vertical and oblique circulation to become the spine of the project that connects people together, making Michelin synonymous with Mobility.
The social mobility will happen by bringing employees together under one umbrella, reducing economic and social segregation and allowing employees to look at long term carrier objectives within the Group. But moreover spiritual mobility will be made possible by offering every custodian a pleasant working and living environment bathed in natural light and offering interesting views.