STATE TRADING CORPORATION - NEW DELHI

Year : 1976-1989

Location : New Delhi

Raj Rewal : Innovative Architecture and Tradition

The Architecture of Raj Rewal

Kenneth Frampton

 

Long spans between the towers and a concatenation of cantilevered floors, stepping back on one face and forward on the other, would impart to the structure a heavy engineering character as had already been broached in the Delhi Television Centre tower and in the 29-storey State Trading Corporation (STC) Complex that had been completed in New Delhi two years earlier. While the main expression in the Engineers India House had  been the cantilevering overhangs, in the STC Complex the emphasis shifted to long span, vierendeel trusses running between the towers at every other floor.

In the STC Complex, which surely remains the most striking office building of Rewal’s career, twelve vertical towers, grouped in pairs throughout extend beyond the face of the vierendeel beams that span them. The complex, in fact, consists of two separate banks of offices rising to different heights, 29 floors in the first instance and 14 floors in the second. Even this distinction does not fully account for the complexity of the work, for, the 15-storey segment, in fact, comprises only of seven floors carried on four vierendeel trusses just as the last five floors of the 29-storey segment are cantilevered out on vierendeels running between the towers.

Once again, the concrete structure is faced in sandstone, in this instance banded in two tones — red and beige — with red string courses picking out the floors in each of the vertical towers. The sandstone facing is also applied to the interior and one of the most unusual aspects of the work is the way in which the geometrical form of the structure, with its hexagonal voids, is given a distinctly noble expression, particularly within the public foyers.

If the STC Complex may be seen as an Indian updating of Louis Sullivan’s 1896 essay, ‘The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered’ then Rewal’s SCOPE Office Complex, completed in New Delhi in 1980, may be regarded as its ‘horizontal’ equivalent, just as Wright’s Larking Building is to be seen as more horizontal than vertical in it essential spatial inflection.

Raj Rewal : Innovative Architecture and Tradition

Regional Values and Connecting Spaces

Dr. Suha Ozkan

 

In the State Trading Corporation Complex (1976-89), Rewal modestly realises what others were still conceptualising in the metabolist group.

In this case, the vierendeel structures on the outer façades were utilised as sun-breakers.


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