The Glocal Story

Google defines the term ‘Glocal’ as ‘reflecting or characterized by both local and global considerations.’ In architecture, the meaning is interpreted as ‘local in global’ and ‘global in local’ context. In other words, application of local elements in global presence, or essence of global context reflected on a local platform. In the age of globalization, from organizations to individuals, one is trying to engage with their audience on a global platform. The application of the term ‘Glocal’ in architectural context lies in successful integration of contextual understanding and local wisdom with the current trend of global homogeneity in design.

Any business seeking global expansion needs to bring about dynamic transformations which must be both globally appealing and regionally accepted. Architecture is the first step in leading the way towards those aspirations. It is easily understood that stereotyping buildings loses the unique identity of the establishment. Sometimes passive strategies to create sustainable design solutions becomes an individualistic and identifiable approach to creating an architectural entity. Some professionals are working furiously to create global identities for design that gives a sense of international professionalism while designing within traditional socio-cultural boundaries.

India Glycols Headquarters designed by Morphogenesis has derived its concept from Fatehpur Sikri, built in 1569 to give a fort-like closed external façade with open transparent interior spaces. The indoor work environment is integrated with the landscape of outdoor courtyards, to be experienced as one. Indians traditionally have always embraced indoor-outdoor living, which is in direct contrast to the modern day sealed glass box office. The India Glycols office successfully straddles both extremes, being in effect, truly glocal. According to Ruchi Sawhney from Inside-Outside magazine, [the architecture] “…is a far cry from the monotony of the open plan office that has dominated corporate design for the past decade. It is akin to an oasis in a desert, a place to look forward to working in, even if you have a demanding 24/7 job.”