Steel gives way for design to have a “majestic, yet sleek look.”

Photo Credit: Metal Architecture; Hemant Patil, Pune, Maharashtra, India

As featured in Metal Architecture, the Sailboat Pavilion is an iconic structure at a seaplane terminal in Maharashtra, India, and features a sloped roof with curved beams that soar above ground level. The structure is wrapped with perforated louver screens, giving it the appearance of a sailboat’s full sails. At the roof’s highest point, on the coast-facing side, three columns angle down to the ground and attach to a single point, forming a triangle, which resembles a boat anchor. The dramatic architecture is the vision of Nashik, India-based Rohan Deore Architects. To achieve the soaring composition with its curvilinear form, anchor and sails, the design specified hollow metal sections in the roof and a variety of other distinct details.

Located at Gangapur Dam and completed in January 2017, the seaplane terminal is a tourist destination and growing business center. Rohan Sudhakar Deore of the architecture firm, says, “The important reference point was the idea of sailboat that stands against wind and water, which were the main elements of the site. The design took its cue from the transverse structure of a sailboat: the form, the anchor and the inflated sails. The steel structure gave the design a majestic, yet sleek look.”

Photo credit: Metal Architecture; Hemant Patil, Pune, Maharashtra, India

The contractor built the structure with mild steel, steel pipes, steel tubes, hollow steel sections and mild steel plates for built-in sections. It is constructed to withstand its corrosive, salt-spray environment. “Although it is a hollow metal structure, it can withstand against the impact of strong winds and water,” Deore says.

To complete the unique design, the architects used steel to give the appearance of a “floating roof” and “inflated sails.” The roof appears to float on two rows of steel columns. One column supports the inclined roof, which creates a floating effect. At the tops and bottoms of the columns, Rohan Deore Architects specified custom stainless steel pin joints, which continue the floating roof appearance. At the roof, the pin joints are attached to inclined trusses. The columns were produced with 12-mm-thick steel and have a 210-mm diameter.

To create the “inflated sail” look, louver screens are the skin of the structure. They protect occupants from winds off the water and rainwater. They also diffuse daylight and nighttime lighting, and allow for expansive views. To build them, Harsh Constructions installed 9,268 square feet of Pearl River, N.Y.-based Hunter Douglas Architectural’s perforated metal louvers with an Off White epoxy paint satin finish. Steel frames support the louver screens.


To further expose the design community on the sustainable and versatile uses of using metal in design and build, METALCON and Metal Architecture have teamed up to present the series, “Metal Architecture at METALCONLive!.” The series will continue on April 7 but you can catch the first episode, “Civitas and the Use of Metal in Meeting a Zero Carbon World,” ON DEMAND. This webinar qualifies for one AIA LU and its FREE! METALCON will hold its annual event in Tampa, Florida, this year October 6-8 and will feature an “Architects Pavilion.” Make plans to attend and REGISTER today.