to propose a relevant + engaging design for the largest and oldest manufacturer of ayurvedic medicine in the world, we strove first to understand the basic tenets of the ancient indian medical science. whilst the form and orientation of the building respond to its site and context, the façade and skin take cues from the five elements that must exist in harmony within all living things: ether, air, fire, water + earth. this is achieved through two solar shading elements: fixed vertical timber fins and openable timber louvers. the play in the position and spacing of these references the varying densities that differentiate the 5 elements across 5 levels of the façade. lifting the entire building off the ground creates a void (ether) which reinforces the connection with the street, inviting public in to a visitors’ experience centre, doctor’s consultation clinic, or ayurvedic spa – all located over the ground and basement levels. a staggered atrium meanders through the plan and section to maximize visual connectivity and bring natural light into the heart of the building.