Residence, New Delhi
Houses | South City Residence
Houses | Cube Dwellings
The client required a different layouts, but all of them also needed to work within the structural framework of the parking on the lowest floor, besides the need for a column-free basement area. Four large columns support the front of the building, simultaneously allowing for the complex variation of requirements. By pushing the service core (comprising the staircase, lift, kitchen and staff room) to the rear of the building, the full front width could be used for the principal spaces. This width was then divided into 3 parts – the central space became the living room, connected to the exteriors at both ends, allowing for the house to be naturally ventilated, a rarity in such a constricted urban site. Either side was given over to the main bedrooms, with a third bedroom overlooking the rear courtyard. The resultant building is almost a perfect cube, measuring 45’x45’x45’, hovering above the pilot is of the parking level.
Eschewing the tendency to industrialize, doors, windows and cupboards are handmade at the site, as are the warm wooden ceilings and the soffits of the verandahs. A local granite, sourced from Rajasthan, is used on the façade as a singular cladding material. With much of the front elevation comprising of windows, a lengthy shaded verandah was created on the entire front width. This framed plane is also where multiple aluminium screens are placed, set away from the windows by 900mm. The overall effect is of one massive granite cube, from which varying volumes have been removed. Hidden most of the year by a dense Peepal tree, the building is best seen in spring when the flower-laden and leafless branches allow one to appreciate the delicate asymmetry in the façade.
There is a need to ease the pressure to suburbanize, to create dense settlements in the heart of the city instead of senselessly expanding into the hinterland. The overall design of this building demonstrates how an extensive programmatic requirement can be used to demonstrate a new typology for the re-densification of our cities.