The Yellow Brick House
The site is located fortuitously near the playground of a large school. The view towards the south and west is filled with tree crowns and the building is oriented to maximize the exposure to that direction. As is typical in Delhi’s plotted development communities, the parcels of the land area are in the ratio of 2:1, and given the narrow frontage, any internal layout must contend with trying to bring natural light into as many rooms as possible. The four bedrooms are strung on the periphery of the building, organized around a central light shaft that illuminates a family dining area. The living room opens up to the front, shaded from the south sun by a deep balcony. The subterranean level opens up to a sunken courtyard, while also being illuminated by multiple skylights. At the ground level, a walkway leads to the main stair and elevator core, while a driveway on either side leads to car parking at the rear.
Every component of the building was selected with the same parameters of high performance and inherent robustness. Aluminium windows with double glazing are used all around, the terrace is insulated and landscaped, the air-conditioning uses variable refrigerant volume based on active monitoring of indoor use, and LED lighting is used throughout the building. Sensors are fitted in the washrooms and the stair, and they automatically control the lights based on movement and ambient light conditions. The apartments are secured with a keyless central security system with digital access.
The quality of buildings in the post-independent era of India has always been a source of debate, as modernist predilections of design ideals forced the abandonment of traditional craftsmanship in the pursuit of bland simplicity. This project seeks to up-end those ideals, fore-going modernity in the pursuit of sustainability.