Modern Delhi has always struggled with ways to integrate the many historic villages within its metropolitan area. Municipal building rules have not applied to these “urban villages” and as a result, they have seen unregulated and dense building activity over the past years. They have developed with residential, commercial and industrial activities jostling for space and, with time, edging out the original inhabitants of these villages. Recently, the revised master plan of Delhi provided for a structured framework for incorporating some parts of these village lands into the residential sector of the city. This housing is a result of this change in policy and is situated on an arterial road in the Chandanhaula village of south Delhi.
The long linear site imposed certain restrictions on the kind of development that was possible here. It was decided that the lower 2 floors of the building were to be completely dedicated to community facilities like multipurpose entertainment areas, recreational areas, children’s play areas and lifestyle and health facilities like a gymnasium and health spa. In addition, large chunks of open areas were also left to cater to active sports. The result was a long resort-like ambience that runs along the entire length of the building so that a lack of landscaped areas is never felt in the complex.
The apartments have been designed as large luxury houses open onto the north and south sides, maximizing the panoramic views over the surrounding landscape while ensuring that harsh sunlight from the east and west does not increase energy consumption. Large cantilevered decks attached to the living rooms provide for outdoor space with each apartment. These are staggered in plan to give a sense of openness. The plans of the apartments are carefully worked out to provide a certain level of flexibility to the owners. They can be configured as open plan layouts with spaces flowing into one another or segregated into separate rooms in a more traditional manner owing to the structural system adopted for the building.Next