Architect House + Studio

This house as a platform has been used to investigate two issues: the family as a social unit and environmental sustainability. The house is set in South Delhi, in a close packed plotted format, not too far from highly congested and polluted city arteries. Thus, the design intent was to create a veritable oasis, within its inscribed territory.

Project Name

Architect House + Studio




New Delhi,  India

Completion Year:




Built-up Area:

16,000 Sq. Ft

Site area

0.37 Acre




Consultants :

  • Structure: Optimal
  • Plumbing: Spectral
  • Electrical: Spectral
  • Landscape Design : Morphogenesis
  • Interiors: Morphogenesis

Photographers:  André J Fanthome and Edmund Sumner


This residence multitasks as a house for three generations of a family, a busy workspace (architectural studio), and on occasion a cultural hub. The house is organized in overlapping spatial categories split into three levels: the private domain of the nuclear family (bedrooms and breakfast room), the shared inter-generational spaces of the joint family such as the family room, kitchen and dining areas, and the fluid public domain of the lobby and living spaces. The public domain is activated each time the house opens its doors for Manthan (churning), a cultural event that promotes an energetic exchange of ideas between various creative disciplines.

The forecourt is landscaped to create a sense of sequential exposure and discreetly segregates the various functions through level changes. An open plan subterranean studio has a capacity to host 120 people. Its location has been chosen to minimize resource dependencies. Earth banking ensures that the space is warmer in winters and cooler in summers. One navigates the intertwined program of the house through a series of spatial episodes that are expressed via volumes. Each internal space opens up to a shaded or semi shaded space for outdoor living where orientation, vegetation and the morphology play a large role in creating a conducive micro-climate   The ceiling is dotted by circular skylights with an interior garden below, a green sanctuary within the house, an adaptation of the central green of the courtyard house. A lap pool runs the length of the terrace on the second floor.

The materiality is arranged in crisp clear planes that are articulated in local limestone, local hardwood and concrete. While the materiality of the opaque surfaces is highlighted as light picks up the various textures of these different planes, transparency is achieved by a combination of glass and water, through reflections and modulated natural light. 

Environmental design plays an integral role in achieving a network of green and open spaces. The house is imagined as a porous object whereby air movement and visual connectivity permeate into the built form. The planning, orientation, structure and materiality of the house respond to the essential passive energy efficient techniques suitable to the Delhi climate. It incorporates high thermal mass in the west, earth damping for the basement studios, landscape buffers on the south, high performance surfaces on the east and a large cavity on the barrel roof. Additionally, the lap pool helps with heat absorption on the top terraces. The courtyard concept has been radically re-interpreted and along with landscape, earth, daylight simulators and carbon-dioxide sensors, it is an entire eco-system living and growing in the heart of the house. The project is a confluence of the notions of nature, culture, family and modernity.

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