“Normally architects render a service, they implement what other people want. This is not what I do. I like to develop the use of the building together with the client, in a process, so that as we go along we become more intelligent.”
Within the residential realm of Palm Avenue, Vasant Kunj, the project reflects an unconventional feel of other-worldliness. Standing disparate with its clean lines and minimalistic exteriors, the property is symbolic of the evolution that its owners and creators underwent during its three-year completion/ construction period.
Home to a family of five, across three generations, the project presented an opportunity to its residents to live in their own diverse ways yet unified in spirit. The pillars of the project are natural light, clean air, an open floor plan and luxurious interiors synonymous to the disposition of the residents.
Wrapped in meticulous timber grids, the exteriors are carefully planned to reflect the gradual aging process one sees in nature. Dipping into the same nature-centric focus, the landscape is bohemian and vernacular in character.
The ceiling upon entry is kept deliberately low, with a sudden boom of height as one walks through the doorway, escalating from 7 feet to 22 feet of height in an instant. The visible structures stress order and provide a clean space with clear narratives that are real, minimal and honest to its residents.
The house features two distinct spaces: private and public, which deem fit when overlapped. Entered through a punctured-like sort of short transition from the family space, and into the common room.
The house is programmed in a way to allow for flexible partitions and systems, which can be moulded to increase or decrease space as needed in the future.
The bare walls serve as an opportunity for the family members to start afresh and etch their experiences as they move along. With a clear concept of drawing on the natural energy and playing with backward layering, the studio had to stay away from over-styling the space. Keeping light at the crux, the studio has focused on the various aspects surrounding it, including diffusion, patterns and shadows.
The house has a pitched roof, which is where the real release of space comes into play. The apex skylight is covered during the summer months and opened to abundant natural light in the winters for the family to enjoy. the rooftop also houses a small pool.
The studio has worked consistently towards reducing wasteful energy consumption at every level, be it material, or intellectual so as to never overstate something that seems incomplete or complex. In doing so, the essential elements have become the creative process and the end product is satisfactory across all sensory levels.
Project: Palm Avenue Location: Palm Avenue, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi Client: Vikas Yadav Design firm: Architecture Discipline Principal architect: Akshat Bhatt Design team: Chandni Saxena Site area: 10500 Sq. ft. Built-up area: 6000 sq. ft. Start date: May 2016 Completion date: December 2018 Photographer: Jeetin Sharma Materials used –Façade/ Fenestration: Elongated horizontal wooden planks,Glass Consultants: Structural | Isha Consultants Pvt. Ltd. Project-Lead: VP Aggarwal-Lighting & electrical: Lirio Lopez, Project Lead: Linus Lopez
Principal Architect, Architecture Discipline
Akshat Bhatt is the Principal Architect at Architecture Discipline, a New Delhi-based multi-disciplinary design practice he founded in 2007. His work, spanning varied typologies from residential and retail interiors to large-scale public and commercial assignments and spread across the length and breadth of India, highlights the emergence of an architectural expression that is contemporary, yet rooted in a critical understanding of regionalism. The outcome of every commission at Architecture Discipline is determined by a series of design processes, from full-scale mock-ups to long-term material investigations, which strive to develop programmatic and technical flexibility. As a result, all buildings are integrated from conceptual framework to tactile experience. Over the last sixteen years, Bhatt has taught at three architecture schools in New Delhi, actively engaging with the city’s academic community. He is currently engaged in many critical commissions for large-scale public spaces and on the refurbishment of heritage buildings. We spoke to Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Principal Architect, Architecture Discipline on his practice, design principles, latest projects, innovative façade materials and technologies, and much more.