Amit Gupta & Britta Knobel Gupta, Studio Symbiosis
KD 45 is a villa designed for a joint family consisting of 8 members, parents and their two sons with families. Surrounded by villas on 3 sides, the site offers views of the neighbourhood park on the shortest 4th side. Alongside there are three prominent trees on the site, one at the entrance, and two flanking the rear side of the plot. The design brief from the client was to try and retain these trees as much as possible.
Being a joint family the client wanted dual interaction in the house. Firstly, zones of privacy were required for his parents, his brother’s family and his family and secondly few spaces where all members living in the house can be together. In urban settings, there is a disconnect between the user and nature.
With this project the architect is looking at creating green urban living, to rekindle the relationship of the residents with nature in their immediate surroundings. This villa emerges from the landscape, with the central theme of creating maximum green cover on-site, utilising the views of the park facing the site. Built and landscape blend into each other, with indoor spaces opening into the green seamlessly.
DESIGN SOLUTIONS – URBAN LIVING IN THE LAP OF NATURE
The odd shape of the plot along with the views of the neighbourhood park was used as design drivers. Thematically the design looks at flowing the green of the neighbourhood park in the site, with streamlines emerging from the park facing the southern side and opening up towards the northern edge of the site. This base grid has been used to define the built-form and landscape zones such as water bodies, hardscape and soft scape.
The built form is strategically placed on one edge of the site, resulting in a generous landscaped garden on the west side of the plot which opens up to the double-height family living and dining, thereby extending as an outdoor living room. The built form emerges from the landscape and blends the ground floor to the roof of the building, creating an outdoor connective spine for the villa. This meandering stepped walkway has an outdoor space on the first floor with outdoor shaded seating and connects further to the terrace.
This outdoor terrace space created on the first floor acts as a balcony and at the same time as the direct entrance to the first-floor apartment. The landscape garden on the terrace enjoys the views of the neighbourhood park with a feeling of being nested with nature. These three outdoor spaces have different usability based on the time of day and season of the year. Existing trees on site have been retained in the design and the shading from these trees has been used to create ambient outdoor spaces, which could be used in the extreme climatic conditions of Delhi NCR.
The design intent was to create a dichotomy in the façade with the lower façade being light in nature and a heavy volume floating on top of it. The ground floor has a glass façade to connect with outdoor green spaces, and the first floor has punched windows carved out of concrete to minimise heat gain as this façade is directly exposed to the sun. A double-height living, dining and open kitchen space combines the two family floors into one zone of family living and thereby strengthening family connectivity.
Sustainable design strategies have been inculcated in the design, to create ambient indoor and outdoor spaces. The ground floor has a deep cantilever on the south-west and east-facing façade on the ground floor to cut the harsh summer sun. Water bodies are provided on the ground floor and terrace to promote evaporative cooling. The roof of the building is a landscaped terrace with earth and grass, this helps further to cut down the direct heat gain of the villa.
Given the hot climatic conditions of Delhi-NCR, this project has been designed for human comfort both indoors and outdoors. The shallow water body on the ground floor has been placed in the path of the wind direction, helping in evaporative cooling.
The main south-west facing façade on the ground is recessed to block the direct sunlight during the day, yet maintain a seamless visual connection to the outside. In the early evening, some rays of sunlight animate the interior. The upper floor of the building is made of concrete with windows recessed back to cut the south sun.
The three existing trees on site have been retained, creating zones of shadow in the landscape and also helping in reducing the sun exposure of the villa. The green cover on the terrace as well as the meandering steps, ensure a reduction of direct heat gain. Wind direction was taken into account for cross-ventilation in the house.
Amit Gupta & Britta Knobel Gupta, Studio Symbiosis
Co-founded by Britta Knobel Gupta & Amit Gupta, Studio Symbiosis is an architecture & de-sign studio based out of Stuttgart, Delhi and Mumbai involved in projects of various scales and sectors. The design philosophy of the studio is to create performance-driven architecture and designs. The Founding Partners of the studio are postgraduates from the prestigious AA school of architecture, London and have a combined professional experience of over 35 years. Post AA the founding partners worked at Zaha Hadid Architects London for a duration of around 5 years each. Studio Symbiosis has diverse experience in designing and executing projects of varying scales. Digital tools and techniques are embedded in the design philosophy to create an integrated approach from design to execution.