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A Home Like No Other

Goonmeet Chauhan

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This home in Greater Kailash, New Delhi, has been imbued with sumptuous green elements, environmentally-sensitive features, and wheelchair-friendly spaces by TCS Architects, making it an abode where everyone can belong.

Fashioned on the ‘Garden Apartments’ theme, this beautiful abode in Greater Kailash, New Delhi, is designed to enrich a city lifestyle and also fulfil contemporary residential needs. The visual of this edifice is unique, endowing it with an identity that cannot be compared to other residential complexes located in the neighbourhood. “Equipped with all possible modern facilities and amenities, this project is intended to reflect luxury with a green lift,” states the team from New Delhi-based TCS Architects.

Over the years, with tree cover in urban colonies decreasing, the craving for green views and a connection to nature has intensified, both for visual reasons as well as for the maintenance of sufficient biomass to produce oxygen. “Within the context of Delhi, where most stand-alone homes are now built on stilts, the ground level gets invaded by cars even within the home. As a result, the front boundary walls have been reduced to a string of gates, which further attacks the green cover within the plots,” states the team.

In line with this concern, TCS Architects, a sibling design studio of Design Forum International that focuses on independent homes, took a pledge to ensure the retention of the existing biomass on site in the form of trees or shrubs, and to further augment it with planter balconies and terrace gardens. “The project was conceived by integrating the existing trees into the spatial planning, and planned with a key intent that all spaces, including kitchen, study and bedrooms, open on to a green view. Well-proportioned, vastu-enabled and efficiently-planned spaces are appropriately linked to each other to create a convenient flow between the kitchen, dining, bedrooms and study lounge,” states the team.

The windows have been aligned in a manner that the trees around the building can be viewed from within, fulfilling the twin desires of visual relief and the need for a constant supply of fresh air. Even at the stilt level, the parking has been planned carefully to carve out a small green lawn that facilitates the recharging of the ground water table.

All balconies have been designed with potted plantation to visually connect the inside to the outside at all levels, with requisite plumbing being enabled for practical green-scaping. A forest terrace garden has been crafted at the rooftop with flowering and fruit trees. “This enables the residents to enjoy the cocoon-like green up above the city, while simultaneously enjoying the pleasure of digging the earth and relishing sweet fruits off the trees,” states the team.

Great emphasis has been laid on natural light and cross-ventilation. Green building features such as high performance double-glaze glass, and dust-proof and sound-proof windows with thermal barriers have been used. Mosquito netting has been used to allow for the opening of windows and a five-star-rated air conditioning system is in place, along with solar geysers that are used for heating. Local materials such as exposed brick and contextually-appropriate Dholpur stone have been used.

The exterior is embellished with a contemporary stone jaali array which adds an element of fragility and creates an interesting pattern of light and shade. “Another first in this building is its design for universal accessibility, with a step-free entrance to the lift that is wheelchair-friendly, and wheelchair-accessible master bathrooms with broad doorways,” the team explains.