Excerpt: Villa KD45 by Studio Symbiosis in Delhi NCR is a residence designed for a family of 8. Through KD45, Studio Symbiosis wants to look at creating green urban living environments. The core idea is to create a maximum green cover on-site and utilize the views of the park to their fullest. The built mass and the landscape blend into each other such that the indoor spaces open into the greens.
[Text as submitted by architect] The design was required to be maximized in terms of green spaces and multiple views to the adjacent park. The site stands surrounded by villas on all 3 sides thereby leaving one side to open up the house to the views of the park. Three of the existing trees and two more trees in a flanking condition were to be retained any which way. Dual interaction zones- like zones of privacy for the nuclear families and the zones that enable the whole family to get together and interact in a single room was also a client requirement alongside the Home theater, bar and gym in the basement connected with a nice outdoor staircase and a patio to bring in light.
Design Solution – Urban living in the lap of nature
In urban settings, there is a disconnect with nature. Through KD45, Studio Symbiosis wants to look at creating green urban living environments and rekindle the interaction with nature in their immediate surroundings. This villa emerges from the landscape, with the core idea to create a maximum green cover on-site and utilize the views of the park to its fullest. The built mass and the landscape blend into each other such that the indoor spaces open seamlessly into the greens.
The odd shape of the plot along with the views of the neighborhood park was used as design drivers. Thematically the design looks at flowing the green of the neighborhood 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 & 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 neighborhood 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.
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 minimize 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 southwest 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 southwest-facing facade 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 help 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.