M House, Kumar Moorthy & Associates Kumar Moorthy & Associates
M House, Kumar Moorthy & Associates Kumar Moorthy & Associates

Situated on a 670 sq. m. plot in a quiet neighbourhood of Delhi, this residence attempts to offer an alternative to the builder driven trends in individual plot redevelopment- that of a high rise warren of often poorly lit & ventilated spaces in a bid to maximize returns - straining the city’s scarce resources and services as also changing the character of localities from open, low rise & verdant to overly built up and congested. This house offers a new paradigm, one which recognizes that such properties may be too large and too expensive to cater to a single family unit in the current context, but tries to preserve some of the important characteristics & pleasanter qualities of the older bungalow pattern.. Only two independent units, one for the owners and one for tenants, are enabled on the plot, both of which are spacious as befits the premium nature of the property, and use up the maximum envelope permitted by the byelaws but through many design ploys try to replicate the calm reposeful quality, the flow of spaces ,the proximity to gardens & greenery and the graciousness that characterize the now disappearing bungalow homes of the sixties & seventies.

The challenging brief is resolved through the primary organization into two vertically stacked interlocking units, each spread across 1 ½ floors, the lower unit flowing out into contiguous gardens and the upper unit opening out into a series of terraces and terrace gardens and a multitude of planters off each of their spaces, viewed from and accessible to most living spaces within the units to allow proximity to and views of greenery and access to fresh air.. The interplay of levels within each unit enhances visual connectivity & spatial continuity across floors as also creates a variety of articulated internal volumes emphasizing the public or private nature of the spaces.

A sequence of public spaces stretches across the length of each unit expanding the visual space and providing a through view right from the shaded front garden to the deep private south facing rear garden, as well as enhanced light & ventilation. Intervening rooms flank the otherwise marginal side open spaces, thus offering multiple garden views not generally afforded in city homes. The central atrium, visible from most spaces as the central design core in the lower unit, brings in verdure and a slice of sky perceptibly into the heart of the house through the glass skylight. Large internal glazings and hidden sliding fenestrations separate the rooms for a modicum of privacy & efficient temperature control without disturbing the continuum of space.

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