An ode to India’s modernist movement, B23 is a New Delhi residence that is designed around the ideas of climate response, ample daylight, and positive spaces. The exterior of the structure is composed of brick cavity walls cladded with a heat-reflecting, stone aggregate finish. The walls, along with carefully planned glazing and openings on the north and south sides, work to limit heat ingress. The home is tactically punctured by skylights that bring in abundant natural light into the interior spaces. The interiors are kept minimal, and feature reused wooden flooring and modular, reconfigurable furniture.
Completed in 2015
If meaningful design is about the essence of things and eventually about reduction, this bungalow is a distinctive statement on a 2000 square yard’s block. This house typically stands as a tribute to the 70s Indian modernism and is a masterpiece because of its exemplary style and beauty. It is an extremely interactive home for a close-knit joint family, one that cooks & dines together. The architecture of this house is such that the space embraces their roots and is progressive at the same time. The experience in plan and section is that of an open space, but the space has been planned in a way that it is interactive yet offers privacy.
The components at site are completely acquired from or around the area, and nothing has been pre-fabricated. All the work is presented according to the need and preference and in its very embryonic form, except for the furniture that has been exceptionally designed. Very few factory-bought components have been used in this building.
In the name of style, the basic important needs have not been compromised with. The house uses a heat reflective glass, and the stone used was primarily developed first-hand, then tried in the market and applied on site. The washed stone aggregate on the exterior walls is a thermocouple fixed to a cavity wall; this was cast in-situ and is a very effective insulator. Lots of skylights at calculated angles bring in natural light, to color the space orange in the mornings & evenings.
In the living area, the staircase terminates at the first floor to open that level completely. The study overlooks the dining area, but the masonry parapet gives privacy. At the other end, a traditional railing/balustrade under a sloping roof forces interaction. The floor and walls are white mosaic with crushed shells for a velvet sheen. The stone is cast in situ mosaic, which was prepared by using crushed Mother Of Pearl extracted from oysters collected from local vendors. The house also enthrals with its waste wood flooring that is environment-friendly and aesthetic. The furniture is made up of modular magnetic components, completely reconfigurable and flexible, which allows the possibility of change in colour configurations and arrangement. The mats are strikingly alluring, which adds a playful touch to the whole decor. It came as an inspiration from Thai floor cushions. We realised the need for flexibility and re-densification of furniture at residences. For a formal living space which needs to accommodate many more people during festive occasions, you may also choose to use your living space in different ways. So we designed this in a manner such that the aesthetic feel of the house can be unified but yet tweaked for colour distribution and arrangement. In terms of construction, every half cylinder is a module, as are the triangular extrusions that form backrests and cushions. Modules are unified on another level on perforated steel plates.
These are held down on painted timber platforms. The magnets are embedded within the platforms. These are fairly strong and don’t shift by the weight of human beings. You need a twisting motion to move the modules. The modular coffee tables are cuboids of varying heights and different finishes. They serve different functions like a wine rack, a magazine store, and a poof. These can also be reconfigured in modules, and they, too, have magnets embedded within their size to bond with the other units. The side tables have modular drawers-some act like power banks, and others can be used for storage. Everything is configured such that once attached, there is a magnetic shield so that it does not damage electronic devices or stop your mechanical watches.
The house appears transparent in look but provides volumes of privacy and levels of interactivity for the family. The curious entrance is like a ‘jharokha’, which offers privacy at the doorstep and encourages the family to leave this open for cross ventilation. At the back of the house, the kitchen opens up to the panorama of skylight. The light seeps into various places like the washrooms and living spaces, too, according to the movement of sun during daytime. The lights used inside the house go along with their own rhythm, making the ambient lights react in accordance with the natural light. It is a perfect amalgamation of an edgy architectural design along with the minutely fulfilled basic comfort.
Exquisitely catering a public garden in the front, and one private garden at the back, while restricting visual access to the public. The balcony is inhibited to one overhang that is at the back, just above the garden, to encourage residents to visit more often. The glass panels are smartly placed facing north so as to avoid direct heat gain. Also, the minimum possible heat gain is negated because of the appropriately used specified glass.
The house, from the outside, looks modern and contemporary, and from the inside, it’s as comfortable and cosy.