Common Ground Practice took inspiration from historical context for their residence design

Project: 62 Jorbagh, New Delhi

Architects: Common Ground Practice, New Delhi

The project occupies a unique site in the heart of NCR, seamlessly amidst an urban context. With a plot size of 3375sq ft, the program required a basement, a stilt floor, four three-bedroom apartments, each with a helper’s quarter and terrace.

With a deep linear site, openings have been planned on the shorter sides– the front and
the back, so as to gain visual connect with the park. At the building level, the volume has been strategically planned to open up the visual angles facing the park and setting up a series of ‘fluttering’ walls, with an orientation that is aligned to the movement of the sun. The resultant massing presents mutual shading in the building which cuts the harsh summer sun whilst allowing the winter sun to break into the building. The core massing in relation to the exterior windows and balconies is designed such that the green-scape is visually accessible from all the interior parts of the house. The interspaced voids and balconies in relation to the exterior openings provide natural light, ventilation and view of the green-scape throughout the building. The deep ‘sun-shaped’ balconies serve as nuanced vertical shading elements that block the harsh summer sun, while still permitting the winter sun in, by this means increasing the usability of the balconies throughout the year. This helps in bringing the insides out and outsides in.

Typically, in deep plots, the central part of the house lacks in getting ample light and ventilation on the lower floors. To alleviate this, a system of shafts and openings has been designed to ensure that adequate natural light and ventilation penetrates throughout the built mass. Qualitatively, equal importance has been given to designing of the helper’s quarters, a program which is usually neglected in developer housing.

The intricate details of the building take inspiration from the surrounding historical context and the application of local building crafts. The balcony form and the elaborate railing design takes inspiration from the railings of old houses in Lutyens Delhi and stone carvings of the neighbouring homes and cleave in to give way for the patterned MS railing. The pattern of the railing transforms from opaque to more open, in order to deliver a view of the surrounding vegetation. Even though the square footage that could be given to the helper’s quarter is of bare minimum standards, by providing adequate natural light, ventilation and views to the park, the small space has been made habitable. The residence plays an epitome of a perfect blend of contemporary with traditional craft derived from a heliotropic context.

Photo credit: Noughts and Crosses LLP


Principal Architect: Priyamwada Singh

Design team: Priyamwada Singh, Akshay Aman, Abhilash Agarwal, Dhruv Batra, Ashwin EI

Consultants: Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Interior, Landscape & Plumbing, HVAC, MEP (Inhouse –Uppal)

Contractors: Structural and Civil – NNC Design International

Site area: 314 sq m

Built-up area: 1,114.8 sq m

Cost of the project: INR 5.5 cr.

Year of completion: 2018