Text description by the architects*
Urban residences today are often characterized by cramped living spaces amidst urban jungles with little to no connection to the outdoors. The design of the Mehra Residence seeks to redefine this stereotype using a series of strategies to take advantage of its location. The design intent was to craft spaces that establish a strong relationship to its surrounding landscape, bringing in views, daylight, fresh air and a sense of tranquility.
Set in an upscale residential neighborhood in New Delhi, the Mehra Residence, a four storey home for a family of six, overlooks the Delhi Ridge, a reserved forest corridor which is the largest green zone in the city. This context of the Ridge manifests as a key driver behind the house’s conceptual ideation. Crafting views from the inside out, the facade overlooking the Ridge is composed of deep balconies and fenestrations to bring in natural light. Wooden louvers screen the balconies and interior spaces from the harsh Delhi heat, while facilitating ventilation and a sense of openness. The composition of deep balconies and screening elements gives the building a striking identity, setting it apart from the run – of – the – mill multi – storey urban residences.
Another factor that influenced the spatial planning is the triangular plot on which it is situated. The layout of the home rationalises the sharp angles of the site to create a free – flowing floor plan that opens out onto a front lawn on the ground floor and balconies and terraces on the upper levels. The floor plates are arra nged around a central circulation core, with the ground floor comprising a lobby, an expansive living area, a dining space and a kitchen. There are five bedrooms accommodated on the first, second and third floors, along with a spacious family lounge on the third floor. On each floor, balconies are strategically placed, ensuring expansive openings to the outdoors that act as private breakout spaces with views of the surrounding landscape. As one reaches the terrace floor, a landscaped deck creates a beautiful visual continuation with the Ridge across the road.
The home is designed to align with passive climatic strategies to maintain cool internal temperatures throughout the year. The balconies open onto the south and the southwest side of the plot, bringing in the pleasant westerly breeze. With deep horizontal slab projections and vertical louvers, the facade is designed to circumvent the heat from harsh southern sun. Apart from acting as effective shading devices, the vertical screens also give the home a sense of privacy.
The interior design uses deep, rich tones of wooden finish floor throughout the house. These are complemented by an elegant backdrop of white walls and open, full – length glass windows, with natural lighting being the main feature. The colour palette is conceptualised as earthy and subtle, leaving room for the homeowners to express themselves within the space.
The Mehra Residence reimagines how urban homes can create seamless connections between the inside and the outside. Its dynamic articulation of the facade explores how architects can play with fenestrations, cladding and openings to create exciting connections with the outdoors.