Gurgaon, a suburb of New Delhi, is home to hundreds of multi-family apartment gated communities. A general lack of civic amenities in the area means that these communities need to be self-contained microcosms of life, providing a safe haven for the dwellers. It was within this context of near-isolation, lay our site and a brief to accommodate 40 luxury apartments in a tight site.
It was important to make the apartments responsive to the harsh North Indian climate. By orienting them in a manner that allows cross ventilation and planning only two units per floor, the apartments get windows on two sides, while living spaces get views in both directions. A naturally ventilated central service core joins the two apartments.
The façade of the building was designed to be dynamically responsive to the climate and the preference and usage patterns of the owners. A system of sliding louvered screens are fixed at the periphery of the verandahs on either face of the blocks. These can be moved to allow for increased solar penetration in the winter months, or spread out to create shading during the harsh summer.
The strategy was to create two blocks at the greatest possible distance from each other, allowing for deep views and a generous green space with opportunities to be shaded by the buildings. The height of the front block was reduced to ensure sufficient daylight hours to the lowest floor of the rear building and an extra floor was added to the rear block. A large double basement runs through the entire site, catering to the high car ownership, providing parking for three cars per apartment. By limiting surface car movement to the periphery, the central area could be used as a recreational space for the community.