HOUSE OF LIGHT
Chattapur, New Delhi
Private House + Garden
Concept Architect and Landscape Architect
Lily Jencks and Integral Design
JencksSquared was asked to create the concept design for a highly integrated house and garden for a private client in New Delhi, India.
This farmhouse in Delhi will become the centre of gravity for an internationally dispersed family. The cycling infinity form references the continuation of familial bonds across geography and across generations. Like a spiral galaxy the building and landscape together create a form with a strong center of gravity pulling the individuals back to this family home together. The dynamic form of landscape and building together, realizes a continuous flow of energy. Walking the different meditative paths through the house and garden, one does not see this as building plus landscape but experiences it together in continuously changing views.
The cyclical form of the master plan is composed of both building and landscape. The landforms balance the buildings and visa-versa. But this is not only a dichotomy ie nature (landform) vs culture (building) there is also a hybrid moment where the two meet and morph together. This is the center of gravity of the site—with water tying the cycle together, and here is also the most communal area of the house, the sitting room. With water on both sides of the sitting room, the building becomes a bridge, emphasizing the nexus where building morphs to become landscape, creating a cohesive whole.
The relationship between man and planet must be carefully considered. Our buildings and lifestyles must consume less of nature’s precious resources, while they must also increase our spiritual connection with the environment. The position of the pool in the North West, the South and West building roof overhangs and the energetic performance of the house has been carefully considered. The hot summer sun must be kept out of the house, while the low winter sun can be used for warmth. The water positioned towards the prevailing summer winds, increases the cooling effects of evapotranspiration. As well as these quantitative measures, the cultural, spiritual and locally historic connection with the sun’s cycles is referenced in the use of the sundials and Misra Jantra forms, aligning the inhabitants with the cycles of the sun and movement of the earth.
The organization of the plan is aligned with Vastu principles. The North-East/South-West orientation is emphasized with the orientation of the Vastu Parusha. The site has a four square division, with each NE/SE/SW/NW quadrant having a different energetic principle, and a different design focus. The North East site is kept open allowing energy to flow freely into the site, with the building mass positioned in the SW to keep the energy within the building. As a courtyard building the program organization within the house (orientation of kitchen, master bedroom, water bodies, building entrance etc) provides a harmony for the inhabitants that fits with the ancient Vastu arts.
The four concepts of the project: the family house with a strong gravitational pull, the balance between nature and culture in the hybrid of building and landscape, the use of the sun for energy efficiency, as well as connection to the local Jantras, and finally the use of Vastu principles are brought together to create a unique, subtle and sculptural house and garden. However, whatever we design, it will always be the continuous liveliness of the family and friends who come to the farmhouse, that will complete the space, filling the design with life, love and laughter for generations to come.
The concept of bringing together an internationally dispursed family is reflected in a number of Jalli patterns that are used as screens in the house and the entrance gate. The Jalli patterns are created using a plan of each city that family members come from, and copying and reflecting the street pattern. This intricate network is a pattern that is almost immediately recognisable, and can create a fun game as visitors move through the house, trying to recognize each city pattern.
This central nexus is the public centre of the family home. Water bodies and pools spiral out from this centre so the energy of the house is pulled towards its heart, and inviting the family communal life to exist here.
The path continues up onto the building to create a hybrid moment, where the building and landscape morph between the natural and man-made. The path starts from the entrance to the house, then along and over each mound following the five elements walk in a counter-clockwise route. The final rise brings you onto the roof of the house and over the morph moment. This is the final element where you reach the sky and where you can see a view over the entire garden.
Lily Jencks Studio: Lily Jencks, Megan Burke, Maria Buentempo, Grania Loughnan, Pati Santos, Nuria Escrivá
Collaborators: Integral Design