Humans have an innate tendency to seek connection with nature and living systems. This project is a deliberate attempt in recognition of this underlying affinity to establish a connection to greens with the means of built environment. It serves as a transitional space from noisy urban atmosphere to the much quieter home setting. The outhouse is a strong reaction to Delhi's lack of community greens meant to function as an extension of the existing family home. We envisioned a space for the family to unwind, entertain and revel in the oh-so-precious greenery.
The conception of the outhouse on the site adjacent to the existing owner's home led to some transformations- carving out new openings in the otherwise continuous wall, creation of a connecting semi covered pathway to unite the existing and new, and re-thinking the fragmented boundary walls of the adjoining plots as a cohesive piece.
The windows inside the existing home practically becomes a board framing the landscape outside to create a visual connection, 'drawing' in greenery to the living spaces which were once devoid of any. Filtered daylight and direct sunlight are used tactically to uplift human spirit and well being.
The glass enclosed space has been designed to occupy only a third of the site and located to be perpetually in shade by the surrounding walls and existing buildings. With the means of strategic location, the structure in itself stands shielded from direct sunlight to reduce energy loads. A vertical garden occupies most of the rear wall to optimize the site area and provides a large green backdrop surrounding the glass house. Strategically located on the site are bio retention planters, indigenous tropical flowering plants, water body, turf and the green wall serving multiple functions- reduce urban heat island effect, collect and absorb stormwater runoff, allow the water to seep into soils below, enhances views and biodiversity by attracting honey bees and butterflies.
The structure is refined to its essence of structural steel and glass systems, and makes way for a get together or a quiet meditative moment- whichever may be the desire of the inhabitants. To have the floor inside unencumbered from fixtures, a custom light fixture has been detailed into the steel ceiling allowing for a dimly lit, sophisticated warm interiors.
Preet Vihar, New Delhi