Stacked House in New Delhi is a compact residence designed by Studio Lotus that looks inwards to elevate the living experience

Stacked House in New Delhi is a compact residence designed by Studio Lotus

Fact File
Name of Project: Stacked House
Typology: Private Residence
Site Area: 220 sq.m / 2370 sq.ft
Built-Up Area: 10,000 sq.ft
Location: Panchsheel Enclave, New Delhi
Design Firm: Studio Lotus
Design Team Studio Lotus: Ambrish Arora, Sidhartha Talwar, Anusha Pulapaka, Harshvardhan Kumawat
Start Date: April 2016
Completion Date: August 2019
Photographer: Andre J Fanthome

Glass/ Windows: Alcoi
Sanitaryware / Fittings: Kohler
Furnishing: Shades of India
Air Conditioning: Daikin

Lighting Design: Abhishek Khandelwal
Structural: Manjunath BL
MEP: Vineet Lochan Gupta

Interiors: Antrix Construction
Civil Works: Baleshwar Mondal
Metal Works: DG Enterprises
Structural: Baleshwar Mondal

Daylight, ventilation, inter-connectedness, and privacy inform the design of this house. Situated on a small one-side-open 200 sq.m area, the house has two interconnected duplex apartments designed for a family of six. The west-facing plot is 9m x 24m deep and is enclosed by buildings on three sides with no setbacks, with the narrower 9m face opening towards an 8m wide feeder road.

Stacked House in New Delhi is a compact residence designed by Studio Lotus

The four-storey home is expressed as two staggered duplexes around a central courtyard and a small rear courtyard that is staggered in sections, allowing light and ventilation deep into the lower floors. The street-facing west façade, the offset central courtyard, and the diagonally placed third court form the three vertical spines around which all the rooms are placed. Multiple balconies and walkways connect the spaces, creating a characteristic staggering of the floor plates that articulates the internal courtyard.
Sidhartha Talwar, Principal, Studio Lotus
We took on the challenge of creating an airy, day-lit sanctuary that would remain naturally illuminated, with all rooms cross-ventilated throughout the day, despite the restrictive site conditions. There was also the desire to create a strong visual connection between the different units to facilitate a sense of connected living for the family units. This became the starting point for the design exercise that evolved into a series of vertically stacked volumes

Sidhartha Talwar, Principal, Studio Lotus

The primary central courtyard has been designed as a triple-height light coloured wall to act as a reflector for the south light into the internal spaces, and is also flanked by verandahs – an intervention that serves to activate the entire vertical volume inside with fresh air and ambient lighting. The linear stairwell connecting all floors has been placed along the southern façade since it receives the lowest levels of illumination. A small sky-lit courtyard has been created at the south-east corner of the site.

The external glazing is in accordance with the ‘split’ within the house; the north-western facade has a glazed surface, while the south-western face features exposed brickwork.
Ambrish Arora, Principal, Lotus Studio
Subverting the archetype of poorly-lit row-houses characteristic of dense neighbourhoods, the design of Stacked House proposes an alternative morphology for residential developments in Indian cities – one that borrows from traditional building patterns as much as it does from modern technological innovations

Ambrish Arora, Principal, Lotus Studio

To maximise the heights within this tight space, the structural engineer came up with an innovative hybrid structural system, comprising a modular metal grid of beams and columns with concrete slabs poured within the frame, accommodating the beams within the slab. This maximises heights and creates seamless sightlines with no visual obstruction and exposes the structural system – making this small home a frugal yet finely crafted expression of its materials.

An earthy material palette of white plastered walls, exposed metal work and white terrazzo flooring, facilitate the overarching intent of crafting light and roomy volumes.