India is rethinking the future of housing through new typologies. Defined by historical and cultural influences, the country's contemporary architecture centers on discussions of how best to modernize. Built over millennia, India's housing projects are made to address diverse scales, programs and functions. Exploring a revitalized urban landscape, these modern housing projects have begun to set a new tone for the future.
India's architecture has to mediate rapid urbanization with respect to its climate, culture, and tradition. Questions of cultural preservation are especially pertinent in post-independence India after the dominance of western influences. From Charles Correa’s body of work to Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh City, India holds a history of multicultural designs. As the second most populous country in the world, it is experiencing an growing housing demand. Balancing vernacular styles with advances in construction techniques, the following projects take a deeper look at what new residential design looks like in India.
This is a private home in Ahmedabad as an expression in Dhrangadhra stone. The stone has a mottled texture and bone-like coloration, available in blocks and slabs from quarries nearby.The cellular structure of the sandstone holds intermittent microscopic air gaps, acting as an insulation panel. This led to the idea of cladding the entire body of the house as a monolith.
Set against one of the silent hilltops of Trivandrum, this site was located at the highest point in a wooded surrounding. The client was somebody who loved to travel and planned frequent escapades to distant lands, all over the country. The idea of a ‘hand’ blocking harsh sunlight was re-imagined as a slanting wall along the site, a modern Shikhara.
The site is located at Pohegaon in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The client approached the team to design a shelter where one could have food and rest for a while. Evolution of this design started with understanding and evaluating various contemporary ideas for dwellings with multiple activities in the region.
The design for a small student housing project in the town of Belgaum India explores the section as a device to layer a series of semi-private living spaces vertically. What seems like a straightforward division of space in the plan is actually a complex layering of self-contained living units.
Occupying a strategic position in the heart of Bangalore city, India, the project is in close proximity with some of the best hospitality, medical and commercial facilities in the city. The clients brief saw a potential for limited ‘Sky Villas’ where the architecture would re-interpret new kinds of living.
Hive is conceived and designed as an intelligent, adaptable and sustainable family home at Surat, Gujarat. The form of the house is seeded in the profession of the client Kamalbhai Mistry — who is part of an extremely successful company engaged in making machines for the diamond industry.
A housing project for a 100 elephants and their Mahouts (caretakers), Hathigaon (or elephant village) is situated at the foothill of the Amber Palace and Fort near Jaipur. The design strategy first involved structuring the landscape that had been devastated by its use as a sand quarry by local sand suppliers, to create a series of water bodies to harvest the rain runoff.
Located in Pune, India’s 8th largest city and one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Future Towers provides 1,068 apartments for a diverse section of the rapidly expanding population, a true vertical village that will house around 5,000 people in one building.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on April 1st, 2019 and updated on May 27th, 2021.