An Astute Configuration

Ar. Amit Gupta

Ar. Amit Gupta

Aqua Villa located in the heart of Lutyens Delhi, conceived by Studio Symbiosis, has been designed as a sensitive building, sitting in harmony with its surroundings. The design is an outcome of overlap and interaction of the design parameters of movement patterns, solar studies, soft-subtle transition zones, interaction of built and landscape, and of the old and the new.

The design form emerges and flows out of the existing building. The lines of the first floor bridge connection to the existing house emanate and disperse on the site.

Aqua Villa has a swimming pool sitting amidst the design. It creates a soft transition zone between the proposed villa, the landscape and the existing house, modulating and amalgamating these varied elements into one interlocking system.

Ar. Britta Konbell Gupta

Ar. Britta Knobel Gupta

The movement patterns lead to a three point access to the proposal. The first one is through a covered walkway connecting the existing house to the new with a water wall along the transition space. The second connection is for guests coming in the evening from the side walkway, which travels along the landscape and creates a more semi private entrance to the building. The third is a service entry for the staff and nanny from the Northeast boundary of the proposal, which ensures there is no cross movement of the staff through the villa.

The façade is designed in a way that it continues from the existing building and then starts to respond to the program of the new building. A sense of elegance has been imbibed in the façade of the building with the lines moving effortlessly over the proposal. Grand glass doors have been integrated into the proposal.

The relationship of the built to landscape was very important in the design. The spaces flow out onto the landscape on the ground floor, and on the upper floors deep luxurious sit out areas overlook the pool/green.

The space allocation has been done in a way that there is gradation from public to private. The ground floor has been designed as semi private while the first floor is completely private.

In an event of a gathering, the spaces on the ground floor open up and work in coherence with each other to create one grand experiential space.

Solar studies have been an integral part of the design process to achieve ambient light and shadow condition on the sundeck and inside the villa. The pool centered in the courtyard is creating evaporative cooling in summer. Balcony cantilever depth depending on summer sun angle to shade direct sun light and to let the winter sun in during the cold winter season.

Text & Photographs courtesy: the architects 

Fact File
project name: Aqua Villa
location: New Delhi
/landscape: Studio Symbiosis
site area: 1290 sq. m (excluding existing villa)
built-up area: 680 sq. m


About the Architects
Amit Gupta and Britta Knobel Gupta are the Principal Architects and Founding Partner of Studio Symbiosis. Amit graduated from Architectural Association School of Architecture, London and worked there for a period of around five years in a number of key projects such as Civil Courts Madrid, Kartal Pendik Istanbul Master plan, Aramco Research Centre, Groningen forum. He has been honoured for creating robust and efficient forms with sustainability.
Britta Knobel did her graduation from Architectural Association School of Architecture, London and after graduation she has worked in London in number of key projects such as Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre, Broad Art Museum in Michigan, Dubai opera house, and luxury villas. She has been awarded numerous and accolades. To name a few, recently she has won the “Europe 40 under 40” for emerging design talents throughout Europe and European ‘Newcomer Award 2002’, along with several scholarships like DAAD.

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