Natural Light, Ventilation, Interconnection And Privacy Inform The Design Of Stacked House By Studio Lotus | Delhi


Stacked House is the latest project designed by the Indian multi-disciplinary architecture firm-Studio Lotus- that brings sunlight, ventilation, privacy, and interconnectedness into the traditionally constrained building footprint. It was a challenge for Ambrish Arora, Ankur Choksi, and Sidhartha Talwar, founders and principal architects of the well-known architecture practice, to design an airy and day-lit row house on a small one-side-open plot of 200 sq.m area in the dense part of the Panchsheel Enclave, New Delhi. With their expertise, the architects had created this house as two different duplex apartments- connected by a central atrium- for an extended family of six; the client, his wife, and two children in one apartment, and his elderly parents in the second apartment. This atrium lets plenty of daylight deep into the building. The architects have shared more info about the project with SURFACES REPORTER (SR). Read on:


Also Read: Studio Lotus Incorporates Sustainable Materials To Design The Integrated Production Facility in Lucknow


The building is located on a 9m x 24m deep west-facing plot is and is surrounded by buildings on three sides with no setbacks, with the narrower 9m face opening towards an 8m wide feeder road. However,the firm took on the challenge of creating an airy, daylit sanctuary that would remain naturally illuminated, with all rooms cross-ventilated throughout the day despite the restrictive site conditions. 

Vertically Stacked Volumes

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. T

stacked-house-by-studio-lotus-surfaces-reporterhis became the starting point for the design exercise that evolved into a series of vertically stacked volumes– the four-storey home is expressed as two staggered duplexes around a central courtyard and a small rear courtyard that is staggered in section, 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 find their rightful place.

Multiple Balconies and Passageways

The west front comprises the living rooms and the master bedrooms of the two units, opening through the courtyard into the rear volume, which houses the dining and the kitchen on the lower floors and bedrooms on the upper floors respectively.

Multiple balconies and walkways connect these living spaces, creating a characteristic staggering of the floor plates that articulates the internal courtyard. 


Triple-Height, Light Coloured Wall At The Side Of The Central Courtyard

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 that are staggered around it. The courtyard is also flanked by verandahs that are outdoor extensions to life within the house and a place for different family units to be able to chat across from the space they occupy, like in an old-fashioned aangan.

stacked-house-by-studio-lotus-surfaces-reporterThe intervention serves to activate the entire vertical volume inside with fresh air and ambient lighting. To further aid ventilation and diffusion of natural light in the living spaces, the linear stairwell connecting all floors has been placed along the southern façade, owing to it receiving the lowest levels of illumination and a small sky-lit courtyard has been created at the south-east corner of the site.

Also Read: Multi-Sized Circular Openings and Concrete Balconies Accentuate The Brick Façade of This Vietnamese House | AD9 Architects


Exposed Bricks on the Façade

Views of the tree-lined street have enabled the studio to design the external glazing in accordance with the ‘split’ within the house–the north-western facade has a glazed surface, while the south-western face features exposed brickwork. 


No Visual Obstruction

To maximise the heights within this tight space, structural engineer BL Manjunath 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.

stacked-house-by-studio-lotus-surfaces-reporterThis 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.

Earthy Material Palette

The firm uses an earthy material palette that complements the airy, open spaces and enhances the overall experience of the building.

stacked-house-by-studio-lotus-surfaces-reporterThe exterior and interiors of the house are finished with exposed red brick features with wood, white plastered walls, exposed metalwork and white terrazzo flooring. The modern furnishings have been used in the house with pendant lightings giving a magnificent effect to the internal void. All in all, the material palette actually facilitates the key intent of crafting light and roomy volumes.


The unique design of the Stacked House overthrows the architectural model of poorly-lit row-houses, which is a typical feature of such densely populated areas. The house incorporates the traditional building patterns combined with the latest technological innovation and a new approach to become an exemplar of its type.

Project details

Project Name: Stacked House
Typology: Residential (Private Home)
Location: Panchsheel Enclave, New Delhi
Design Firm: Studio Lotus
Design Team Studio Lotus: Ambrish Arora, Sidhartha Talwar, Anusha Pulapaka, Harshvardhan Kumawat
Name of Client: Mr. Darpan Wadhwa
Site Area: 220 sq. m / 2370 sq. ft
Built-Up Area: 10,000 sq. ft
Start Date: 26th April, 2016
Completion Date: August, 2019
Cost: Approx 5.2 Cr
Photographer: Andre J Fanthome

Products / Vendors

Glass/ Windows: Alcoi
Sanitaryware / Fittings: Kohler                        


Lighting Design Consultant: Abhishek Khandelwal
Landscape Consultant:
Structural Consultant:  Manjunath BL
MEP Consultant: Vineet Lochan Gupta
Interior Contractor: Antrix Construction Pvt. Ltd.  – Interior finishing
Civil works: Baleshwar Mondal
MetHeading 3al works: DG Enterprises 
Interiors: Antrix Construction              
Structural: Baleshwar Mondal              

*Text and Images shared by the architects

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