New Delhi architectural practice Vir.Mueller Architects recently completed the Singh Residence, an experimental house built primarily from brick. Located in Noida just outside New Delhi, the home serves as a prototype for stylish and comfortable multigenerational living that’s not only sensitive to Indian culture and aesthetics, but also makes use of energy-efficient passive cooling. The home was created as a model for adaptable and replicable residential development across India.
Spanning an area of over 10,000 square feet, the Singh Residence houses two brothers, their families and their parents. Per the client’s request that the project be built with local craftsmanship, the architects steered clear of commercial contractors and hired a team of 20 daily wage laborers. As a result, the multigenerational home’s construction had to follow a very simple design methodology that could be understood by the unskilled workers, without compromising the home’s appearance.
Although the residence uses a simple and limited materials palette — all materials are sourced locally — the house looks highly textural thanks to the exposed brick pattern that allows natural light and ventilation to pass through. In addition to concrete and red brick, the home features teak timber sourced from the Madhya Pradesh forests and local white dungaree marble that lines the central axis of the home leading to the main staircase. Large timber-framed windows bring in ventilation and views, as does the interior courtyard at the heart of the home.
“The interior floors are a mosaic of the Indian Dungri white marble, a cool and bright counterpart to the rich earthen hue of the bricks,” the architects say in a project statement. “The exterior of the house – a simple play on weaving the bricks as a kinetic element – offers a tough skin to the heat and dust of the site. The house is presented in as logic – embodying a truth of the context, it’s material culture; and as canvas, recording the light and circumstance of the setting.”
Images by Saurabh Suryan & Lokesh Dang