Zakir Hussain Co-operative Housing

Year :1979-1984

Location : New Delhi


The Zakir Hussain Co-operative housing is a scheme for 210 units in a linear site in New Delhi. The programme requirement was small apartments of 50 to 100 square metres and larger units of 130 to 160 square metres. The ground-floor units were required to be of equal area while upper levels would house the larger apartments so that people could pick their choice of dwelling without any impositions. The density pattern of 130 units per hectare, in compliance with the zone’s by-laws, demanded an altogether different approach other than the low-rise developments.

The design has two eight-storeyed towers as sentinels on either ends of the site and interspersed clusters of four storeys in between them. Each tower accommodates eight variations of apartments, spanning 130 to 160 square metres. Double-height roof terraces have been scooped out to give the flat façades a purpose of volume. The low-rise, four-storeyed clusters present 16 configurations of the 50 to 100 square metres units, generating enough options for the society members to choose their home according to their needs and budgets.

Presenting a fair balance of open areas, a mix of vehicular and pedestrian spaces connects the towers and clusters. Narrow slits on the parapets intentionally break down the severity of its monotone to add pattern, privacy and ventilation.