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AKDA | Amit Khanna Design Associates
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Barrister Residence

Delhi has grown concentrically around the British-era Lutyens Zone. The principal traffic arteries are called ring roads, one within the other. Situated on one of the busier intersections on the outer ring road, this large plot afforded the potential for plentiful living space, but also the nuisance of traffic and poor outward views. Designed for a legal counselor who also required private consultation spaces, the house is designed as a jigsaw of hierarchies, with separately functional circulation and spaces for the family, attending house staff, visiting office staff and select clients. 

Unusually, but pragmatically, the most prominent corner of the house towards the intersection was made into a service core, while a large forecourt was carved from the remaining frontage to accommodate a turnaround for a car. The core permitted access to the rooftop office areas, including space for conferences, legal secretaries and a private consultation chamber looking into a terrace garden. A double height portico and entrance lobby sequester the main garden from the street, giving the house its distinctive “T” shape and creating a quiet oasis into which the principal living and family spaces open. 

The largely blank street facades are a stark contrast from the completely glazed interior elevations that afford generous views into the garden. Two of the more indulgent features of the project were a glass fronted garage for the owner’s luxury car collection in the entrance forecourt and a two-lane bowling alley in the basement.


Location
VasantVihar,
New Delhi

Client
Undisclosed

Typology
Residential

Climate
Composite

Built-Up Area
32000 Sq.Ft.

Completion
Proposal Only
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House 3

A large multi-apartment residence was being used sparingly by a family that had reduced over time. Living rooms had been converted into gyms and the 6 spare bedrooms and a huge, dark basement were used as storage space.

The challenge to transform the apartments into a single home meant completely rethinking the spatial disposition and organization. A large formal living room was created in the basement and a sunken court was added for natural light and external access. The upper floors were converted into luxurious bedrooms and a large formal dining area and living room replaced the conventional living room on the ground floor. Skylights brought in natural light and open courts were created throughout the house to void out open space for daylight.

The exterior was littered with windows, some of which were blocked to keep out the street noise. The crumbling stone facade was replaced with reflective, clean white grit that would keep the house cool and give it a clean aesthetic. With light from above and the feeling of a home, this residence was renewed for the next generation of the family.

Location
New Friends Colony,
New Delhi
Client
Undisclosed
Typology
Residential
Climate
Composite
Built-Up Area
8000 Sq.Ft.
Completion
2008
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House 7

Located in a leafy, quiet suburb of Delhi, the house was conceived for a small family. With a client brief of a modern aesthetic, the spatial planning had to strictly adhere to vaastu principles of planning. The plot had been purchased with the same thought, which unfortunately meant a large blank wall on the south side. Not only would this permit in a lot of heat, but also meant that natural light requirements would be necessitated through architectural interventions.

A large courtyard in the centre of the house brings in light to the heart of the house, permeating though all spaces including the large formal living room in the basement. The south wall was made as a double cavity wall to act as a thermal buffer. On the upper floors, the cube of the house was cut
away in the north-east corner to create a terrace, covered with a wooden pergola. A large party terrace on the second floor is created as a step-out space, while the service terraces are concealed at the rear.

Two contrasting stone colors are used on the façade along with dark polished wood of the window frames, to create a muted palette. The slender metal column at the corner further breaks down the cubic composition of the façade, while large panes of clear tempered glass dissolve the boundaries between the voluminous internal spaces and the large gardens that surround the house.

Location
Sushant Lok,
Gurgaon

Client
Undisclosed

Typology
Residential

Climate
Composite

Built-Up Area
12000 Sq.Ft.

Completion
2010
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Located on one of Delhi’s busiest main roads, the long and thin site offered little by way of views and open space. The buildable envelope allowed by municipal laws necessitated leaving a large empty space to the east side of the site, resulting in a building that was barely 28’ wide and more than 120’ long.

The bare shell of the structure was inherited, but the clients were unhappy with the inappropriate three individual apartments within the structure meant for a small, but growing family. 

After 8 months of intense design and several months of careful demolition and construction later, the house was transformed to meet the requirements of the family to function as a single unit, yet afford privacy when required.

A party wall on one side prevented openings along the length; therefor, several skylights of various dimensions and positions were introduced in the house to bring light deep into the interiors. As a result, the house is flooded with natural light. The location of the building on a busy road also meant that the building would have to protect the occupants from the noise and light pollution. This was done by restricting the number of external openings, however double-glazed units of glass were used to add to light and take advantage of views above the tree crowns on upper floors

The interiors were integrated at the planning stage itself, since construction scheduling and planning was crucial to coordinate the various local and global vendors.
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The brief for a client, also an architect was to create a weekend pavilion on a piece of land purchased primarily as an investment. A tight budget of Rs. 5 lakhs was defined for construction, with no constraint in the design process.

Undertaken as a research project to introspect contemporary architectural design for a residence, the building was conceived around first principles of climate, simplicity of materials and construction, with an innovative take on what a modern spatial configuration for a home should be.

The plan was organized around 3 basic spaces – the requirement for a large garden, a minimal amount of enclosed area to function as a weekend home, and most importantly, the space that served as the transition between the first two. The transition space was envisaged as a large, shaded extension of the living space that would make it eminently usable, when the weather was not too harsh.

The resulting parti is that of a thin, linear block on the party wall that accommodates the enclosed spaces. A projecting slab on a series of thin, almost invisible, supports defines the four living areas – completely open, a roof with no walls, walls with no roof, a roof enclosed with glass. These four spaces will allow for usability in all of Delhi’s weather moods.

The flooring is Kota, the walls are in brick, and the 2 concrete slabs define the horizontals – the lower one acting as both the foundation and the floor.
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Villa Ravine

The picturesque village of Baldeyan is near the erstwhile British summer capital of Shimla. Famous for its subtropical highland climate, the area is a popular tourist destination, providing respite from the fierce summer heat within a reasonable drive from the plains. The project was conceived as a second home for a small family based in Delhi that chose the site for its magnificent views and a seasonal stream that runs through a ravine near the property. Sited above the road, the brief was to have valley views from all the principal living spaces. This became the parti of the plan, two parallel linear volumes perpendicular to the view.

Approached from a lower parking level, the entrance is from the main deck on the south east corner of the house. The living areas are centrally positioned, ensuring large uninterrupted views and the corner are given to the bedrooms, which get expansive views on two sides. The services, including the bathrooms, kitchen and the staircase are part of the thin block at the rear. A large open deck on the upper floor is created by pulling in the fenestration line below the pitched roof. The staircase is placed within a double height space, adding to the expansive feeling of the house. 

Grey slate and military green roofs were chosen as a reference to the pre-colonial British architecture of the region. Gables toward the valley enhance the views from within, and the resulting complex interior geometry of the roof is paneled in a local deciduous wood. The result is a warm, yet modern home that allows for engagement with nature.

Location
Village Baldeyan,
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 

Client
Undisclosed

Typology
Residential

Climate
Cold & Cloudy

Built-Up Area
3000 Sq.Ft.

Completion
2014


 
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De Stilj House

The owners wanted to incorporate their large art collection in their new home along with the requirement of additional living arrangements for a family of two generations. Situated directly opposite an earlier project designed by AKDA (Transformation, 2010), they chose to frame the views to the same mango tree that shades the earlier house.

The project was designed with three distinct zones- a ground floor apartment, a basement gallery space for the daughter’s art collection and a duplex apartment on the upper floors for the owners. There is a large courtyard that can be looked into from the formal living areas and a smaller one brings light to an internal stair for the upper apartment. A stepped arrangement of verandahs on the north corner brings light and green views to the lounge areas on all floors. 

The interiors are finished in muted tones of white. The regular dark tones of wood finishes were eschewed in favour of the blonde, honey coloured quality of oak wood and a similarly light cream coloured stone has been used to create a neutral, yet domestic backdrop to the art on display. A structural wood stair, dramatically lit from below, descends to the basement from within the house. On the terrace, a deep verandah opening onto the garden makes a relaxing space for evening dining. The walls are raised to avoid the unsightly views and the only thing that can be seen is the sky. 

The house takes its name from the early 20th century art movement, which helped spawn the modern movement in architecture. The hallmark of the original De Stijl House, the Rietveld-Schröder House (Utrecht) was to make a building that seemed to be composed entirely of surfaces and volumes that were gliding past each other, dissolving the boundaries of inside and outside. A long window is designed in the vein of Mondrian’s paintings, a composition of rectangles and squares in various proportions and colours. The overall facade continues the same theme, with various elements first being designed as a composition of horizontal and vertical rectangles and then given contrasting material finishes. Brick, Grey Granite and Exposed Concrete were chosen for their longevity and colour. 

Location 
SukhdevVihar, New Delhi
Completed
2012
Area
10000 sq.ft.
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Transformation is a modern Indian home with a contemporary interior completed recently by our firm. Located in South Delhi, this house brings an elegant simplicity to the design of the façade and interiors.

The challenge of this project lay in transforming the dated house created by the previous owner into a modern residence for a growing family, while they continued to inhabit the space. A small addition was also required on the upper floor to accommodate an extra bedroom suite.

Located in an upscale neighbourhood which has gradually been overrun with apartments created by builders, this was a single storey residence. By only adding area where necessary, the living spaces on the lower floor fit into the old shell and maintain the residential scale crucial to the notion of a “house”. 

A dense mango tree at the front of the property had grown substantially over the years and its shadow was not permitting the evolution and maintenance of the ground floor garden. Rather than risk excessive pruning by the owners, the garden on the ground was sacrificed to create a large patio and the garden was shifted to the first floor terrace where it occupies the open area to the front of the property. Not only does this insulate the living areas below, it also creates a view for the upper lounge areas.

A large part of the furniture for this project was designed & manufactured by AKDA.


Location
Sukhdev Vihar, New Delhi
Client
Undisclosed
Typology
Residential
Climate
Composite
Built-Up Area
3500 Sq.Ft.
Completion
2010

© AKDA | Amit Khanna Design Associates
Photography by Amit Khanna & Akshat Jain
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House 8

The existing house had been designed to maximise cross ventilation and embodied some of our trademark restraint in the materials and exterior form. Rather than try and upstage the existing character of the house, the attempt was to seamlessly blend the large addition required by the growing family.

The brief was to add 2000 sq.ft. of living spaces, an elevator and design a general upgradation of the entire house. Instead of putting the elevator in the tall courtyard space as originally intended, it was inserted into the core of the house, necessitating structural changes, but hiding the elevator from view. The addition on the top floor was set back from the main façade with multiple benefits: the 10 foot overhang shades the glass wall from the west sun, creates a large covered deck and prevents the
house from looking top heavy.

Despite the tight construction schedule of just 5 months, the house incorporates many custom details, including a virtually frameless insulated glass wall and a hand beaten copper sheet main door.

Location
Sukhdev Vihar,
New Delhi

Client
Undisclosed

Typology
Residential

Climate
Composite

Built-Up Area
8000 Sq.Ft.

Completion
2012
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Delhi’s urban villages have evolved from being sleepy hamlets surrounded by British era planned development to becoming the city’s design and entertainment hotspots. Free from the strict municipal regulations that are enforced in the rest of the city, the increased density and cheap rents attracts young entrepreneurs to set up shop in the narrow lanes. Hauz Khaz village, located near the lake that once supplied Delhi it’s drinking water, represents the extreme end of this evolution. Divested almost completely of its original inhabitants, it is now inhabited mostly by fashion designers,
art galleries and restaurants.

The client, an accomplished yet young chef, was already running a successfully restaurant in another part of the village and was keen to set up a restaurant with a garage theme. The new site was located on the upper floor, affording great views to the outside, but was burdened with sharing the entrance with a house and a few other restaurants. Keeping with the theme, the interior was designed with raw untreated surfaces - unplastered brick walls, grey epoxy flooring and even the smooth ceiling plaster was removed to reveal the raw concrete roof. The view to the forest was opened up with an edge to edge glass wall that was recessed from the façade, creating shade for the glass and a deep verandah for outdoor sitting.

To create a distinctive character for the restaurant exterior, the entrance was enclosed with a long membrane of curved corrugated metal. This corrugation forms the backdrop to the bar counter from the interior. Recalling vintage garage doors, the main entrance door is reinforced with steel tubes and painted green and is is set in a distressed exposed brick frame that echoes the interior walls. An added attraction to the area, Garage, Inc references the old, while catering to the new.

In collaboration with ARCHIOPTERYXarchitects.
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Contact Information
Map of the business location
B 6/7, Vasant Vihar New Delhi, DL 110057 India
INDLNew Delhi110057
+91 11 4170 4150akda.in
ArchitectToday 9:30 am – 6:30 pm
Monday 9:30 am – 6:30 pmTuesday 9:30 am – 6:30 pmWednesday 9:30 am – 6:30 pmThursday 9:30 am – 6:30 pmFriday 9:30 am – 6:30 pmSaturday 9:30 am – 6:30 pmSunday Closed

AKDA integrates the disciplines of architecture, interior design, furniture, lighting and product design under a singular ethos. We love building things.


Established by Amit Khanna in 2004, the studio philosophy is to make regional specificity and sustainability intrinsic to the design process and product.Every object we produce, be it a 60,000SF office building or a 0.5SF light fixture, undergoes the same scrutiny of process and exactitude; Aprocess that is founded in suitable materiality and innovation, irrespective of appearance.


The quest for absolute quality implies we follow a unique system of design development; one in which we allow ourselves to learn and imbibe from the skills and experience  of people who actually craft the buildings and objects that we design. Their early involvement acknowledges them as equal stakeholders in the process, and allows us as a studio to better predict construction outcomes and quality control. 


At AKDA, we do not fear the abundance of information available to clients. Rather than fight for control over the process, we embrace our clients’ awareness and allow them to participate in the evolution of the design. The focus is to deliver innovation that uplifts our environment, instead of allowing our  built environment to be a mish-mash of private agendas- an outcome of vulgar misinformed aspiration.


A recent addition to the firm’s outlook has been a growing sensitivity to the local urban environment we inhabit. As our projects increase in scale and scope, their subsequent impact on the micro-context has allowed us to think of community issues, apart from our clients’ interests. Through recent projects, we have extended programmatic requirements to improve urban edges and the comfort of non-paying users on the street.


Current projects include office & industrial buildings, multi-family housing, residences, hospitality projects and boutique retail. The work of the firm is published in significant architectural and design journals both in India and abroad.


Amit Khanna graduated from the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi in 2002. He heads the design studio at AKDA, combining day-to-day involvement in design with his primary responsibilities for the strategic direction of the practice. He also teaches at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi with diverse responsibilities related to design, research and theoretical exploration. Through his initiatives in education, Amit Khanna engages in research as a tool for design innovation, both at the School and Studio. He is an acclaimed photographer and writes extensively for both online and offline media.

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