Home » Biophilic villa with a green rooftop minimizes solar gain


Villa KD 45 by Studio Symbiosis is a villa designed for a joint family in Ghaziabad, Delhi NCR, India. The villa creates a connection between the residents and nature, while maximizing comfort through passive sustainable design solutions.

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The plot is surrounded by villas on three sides with views of the neighborhood park on the fourth side. This feature of the site was used as a primary driving factor of the design by orienting the project to maximize views of nature. Another design consideration is the three large trees on the site, located at the entrance and rear of the plot. As per the client’s request, these three trees were retained and are used to shade outdoor seating spaces.

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The side of a building lit up that curves to form an elevated form

The building’s form consists of a three-sided building that emerges from the landscape. Through its form, the ground level connects to the green terrace above through a continuous, stepped surface. This creates a spine-like effect for the building that slopes from the ground level to the top. The spine is flanked on both sides with terraced planters that guide individuals up the chunky, light-colored steps. These steps lead to a seating area and hidden entrance for the first-floor apartment and the rooftop terrace. The terrace above overlooks the park across the street and features seating nestled into the rooftop garden.

Entry of the first floor apartment with a view of the outdoor lounge area in the background

Since the inhabitants are a joint family, the villa is split up into zones for shared and intimate spaces. The double-height living, dining and kitchen space on the ground floor create a large, volumetric public space shared by the family. Because of the villa’s location on one edge of the property, this double-height space opens up to the shared spaces on the ground floor to the large garden.

Shaded pathway under the first floor cantilver that runs along the public interior and lush garden

Moreover, the transparency and openness of the glass doors on the ground floor juxtapose with the heavy, stereotomic nature of the floors above. The mass above creates a cantilever to protect the interior spaces below from the harsh, southern sun. To further prevent heat gain on the interiors, the first floor features recessed concrete openings that limit direct solar exposure. Nevertheless, these windows let in natural light to brighten up the spaces.

Kitchen, living and dining spaces on the ground level that look out to the large garden

Mitigating Ghaziabad’s warm, subtropical climate through passive strategies is a key feature of the design. A shallow waterbody runs along the path that bisects the ground-level garden and the villa. This stream runs in the direction of prevailing winds, which assists with evaporative cooling.

Aerial view of Villa KD 45 featuring view of the terrace

To further assist with cooling, greenery is a fundamental design element. Besides the lush garden space on the ground level, greenery is incorporated on the rooftop to minimize direct solar gain and cool the spaces below. Additionally, the large trees and the building’s cantilevers create shaded spaces that reduce sun exposure. Furthermore, openings in the villa are oriented to capture cool breezes and maximize cross ventilation.

+ Studio Symbiosis

Images via Niveditaa Gupta



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