The Indian Habitat Centre : A short introduction
The India Habitat Centre, located in New Delhi, was conceived to be a catalyst relationship between individuals and institutions (e.g. NGO’s) working in habitat related areas to increase their effectiveness. Sharing a common concern for habitat, various organisations have come together to participate in institution-building, evolving a synergy within the India Habitat Centre complex. Some of the organisations involved in this endeavour include the International Labour Organization (I.L.O), the National Institute of Design, and the Council of Architecture among others. complex was designed under the supervision of architect, Joseph Allen Stein.
A brief logistic insight:
- The Indian Habitat Centre is India’s most comprehensive convention centre.
- Over 20 concurrent sessions possible.
- State of the art A.V. Equipment.
- Computer controlled conference and simultaneous interpretation system in Auditorium.
- Well equipped secretariat and documentation centre.
- Cultural and entertainment events daily for delegates.
- Covered parking for 1000 cars.
The Habitat Library and Resource Centre:
- Surf on the internet on Subjects related to habitat and all other areas.
- Explore the world of multimedia through the CD-ROMs available in the Resource Centre
- View videos on issues of interest , such as environment, Cultural diversity, people-related issues etc.
- Catch up on the latest newspapers and periodicals.
- Browse through a growing collection of reference books on a broad spectrum of subjects.
- The whole complex consists of five main building blocks with aerial walkways interconnecting the building blocks.
- These building blocks being separated manage to create interesting courtyards that are partially open to the elements.
- Though of an imposing nature, the building complex manages to blend in with its surroundings through its natural embellishments. In keeping with its habitat theme, the whole complex has been generously provided with natural greenery to provide an undiluted experience of open nature.
- The fountain just beyond the second entrance serves purpose not only by being spectacular, but also by relieving the surroundings of the heat.
- The interesting glass/steel structure near the second entrance provides natural light to the underground parking area.
- The building’s two entrances are not one and the same.
- The first entrance depicts a seemingly long deep corridor.
- The second entrance seems to hide the spacious courtyards.
- The absence of roof gutters rids the complex of clutter. Instead, separations between walls that are lined with tiles facilitates the disposal of rain water.
- The roof shading devices not only look spectacular in sky blue, but also serve to block out the Sun’s rays.
- The external facade of the Convention centre has a mundane appearance which masks the open inner space.
- The courtyards laden with various types of vegetation from tall trees to small shrubs create different spaces.
- The presence of an amphitheatre also marks an interesting feature of the complex.
- The area without the shading devices is laden with grass lawns to provide a different setting altogether.
- Every part of the building speaks different language. One can enjoy different moods at different places.
- The environment in the courtyard gives a feel of freshness, when one is having his Pepsi under the blue light.
- Allen stein planned the building in such a manner so as to have clean looks.
- The building stands out in enery efficiency.
- The intresting blue sunshade provided between the two buildings in court helps to maintain the environment and gives a cool effect.
- The trees also helps to maintain the environment and gives the natural effect. Trees are planted at very part of the court.
- Fountains makes the environment more cooler & gives a effect of lightness.
- Allen stein planned the building in such a way so that the the maximum part of the floor enjoys sunlight.
- Allen stein also planned to give sunlight in basement through very interesting ways.
- Handicap car parking is provided, plus railing is provided at very parts of the building where needed.
- Lift is provided from basement to the terrace.
- IHC serves different emotions at different places.
- Gate no.2 creates curiosity to a person when stands infront of the building.
- Gate no.3 gives surprise when it opens to a huge space.
The first thing that one notices on entering the Indian Habitat Centre (IHC) is the amazing courtyard inside the building. The tall exposed brick building masses are oriented so as to create a large open space in the centre. The spaces are so juxtaposed that one is led to explore and discover the remaining areas. The courtyard is green, with lots of trees, palms etc, creating an image of a tropical forest, with a constant flow of natural air through the spaces. Sunlight streams into the space, being broken by the large space frame structure on the roof level with blue sun shading elements. Light & shadow play on the textured surface of the building, creating beautiful patterns which change along with the time of the day.
|The External Facade|
|The main entrance to IHC|
|The Sun-shading device over the Courtyard|
|Play of light & shadow|
|Plants help in breaking down the scale|
|Skywalks connecting the building blocks|
As given in the website of IHC - http://www.indiahabitat.org/, 'The India Habitat Centre was conceived to provide a physical environment which would serve as a catalyst for synergetic relationship between individuals and institutions working in diverse habitat related areas and therefore, maximise their total effectiveness'.