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This house is located in Darjeepara, a traditional neighbourhood of Kolkata. Dating to almost 300 years, this house is characteristic of the city’s residential typology. The owner is a retired public servant who lives with his son. The family has been long term residents and as such has an intimate wider social network in the neighbourhood. Financial hardship prompted the owner to think about his home as an asset – yet he was unwilling to move/demolish the existing building. Our intervention thus retrofitted the home to create three self-contained apartment units, two of which were sold off for financial security. Most of the original structure was retained, vertical access and services were strategically added. Materials were recycled/ repurposed, and the apartments retained the feel and flavour of the old spaces - high ceilings, larger space, good natural ventilation, connection to the street, etc. Furthermore, we avoided creation of much demolition waste, minimised the embodied energy of the intervention, and ensured that the (re)developed building integrated seamlessly into the neighbouring context.

Location: Darjeepara, Kolkata
Client: R.K.Dutta
Year: 2009

Site Area: 200 sq.m
Award: HUDCO conservation of heritage award 2012