Horizontal Farm Competition
Delhi-NCR region, like other growing Indian cities, is characterized by lot-wise development, which has led to high-rise construction that dominates the vistas just like Delhi’s many monuments. The resultant architecture though, puts little emphasis on local climate or culture. The cultivation fields on the outskirts of the city, meanwhile, have steadily given way to sprawling residential colonies and commercial complexes.
In this scenario, there is a need to create a self-supportive urban ecosystem, which can offer a viable alternative that is both economically and ecologically sustainable.
As a response, “Khetscape” increases the productive landscape by extending surface area of land for khets. This provides more substrate for cultivation and consequently more employment. Spaces under the substrate are protected from extreme heat and cold as the layer of earth provides for excellent insulation.
“Khetscape”, therefore, acts as a dual infrastructure that supports a series of programmatic layers above and below it.
The building form emerges out of varying criteria like preservation of existing trees, exposure to sunlight and consideration for local culture. A circulation network of new accesses and thoroughfares connect back to the surrounding grid. Dwelling units are planned around sun-bathed courtyards that not only support daily life of the inhabitants but also control microclimate. New market and retail spaces are tucked under the agricultural substrate along with other supplementary programs such as schools, workshops and other educational facilities. Negative areas are utilized as Recycling units that are placed away from the residences but can be accessed from the street. A network of greenhouses above housing units acts as test beds for research laboratories.
All these layers work together to reduce load from the environment and create an energy efficient ecosystem. “Khetscape” maintains qualities of urban life while contributing to the architectural diversity of the city.