Children’s Nature Retreat, New Delhi, India

Site Plan. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.
Site Plan. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.

Project Architect:
Aditi Raychoudhury (1994-1996) for Gautam Bhatia Navin Gupta Architects (formerly The Architecture Alliance), New Delhi, India.

Client:
The Indian Council of Child Welfare.

Published:
‘10×10′, Phaidon Press, 2000, and ‘10×10_2′, Phaidon Press, 2005.

The project was to develop a retreat on the outskirts of New Delhi, India for underprivileged children. The purpose of the retreat was to encourage informal learning and recreation in a natural setting.

Overview. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.
Overview. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.

The project was envisioned primarily as a natural sanctuary where the architecture was ancillary to, and blended in with the landscape.

Overview. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.
Overview. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.

Natural clearings and gentle slopes in this densely wooded and undulating site were chosen to locate small clusters of dormitories and mini-amphitheaters that used the slopes to form a lecture-hall style informal, outdoor classroom. The orientation of these clusters was determined by the lake for views and cool local breezes.

Dormitory Cluster. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.
Dormitory Cluster. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.
Dormitory Cluster. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.
Dormitory Cluster. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.
Covered Patio of Dormitory Cluster. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.
Covered Patio of Dormitory Cluster. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.

In addition, a dining hall and the administrative building mark the entrance to the retreat and enclose a terraced plaza, that formalized the natural landscape into a series of terraces and steps to form a stimulating environment for games and learning.

Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.
Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.

A large Greek-style amphitheater was set in a natural bowl for performances.

Detail. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.
Detail. Children's Retreat, New Delhi, India. 1996.

A combination of local bricks and random rubble masonry was used as the building material.

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