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Need Identification
Aim and Objectives
Research Methodology
Scope and Limitations


'Building Art is a synthesis of life in materialised form. We should try to bring it under the
same hat and not in a splintered way of thinking, but all in harmony together.'
-Alvar Alto



Architecture is the art of creating coherent spaces both covered as well as open. According
to William C. Ellis1, traditionally, open spaces appear to have been carved out of solid
masses of buildings forming structures of open spaces while in modern architecture, the
buildings are placed on large open lands forming a structure of solids. The Built
Environment is defined as, ' a material, spatial and cultural product of human labour that
combines physical elements and energy in forms for living, working and playing is called
Built Environment'. There is a third kind of space which is known as the semi-covered or
semi-open space. They help in avoiding an abrupt transition from the open to the built.
According to Architect Sarabjit Singh Bahga3 'for a gradual transition from covered to open
spaces, semi-covered/semi-enclosed spaces in the form of verandahs, roof-overhangs,
canopies or pergolas may be designed to decrease the degree of abruptness of change.'

Fig 1.1: Hierarchy of Spaces

(a) open space, (b) semi-covered space and (c) built space

The Oxford Dictionary defines Dichotomy as 'a division or contrast between two things that
are represented as being opposed or entirely different'. Some examples of dichotomies that
exist in nature are Day and Night, Black and White, Human and Nature, Figure and Ground,
Yin and Yang, etc.


Fig 1.2: An example of Figure Ground Dichotomy


Similarly, open and built (in architecture) is also a dichotomy because both the kinds of
spaces are completely contrasting in nature to each other but are also complementary to
each other and cannot function properly in the absence of each other. A recent research on
the significance of Built-Open Relationship states that 'The character of open spaces, to a
large extent, is dictated by the building masses surrounding them. The character of the
building masses can get enhanced or subdued by the open spaces.' [Ar. Ashima Saxena and
Dr. Ashutosh Sharma,2013]2.
Right from the Greek Agora to the Roman Forum to the great historical places and piazzas of
the Medieval and Renaissance period, till the making of many new capitals of modern era
such Edwin Lutyens New Delhi, Pierre Charles LEnfants Washington DC or Oscar Nieymers
Brasilia it has been the relationship between the open spaces and the surrounding buildings
which have been the benchmark of architectural accomplishments. The intimacy and quality
of relationship between the covered and open spaces is the key to good architecture. Thus,
the relationship between the Open and the Built should be of utmost priority to the



For centuries, man has built his dwelling in harmony with the open space and the open
space was the focus of the entire settlement. It is kind of a given that we should apply
design strategies, principles and ideas to all kinds of spaces viz. open, semi-open and built.
But in a many cases today it is seen that a lot of effort and resources go in the designing of


the building as in the built mass and the open space is treated just as a left over towards the
end. Some of the examples where such a situation can be clearly seen are :A. DLF The Pinnacle, Gurgaon

Fig 1.3: Site Plan of DLF The Pinnacle, Gurgaon

[Source: An unpublished Case Study on DLF The Pinnacle]

The Pinnacle is a group of luxurious high-rise residential towers by DLF in Gurgaon. These
towers ensure high-end comfort for the occupants indoors but when it comes to outdoors
we have a large chunk of green open space to whose design the architect did not do
complete justice. The form, texture, function and various other design strategies that have
been applied to design the built space have not been paid much heed to in case of the open
space. And hence the open does not compliment the built. The author feels that in case of
high rise residential towers like Pinnacle, to promote the use of open spaces by the people
and to enhance the built and open relationship, the open spaces must not be restricted only
to the ground level. The open spaces must be taken to different levels in the buildings in the
form of terrace gardens, bridges, etc so that people find it easier to access these as they are
in the vicinity and also it breaks the verticality of the large standalone towers.


B. GGSIPU Main Campus, Dwarka

The main campus of GGSIPU in Dwarka ensures proper educational environment for its
students in its well equipped and designed classrooms and other indoor spaces. But when it
comes to open spaces there are lots of large green fields to which no sense of scaling
proportion has been applied. The author also feels that open to built transition is missing
grossly i.e semi open space. The semi-open spaces in between would have woven the open
space to built mass surrounding it. As a result of this the relationship between the built and
the open spaces becomes weak and the outdoor spaces tend to be used slightly less than
they could have been.

Fig 1.4: Site Plan of GGSIPU Main Campus, Dwarka

[Source: Google Earth]

In a nutshell, the void or the unbuilt in architecture is equally important as the solid or the
built. Moreover the users of the space live both indoors as well as outdoors. Therefore, it is
of utmost importance to the designer to give equal level of importance to the design of
both built and open spaces and achieve a perfect balance and harmony between the spaces
or in other words 'Optimal Space Design'4.



The extensive design of open spaces is crucial to define the relationship between the built
and the open spaces of any building complex in order to harmonise the dichotomy and

make open spaces comfortable enough for them to be appropriately utilized and to be able
to leave an indelible impact on the users minds.



The aim of this research paper is to have an in depth knowledge of this dichotomy between
the built and the open spaces.
The objectives of this research paper are as follows:

To study the importance of open spaces in the built environment and how the built
and open spaces complement each other rather than working as separate entities

To analyse the role of building bye laws in governing the design of open spaces.

To examine the different types of built and open relationships at different level of
detailing and scaling.

To study live examples of spaces where this relationship between the built and open
is splendidly and seamlessly achieved.

To derive conclusions for Optimal Space Design in the present context where both
open and built complement each other and are in perfect balance and harmony.



Studying the built-open relationship at two different levels viz.

A. MACRO or City Level
B. MICRO or Building Level

Getting a brief knowledge of the building bye-laws regarding open spaces.

Analysing the built and open relationship in two building complexes- Jawahar Kala
Kendra, Jaipur (Historical example) and India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (Contemporary

Correlating all the data from the online study, readings and conclusions from case
studies to suggest guidelines for optimal space design.




The study shall be limited to the city level and building level . The study shall only briefly
focus on the historic evaluation of open-built relationship and the building bye-laws. Not all
the bye laws regarding open spaces will be discussed as a part of this research paper. The
conclusions derived from the research may not be applicable in all kinds of settlements and
building typologies as it is only restricted to Delhi and other parts of India with a similar
climate. The research paper enumerates only the active open spaces and not the passive
open spaces. The research paper will only list down the various theories of proportioning
system and not focus on them in detail The conclusions derived after the research should
not be considered as standards. They are just suggestions for optimal space design which
can be applied by the designers as per their own discretion.


1 William C. Ellis: The Spatial Structure of streets (page 115, 117).

2 Ar. Ashima Saxena and Dr. Ashutosh Sharma, Feb 2013, Importance Of Relationship Between Built Forms
Amidst Open Spaces In Historical Areas
3 Ar. Sarabjit Singh Bahga, Mar 2014, Open Spaces: Significance in Built-Environment
4 Optimal Space Design is the design of spaces which makes optimum use of both built and open spaces and
maintains a perfect balance and harmony between them.


Places of Learning
Places of Worship


'To provide meaningful architecture is not to parody history but to articulate it.'
- Daniel Libeskind

Learnings from the architecture of the past often help us in shaping a better future.
Understanding the relationship between the open and the built in the past, how it used to
work under different parameters can help us establish a balance between the two (open
and built) in the present and also the future. This chapter will focus on studying a few
typologies of the past where open space was the core or heart of the designed space and
the open-built dichotomy was impressive.
The typologies are :


Places of Learning

Places of Worship

Most of the houses in Old Delhi or Shahjahanabad before 1857 had a peculiar courtyard
typology and were called Havelis which were filled with nobles and members of the royal
court. Haveli is the term used for a private mansion in India usually the one with historical
significance. The Havelis were usually single or double storeyed and were either painted or
stone carved. The Havelis of Shahajanabad apart from using chowks and their elements as
the perfect architectural response to the citys diverse culture and climate also used the
courtyard that would define the perfect spatial organization of those times.
The hierarchy and complexity of spaces and activities with the haveli made it behave more
like a muhalla or community living. Due to social norms of a joint family system, large
houses were built, introvert in character i.e looking inwards facing the courtyard.

Fig 2.1 Introvert Character of the Havelis


Courtyard planning also helped to keep the interior private, but the need to separate men
and women required more complicated arrangements. Where possible, women were kept
to their own inner part of the house, the zenana. This might be a rear courtyard, or an
upper floor. High walls, with pierced screens (jalis), for air and limited views, helped
maintain privacy, along with the careful use of bamboo blinds (chiks) and curtains (pardas).
The courtyard had a very important implication on the gender bias that existed in those

Fig 2.2: Ground Floor Plan (Left) and First Floor Plan (Right) of a traditional Haveli "A" in Shahajanabad.
[Source: Research Paper on Havelis of Shahjahanabad]

Fig 2.3: Transverse Section (Left) and Longitudinal Section (Right) of a traditional Haveli "A" in Shahajanabad.
[Source: Research Paper on Havelis of Shahjahanabad]

In old traditional residences, the courtyard was the focal point of the house around which
the entire built was structured. Reynolds (2002) refers to courtyards as, ' special places

that are outside yet almost inside, open to sky, usually in contact with the earth, and
surrounded by rooms'. Most, if not all, rooms of the house had a direct connection with the
courtyard. Courtyards served privacy purposes where they maximized interior relationships
and openness while keeping the outside separate. Courtyards can be square, rectangular,
round or amorphous, generated by placement of rooms or buildings around it.

Fig 2.4: Photographs showing the shaded courtyard of a traditional Haveli in Shahajanabad.
[Source: Chandni Chowk - a history of Old Delhi, Patrick Horton]

In hot arid climates such houses provide a greater measure of comfort. The courtyards
supply light and cool air to the rooms around it. Air circulation within this confined space
relies largely on the proportions of the surrounding walls and positioning of window
openings in the surrounding rooms. Breeze and shading in the courtyard help in creating
comfortable living conditions during day and sleeping conditions during night. Courtyards
have been generally referred to as a microclimate modifier in the house due to their ability
to mitigate high temperatures, channel breezes and adjust the degree of humidity. The
properties of self-shading and thermal lag is used to reduce heat gain in courtyard houses by
using the right proportions and building materials.


Fig 2.5: Thermal Working of Courtyards

[Source: Thermal working of Courtyards]

Apart from the various spatial and climatic benefits, the courtyard also plays a vital role in
the various socio-cultural and religious activities. The courtyard is the core of the house,
where different functions can take place during different parts of the day. This outdoor
room can be used as an extension of the kitchen during mornings or as an extension of the
living room during evenings to entertain guests. The court acts also as a space for
interaction for all family members. Women and those serving the household performed
everyday activities in the courtyard and the verandahs wrapping it, while on summer nights
they would pull beds into the courtyard to sleep under the cool sky. The design of the
courtyard was symbolic of the familys social status, lifestyle, wealth, art and cultural
Most Hindu courtyards are distinguished by the placement of a Tulsi (basil) plant which is
watered and worshipped. The most universal religious application of the open courtyard is
perhaps congregation for religious festivals.
The relation of open space in a residence is functional utility. The open space is accessible
through a transition of verandah around which is a semi covered space. The activities of
house spill from rooms to verandah to courtyard depending upon the climate, nature of
activity and time of the day. One can see that the open space complements to the built and
is well related with openings and transition spaces.



Design of comfortable open spaces is an integral part of the design of any place of learning
such as a school, a college, etc. Nowadays it has become such a clich to use these open
spaces only for functions such as recreation, assembling, playing, etc. But the case was not
so in the past and the open spaces were such an integral part of the place of learning that
the most important function in the place that was to learn used to happen in the open space
One such example of a place of learning is a Madrasa. Madrasa is the Arabic word for any
type of educational institution whether secular or religious. In Islamic culture, education has
always been closely connected to worship. Expressing this, from their beginnings Islamic
mosques have been used for both praying and learning.

Over time, the mosque

experienced various transformations of functions, which resulted in the establishment of a

number of related building types of social, educational and religious characters and with
narrower functional scopes. The two interrelated functions (worship and teaching) of
mosques eventually diverged. The separation resulted in a distinguished sacred mosque and
a madrasa.
The early madrasa buildings offered special open and closed teaching halls. The form and
function of the early madrasas were similar to those of the mosques. The two main
prototypes of madrasa layout shapes are the open courtyard madrasa and the closed or
domed courtyard madrasa (Fig. 2.6). The domed madrasas are usually smaller buildings
whilst those with an open courtyard are generally larger and have central Iwans1 surrounded
by arcades. The sehan(a traditional islamic courtyard) was an integral part of the Madrasa.
Sehans are open to the sky and surrounded on all sides by structures with halls and rooms,
and often a shaded semi-open arcade. 'The tutor in the madrasa sits, probably with his back
against a pillar, and expounds to a group of students sitting in a circle around him in what is
known as a halaqa.'2


Fig 2.6: Left - The open courtyard Madrasa type (al-Sultan Qalawun Madrasa in Cairo), Right - The roofed or
domed courtyard Madrasa type (al-Sultan Inal Madrasa in Cairo)
[Source: Reproduced by authors from Organization of Islamic Capitals and Cities 1990]

The exterior layouts of these Madrasas respected the shape of the site they were
constructed on. Thus, the ground floor plans of these Madrasas were mostly irregular in
shape. Most of the interior spaces were oriented towards the Qibla direction (the prayer
or Mecca direction).
The most common prototype of the early madrasas is the four-Iwan plan. An example of this
prototype can be seen in the Mustansriyya Madrasa in Baghdad. In this prototype, the four
Iwans (South-Eastern Iwan or Qibla Iwan, North-Western Iwan, South-Western Iwan, and
North-Eastern Iwan) surround the central courtyard. The other spaces were located on the
sides. In addition to each Iwan, facilities for many functions have been designed: a
residential unit for the sheikh (teacher), small units for students, small court, sabil (free
water fountain), minaret (tower), the tomb for the patron of the madrasa, corridors and
transitional spaces, sadla (secondary Iwan), ablution space, and water closets.
Therefore, just like the residences (2.1) of the past the courtyard played a vital role in the
functioning of the Madrasa also. The Madrasa typology of learning institutes is still
functional in various parts of the world like India, Pakistan, Philippines, Bangladesh, South
Africa, etc.
Here also one sees that traditional courtyard plan incorporated the function of open space
by building around it and a transition space acted as a climatic filter from outside to inside.
There is a great dependence of functional activities on the open space which acts an
extension to built space around it. In modern institutional buildings the climatic comfort is

achieved by artificial means and the activities are restricted to indoors only. Transition
spaces which were vital link of open to built is missing. This has led to isolation of open
space from built hence these become unrelated and leftover spaces. Built mass is no longer
designed around open spaces but inside a surrounding open space. Part of this is because of
mandatory setbacks which consume a great deal of open space. Need for parking and
vehicular access makes the open space fragmented.


Just like the various other typologies, the places of worship also depict a holistic design and
relationship between the open and the built space. It not only makes the spaces more
meaningful but it also enhances the overall experience of the devotee or the pilgrim. Two
important religious typologies which have open spaces as the core of the complex are a
temple and a mosque.
A temple is the focus for all aspects of everyday life in the Hindu community - religious,
cultural, educational and social. The major components of a Hindu Temple are - Mandapa,
Garbhagriha, Shikhara, temple hall, and a Pradakshana Path.
The Mandapa is a pillared outdoor hall or pavilion for public rituals in a Hindu temple. The
Garbhagriha is the innermost past of a Hindu temple in which the idol of the deity is
installed. It is also known as the sanctum sanctorum. The Shikhara literally means a
mountain peak. In a hindu temple it is the rising tower above the sanctum sanctorum. Most
large temples have a hall meant for the audience to sit. It is usually colonaded and semiopen. This is also called the nata-mandira (hall for temple-dancing) where, in days of yore,
women dancers or devadasis used to perform dance rituals. Devotees use the hall to sit,
meditate, pray, chant or watch the priests perform the rituals. The Pradakshana Path is a
circumambulatory path around the garbhagriha for the devotees to do Parikrama


Fig 2.7: Plan of Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal

[Source: The Hindu Temple by George Michell]

Fig 2.8: Plan of Kailasha Temple, Ellora, Maharashtra

[Source: Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, 1986]

The open space around the main temple complex is bustling with people during cultural and
religious events and festivals. The holy fire or the havan kund is also lit on a platform in the

open air under the sky, and oblations were offered to the fire. Out of all the components in
the temple it is only the garbhagriha that is a massive solid built mass rest all are either
open or semi-open. This created a superior spatial experience for the devotee when he
transits from one space to another and each space has a different spatial character.
'Approaching the shrine is a movement from open spaces to a confined small space; from
light to darkness, from a profusion of visual form and decoration to the visual simplicity of
the cave.'3

Fig 2.9: Plan of Kandariya Mahadeva Temple showing Spatial Organisation in a Hindu temple

Similarly in case of a mosque which is the place of worship of Islam, the open space is the
core of the complex and the entire built is structured around the courtyard called sehan.
The courtyard is used by the masses in large numbers during festivals such as Eid and
Muharram to congregate and pray.


Fig 2.9: Plan of The Great Mosque, Tunisia


'Though the mosque as such has undergone many architectural changes, the building
remains essentially an open space, generally roofed over, containing a mirb4 and
a minbar5, with a minaret sometimes attached to it.'6 Thus, even in the case of a mosque the
prime function i.e. praying was performed in the sehan so the open space rather than being
just a left over space used to be highly active.


1 Iwan is a rectangular hall or space, usually vaulted, walled on three sides, with one end entirely open.
4 Mihrab is a prayer niche in the qiblah wall (that facing Mecca) of a mosque.
5 Minbar is the pulpit from which the sermon (khubah) is delivered.


MACRO or City Level
o Plazas and Squares
o Streets
MICRO or Building Level
o Form
o Function
o Scale and Proportion
o Texture
o Various Types of Built Open Relationships in a


'A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that
language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said,
architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go.'
-Rebecca Solnit

3.1 MACRO or City Level

The void or open spaces in the city are the best representation of the city and what it is all
about. Open spaces serve as open breaks in the city that reduce densities and relieve the
compactly built up areas of the city. At a macro level they are also called the breathing
spaces or 'the lungs of the city' because within the frame of a city they provide a decent and
healthy life in the atmosphere spoiled by air-pollution from industries and houses and fulfil
the social and psychological needs of the inhabitants.

Fig 3.1: Left - Figure Ground Plan of Connaught Place, Right - Reverse Figure Ground Plan of Connaught Place

The above figure ground plans of Connaught Place show how the relationship between the
built and the open make the entire urban space wholesome and impactful.
The various open spaces commonly observed at the city level would be plazas, streets,
squares, etc.



According to JB Jackson (1985), a plaza is an urban form that draws people together for
passive enjoyment. Kevin Lynch (1984) suggested that "the plaza is intended as an activity
focus at the heart of some intensive urban area. Typically, it will be paved, enclosed by highdensity structures, and surrounded by streets, or in contact with them. It contains features
meant to attract groups of people and to facilitate meetings."1
A square can be classified as one of three things: a town square, a market square and a garden
square. Though, these may differ in usages, they all refer to a large empty square in the
middle buildings in a busy city or a town. Plaza and squares are actually one and the same
and these two words are often interchanged for another.
'Great civic compositions such as St. Mark's Square, Venice, St. Peter's Square, Rome and
the group of squares in Bath by John Wood and his son are unique in the relationship
between space and the surrounding buildings and the dome of the sky; they demand an
emotional and cerebral response and, as such, compare with any other art form.' 2 'The top
surface of an internal space is usually completed by a flat ceiling; it is the lid for the room.
The dome of the sky is the ceiling for the plaza. Zucker believes that the height of the sky
above a closed square is '... imagined as three or four times the height of the tallest building
on the square'. This lid or dome to the square of appears to sit more securely when the
roofline is more or less of equal height throughout its length.'3
Activity in a square is important for its vitality and, therefore, also for its visual attraction.
Vitruvius when writing about the design of the forum said it 'should be proportionate to the
number of inhabitants, so that it may not be too small a space to be useful, nor look like a
desert waste for lack of population.'4 Apart from the social and cultural importance, these
plazas and squares also play a very important role in maintaining the balance of built and
open in the urban landscape. In some cases it is observed that the designer plans the open
space at a broader cityscape and then plans (shapes) the built fabric around that coherently.
For example - The Plaza in front of the St. Peter's Basilica designed by Bernini during the
renaissance period is an excellent example of how the built fabric is in perfect harmony with
the open space. And this relationship between the grand plaza and the colonnaded arms
around it makes the spatial experience extremely beautiful and magnificent.

Fig 3.2: Plan of St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City


Fig 3.3: View of Rome from the Dome of St. Peter's Basilica

The image above clearly depicts how the space stands out from the rest of the city fabric
that seems to be perfectly planned around it.


The streets are long building blocks arranged in parallel rows, separated by open spaces.
They are different from roads as they are spaces to linger around and enjoy while roads are
purely a functional space for transportation. There are a variety of activities that place along
a street and people like to walk only in those streets that are comfortable; rather thermally
comfortable; apart from other aspects of safety and comfort. Streets are an important part
of open public space in the city. For many urbanites, it is the streets that represent the
outdoors (Jacobs, 1993). People depend on streets for functional, social and leisure
activities, for travel, shopping, play, meeting, and interaction with other people, and even
relaxation .
According to Camilo Sitte, "in modern urban planning, the relationship between built and
open space has been reversed. In the past, open space - streets and squares created a
closed and expressive design. Today, the building plots are arranged as regular selfcontained shapes and whatever is left becomes square or street".5
Depending upon the form of the street, the character of the street and of the activities that
take place around the street is governed to a large extent. And also the form of the built
mass along the streets also govern the kind of activities that take place on or along the
For example a wider street provides less enclosure and encourages the movement of cars
whereas a narrower street provides a more intimate character with more enclosure and
encourages more and more pedestrians to use the street. And the spacing between the built
blocks also have an impact on the enclosure of the street. Lots of gaps between built blocks
reduce street enclosure.


Fig 3.4: Top - More gaps and wider street leads to lesser enclosure, Bottom - Lesser Gaps and narrower street
leads to more enclosure

On the other hand, keeping the width of the street constant, the height of the built mass
surrounding the street also brings about a drastic change in the character of the street.

Fig 3.5: Left - Shorter Built Blocks lead to lesser enclosure, Bottom - Higher Built Block leads to more enclosure


This evidently proves that both built and open spaces function in conjunction to one
another and the relationship between them is immensely responsible for governing the
spatial experience at the MACRO level or the cityscape level.

3.2 MICRO or Building Level

3.2.1 FORM
"Architectural form is the point of contact between mass and space... Architectural forms,
textures, materials, modulation of light, and shade, colour, all combine to inject a quality or
spirit that articulates space. The quality of the architecture will be determined by the skill of
the designer in using and relating these elements, both in the interior spaces and in the
spaces around the buildings."
- Edmund N, Bacon
'In art and design, we often use the term form to denote the formal structure of a work - the
manner of arranging and coordinating the elements and parts of a composition so as to
produce a coherent image... form suggests reference to both internal structure and external
outline and the principle that gives unity to the whole.'2 If we carefully analyse this
statement we can comprehend that to create a coherent image (i.e. the building complex)
one must design the elements of the composition (i.e. the built and the open) equally well.
Basically, it is not just the form of the built mass that makes the building attractive and
innovative but the forms of both built and open that complement each other meaningfully
to create a superior spatial experience. And while designing, the forms of the open spaces
should not be neglected as they too have a vital role to play in the entire complex.
A building complex where the forms of both built and open spaces complement each other
are, The Lotus Temple in Delhi. The lotus, as seen from outside, has three sets of leaves or
petals, all of which are made out of thin concrete shells. The outermost set of nine petals,
called the 'entrance leaves', open outwards and form the nine entrances all around the
outer annular hall. The next set of nine petals, called the 'outer leaves', point inwards. The
entrance and outer leaves together cover the outer hall. The third set of nine petals, called
the 'inner leaves', appear to be partly closed. Only the tips open out, somewhat like a partly

opened bud. The nine pools around the building form the principal landscaping. At the same
time, they represent the green leaves of the lotus plant, thus completing the picture of a
lotus afloat on water. Apart from serving an obvious aesthetic function, the pools also help
ventilate the building.

Fig 3.6: View of The Lotus Temple in New Delhi


A thing is defined by its essence. In order to design it so that if it functions well a
receptacle, a chair, a house its essence must first be explored, it should serve its purpose
perfectly i.e. fulfil its function practically and be durable, inexpensive and beautiful.
- Walter Gropius
As already discussed in Chapter-2, all the spaces of the complex be it built, open or semiopen had a specific function for which they were designed due to which each space had its
own individual importance. Be it the courtyards in the havelis of Old Delhi or the sehan in
the Madrasa or the open spaces in a temple and mosque, each of these building complexes
had a clear demarcation of the function to be performed in each kind of space (built, open
or semi-open) due to which a functional balance was achieved. Moreover a space becomes
more meaningful if it has a function that is associated with it. However nowadays most of

the designs have focus on designing most of the functions in the interiors while the exteriors
are mostly used for recreation or just like a green space. So, the functions should be
assigned to both open and built spaces so as to have a perfect balance amongst these


"Beauty will result from the form and correspondence of the whole with respect to the
several parts, of the parts with regard to each other, and of these again to the whole; that
the structure may appear an entire and complete body, wherein each member agrees with
the other, and all necessary to compose what you intend to form."
- Andrea Palladio
While scale refers to the size of something compared to a reference standard or to the size
of something else, proportion refers to the proper or harmonious relation of one part to
another or to the whole.
We perceive the size of a building in comparison to the other structures near it (or human
beings near it) or we perceive the size of elements (such as doors or windows in a building)
in relation to the other parts or to the whole of a composition. There are 4 primary types of
scales that are dealt with in architecture viz-a-viz :

Human Scale - Human scale refers to the size of a form when compared with our
own human size. Human dimensions and scale have a determinative effect both in
our perception and also in our creation of buildings and spaces.

Intimate Scale - Intimate sizes are smaller than what is normal. Not Lilliputian. These
dont shock you, but they are smaller than what we expect. Not everybody would
recognize intimate as a separate category. It is more of a sub-category of humanscale. Intimate scale is sometimes used in our houses, usually in the form of nooks
and alcoves.

Monumental Scale - Monumental scale refers to the scale in which the size of the
form dominates the immediate environment. Monumental scale is impressive. Most

of our public buildings are monumental in scale. This is a statement of hierarchy. The
institutions represented by those buildings are bigger than us and we should stand in
awe of them.

Shocking Scale - Shock scale can be either smaller or larger, but it is so out of the
ordinary that it jolts us.

Fig 3.7: Top Left - Human Scale, Top Right - Intimate Scale, Bottom Left - Monumental Scale, Bottom Right Shocking Scale


Proportion is one of the main features of various masses and spaces. According to Francis
D.K. Ching the various theories of proportion commonly used in Architecture are :

Golden Section

Classical Orders

Renaissance Theories





There is a visual relationship between the parts of a building and the building as a whole. If a
space of required area is to be designed, the length, the width and the height of the space
will depend upon the functionality of the space and the nature of activities taht are to be
performed in that space. A research paper on Human response to Courtyards states that the
verticality of a form is perceived first and the lateral dimension later. Therefore, if the height
of the built form is more than the width of the defined open space, the space feels
claustrophobic, whereas if the height is the same as that of the open space, there is balance
and harmony. Also, if the height reduces to a quarter or less than a quarter of the width of
the open space, the space lacks an enclosing space and tends to become vague and loose.

Fig 3.8: Enclosing Force of a Space

According to Francis D.K. Ching, texture is defined as 'the visual and especially tactile quality
given to a surface by the size, shape, arrangement and proportions of the parts. Texture also
determines the degree to which the surfaces of a form reflect or absorb incident light'6.
There are broadly two types of textures viz-a-viz :

Tactile Texture - Tactile textures are peculiar to every material by virtue of its
manufacture or natural composition, but they may be altered to produce a variety of
expressive qualities. Any stone may be used in its natural, irregular state, or it may
be chiselled in a rough or smooth texture or highly polished to convey a range of
meanings from vigour to refinement.


Visual Texture - Visual textures are produced by the patterns given to the lighting of
the surface both through the way the materials are worked (e.g., vertical or
horizontal chiselling of stone) and through the way they are employed in building
(e.g., vertical or horizontal boarding, projection and recession of courses of brick)

Textures of not only the built mass but also the open space governs how people use that
space and it also plays a vital role in the overall spatial experience of the space.


This case depicts a simple opening as an

entrance in the space. It provides a clear
view into the space without any boundary
but at the same time does not create any
interesting play.

This case depicts an opening as an entrance

in the space with a slight level difference.
This provides almost the same amount of
view as in 1 but it also creates a clear
demarcation between the open and the built
by the level difference.

This case depicts an opening as an entrance

in the space with a large level difference.
This level difference obstructs the view of
the viewer and creates a clear demarcation
between the open and the built by the level
difference and acts as a boundary.

This case depicts an opening in the space

with a chhajja over it. The size of the
opening provides limited view into the space
and the chhajja cuts the view of the viewer
to a level below the chhajja.


This case depicts a jaali wall. The

perforations in the jaali provide some
amount of visual transparency to the viewer
but at the same time the jaali acts as a
barrier/boundary too.

This case depicts a series of arches as an

entrance into the space. This provides an
almost clear view of the space to the viewer
and at the same time creates an interesting
play in the facade visually.

This case depicts a series of arches followed

by an opening into the space. This creates a
buffer/transition space (semi-open) in
between. The viewer has very less view of
the interior space from the outside.

This case depicts a glass facade. The glass if

completely transparent, ensures complete
visual transparency into the space for the
viewer but at the same time also acts as a

This case depicts an opening as an entrance

into the space preceded by vegetation cover
and a level difference. The level difference
demarcates the built from the open and the
vegetation cover create a buffer/transition
space and obstruct the view of the viewer to
some extent.

This case depicts a passage as an entrance

into the colonnaded courtyard. The openings
(windows) on the facade provide limited
view to the viewer due to their size. This is
similar to the scenario observed in the
havelis of Shahjahanabad. This case also
depicts an introvert character of a building
i.e. looking inwards.


1 Page-14, People Places: Design Guidelines for Urban Open Space

2 Page-87, Urban Design : Street and Square
4 Page-99 & 100, Urban Design : Street and Square
4 Page-87, Urban Design : Street and Square
6 Page-32, Architecture: Form, Space & Order


Laws Regarding Open Spaces


'Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a
way around the laws.'

Building - Any structure for whatsoever purpose and whatsoever material constructed and
every part thereof whether used as human habitation or not and includes foundation,
plinth walls, floors, roofs, chimneys, and building services, fixed platforms, verandahs, balcony, or projection part of a building anything affixed thereto or any wall enclosing or intended to enclose any land or space and signs and outdoor display structures, monuments,
memorials or any contrivance of permanent nature/stability built under or over ground .
Open Space - An area, forming an integral part of the site, left open to the sky.
Permanent Open Air Space - An open air space is said to be permanent if :

it is a street or it is encroached upon by no structure of any kind

its freedom from encroachment in future by a structure of any kind is assured either
by law or by the fact that the ground below it is a street or is permanently and
irrevocably appropriated as an open space provided that in determining the open air
space required in connection with construction work on a building any space
occupied by an existing structure may, if it is ultimately to become a permanently
open air space, be treated as if it were already a permanently open space.


Every room intended for human habitation shall abut on an interior or exterior open
space or an open verandah open to such interior or exterior open space.

The open spaces to be left around the building including setbacks, covered areas
total built-up area, limitations of F.A.R shall be as per Masterplan/Zonal Plan

Every open space provided either interior or exterior shall be kept free from any
erection thereon and shall be open to the sky nothing except cornice, chhajja or


weather shade shall overhang or project over the said open space so as to reduce
the width to less than the minimum required.

All habitable rooms shall have for the admission of light and air one or more
apertures, such as windows, glazed doors and fan lights, opening directly to the
external air or into an open verandah not more than 2.4m in width. In case light and
ventilation to habitable space is through an internal courtyard, the minimum
dimensions of such courtyard, shall not be less than 3mX3m for buildings upto 10m
in height.

Good Planning practice for designs of residential areas should include :o Light and air in the building
o Protection against noise, dust and local hazards
o Open space for various family needs
o Easy circulation and access, safety from accidents
o As far as possible regular shape of plots
o A logical arrangement of residential plots by sizes and shapes

Fig 4.1: Tables Showing Fixed Setbacks Around Buildings



Building bye-laws provide set guidelines to the architects to plan their building in a set
framework and one must abide by them to ensure a habitable and safe built environment
for all. The Delhi Building Bye-Laws have set certain rules regarding the planning of open
spaces in a built complex. Their main aim of providing these open spaces is to ensure proper
light and ventilation into a habitable space and also to ensure fire safety for the building by
providing the open spaces in the form of setbacks all along the periphery of the site and all
the building blocks on site. So as far as the fire safety and ensuring ample amount of natural
light and ventilation is concerned, the architect is bound in a restricted framework in which
he must plan and design. But other than that the building bye-laws do not restrict the
architect from designating certain functions to the open spaces. The bye-laws clearly state
that as a part of the good planning practice for the residential areas open space for various
family needs should be provided. So, it's upto the discretion of the architect and the needs
of the client which decide to a large extent how the open spaces of the built complex shall
be designed. Leaving aside the residences even for other building typologies, the bye-laws
do not mention it but the architect must design the open spaces for various needs of the
people in case of other building typologies too. The open spaces in a complex should not
just be a leftover green space or a set back or a shaft to provide light and ventilation to the
interiors. They should be much more meaningful and functional. The bye-laws definitely
restrict the architect to design certain open spaces in a clinical manner but for the design of
the rest of the open spaces it is only the client and the architect that are solely responsible.


1 All the definitions are as stated by the Delhi Development Authority in Building Bye Laws Document of 198


Selection Of Case Studies
Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
India Habitat Centre, New Delhi



Two primary case studies (involving site survey and experience) of public buildings have
been undertaken by the author for analyzing the built-open dichotomy at the building level.
First, is the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi which is a convention centre and second, is
the Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur which is a multi arts centre. Both these buildings have
been chosen by the author for the case study because of the presence of open spaces which
are used by the public for a variety of activities in large numbers and also because of the
splendid open built dichotomy. Thus, a preliminary study of their outdoor spaces with
respect to climate would give interesting results and help in deriving conclusions for optimal
space design. The buildings will be analysed


The Jawahar Kala Kendra has been designed for the department of Culture, Government of
Rajasthan as a cultural centre and is dedicated in memory of the Prime Minister of India,
Jawahar Lal Nehru. It is located near the University of Jaipur on the Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg.
The centre was built in the year 1986 and the construction completed in 1991. The centre
was launched by the state government to provide space to the cultural and spiritual values
of India and display the rich craft heritage.

Fig 5.1: Satellite Image of the Jawahar Kala Kendra

[Source: Google Earth]


5.2.1 FORM
The plan of Jawahar Kala Kendra is a square, subdivided into nine smaller squares with one
of the squares displaced as to create the main entrance. This was done to replicate the
gesture which created the original city plan of Jaipur. The plan is also a direct reflection of
the Vedic Mandala of nine squares where the nine squares represent the nine celestial
planets. The central square in the nine squares acts as the centre of the building project,
surrounded by all the functions of the Kendra. So the core is actually a void space, radiating
out all the built functions through smaller courts around it. All the built functions wrap
around the core, organizing the Kendra as a self sufficient, contained unit; with the central
square scooped out to give an open core.

Fig 5.2: Plan of Jawahar Kala Kendra

[Source: Charles Correa: Architect in India, Hassan Uddin Khan, Page 143]


The central open court and the seating arrangement represent the sun. So, the central open
space has moved on from just being a utility space to being a representation of something
that is an important part of the cosmos: THE SUN.

Fig 5.3: A View of the Central Open Space

A typical repetitive staggered form has been used by architect Charles Correa in various
spaces and elements of the Jawahar Kala Kendra.

Fig 5.3: Photographs depicting the Use of Staggered Form in Jawahar Kala Kendra


The building was made to house a combination of facilities, collection of textiles, jewellery,
illustrated manuscripts and other crafts that Rajasthan excels in, a street of studios for
traditional craftsmen to work in, a library, a small performing centre for arts and an
experimental theatre. The centre is frequently occupied with artists and arts loving people.
Many exhibitions and performances by local artists are displayed at the centre. The annual
festivals of classical dance and music are held in the centre. The centre hosts many
workshops of dance and music. These functions have been aptly placed in the nine squares
of the complex depending upon the quality expressed by each planet.


Fig 5.4: Axonometric Views of the Nine Squares Depicting Functional Distribution and Celestial Qualities



The Jawahar Kala Kendra Complex is a combination of monumental scale in certain spaces
and human scale in others.

Fig 5.5: Section Through Shani Mahal, Surya Mahal and Mangal Mahal

The central Surya Mahal (the void or courtyard) which is used for performances and
otherwise for people during their leisure time is 30m by 30m in size surrounded by 8m high
walls as enclosure. The height to width ratio is roughly 1:4 which gives a feel of less
enclosure and more openness to the user. It is an example of monumental scale.

Fig 5.6: Section Through Surya Mahal

Fig 5.7: A View of the Surya Mahal


The dome over the Mangal Mahal gives a feeling of openness and grandeur. The height of
the space is almost equal to the width of the space which ensures balance and harmony. It
is also an example of monumental scale.

Fig 5.8: Section Through Mangal Mahal

There are a lot of sitting spaces in various spaces of the complex which are an excellent
example to depict human scale. The proportions of the seaters in the space are perfect for
the proportions of the human body. The height and width of the space is almost equal to
ensure balance and harmony in the space.

Fig 5.9: Various Sitting Spaces in the Complex in accordance to Human Scale

The building is a concrete frame structure with brick and stone as the infill material.
Sandstone is used for external cladding. A lot of spaces have been painted red to give a
sense of warmth to the space. Varied materials have been used for flooring. There are

places with simple concrete flooring, sandstone flooring whereas the interior spaces like the
museum, library, etc have marble flooring. The flooring pattern in the central square of the
Surya Mahal which is the diagram of a lotus representing the sun, is used to emphasize the
presence of a geometrically strong centre. The area around the stage in the Surya Mahal is
grass (permeable). The complex is well landscaped with trees and bushes to enhance the
experience of the users while walking through the complex. One of the walls of the library
makes use of a reflective glass facade to provide the view of the pond outside to the

Fig 5.10: Use of Reflective Glass Facade on the Library Wall


The movement through the complex is generally fluid with a sense of open and closed. The
circulation pattern is interesting due to change in vision and interest created due to the
change in volume and the kind of treatment that has been given to the courts. The
pedestrian entrance has been spatially and visually designed by shifting one corner block at
an angle and creating a great entrance through a corbelled gateway followed by a huge
open plaza which acts as a buffer/congregational space.


Fig 5.11: Left - Corbelled Entrance Gateway, Right - Entrance Plaza

The entry for the users with vehicles is quite interesting. The entry from the parking side is
through a gate followed by a semi-covered pillared passage into a large space with a dome
on top. This experience of the space from an open space to a semi-covered transition space
into another covered space is unique because of the play of scale, volume, material and
levels. (Refer Fig. 5.5 and Fig 5.8)

Fig 5.12: Pillared Passage at the entry from Parking


There is a spectacular play of light and shadow which enhances the experience of a person
walking through the building, especially in the square comprising of the library or the Guru
Mahal. Here the architect, Charles Correa has used PVC pipes to create a pergola to cover
the passage and pond. This is an interesting semi-covered transition space which becomes
all the more magnificent in the presence of sunlight when an interesting shadow pattern is
cast due to the pergola.

Fig 5.13: Pergola adjoining the Library in the Guru Mahal


The extensive use of levels in the Jawahar Kala Kendra accentuates the transition of open to
built spaces to a great extent. At places levels are used as seaters (Refer Fig. 5.6 and Fig. 5.7)
whereas as at some places there just a transition from one space to another. There is
combination of both gradual and steep levels that is used in the complex.

Fig 5.14: Extensive Use of Levels in the Complex


The landscaping in the complex also plays an important role in linking the various spaces of
the complex. The use of different kinds of sculptures, plants, water bodies, etc creates a
surreal experience for the user. For example - The paths leading to the different seaters
(Refer to Fig.5.9) have been beautifully landscaped with sculptures and plants to enhance
the transitional experience of the user.

Fig 5.15: Landscaping along the Paths in the Complex



The India Habitat Centre was conceived to provide a physical environment which would
serve as a catalyst for a synergetic relationship between individuals and institutions working
in diverse habitat related areas and therefore maximize their total effectiveness. Designed
by ace architect, Joseph Allen Stein, it is located in the prime Lodhi Institutional area, off
Lodhi Road in the south of Delhi.

Fig 5.16: Satellite Image of the Jawahar Kala Kendra

[Source: Google Earth]

5.3.1 FORM
The Indian habitat Centre has different building volumes articulated to form interconnected
internal shaded courtyards which act as major public spaces. The built forms are grouped
around these huge courtyards shaded by a space frame and made lively by the landscaping
elements. The complex has a very well planned segregation of spaces. All blocks/areas
which are expected to experience a large and regular inflow of public have been placed very
close to the entrances; the office areas being given the access from the courtyards.
Although the public and the semi-public areas have been placed in separate built blocks, the
courtyards and the landscape areas form a very good connection between the two.


Fig 5.16: Ground Floor Plan of India Habitat Centre


The India habitat Centre is a hub for cultural, economic, business and social events. Dramas,
plays, etc are also organized at the centre. There is banquet hall, a party lawn and also a
Restaurant. The Habitat Centre not only houses offices and research organizations but in
order to facilitate their interaction, the centre provides a range of facilities like conference
venues, exhibition halls, seminar rooms, restaurants and performance venues for cultural
activities. Apart from the building blocks, the open spaces are also well functional. The
open-air amphitheatre serves to hold performances and is otherwise used just for sitting,
relaxing and having lunch by the employees in the complex. The well shaded and
landscaped courtyards act as spill over spaces for the offices in the buildings.

Fig 5.18: Functional Layout of India Habitat Centre, New Delhi


Fig 5.19: Lively Amphitheatre during a Musical Performance




Though from the outside the building looks bulky and massive, however, the interior spaces
have been scaled to a more human scale, from what should actually be characterised as
monumental scale. This has been done by providing a space frame on top to create a sense
of enclosure and by providing bridges over the courts that psychologically divide the
otherwise huge courts. The tall building masses enclosing the large space in the centre are
completed by the huge palms & other trees, which tower to the roof. Yet, in spite of the
monumental scale, one does not feel lost in this space. There are plants along the base of
the large trees scaled to the human height, which help in breaking down the scale.

Fig 5.20: Top Left- use of Landscaping to achieve Human Scale, Top Right - Use of Bridges to cut down the scale
of the space, Bottom - Use of space frame to provide more enclosure


However at certain places, the monumental scale is not cut down to human scale, which
results in the space being left unused most of the time. The users do not connect to the
space and hence do not like to experience that space. For example - As show below in Fig 5.21 and Fig - 5.22 a small pergola structure in a vast expanse of space does not invite a lot
of people due to the lack of a more human scale in the space.

Fig 5.21: Section showing Inability to cut down Monumental Scale to Human Scale

Fig 5.22: Unused pergola space due to lack of Human Scale around it


The entire facade is cladded with red bricks which give a majestic and warm look to the
structure. The red of the brick is well in contrast to the concrete bands and glazed tiles in
the facade. Vertical and Horizontal ribbon windows have been used with a special glass that
restricts the entry of sunlight.

Fig 5.23: External Facade of India Habitat Centre


Most of the horizontal ribbon windows have slots for planters which add to the beauty of
the entire complex and also break down the horizontality of the ribbon windows. These
slots are multi-coloured which make them visually appealing.

Fig 5.24: Multi-coloured planters used to break Horizontality of Ribbon Windows


The fountains and ponds in the building add a different dimension to the space by make it
cooler and aesthetically more appealing.

Fig 5.25: Pond near the Royal Plaza Enhances the Walking Experience

Fig 5.26: Use of Fountains to make the space cooler

The play of light and shadow created by the space frame covering the courtyard, on the
building facades and the flooring is quite appealing. The blue metal space frame on the top


cuts through the beam of sunlight to allow different kinds of patterns to be created which
keep on changing during different times of the day.

Fig 5.27: Blue Metal Space Frame over the Courtyards

Fig 5.28: Shadow Pattern cast on the internal facades due to the penetration of Sunlight through the Space

The open spaces (courtyards) are mostly stone paved. The more, public open spaces such as
the amphitheatre and the Royal plaza are a combination of both hardscape (stone) and
softscape (grass).


The pedestrian entrance to the complex from the Lodhi road is very well pronounced and
defined. The bridge/skywalk on top of creates the visual of a gateway. There is a big level
difference at the entrance created by steps. The level difference acts as a transition from
the exterior to the interior. It also adds an element of surprise by obstructing the view of the
internal courtyards as one enters into the complex.

Fig 5.29: Left - Photograph showing Main Entrance from Lodhi Road, Right - Section through the Main Entrance
from Lodhi Road

The complex has a variety of sculptures that affect the users' experience of the space as
they walk through the internal courtyards into the built space. Some are only for people to
look at while there is this particular one just at the entrance which creates a sound when
kicked. It acts as an interactive element for the users.

Fig 5.30: Left and Centre - Photograph showing sculptures in IHC, Right - Sculpture at the Entrance which
produces sound when kicked


Architect Joseph Allen Stein has made extensive use of levels in the India Habitat Centre,
which act as a transition from one space into another. And most of these level differences
have ramps for differently abled too which makes the spaces accessible to all. The level
difference is gradual in some places and not so gradual in others invoking different moods
and experiences.

Fig 5.31: Use of level difference as a transition from one space to another

The levels have been well utilised to create an amphitheatre which is used for performances
and otherwise just during leisure time for sitting, having lunch, etc by the people. The
privacy is achieved by a wall of trees at the back of the sitting space.

Fig 5.32: Left - Section through Amphitheatre, Right - Photograph showing Amphitheatre


Some of the sitting spaces are not comfortable to be in during summers as they aren't
shaded while some aren't properly scaled and lack enclosure. For example - The area named
Plaza Steps though well landscaped and accessible to differently abled is not used during
summers because of lack of shade from the harsh sun.

Fig 5.33: Plaza Steps

Fig 5.34: Unused Seaters due to lack of Shade and Enclosure


Stein has also designed the courtyard outside the Stein Auditorium very well. It acts as a
buffer space and a pre-function area for events and sometimes just for sitting. The
courtyard has an interesting roof created by R.C.C Beams and a dome. It is a well designed
and scaled courtyard which acts as a transition space from the exterior to the auditorium.

Fig 5.35: Left - Courtyard outside Stein Auditorium, Right - Dome and Network of R.C.C Beams over the




The research paper has thrown light on the complex issue of the Open-Built Dichotomy and
how both spaces are interdependent on each other.
Chapter 1 vividly described the issue of the open-built relationship and how the treatment
of open spaces in not paid much attention through a few examples.
Chapter 2 briefly described what the role of open spaces was in the past. It focussed on
three typologies - Residences, Places of Learning and Places of Worship. In the residences of
the past or to be precise, the Havelis, had a variety of function which it catered to and
moreover it was the core of the building around which the entire built mass was planned. It
also provided climatic comfort in accordance to the climate of Delhi. The places of Learning
or the Madrasa to be precise had its core function i.e. learning assigned to the open space
known as the sehan. In the places of Worship, the temple and the mosque too, a lot of
major socio-cultural events took place in the open or the semi-open spaces. In the temples
only the shrine is kept in the built space known as the garbhagriha and all the other spaces
were mostly semi-open and open and each space has a different character. The transition
from one space to another was unique and interesting. In the mosque the core function that
is praying takes place in a big open courtyard. All these observations basically prove that the
functionality of spaces is a major factor in governing how importance a space is and how
well should it be designed. If there are functions associated to both built and open spaces, a
balance and harmony is maintained and the relationship between the two ties the whole
complex together.
Chapter 3 briefly discussed the types of active open space at an urban level i.e. the Streets
and Plazas & Squares. It also discussed the various factors that affect the Open-Built
Dichotomy and inferences from a few types of built-open relationships in a building.

Factors Affecting The Open-Built Dichotomy


Scale and




The elements of design i.e. form, function, scale and proportion, texture, etc that are
applied for the design of built masses must also be applied for the design of open spaces in
order to produce open spaces that correspond with the built mass perfectly.
Chapter 4 enlisted various building bye laws that are associated with the design of open
spaces and how it is not only the building bye laws but also the needs of the client and the
intent of the architect that affects the design of open spaces and hence the Open Built
Chapter 5 dealt with observing the Jawahar Kala Kendra and the India Habitat Centre for
their built-open relationship and analysing them under the various elements of design
stated above. Both the buildings are multi-functional and cater to the public. Both the
buildings have assigned certain important functions to the open spaces apart from just
recreation, parking, circulation, etc which ensure a balance between the open and built
spaces, functionally. The form of the open and built spaces in both was of equal importance.
All the building blocks in IHC were centred around interlinked internal courtyards which are
the heart of the complex. Landscaping elements such as sculptures, plants, water bodies,
etc are an integral part of both the buildings. They help in providing a superior spatial
experience to the user and in ensuring a unique transition of spaces. Play of levels, volumes
and heights in both the buildings is magnificent. It is not necessary for only semi-covered
spaces to act as a transition/buffer space, level differences can also act as transition/buffer
spaces. The spaces of Jawahar Kala Kendra have a combination of monumental and human
scale and both of them are actively used. The spaces in IHC on the other hand are mostly
monumental in scale which is cut down to human scale by the use of bridges, landscaping,
space frame over courtyards. The open spaces in IHC which are not cut down to human
scale or do not provide appropriate enclosure or are climatically uncomfortable are usually
left unused. The play of light and shadow in both the buildings is surreal. It helps in
accentuating the overall experience of the building.
The conclusions reached after the research paper are in complete agreement with the
hypothesis that was framed at the beginning of the research paper.


Given below are a few suggestions on the basis of the literature review of the research
paper and the case studies undertaken, that can be followed for better design of open
spaces and a better Open-Built Dichotomy.


The form of both open and built spaces must be given equal importance while
designing to avoid patches of unused spaces.

Functions must be assigned to both open and built spaces wherever possible to
ensure functional balance and harmony in the complex. Open spaces can be given
a whole new dimension instead of just being large grassy/green patches of land.

The scaling of both the open and built spaces should be according to the intent of
the space. The type of enclosure to be provided also depends on the same factor.

The materials for different spaces should be appropriately chosen depending upon
the factors such as heat reflection/absorption, intent of space, context, etc.

The transition from one space to another (open to built precisely) should not be
abrupt. It can be through a semi-open space, level difference, material/texture
difference, etc.

In a scenario (which is most prevalent in New Delhi nowadays) where there is

shortage of land or one needs to attain a higher F.A.R with minimum ground
coverage depending upon the constraints of the projects, one can strengthen the
Open-Built Dichotomy by not having the open spaces only on the ground level but
well distributed on various levels of the buildings in the form of bridges, skywalks,
terraces, etc. This helps in easier accessibility of these spaces for the users and
also breaking down the monotonous verticality of the high rise towers.


1. DDA Building Bye-Laws - 1983
2. Clare Cooper Marcus, Carolyn Francis, People Places: Design Guidelines for Urban
Space, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998
3. Bentley, Murrain and Smith, Responsive Environments, Reed Publishing Ltd. 1985
4. Francis D.K. Ching, Architecture: Form, Space and Order, John Wiley & Sons Inc.-2007
5. Cliff Moughtin, Miguel Mertens, Urban Design: Street and Square, Third Edition,
Architectural Press, 2003


1. Animesh Marc Nayak, Our Changing Perception of the Open Space, SPA - 2001
2. Atishay Varshney, Urban Open Spaces, SPA - 2006
3. A. Saxena, Linkages in Planned Commercial Spaces, SPA - 1998
4. R.Saxena, Human Response to Courtyards, SPA - 1995
5. Shashank K Gupta, Microclimate Studies: Creating Thermally Comfortable Outdoor
Public Spaces, USAP - 2013
6. Navneet Rana, Open Spaces in a House, Sushant - 1992


1. Sarbjit Singh Bahga, Open spaces: Significance in Built Environment, 2014
2. Ar. Ashima Saxena and Dr. Ashutosh Sharma, Importance Of Relationship Between
Built Forms Amidst Open Spaces In Historical Areas, 2013

3. Pter Istvn Balogh, Dniel Takacs, The significance of Urban open spaces and green
areas in Urban Property Developments, 2011
4. Swasti Sthapak and Abir Bandyopadhyay, Courtyard Houses: An Overview, 2014
5. Delhi Heritage, INTACH, North Shahjahanabad
6. Pallavi Kulshreshtha, Havelis in Shahjahanabad Region
7. Sarah Glynn, The Haveli - A Social History, 2001
8. Vani Bahl, Haveli - A Symphony of Art and Architecture, 2014
9. Buthayna H. Eilouti and Amer M. Al-Jokhadar, A Generative System for Mamluk
Madrasa Form-Making, 2007
10. Milena Krklje, Vladimir Kubet, Ksenija Hiel, Interrelationship Of Public Spaces And
Built-In Corner Buildings Based On The Examples Of Modernism In "Mali Liman" Area
In Novi Sad, 2009
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