Ashram institutional building and Tapasya block for sadhaks, Delhi

Architecture by: Sanjay Prakash & Associates (now SHiFt: Studio for Habitat Futures)
Type of building use: Institutional
Year of completion:
2005 (first phase occupied since 1989, continuing phases of occupation till completion)
Built-up area:
1,20,000 sft
Plot size:
7 acre campus
Location: Delhi
Climatic Zone: Hot and Dry Climate
Actual Occupancy:
Above 80% on an average.
Campus of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Delhi Branch, with health centre, workshops, library, auditorium, hostel, etc.
Green features:
  • Reflective surfaces
  • Courtyards
  • Vegetation for cooling
  • Integrated vertical and inclined passive solar hot water system
  • Passive conditioned lifestyle
  • Extremely low consumption of energy or water

This ashram complex is expressed as a mandala form inventing the future of our past, using the present for its realization. It hints at durable materials: not energy consuming steel and glass, but evolved use of natural materials such as waste marble and white slate. And it demonstrates a lifestyle that can subsist with a minimal use of energy, water and other resources.

India’s typical and unique value systems inform the design. The pursuit of opulence, needing to be maintained by ever-increasing consumption, is replaced by the creation of abundance. A small ecological footprint rather than wasteful consumption creates cooperation with nature. The attitude is symbiotic rather than antibiotic, aiming for fulfillment rather than blind achievement.

Actual Energy Performance Index in Awaited : 12.76kWhr/Sq.m/year
Percentage of A/C and non A/C regularly occupied spaces: Non Air-conditioned Building
Owner / User Testimony: : Awaited from clients
Awards / Green Rating / Energy: None (Never applied as against ashram philosophy.)
Architecture by: Sanjay Prakash, Manoj Joshi, Rakesh Sood
Structural Design by: V. P. Agarwal & Haku
Services Design by: 1. No one (same architectural team)
Project management: Various Ashram members
Contractor: Work done in-house supervised and coordinated by Ashram members
Name of the Architectural Practice: Sanjay Prakash & Associates (now SHiFt: Studio for Habitat Futures)
Photo of the Architect/Partners
Managing Director: Sanjay Prakash
Director: D K Sharma
Director: Rakesh Sood
Director: Nitin Sharma
Address: SHiFt: Studio for Habitat Futures, C-81 B, 8th Floor,DLFSuper Mart-1, DLF City Phase IV, Gurgaon, Haryana 122 002, National Capital Region, India
Types of services offered. Complete design including engineering services and energy devices and systems, interiors, project management functions such as constant supervision and procurement