Project name: Caryota House

Location: New Delhi, India

Date completed: March 2018

Interior designer: Sumit Arora

Architect: Sumit Arora

Construction company: M/S S L constructions

Developer: M/S S L constructions

Dada & Partners developed a house around an existing ‘Caryota palm’ tree, housed in a central courtyard with unhindered inward views from both levels.

Dada & Partners developed a house around an existing ‘caryota palm’ tree, housed in a central courtyard with unhindered inward views from both levels.

The residence design brief for Dada & Partners was for a couple and two daughters, which provided generous comfort and luxury, yet sat in the tranquil landscape of almost three acres. As the site is shared between two other houses already built, Dada & Partners had to design the home in a manner that enjoys the landscape whilst having privacy. The entrance to the home is along a cascading water feature that runs the length of the stepped entry court and wraps around the living room that sits elevated over the infinity edge accentuating a floating effect. One of the steps cantilevers over the water surface providing a perfect pad for a sculpture. On the first level are the bedrooms, approached through a gallery that circumferences the internal courtyard with views giving a pivotal anchor to the first floor. A twelve foot wide window of the master bedroom faces the courtyard with a spectacular view of the palm tree, making the courtyard feel part of the bedroom itself.

In the lower ground level are the entertainment areas and a spectacular indoor pool. A sunken courtyard forms the focus to both these zones. It acts as a perfect outdoor sit out area to the lower lounge/study. The combination of the white wall, glass and charcoal grey sheet cladding accentuates the minimalistic architecture that the clients requested. A prime component of the design was a soaring fish tail palm tree that stood disregarded behind the old structure where the new house was to be constructed, as if demanding to be part of this family. This led to the inclusion of the tree in the new home, hence naming the house ‘caryota’.

The project is developed in three levels around the caryota palm courtyard. The formal living, the bar lounge, family area and dining on the ground floor open up to this internal courtyard with large glazed sliders effectively merging the house and the courtyard, enjoying the feature tree. Interestingly, the courtyard is not visible as one enters the formal foyer, and reveals itself only as one walks around, giving a sense of revelation. The open roof creates an efficient airflow providing a comfortable micro climate that influences all the spaces of the house.


The design seamlessly fuses in the existing landscape of the site. Apart from the caryota palm, all other trees were retained in their locations and the new building took shape around these. Volumetrically the massing of the residence was very carefully planned such that it does not impose itself and remains as subdued as possible. The entire formal area wing facing the lawn is just one level high to achieve this intent while the house gets higher towards the rear adjoining the property edge.