The Chicago Athenaeum BACK TO HOMEPAGE > Sign up for e-news
Aqua villa - Britta Knobel Gupta

Aqua villa - Delhi, India

Britta Knobel Gupta - Studio Symbiosis




Britta Knobel Gupta, is the co-founder of Studio Symbiosis Architects. She is known for her dynamic and pioneering works with a focus on creating spaces that exist in equilibrium with their surroundings. The project portfolio displays the wide repertoire of design exploration ranging from  Master plans, Hospitality, Mixed use development, Offices, Housing and Villas.

Britta studied Architecture at the university of applied sciences in Konstanz, Germany.  For her diploma thesis she was awarded the "Contractworld Newcomer Award 2002" for Emerging talent in Europe. Following this she attended the Architectural Association for her masters in Architecture and Urbanism in the Design Research Lab program with a scholarship from DAAD, Germany, and graduated in 2006. She went on to work with Zaha Hadid Architects and was associated with the practice till 2010 as a Lead Architect designing a number of highly acclaimed visionary projects. She co-founded Studio Symbiosis Architects in 2010.

Britta has taught at the University of Brighton as a Unit Tutor for the Masters Studies, along with University of Stuttgart and School of Planning and Architecture New Delhi.

Britta's focus at Studio Symbiosis lies in creating designs that are an outcome of interfacing the various elements of program, site, context, landscape and climate, thereby resulting in the amalgamation of these design considerations in one coherent design and resonating the term “symbiosis” in the design.  

Britta's portfolio of projects at Studio Symbiosis include; Double tree by Hilton (Ahmedabad, India), Double Tree by Hilton (Kathmandu, Nepal),  Hotel and Service apartments (Mundra , Gujarat), Kanpur Riverfront Development, Trans Ganga Master plan, Allahabad Master plan, Taj Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Taj Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Information Directorate Headquarters (Lucknow, U.P.) and Punjab Kesari Headquarters(Delhi NCR), to name a few.
Studio Symbiosis projects have attained international acclaim with her designs having been awarded the German Design Award (Winner, Best Urban Design Project of the Year, 2015), Iconic Design Award ( Winner, Concept, Best Master Plan of the year, 2014). In 2014 Britta was recognized as " iGen 2014Architect of Future”. Amongst other recognitions her project for Allahabad Masterplan was recognized by WAN 2014 as being long listed for best urban design project of the year along with being shortlisted by Leaf Award for best residential project of the year. 

The projects from Studio Symbiosis have been published widely; Yahoo Homepage, Puls Magazine, Architecture into the future, Architect and Interiors India, Times of India, WAN, Arch Daily, Construction Opportunities, MGS Architecture “People Watch”, ANC Korea, Design Matrix, I&B, along with various Indian and international publications.

Aqua villa

The Rai residence located in the heart of Lutyens Delhi has been designed as a sensitive building, sitting in harmony with its surroundings. The design is an outcome of overlap and interaction of the design parameters of movement patterns, solar studies, soft-subtle transition zones, interaction of built and landscape and of the old and the new. 
The design form emerges and flows out of the existing building. The lines of the first floor bridge connection to the existing house emanate and disperse on the site. 
Interlocking spaces
Aqua villa has a swimming pool sitting admist the design. It creates a soft transition zone between the proposed villa, the landscape and the existing house, modulating and amalgamating these varied elements into one interlocking system. 
Movement patterns
The movement patterns lead to a three point access to the proposal. The first one is through a covered walkway connected connecting the existing house to the new with a water wall along the transition space. The second connection is for guests coming in evening from the side walkway which travels along the landscape and creates a more semi private entrance to the building. The third is a service entry for the staff and nanny from the north east boundary of the proposal, which ensures there is no cross movement of the staff through the villa.
The façade is designed in a way that it continues from the existing building and then starts to respond to the program of the new building. A sense of elegance has been imbibed in the façade of the building with the lines moving effortlessly over the proposal. Grand glass doors have been integrated into the proposal.
The relationship of the built to landscape was very important in the design. The interior spaces flow out onto the landscape on the ground floor and on the upper floors deep luxurious sitout areas overlook the pool / green.
Functional gradient
The space allocation has been done in a way that there is gradation from public to private. The ground floor has been designed as semi private while the first floor is completely private.
Transformational spaces
In an event of a gathering  the spaces on the ground floor open up and work in coherence with each other to create one grand experiential space. 
Computational  Studies
Solar studies have been an integral part of the design process to achieve ambient light and shadow condition on the sundeck and inside the villa.

The Chicago Athenaeum | 601 South Prospect Street
Galena, Illinois 61036, USA | Tel: 815/777-4444 | Fax: 815/777-2471