Haveli Dharampura

A haveli constructed in 1887 AD, dilapidated to such an extent that it was ordered by the municipal corporation to be demolished to ensure the safety of its surroundings, was restored in all its senses, aesthetically, structurally, and hence, quite naturally. The Haveli thus later turned out to be a marvel in terms of its grandeur and essence of Mughal royalty in the midst of the bustling Chandni Chowk of old Delhi. The elevated plinth, arches, marble inlay walls, jharokhas, among other elements seem to have rightly restored the Mughal essence that was once lost.

The Haveli now functions as a heritage hotel in old Delhi, with Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Jain Temple, Sis Ganj Gurudwara as a few of its neighbors. The crowded and bustling streets of Chandni chowk that surround the Haveli are so cramped that once one enters the Haveli, a feeling of openness is experienced. Mainly that emerges due to the large central courtyard that finally allows one to greet the sky openly. The structure stands such that other than the noise, all context seems to be lost and the haveli starts to entertain itself with its beautiful architecture. The core of the Haveli, the central courtyard is what everyone wants to look out or down to. As the structure gains height, it grows beyond the typical height of old houses around it, thus the terrace plays the role of visually reconnecting the interior with the surroundings.

The layout of the Haveli is quite simple to understand. It emerges from the functioning of the old havelis in Delhi where the front façade houses the shops for business followed by a large gathering area for the family, further followed by the intimate spaces at the back. While a linear progressions is followed on the ground, the upper floors seem to wrap around the central courtyard, looking into the main activity space along with absorbing its share of light and ventilation. The central courtyard is not just a gathering space, it acts as the main life giver for the entire haveli. This is because of the cramped nature of streets and houses outside due to which the haveli hardly opens to the outside for light or ventilation.

The flooring in the entire Haveli was a marvel to look at. Each floor had its own theme and hence a grand respective marble work.

Thus, the progression of the Haveli in terms of its massing fits into its ability to adapt and respond to its mixed program.

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