We are all aware of the rising environmental concerns in developing cities. The rapid growth of not just Delhi but other cities across India is resulting in deteriorating environmental health along with the loss of natural heritage which once dotted cities rendering them each unique character across seasons. The Garden House at Sunder Nursery seeks to educate visitors by showing them how beautiful and diverse nature can be and how it needs to be both cherished and conserved.
With the Garden House, Sunder Nursery will serve as the ecological hub for the city of Delhi, which though has 13000 parks, it has not a single arboretum, where Children can be made aware of the city’s rich natural heritage.
To enhance the ecological significance of the region, a 30-acre microhabitat zone has been created within Sunder Nursery to simulate Delhi’s once rich and now quickly disappearing biodiversity, including kohi (hilly), khadar (riverine), bangar (alluvial) and dabar (marshy) zones featuring over 100 regional tree species unique to the region.
Numerous species of plants have been sourced from forests, hilly and riverine tracts on the outskirts of Delhi where these species still survive – away from the city’s urban sprawl. Over the two years of planting, the microhabitat zone continues to evolve into a beautiful zone hosting perennial plants and trees those nature lovers from the city travel great distances to see.
The proposed Garden House sits at the entrance of this zone and will host information not just on its unique collection but also on the adjoining arboretum welcoming all for learning in a natural setting providing a tropical transition to the forest while providing interpretation for the microhabitat zone.
The building is designed to host a forest inside while being set within a garden.
The Garden House aims to complete and complement the experience of Sunder Nursery as an opportunity to savour nature in a tranquil setting which is otherwise difficult to find in megapolis, such as Delhi.
The preservation of all existing trees during the park's development has ensured the sustenance of a substantial bird-habitat on site. This will continue to enrich the natural environment in the area for years to come.
As one enters the building, a constant play of light weaves the three zones of desert, tropical and semi-tropical flora seamlessly under the sail-like roofs. Interpretation zones punctuate spaces and one is led by a gently rising ramp onto the next floor through the dense tree-cover in the open-to-sky courtyard.
By using recyclable materials such as steel and fabric-roofing, the building minimizes its ecological impact on the urban fabric.