Community Centre | Malcha Marg
The flagship centre for Lifeyoga is a first-of-its-kind meditative retreat for city dwellers in the heart of New Delhi

<h5-red>Client<h5-red> Varun Veer I <h5-red>Area<h5-red> (Built up) 9,000 Sqft I <h5-red>Status<h5-red> Completed In 2023 I <h5-red>Team<h5-red> Ambrish Arora, Pankhuri Goel, Parija Chandra, Shoaib Kamili, Meenu Poddar I <h5-red>Photographer<h5-red> Kartikeya Manan

No items found.

The design approach was to create a succession of spaces that progressively takes one inwards, shedding the chaos outside, and primes the body and spirit to truly immerse itself in the learning ahead. It is expressed in the facade and interiors as a restrained vocabulary of warm neutrals and earthy tones.

The centre spans three levels, each one characterised by a play of scale, volume, and light, corresponding to the brief’s diverse programmatic requirements. The ground level houses the reception that extends into a retail zone, and a restaurant, ‘Eleved’, serving Ayurveda-inspired fare,  The main yoga studio located on the upper floor is conceptualised as a conservatory in response to development control regulations. <rt-red>The hot yoga panels in white double up as lighting reflectors, and also as baffles to diffuse the light coming in from the overhead skylights, creating an evenly lit space. The studios have adaptable partitions and vary in scale, from fitting small groups of five to six, to those mid-sized groups of about 25, and can even be merged to accommodate groups as large as 50.<rt-red>

<rt-red>The basement with its naturally lower daylight levels becomes an ideal space for placement of studios that facilitate the slower, deeper, more meditative practices of yoga.<rt-red> The therapeutic effects of lighting have been harnessed in diverse ways to promote relaxation and deepen focus. Integrated, adjustable, indirect lighting systems offer the flexibility to create a well-lit atmosphere or a dim and gentle ambience, depending on the nature of the practice. The air-conditioning too, is similarly discreet. Evenly distributed, low velocity single-slot ducts ensure that there are no drafts of cold air on the practitioners at any spot.

<rt-red>The materiality is intentionally tactile and evocative and spartan, with indigenously-sourced materials in various hues and textures weaving quietly into the volume.<rt-red> The wax-finished ivory walls, plastered using a mix of Plaster of Paris and cow dung that imparts it with microbicidal properties, create a tactile interplay with their even inconsistency. The earthy Mandana red sandstone in varied textures creates a contiguous ground plane that flows through the space. The furniture, paneling, and flooring all use local kikar (acacia) wood to further infuse warmth and a sense of regional character.

Signage is screen-printed onto the plaster walls, elevating the handcrafted quality of the space. There is tremendous attention to detail such as the lockers with interlocking form that have inbuilt charging points, given that students leave their digital devices outside the classrooms. <rt-red>The hand-carved door handles are not just ergonomic but also add a softness to an otherwise sparse space.<rt-red>