Indian Habitat Center, New Delhi

The Indian Habitat Centre : A short introduction

The India Habitat Centre, located in New Delhi, was conceived to be a catalyst relationship between individuals and institutions (e.g. NGO’s) working in habitat related areas to increase their effectiveness. Sharing a common concern for habitat, various organisations have come together to participate in institution-building, evolving a synergy within the India Habitat Centre complex. Some of the organisations involved in this endeavour include the International Labour Organization (I.L.O),  the National Institute of Design, and the Council of Architecture among others. complex was designed under the supervision of architect, Joseph Allen Stein.

A brief  logistic insight:

  • The Indian Habitat Centre is India’s most comprehensive convention centre.
  • Over 20 concurrent sessions possible.
  • State of the art A.V. Equipment.
  • Computer controlled conference and simultaneous interpretation system in Auditorium.
  • Well equipped secretariat and documentation centre.
  • Cultural and entertainment events daily for delegates.
  • Covered parking for 1000 cars.

The Habitat Library and Resource Centre:

  • Surf on the internet on Subjects related to habitat and all other areas.
  • Explore the world of multimedia through the CD-ROMs available in the Resource Centre
  • View videos on issues of interest , such as environment, Cultural diversity, people-related issues etc.
  • Catch up on the latest newspapers and periodicals.
  • Browse through a growing collection of reference books on a broad spectrum of subjects.

Building Layout:

  • The whole complex consists of five main building blocks with aerial walkways interconnecting the building  blocks.
  • These building blocks being separated manage to create interesting courtyards that are partially open to the elements.

Design review

  • Though of an imposing nature, the building complex manages to blend in with its surroundings through its natural embellishments. In keeping with its habitat theme, the whole complex has been generously provided with natural greenery to provide an undiluted experience of open nature.
  • The fountain just beyond the second entrance serves purpose not only by being spectacular, but also by relieving the surroundings of the heat.
  • The interesting glass/steel structure near the second entrance provides natural light to the underground parking area.
  • The building’s two entrances are not one and the same.
  • The first entrance depicts a seemingly long deep corridor.
  • The second entrance seems to hide the spacious courtyards.
  • The absence of roof gutters rids the complex  of clutter. Instead, separations between walls that are lined with tiles facilitates the disposal of rain water.
  • The  roof shading devices not only look spectacular in sky blue, but also serve to block  out the Sun’s rays.
  • The external facade of the Convention centre has a mundane appearance which masks the open inner space.
  • The courtyards laden with various types of vegetation from tall trees to small shrubs create different spaces.
  • The presence of an amphitheatre also marks an interesting feature of the complex.
  • The area without the shading devices is laden with grass lawns to provide a different setting altogether.


  • Every part of the building speaks different language. One can enjoy different moods at different places.
  • The environment  in the courtyard gives a feel of freshness, when one is having his Pepsi under the blue light.
  • Allen stein planned the building in such a manner so as to have clean looks.

Energy Efficiency:

  • The building stands out in enery efficiency.
  • The intresting blue sunshade provided between the two buildings in court helps to maintain the environment and gives a cool effect.
  • The trees also helps to maintain the environment and gives the natural effect.  Trees are planted at very part of the court.
  • Fountains makes the environment more cooler & gives a effect of lightness.
  • Allen stein planned the building in such a way so that the the maximum part of the floor enjoys sunlight.
  • Allen stein also planned to give sunlight in basement through very interesting ways.

Universal Access:

  • Handicap car parking is provided, plus railing is provided at very parts of the building where needed.
  • Lift is provided from basement to the terrace.


  • IHC serves different emotions at different places.
  • Gate no.2 creates curiosity to a person when stands infront of the  building.
  • Gate no.3 gives surprise when it opens to a huge space.


Reader Interactions


Leave a Reply