Raj Rewal is an Indian architect and urban design consultant who studied architecture in New Delhi and London. His humanist approach to architecture responds to the complexities of rapid urbanization. Mr. Rewal’s commitment to housing is also central to his built works.
Rewal lived in Delhi and Shimla from 1934 – 1951. He attended Harcourt butler higher secondary school. He attended the Delhi School of Architecture. After completing a degree in architecture in New Delhi, he moved to London in 1955 where he lived until 1961. Across a repertoire of residential, housing, public and institutional buildings, his work is characterized by a concern for climate sensitivity, humane architecture and the promotion of craftsmanship and technologies.
He was the Architect who worked in sync with nature. He knows the importance of the ecosystem. Working with nature is not only the work of sustainable architects but others too. He knew that all of his work is related to the climate.
1. Asian Games Village by Raj Rewal
Asian games village is located in New Delhi, India and is a family urban housing project. He was inspired by Jaipur and Jaiselmer’s urban patterns. In all, there are some 500 housing units compromising of 200 individuals and 300 apartments in two to four floors with each unit type having variations according to areas and function.
2. Delhi Metro Corporation Headquarters
It is located in New Delhi the concept behind it being based on the three wings for offices, which encloses an atrium filled with light. The building has a logical and economical structural system.
3. Sham Lal House by Raj Rewal
The design for Sham Lal house placed an emphasis on blending the entrance hall, dining and living room spaces with the front garden as much as possible. The large pivoting doors of glass and teak define the living room garden boundary and can be opened for social occasions. The house was designed by Raj Rewal for a leading journalist and writer. A double-height space contains the entrance hall and stairs to the first floor. A combination of modern and vernacular architecture can be observed.
The primary function of the institute is scientific research. The institute contains laboratories, study rooms, a library, auditorium, a director’s house and lodgings for professors with families, married assistants, and unmarried researchers. Rewal conceived the ensemble as an analog of a traditional town with courts, galleries, level changes and uniform use of materials and colors.
Courtyards and roof terraces form important features of the apartments, enhancing the tightly built living areas. This structure was designed by Raj Rewal to be particularly suitable for the north Indian climate and lifestyle. Larger windows and doors open on to the terraces, which are flanked by high parapets to ensure privacy for the families. Deep-set windows provide protection from the sun. It is a very good example of architecture providing private and public spaces.
The two-storey houses are arranged around a square, which contains a circular pathway giving access to all units. The demarcation of central enclosures is clearly established by framed gateways with pedestrian passages connecting the site to garages on two ends adjoining peripheral roads.
7. Sheikh Sarai Housing
This low-rise high-density scheme for 550 units is designed on the basis of a self-financing scheme for the Delhi Development Authority by Raj Rewal. It segregates pedestrian and vehicular movement and provides for interlinked squares of varying scales for community activities. All the units have been provided with courtyards or rooftop terraces with very good proportions and connections to all the buildings.
8. Lisbon Ismaili Centre
The design of Raj Rewal draws inspiration from Islamic philosophy and vocabulary of design assimilates Iberian Peninsula’s architectural traditions and is innovative in terms of contemporary construction technology. In the Ismaili Centre architectural heritage is reinterpreted in terms of functional requirements and the concept of the site in Lisbon.
9. Parliament Library Building
Symbolically a house of knowledge, the Parliament Library has its site next to the Parliament House in Delhi. The design for the existing Parliament follows the “Beaux-Arts”, central line axis planning criteria. It is circular in plan with three axes culminating in a central dome. Courtyards form an important feature of the design vocabulary, keeping in mind Delhi’s extreme climate. This design is aesthetically and structurally very beautiful.
10. Nehru Memorial Pavilion
The Pavilion is designed by Raj Rewal to house exhibits on the life and times of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The building is embedded in a grassy mound of earth. It is an exhibition space that is designed perfectly.
The Permanent Exhibition Complex is designed to form the focus of 130 acres of Exhibition ground designed by Rewal in New Delhi. The design was evolved to meet the constraints of time, availability of materials and labor, but above all, to reflect symbolically and technologically, India’s intermediate technology in the 25th year of its independence. It provides vast space for exhibits ranging in size from books to bulldozers.
12. Grapecity Japanese Software Centre
It is an office type of building. Software techies work long hours and instead of building a standard office in a big hall with strict cubicles, the company started looking for alternate solutions. The software research is carried out in small groups by dedicated personnel and it was felt that a congenial ambiance, which promotes creativity, is more important than a rigid office. It is a three-storey building with a central courtyard.
13. Engineers India House by Raj Rewal
The form of the building is derived with the aim of saving energy. He designed the service core in such a manner that they cut down harsh glare from the south-west, extending different floors to the east and west ends of the building, creating a zone of the surface under the shadow, thus reducing temperatures. It is a good example of sustainable architecture.
14. World Bank Regional Mission
The concept of the World Bank building is based on harmonizing the new structure with its surroundings and exploiting to advantage its sensitive location for a modern functional office. The building mass encloses the central court, providing diffused light and ventilation. The scale of the court creates a zone of building under the shade, thereby reducing the air conditioning load. It is also a multi-use building.
The building comprises of ‘L-shaped’ office blocks that are in response to the heights of the adjoining buildings. The highest part of the building is defined by a cubic volume at the junction of the L-shaped configuration. A low, three-storey volume partially fills the space created by the L-shaped adjoining towers. Space houses a commercial emporium designed by Raj Rewal.