As the twentieth century closed, a school on the outskirts of Haldwani city was built. Back then, no student walking through the corridors of that humble educational instution would have imagined that they are spending those formative years in sumptuous marketplace. Later it was evident that this simple building would drive the course of urban expansion of Haldwani(specifically for commercial areas) in a holistic manner.

Project Name: Vintage High Street
Studio Name: IDIEQ (International Design Imagineering and Environmental Quorum)
Studio Website:
Firm Location: Haldwani, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India – 263139
Gross Area: 29250 sqft
Project Location: Nainital Road, Haldwani, Uttarakhand, India – 263139
Program / Use / Building Function: Adaptive reuse to Commercial storefront
Principal Architect: Saubhagya
Photo Credits: Samridhi

Vintage High Street by IDIEQ - Sheet2

Haldwani being commercial capital of Kumaon division witnessed a massive population growth in second decade of 21st century. The management realised that expanding school in current location was not very fesaible. Therefore, a new campus was built further away from the current land, and whole instution was shifted.

Vintage High Street by IDIEQ - Sheet3

This is when a client approached with an old school building, which they wanted to develop a commercial complex. This is where an adaptive reuse of the old building was put in place. The wall between the classrooms and corridor was removed and glass was installed towards front. The classrooms on the ground floor were connected to the upper ones by puncturing existing floor slabs. This is where showrooms were achieved with a minimal budget. The expanse of school ground helped to provide an accessible drive-thru easily for tourists commuting to the central Himalayas.

Vintage High Street by IDIEQ - Sheet3

This helped to create the most expensive rental space in whole region for the client, virtually without building anything new. And in turn provide an ROI to the client, as never seen before in the area. This worked beautifully not just for our client, but also for the community as it has a freely accessible public space for all which once was a basketball court of the school. Also this centerally lying public area acts as a fringe for busy surroundings.


This is the first time, when an individual has put substantial part of his private land, open to everyone, where no one is expected to spend money upon accessing. Alongside, this project has created a new commercial identity for this street of town, which is also a gateway to hill-station i.e. Nainital. This approach, which was initially witnessed mostly in the european countries has now found its way into this rather smaller city. Many folks, developing new commercial spaces in this city are getting aligned to this approach. Which in turn helps developing the very idea of commons in the urban.


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