JEEVAN BHARATI

Delhi
1975-1986

This office complex for the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is situated on the outer road of Connaught Circle, and acts as a pivot between the colonnades of Connaught Place and the new generation of high-rise towers that now surround it. Thus, the building is both proscenium and backdrop: a twelve-storey stage-set whose faceted glass surfaces reflect the buildings and trees around Connaught Place, and beyond which the new high-rise imagery of Delhi can be glimpsed.

The two lower levels of the complex consist of shopping decks and restaurants, while the upper levels of offices are located in two separate wings, generating a total built-up area of 63,000 square metres. Connecting the two wings, is a great pergola, 98 metres long, supported at either end by masonry piers and in the middle by a single column. A city proposal for an elevated pedestrian walkways (if ever constructed) will pass between the two blocks, allowing pedestrians to traverse the building as a great darwaza, i.e. gateway, defined by the portico-form.

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