Comparative analysis of different Architectural Built Forms and their Thermal Comfort aspects – Case Study Shimla

Rajorshi Chatterjee, Sayantani Saha, Debashish Das


There are different types of architectural built forms on the laps of Himalaya in the city of Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, India. It was started from the Scottish Baronial style in the time of British rule – when Shimla was chosen as the summer capital of India, followed by the traditional vernacular styles, coming up with the New-Tudor style and in recent times with the Modern Architectural style. However, the raw building materials used for all of these styles are stones, timbers, batten boards and glass. Extensive use of stone and wood makes the built form to be sculpted out from the hills itself to balance the settlement of the built forms with the nature making it harmless for the hills. Use of locally available materials and adopting local construction techniques are more responsive to the climate and geographic conditions. To ensure thermal comfort, glass was used as one of the important building. Now, different ways have been developed for using glass in new construction as well as in renovation of old buildings. The interior spaces have been modified as Solar Space, Green Houses, glass covered Atriums, etc. to increase the amount of heat gain in the interiors. New settlements came up with new techniques but covered in an envelope quite contrary to the former architectural styles which possess a treat to the uniformity of built texture of Shimla. Our main aim is to portray the comparison between the styles of built form from past to present and to analyse that how they have settled with the nature and encountered the climatic constraints of the hills depending on the primary case studies drawn into a final conclusion. This paper will emphasise that how the styles have been modified since past to present along with the natural and climatic restraints developed day by day in Shimla – its physical manifestation in architecture which has been done extensively in the past and the abrupt discontinuity in the texture in recent years putting the process of urban design in question.

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