Romi Khosla Design Studio's Polyclinic for the Destitute near Old Delhi's Lahori Gate, opened at the end of 2012. Although the building has been completed, it is not officially open. This is the first filmed portrait of the building wedged alongside the market and the railway, the architect calls it: "our own little contribution to the urban cacophony."

This programme, shot on location with interviews from the architect, explores the social fabric, the impact of good design on a poor area and the ability to plan for socially sustainable change. It is a critical appraisal of the building and its design ambitions.


Filmed on location, with footage from around the site delving into the urban cacophony and site setting, it explores the construction materials, site practices and regulatory frameworks.

Key learning points:

  • The notion of social sustainability: through poverty and transport opportunities
  • Planning models in India and the urban masterplan
  • Lubetkin's position on healthcare facilities
  • Working on difficult sites
  • Working practices abroad... The need to build a team
  • How and why to provide "architecture" to some of the poorest people on the planet.

About the contributor

Martand Khosla is a Partner at Romi Khosla Design Studios in Delhi, an award-winning architectural practice. Martand has designed a number of projects ranging from playgrounds for children, to eco-friendly mud architecture and low cost factory workers housing throughout India. His building, the students’ canteen in New Delhi has been featured in the UK as one of the best buildings of the 21st Century, and his first building, a hospice for poor patients in New Delhi, has won the WA award.

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