Keywords Change this

Social Housing, Post-independence Architecture In India, Indian Modernism

Project timeline

1954 – 1956



Location Change this

Netaji Nagar

Current state


Also known as Change this

Netaji Nagar Housing, CPWD Housing

Architect Change this


Article last edited by Bostjan on
October 10th, 2020

Rahman Type Flats Change this

Delhi, India
by Habib Rahman Change this

Habib Rahman CPWD housing 1954

1 of 5

Description Change this

After taking cabin in 1947, Nehru went on a massive building and infrastructure spree. Housing had to be built for the new government employees that were migrating to Delhi, and also to habilitate the huge number of people that had been displaced during the partition of the country. Not only housing but markets, cultural centers, cinemas and office buildings had to be built, and built fast. This is where Rahman's Gropius and Bauhaus training came in handy. Rahman was asked to organize the International Exhibition on Low Cost Housing in 1954. The exhibition got architects and engineers from all over the country to take part in building sample prototypes and publishing detailed drawings, estimates and materials.

It would be another 16 years before Rahman would take up office as the chief architect of CPWD (1970-74) but even his humble, rational and economical early designs of his exhibition prototype for a standard peon's quarter was appreciated and replicated in local public works departments and housing authorities in thousands across India. They came to be known as "Rahman Type Flats" and subsequently strengthened Rahman's position in the public work departments.

This was subsequently manifested in the government staff housing developments, such as the government staff quarters in Rama Krishna Puram, New Delhi. It was completed in 1959 with various permutations of the Rahman type two bedroom flats. It housed government employees and their families for decades before they were finally demolished in 2018 to make way for high rises which would trade public land to private entities.



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