“Can we celebrate the village of Bengal” was the brief provided by the principal secretary of urban affairs when the client won a bid of making an eco-resort in 5 acres of land located in the upcoming ecological park. The site is in Rajarhat – a growing satellite town of Kolkata. The brilliant lung space (Eco Park) has a water body exceeding 200 acres and the site sits adjacent to it separated by a park public road.
First Award | DAF 2016 Awards
Category: Hospitality (Unbuilt)
Participant Name: Vivek Rathore
Team Members: Anuradha Rathore, Kumarjit Goswami, Kasturi Kundu
The development controls were not to go beyond 2 stories and have a covered built up of only 50, 000 sq. ft. but the programme for a boutique 5-star hotels demanded an area of 85000 sq. ft. and we were to design and technically delete the corridor/circulation area from the FAR / FSI
Thoughts like “Let us break the model of an urban hotel living “, and “Why can’t they experience a resort in a city?” Voiced an enthusiasm to explore a resort-like model which in sync with the Eco-park ambiance.
Bengal has been a hub of culture and art for centuries and we intended to curate a boutique texture of ecology that exists in Bengal – its “char Chala ” hutments, its Ghats, its memories of embankment or Ghats, the zamindari intervention in the villages, the tropical texture of banana and palms, was a story worth exploring.
Water has been an important element in Bengal and we thought of celebrating the sense and sensibility of being and participating with it.
Bengal has the oldest history of terracotta arches/vaults (refer to Bishnupur 500 yr. old) and this became our architectural imagery for the principal block which has restaurants, banquets, public areas including the BOH. This block celebrates the zamindari texture and the zalsaghars overlook the expanse of the large lake in front. The suites are either woven around the lagoon with dedicated Ghats or they have a villa-like format with a private garden and pool. The articulation of guest suites with their “Dalans” builds up the scale of streets in eco-Bengal or the eclectic rural Bengal.
The spa sinks into the lagoon having to view only the “falling white water”. The ambience of containment, light, sound, and the mist around builds up an enchanting “environment of involvement”.
The material usage ranges from masonry, terracotta tiles, thatch, bamboo, timber, clay blocks, laterite stone ( limited ). The interiors employ all restored furniture from Bengal casted artistic with colour and fabrics.
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