Retail & Hospitality | Urban Hotel
All travelers expect to experience local culture when visiting foreign countries or even a different part of their own country. However, contemporary hotel design seems to celebrate familiarity over authentic local design. This project attempts to marry the two divergent approaches by combining the globally accepted standard amenities of a hotel room, with the atmosphere of Northern India pervading the public spaces. This helps to showcase the location’s unique materials, cultures, and traditions, and provides visitors with a memorable experience.
Location: New Delhi
Typology: 12000 SF
Principal Architect: Amit Khanna
Completion Date: 2010
From the exterior, the hotel seems to float above a transparent, fully glazed public lobby. Deep recesses shade the front, while white fabric sandwiched between glasses tempers the sunlight on the sides. A large courtyard in the center of the building brings light to all the floors via fully glazed walls and incorporates a water feature at the ground level as the backdrop for the breakfast area. The courtyard has been embellished by a circular mirror motif designed by a local artist. AKDA was entrusted with the design of the fixed furniture in the public places; the sleek white Corian surfaces serve as a minimalist backdrop to the colorful upholstery of the loose furniture. All walls, floors, ceilings are similarly kept a brilliant white, to offset the colors.
Considerable research was undertaken while incorporating the cultural designs, as these objects are symbolic of a variety of socially significant meanings that may not be immediately apparent to the visitor. Further, it ensures that only traditional elements were used, as opposed to the recognizable clichés.
On the upper floors, all rooms have their colors, ranging from fiery red to golden yellow, evoking the desert colors of the Rajasthan desert. The bathrooms are kept minimal in soothing tones of grey and white, with a cool beige ceiling. The design team brought in work from area artists, while local manufacturers provided custom furniture for the project.