15th November, 2016
Our client saw an opportunity in developing a multipurpose facility, primarily a banquet hall that catered to the middle income group of Durg (a small town of Chhattisgarh) , as there were no such facilities in the neighbourhood. The client needed us to develop a “mahal” as he would call it, assuming that this would attract users from in and around Durg. Functionally the building had to accommodate a banquet hall with 30 rooms, a party lawn with kitchen and services. The stilt was to be used as parking which could also doubled up as small gathering space for smaller functions. The building had to be a landmark for the cities future development.
Site Area: 6995 sqm. (75294 sqft.)Total Built-up: 2200 sqm. / 23680 sqft.Program:
350 sqm. Banquet hall. 30 rooms, 2 suites, 2 parloursA 2900 sqm. Lawn for outdoor functions.Open parking for 172 cars. Covered parking for 18 cars in the stilt.Stilt area – 364 sqm also to be used for other functions.A 260 sqm. Kitchen attached to lawn.
Given that we had to design a “mahal”, the building tries to explore this term in the modern context. Instead of just contemporising the elements and details of a palace into a modern building, the design tries to reorganise traditional forms and geometry in a different manner. Drawing inspiration from traditional gateways of forts, the movement through archways have been reinterpreted.
The site is located amidst farm lands and faces a highway to the front and is away from the main city, and also near the flood plains of the river Shivnath. There is no immediate context with hardly any development in the vicinity. The shape of the plot was such that it had a narrow front that opened up into a lawn space towards the back. Owing to the site shape the building had to be a narrow and long. The ground had to be on stilts to accommodate parking that could also double up as a small gathering space for auxiliary activities. The Hall was planned on the first floor and the rooms of the floors above. The entrance is marked through a raised plinth. A central cascade water feature divides the stairway and portals define the entry to the building. The plinth draws inspiration from the forts of Rajasthan. The elevation is developed by bisecting the arches and stitching the exchanged elements with a Jharokha at the centre. Jharokha becomes the central elevated piece which holds the two bisected symmetries together. The overall building is combination of Jharokas, arches, jaalis and planes with a touch of grandness and royalty.
A peacock door acts as a transition from the outdoor to the indoor. A grand double height space with symmetric stairway defines the space. Through the centre arch one moves into the main hall. Two corner arches with jaali (inspired from peacock plumage) filters light into the lobby space. The lobby is interpreted as a lotus pond with inlay work done in a combination of light and dark emprador stone, and the ceiling intricately done in a floral pattern. The mail hall is a gathering space framed between corbelled ceiling and chevron flooring (combination of yellow jaisalsmer and white Indian marble). The rooms were done to be simple and modern, that could accommodate 4-5 members in a room. The rooms opened into jharokas as their balconies.
The overall building tries to bring about the essence of a traditional palace as a contemporary representation trying to fulfil the requirements of a small town gathering space.