Designed by one of India’s leading practices Sanjay Puri Architects, this 14,000m² 60-room hotel is located in the wine-growing region of Nashik in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. Led by Sanjay Puri and his associates Toral Doshi, Manjeet Khatri, Sudhir Ambasana, and Dipti Patil, Aria Hotel responds to the site, the surroundings and sustainable materials. The site hotel’s site is gently contoured rising up 9 metre towards the south with the entry at the lowest level in the north. Towards the north, the property faces a large river and a dam with hills beyond. The southern side rises up into hills in close proximity to the site.
The design brief by the client included a large banquet hall of 1,394m² in addition to the guestrooms and other facilities. Since the banquet hall would have large gatherings, its access is planned directly from the road frontage at the lowest level of the site. The public facilities including the hotel lobby, restaurant, bar, spa and business centre occupy a higher level – 6 metres above the banquet hall entered directly from an ascending approach road.
The rooms at the higher level are oriented to face the river in the north or the immediate hills in the south with open circulation spaces and naturally ventilated and skylit courtyards. Each level of the hotel is integrated with the natural contours of the site, minimising land cutting and landfill. The site wasn’t excavated or outside side brought into the site during the construction, making it both economical and sustainable.
Over 50% of the walls are built with natural black basalt stone available in close proximity of the site. All the circulation spaces are naturally lit and ventilated rendering the building energy efficient. Solar panels on the rooftop, over the banquet kitchen and parking areas, generate 50% of the electrical energy required for the hotel.
Rainwater harvesting tanks, with water recycling, and reuse, further add to the sustainable practices adopted for the design and operation of this hotel. All the rooms, restaurant, spa and banquets open into sheltered balconies and decks that provide outdoor usable spaces while minimising the heat gain into the internal volumes. On each floor, the rooms form rectilinear cuboids that are angled differently creating balconies that frame the picturesque surroundings with two-floor high suites at the topmost levels. Painted in terracotta colour stucco, these frames are juxtaposed with the black basalt stone walls of the lower floors.
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Photos: Dinesh Mehta
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