Client: Serena Group / Dan Gaych Group
Architect: Arcop Associates
Area: 6.00 Acres
Status: Completed in 2009
RECIPIENT OF 2013 ISOLA GENERAL DESIGN AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: COMMENDATION
“Appreciated for its research documentation, presentation and sensitivity in design.”
— Jury for Indian Society of Landscape Architects ISOLA Honours and Awards, 2013
In 2005, Prince Amin of Aga Khan Trust took special interest to upgrade this fortified palace near Jaipur and convert it into a heritage hotel. Best standards of conservation strategy and measures were taken as per ASI guidelines to bring back the charming glory of the palace at the same time adding luxuries of a hotel.
Inspirations were drawn from the Indo-Islamic gardens that dominated the Rajput dynasties and were designed here to imbibe the experience of the mystic charm of that era. The typical statements of the Mughal gardens have evolved from careful use of water resources in orchards. The arrange-ments of these gardens suggest an abstract representation of forms and process with the water channels often being punctuated by pools and cascades. Thus, the landscape treatment here involved reactivation of the fountains, water channels, the zenana gardens amongst other traditional features of a Rajasthani garden.
The main courtyard, however, was preserved with introduction of mov-able decorative planter trays to soften the stone paving. References for the introduction of zenana garden were been taken from Amber Palace, Jaipur, with its setting, scale, regular geometry, sense of enclosure and brilliant lighting detail to accentuate the experience, making the place magical.
Intensive design attention was also taken to work out the sequential ex-perience for the tourists entering and moving to the inner quarters of the palace hotel. Black marble chabutras, vantage points to sit, relax and ap-preciate the grand view, introduction of observatory gardens in form of prominent solar patterns, intricate local sandstone works for screens, planter boxes and frames with highly detailed marble works for the garden furniture, water cascades in the form of chadar at the central tank of charbagh, fountain and lighting elements makes the visitor reminiscent of the glory of the past. Trees, traditional plants and fruit orchards were introduced as a measure to soften the harshness and scale of the facade. The requirements of modern amenities for a successful hotel were also provided without disturbing the historical labyrinths.