Size: 50,000 sq. ft.
Our client was asked to build and operate a guest house for a multi national firm based in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. The firm valued interaction amongst its staff. Outdoor / indoor sports is a dominant activity in which majority of the staff participated & the club facilities was one of the reasons for their need for a guesthouse.
Design Concept / Features
Our design revolved around creating “our space” and “my space” and methodically segregating and integrating “our space” and “my space” to create variety of spatial experiences and design expressions. At the master plan level we decided to take the sports & common amenities at a central point & place the married accommodation & bachelor accommodation at two opposite ends – using the common area to physically divide the residential component into two & using a variety of connections like corridor, bridge & staircase to allow for spontaneous interaction.
A single axis connecting the Chalet & the Guest rooms is bifurcated at the common amenity area to create an informal entry to the complex. Courtyard is another element extensively used to create “our space” and “my space” feeling. The smallest courtyard is at individual unit level, giving each resident a feel of “personal garden / open space. In the chalet the courtyard takes form of an open room onto which all the other areas open out, whereas in the guestroom it allows for bringing together the toilet & room. At upper level in the residences the courtyard takes the form of a terrace. Three chalet units combine to form an entrance court & two chalet blocks combine to create a barbeque court. Similarly for guestroom, four blocks combine to create an entrance court. An open staircase is another common feature in the entrance court – allowing for vertical integration. The staircase for the residential block functions not only as a vertical connection, but also becomes an area of impromptu gatherings and exchange.
The common amenity area is designed as a “C” shaped structure housing a central court. The swimming pool at one end and the party lawn at the other create a variety of design expressions in this large public court. The restaurant verandah & the gym open out into the court, whereas the connecting corridor widens to create an entry to the club house. The internal arrangement of the club too replicates the courtyard concept – only a glazed squash court forms the central block, with corridor on both the sides doubling as a viewing gallery. The varied height requirement for the sports activity facilitates creation of levels & steps, which only helps in enhancing the courtyard feel inside. A terrace over the squash court opens on to the outdoor sport courts. Thus the maze of courtyards of varying sizes & character create an architectural fabric for the project.
The higher road level called for filling up the site by around 6’-0” to avoid flooding. Instead of uniformly filling up the site and using costly retaining wall structure to support filling, we decided to use earth pitching to support the fill. The earth pitching was designed to support waterways, which are designed perpendicular to the main axis & thereby creating four island s & physically dividing the site into Chalet; Common areas, Guestrooms & outdoor courts. The water ways are bridged to connect the common amenity area to the chalet & guestroom – fabric roofing further accentuating the connection
The entire complex is articulated as a mix of vernacular form & contemporary material. All the three spatial components have sloping roofs with grey-blue sheet roofing. The connections between the three are designed as fabric structures allowing for a different expression for the sloped roof language used everywhere. The material palette proposed is mostly earthen colors superimposed with glass & metal work. Wooden rafters (Tipwood) are to be used as shading devices, supported by metal brackets. The services too are integrated with the built form, with tipwood louvers ventilating the AC outdoor units.
The upper floors in both the Chalet & Guestrooms are projected out so as to give the maximum sun protection. Though majority of the spaces are air-conditioned cross-ventilation in each room ensures natural climatic comforts. The courtyards too facilitate climatic relief in the extreme summers of Andhra Pradesh.
The service area & the hospitality staff amenity area form the entrance gate to the complex. The fabric roof connecting the two blocks frames the entry to the complex. The large entrance plaza leads to the semi-enclosed entrance that sets the vernacular tone for the complex.