- India, Aria Hotel by Sanjay Puri Architects
Here, in a unique position between the Godavari - India’s second-longest river after the Ganges - on the one side, and the gentle hills on the other stands Aria Hotel, the latest project designed by Sanjay Puri Architects. Our readers are familiar with these architects based in Mumbai for their work that respects the context and environment. So too have they followed this approach for the Aria Hotel, where they first carefully studied the location. The new hotel has 60 rooms, a restaurant, bar and large banquet hall of almost 1400 square metres for family or corporate events.
The land slopes 9 metres from the south side overlooking the hills to the north side, where the river flows. Sanjay Puri Architects took this into account in their placement of the various areas of the hotel. They put the large hall on the ground floor, with access from the road frontage. At the same time, the other public facilities, including the hotel lobby, have been located at a higher level and are directly accessible from a dedicated service road, to keep traffic flow separate.
The rooms at the higher level are oriented to face the river in the north or the immediate hills in the south. Open circulation spaces, connected by courtyards that foster natural light and ventilation improve the building’s energy efficiency. Solar panels on the rooftop, over the banquet kitchen and parking areas, generate fifty per cent of the electricity required for the hotel. Each level of the hotel is integrated with the natural contours of the site, minimizing land cutting and landfill to make the construction both cost-effective and sustainable. Over fifty per cent of the walls are built with natural black basalt stone available close to the site. This decision is environmentally-friendly and at the same time is informed by the vernacular architectural tradition, like the choice of terracotta-coloured stucco for the upper walls.
Rainwater harvesting tanks, with water recycling and reuse, further add to the sustainable methods adopted for the design of this hotel. All the rooms - stacked and angled for privacy - the restaurants, spa and banquet hall open onto sheltered balconies and decks that provide usable outdoor spaces while minimizing the heat gain into the internal volumes.
Aria Hotel by Sanjay Puri Architects offers the possibility of an eco-sustainable holiday also because it responds to the context, from the site contours to the climate and the materials used.
Project: Sanjay Puri Architects
Location: Nashik, Maharashtra, India
Images: Dinesh Metha, Sanjay Puri