- Project Title: Aria Hotel
- Location: Nashik, India
- Practice: Sanjay Puri Architects
- Lead Architect: Sanjay Puri
- Design Team: Toral Doshi, Manjeet Khatri, Sudhir Ambasana, Dipti Patil
- Plot Area: 3.2 Acre
- Total Built-up: 13,935 sq.m
- Photography Credits: Dinesh Mehta
What defines a hotel experience? One which is an abode as close to home, ensuring deft and modest quality provided with comfortable facilities and soul-filling experiences. Hotel architecture has been reinterpreted in many styles over the years by architects. Conceptualizing the form and aesthetics to clinical and meaningful oriented spaces delivered with etiquette and charm bestows the architectural visualization of such a building. The Aria Hotel designed by Ar. Sanjay Puri enchants on this symphony of design and character that ooze glamour as well as class.
Located on a hilltop in Nashik, this grand dazzling form pinnacles the mount in dashing glory. The site forms a gently contoured rising unto nine metres towards the south with the entry at the lowest level from the north. Situated in the wine-growing region of India, the northern façade faces a large river and a dam with serene hills beyond. An array of frames randomly stacked inculcates the fantastical view, knitting a visual connection between the outdoor and indoor. The southern side rises into the hills close to the site. A large banquet hall of 15000 sq.ft in addition to 60 rooms and other facilities were neatly pieced into the alluring form.
Since the banquet hall would have large gatherings its access is planned directly from the road front at the lowest level of the site. The public facilities including the hotel lobby, restaurant, bar, spa and business centre occupy a higher level at about six meters above the banquet hall accessed directly from an ascending approach road.
The rooms at the higher level are oriented to face the river towards the north or the surrounding hills captured to the south. The hotel is finely crafted with open circulation spaces that are refreshing with natural ventilation letting the whole structure breathe in serenity. A major feature in the design are the skylit courtyards that participate in a game of light and shadows, invoking an energetic aura. Each level of the hotel is integrated with the natural contours of the site, minimizing land cut and landfill, thereby no soil was taken out of the site or brought into the site while constructing, in turn making the construction both economical and sustainable. Over fifty per cent of the walls are built with natural black basalt stone available close to the site. These stones define a monumental character to the structure. 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 fifty percent of the electrical energy required for the hotel. Rainwater harvesting tanks, with water recycling and reuse, further add to the sustainable methods adopted for the design of this hotel. All the rooms, restaurants, spa, and banquets open into sheltered balconies and decks that provide outdoor usable spaces whilst minimizing 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.
Aria Hotel is designed contextually, responding to the site contours, the views of the surroundings, the climate, and the materials creating a web of experiences within its different volumes.
Sanjay Puri Architects
Sanjay Puri, alumni of Mayo College, Ajmer, and St.Xaviers College, Mumbai graduated from the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai in 1988 and is the principal architect of the firm Sanjay Puri Architects. With a young team of over 72 architects, the firm has a diverse portfolio of projects including townships, residential developments, software parks, hotels, retail malls, schools, and smaller individual projects, where they continue their quest for creating innovative design solutions that are sustainable on a large scale. They follow a design philosophy to achieve design solutions that are contextual and thus creating spaces that revolutionize the way they are experienced.