By Sonal Mamoowala
Photography: courtesy Shilpa Architects
Read Time: 3 mins
Drawing inspiration from the majestic Peacock, the IGBC-LEED Gold rated Mahindra World City Club in the culturally rich city of Kanchipuram is designed as a tranquil retreat to enhance the communal fabric of its residents...
The layout plan with its sweeping curvilinear form akin to the swaying gait of the prancing peacock, achieves a carefully constructed connection to its natural surroundings; the organic form strategising views both - within the club and around the scenic vistas.
Sporting facilities conducive to hosting international gaming events complement the leisure and library areas for complete enrichment of body, mind and soul as the ambience is designed to reflect the playfulness and relaxation provided by the environment.
Adhering to the theme of ‘one-with-nature’, Chennai-based Shilpa Architects, who have designed this retreat, use a tiered roofing system to seamlessly anoint the built form. An array of clerestories and roof overhangs are complemented by a unique design feature for cleverly collecting rainwater via fish scale aqua bands across the façade, which incidentally, also augment the visual experience of ‘floating in space’. Chiaroscuro elements become a welcome add-on as the potential of daylight is maximized through well-integrated orientation.
The architects show keen discern-ability in the choice and usage of materials with the promise of an eco-friendly and sustainable environment: a renewable bamboo wall on the façade doubles as a visual and aural barrier between indoor and outdoor spaces; rain chains along the colonnaded corridor help convey rain water run-offs, while “swales’ in the lawns aid natural, efficient ground water recharge during monsoons.
Inside, the double-height reception area flanked by a “kandi brick’ clad wall with its handmade and sundried bricks celebrates local architecture contrasting with exposed concrete finishes. Earthy tones along with the peacock blues and greens (the mural on the wall mimics authentic Tanjore art but is repurposed to be exposed) continue with the staircase that resembles the feathers of the peacock (note the blue risers); as the thematic design continues in each individual space… as tapestry, trellis or accessories.
Plush and comfortable interiors overlooking landscaped terraces and green roofs nuanced with cultural overtures that depict regional and native flavour, provide the ideal retreat for the serene rejuvenation-seeking soul.