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Friday, February 24, 2017

Bridging borders of timelessness!

By Savitha Hira
Photography: Courtesy the architects
Read Time: 2 mins 
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Nestled in the scenic Lonavla landscape, just off the Mumbai-Pune highway lies Rhythm Resorts with its Mangalore-tiled pitched roofs, staggered invitingly.

You enter the resort via a linear patch that leads to a centrally positioned habitat 2m lower than the periphery, where the parking is strategically sited.  This depression in the 2-acre site constitutes almost half its area (1 acre) and is scenically landscaped around its natural contours along with a water body to cater to an inward-looking environment. 

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Categorically zoned into apartment-blocks, private and public quarters, the resort has 46 studio and 46 1BHK apartments besides the guest rooms and perfunctory amenities of banquet, bar and restaurant and public spaces.  Bringing the public spaces in close vicinity of the entrance facilitates shared amenities in a visually enriched ambience; and acts as the much-needed buffer for the private occupancy with its distinct functionality; without compromising on holism and oneness in the resort.
 
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Helmed by Ar. Abhijit Purohit, Executive Director and India Head of Arch Group International, a leading international consultancy firm with corporate office in the UAE-Dubai and Abudhabi; and a strong independent base in Mumbai, India, the approx. 12000 sq. m. development follows an architectural vocabulary that alludes to predominant nuances of Kerala architecture amid Southeast Asian influences.
 
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Standing loftily in white and umber – the concrete and wood edifices glow in their own magnificence. Straight-lined and contemporary, the buildings show flat slab column connections that externally hold wooden members towards the top, braced to the pitched roofs. This use of wood and steel at the higher levels not only introduces a typically traditional flavour (along with the slated wooden privacy screens), but lightens the façade at the top, accentuating its height.
 
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Breaking the massing in 6 non-contiguous blocks, the apartments have balconies overlooking an internal courtyard and are connected via corridors, reinstating traditional residential typology. 

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Internally too, wood dominates. Scooped dormer roofs, columns with tall bases, and a skeletal framework of timber trusses anoint the roofs at the entrances, whilst flat wooden ceilings carry the language forward, across the interiors.
 
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Rising to the challenge of a restrained FSI and budget, the architects, who are prolific with several large architectural projects across India and abroad, create a haven for holiday-makers with this simple but eclectically fashioned design, rooted in timelessness.

Fact File:
Client: Rhythm Resorts
Design firm: Arch Group International, India
Design principal: Ar. Abhijit Purohit (Ex. Dir. -India Head)
Site area: 2 acres
Total Area of Development: 12000 sq. m. 
Location: Lonavla, Maharashtra

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