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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Reconciling with nature

By Ar. Vinita Wagh
Photography: Vivek Singh Rathore
Read Time: 2 mins
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Amaya Resort (inset) Ar. Vivek Singh Rathore

An epitome of biophilic design, Amaya Resort conceived by Salient Design Studio seeks articulate connections with nature.

Located 40kms from Kolkata in Uluberia, the resort brings the experiences of the natural world into the modern built environment, creating a sphere of Zen energy harnessed from the lakes, greens and biodiversity – a conscious effort that aims to offset the city’s dense urbanity. 

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With a master-plan that has roots in sustainability, sensibility, resilience, Vaastu and spiritual tourism, the 12.5-acre campus is a sanctuary for trees and home to a 3-acre man-made lake that takes inspiration from rural Bengal village settlements to act as a nucleus for the built clusters. The built and unbuilt spaces are a composition of organic geometries, embracing the sentiment of wonder and discovery. Pedestrian loops intertwine, meander through the built and become one with the landscape.

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Amaya, complete with residential clusters, recreational and public spaces, follows a 5-sense design philosophy – zero earth (top soil) displacement, rain water conservation, water management, preservation of existing trees and biodiversity, and minimising consumption. The site recharges storm water, retains the lake ecosystem, follows an intense tree plantation scheme, and pursues minimal energy/building material usage and reduced heat island gain.

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The resort expresses simplicity through its use of concrete flyash brick as a material and a striking play of light and shadow in naturally lit and cross-ventilated spaces (almost 96%). The clusters, planned as low-rise, curved blocks, screen perimeter views of the adjoining industries and are split strategically to frame views of the surrounding environs.

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Shades of grey and matured browns find their way indoors, accentuated with timber and warm lighting. Large glass frames establish a seamless outdoor connection. Minimal furniture in beige and brown highlight a muted palette, while d├ęcor elements call for sharp attention. Together, along with the varying seasonal colours of the outdoors, they coexist to define a cohesive aesthetic. Employment of local artists and labour breaks the synthetic city mould and offers a distinctive hospitality experience. Handmade terrazzo tiles, brass-casted wall artwork, MS sheet metal lights, signages and the distressed grey paint – all reinstate the organic mindset and the significance of unique artisan work.

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Amaya weaves a surreal experience for its users as it celebrates humaneness at the intersection of nature and sustainability against a modern backdrop.

Fact File:
Client: SDB Developers
Design Firm: Salient
Principal Designer/Architect: Vivek Singh Rathore
Area: 1,24,093 sq. ft.
Location: Uluberia, Kolkata, West Bengal


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