COMPLEX TAJ RISHIKESH RESORT & SPA | yh2
Photo credit: Maxime Brouillet
Location: Rishikesh, India
Area: 79 rooms and villas - 150 000 sq ft
Construction period: 2011-2020
yh2 design team: Marie-Claude Hamelin, Loukas Yiacouvakis, François Bélanger, Marianne Vézina
Architects in India: Edifice consultant
Interior designer: Eco-id architects
Landscape architect: Burega Farnell
Lighting consultant: GA Design
Developer and contractor: Darrameks Hotels & Developers Pvt. Ltd
Structural engineer: S.V. Damle
Photographer: Maxime Brouillet
The Indian Himalayas, a steep mountain landscape through which the sacred Ganges River meanders, is a nature that supersedes all human construction.
For the development of the hotel complex Taj Rishikesh, it was this modesty in face of the grandiosity of the place that guided our approach.
The project was developed following a trip to the Indian Himalayas, where we studied the traditional vernacular architecture developed over millennia. This architecture evolved in response to the rugged mountain topography and the locally available materials, and this established the foundation of the project.
The resort, located 250 km north-east of New Delhi, incorporates the main hotel block and a series of villas on a vast and steep site overlooking the Ganges River. The site layout is inspired by traditional Himalayan villages, anchored around a Darbargadh, the traditional residence of local rajas or lords.
The Darbargadhs are used as a combination fortress-palace-temple, and offer at their heart a walled courtyard that ensures the protection of the villagers in times of war, and serves as a gathering place for community life in harmonious times.
Created in the image of a traditional Darbargadh, the main block of the hotel overlooks the valley and provides a central location for gathering all the main services of the resort: the reception, restaurant, bar, boutique, library, and more.
The villas, as in a traditional Himalayan village, are laid out as a series of pavilions built on a succession of stepped terraces kept in place by massive stone retaining walls. This stratification of the site in successive levels offers each villa a private view of the mountain panorama and the majority with framed views of the Ganges River.