© Maxime Brouillet
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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.