Edifice lends a Peshwai touch to Taj Gateway, Nashik
The design language of the hotel reflects a marriage of tradition and modernity for leisure as well as business travellers to enjoy
Lying amidst twenty acres of lush landscaped gardens, The Taj Gateway Hotel at Nashik, Maharashtra, provides a poignant tribute to the historic Peshwai style of architecture. Its facilities and amenities are designed with the intention of providing a new-age experience to contemporary travelers that resonates with their lifestyle. The hotel serves a diverse clientele: while it is home to business travelers during the week, it doubles up as a luxury destination for leisure and rejuvenation during the weekends. The Taj Gateway, in addition, also houses a dedicated banquet hall and expansive ceremonial greens for hosting private and business events.
Designed by Mumbai-based Edifice Consultants, the hotel’s urban context guides its Peshwai architectural vocabulary. The architecture of the city of Nashik is predominantly rooted in its rich Maratha history; many of its buildings display the traditional wada, deool, or mahal typologies. The architects’ idea was to pay homage to the historicity of the city, while creating spaces that could accommodate the modern sensibilities of its target clientele. This manifests as a unique blend of traditional architectural style and modern construction technology and materials.
Contemporary reinterpretations of historical elements of space-making, such as the stepped arch and the jaali, permeate all public spaces. They set the stage for an elegant play of light and shadow and add character to the interior spaces. The building’s exterior, on the other hand, is finished in rough, textured paint. It emulates the coarse feel of unpolished stone, inspiring a feeling of nostalgia.
The new block of the hotel stands next to the old one on the site. It is accessible to vehicles via a dedicated drop-off, while a walkway offers pedestrian access. The hotel’s program is distributed on four floors. Visitors enter the upper ground floor through an elegantly designed lobby. This opens into the guest corridor, which leads to a book shop and the guest rooms. The lower ground floor houses two large conference rooms, four guest suites, and the hotel’s back-of-house functions.
The banquet hall that provides twenty thousand square feet of congregational space is set amidst five acres of forested surroundings. It is peeled off from the hotel buildings for privacy, convenience of use, and ease of access, and is accessible via a separate drop-off. Visitors enter the building through a porch – it can accommodate as many as 400 guests – into a reception area for registration. This space doubles up as a welcome lounge and provides access to all public areas within the building – the pre-function area, meeting rooms, interview cabins, and the banquet hall itself, which is divisible into three smaller halls for seamless operations. The pre-function space opens into the outdoor lawn that can accommodate more than 2,000 people. The guest and service circulation programs are planned on opposite sides of the building for optimized functional efficiency.
The project’s architectural language is characterized by a unique and conscientious amalgamation of modern and traditional elements. While the building exteriors showcase a Peshwai influence, the interior spaces are crafted in a rich contemporary style. The banquet hall is characterized by elaborate portals that frame the jaali–traditional motifs are reinterpreted to add visual interest to the elevation. The pre-function area is designed with a seven-meter-high ceiling to allow increased penetration of daylight into the space. This enhances the spatial experience and endows a feeling of grandeur to the banquet area. Cove ceiling lighting creates a dynamic play of light and shadows, while handcrafted carpets facilitate and showcase Indian craft in a contemporary manner. A warm, elegant, and classic material palette is adopted–Italian marble in beige, wood-paneled walls featuring back-lit tracery–to endow an opulent vibe to the spaces.
In all, the project successfully captures a moment in the continuum of the city’s architectural evolution. A perfect blend of tradition and modernity pays reverence to the historicity of the city, while crafting contemporary hotel and banquet spaces in line with contemporary sensibilities.