City famed for fish gets “only veg” hotel
Delhi architects RMDK design a vegetarian boutique hotel for Kolkata A part of the renowned Siliguri based hotel chain, Barsana Boutique Hotel is located in the City of Joy, Kolkata. This seven-storey building, including 45 guestrooms, a restaurant, an event and a conference space, reminisces its rich contextual heritage without burning a hole in the client’s pocket. RMDK Architects’ brief was to create a strong and unique identity while providing a refuge from the chaos and cacophony of the historic city of Kolkata. The building, despite its constrained site and byelaw limitations of size and height, creates a strong visual presence in the area with its bold façade dressed in an organic texture of locally procured stone. The main lobby with a lounge and restaurant is a fluid form in rhythmic line work compositions forming a seamless connection between the exterior and the interior. One is greeted with a scheme of warm colours in burnt – natural stain wooden finish along with beautiful brass peacock installations, making the guest feel at ease while adding a well restrained touch of glamour and luxury to the space. Art is one of the most important elements in RMDK’s design that visually and experientially ties all the spaces together. Pictures of local elements of Kolkata in a silent earthy and natural underlying palette with splashes of colour, bring liveliness and familiarity to an otherwise formal atmosphere.
The five upper floors housing the rooms, have a repetitive zoning in order to optimise space. Specific and bright colours, reflecting the ebullient Indian culture, have been used in each room to add liveliness to it. Corridors on each level further a varying colour scheme that breaks away from muted experience of public zones. The topmost floor houses a banquet hall that can function as either two separate units with a foldable partition wall or as one large unified hall based on the need of the hour. This space has been thoughtfully designed to require minimal intervention and ornamentation while being set for a function, thus minimising the collective future efforts of its users and handlers alike. The distinctive colours and pattern along with the mirrored ceiling in the hall represent the conviviality of the locally inherent traditions and culture. Each space is a meticulously sculpted volume that cohesively brings together a wide array of forms, colours, textures, materials and lighting to create its highly individualistic experience. These spaces thus create a hotel that not only provides a temporary shelter to its guests, but also becomes an integrally lasting impression and memory of the city of Kolkata for the guest to carry and cherish forever.