Near Jaipur

Client: Serena Group / Dan Gaych Group
Architect: Arcop Associates
Area: 6.00 Acres
Landscape Cost: 1.76 cores
Status: Completed in 2009

“Appreciated for its research documentation, presentation and sensitivity in design.”
— Jury for Indian Society of Landscape Architects ISOLA Honours and Awards, 2013

In 2005 Prince Amin of Agha Khan Trust took special interest to upgrade this fortified palace near Jaipur and convert it into a heritage hotel property under the Serena Group. Best standards of conservation strategy and measures are taken as per ASI guidelines to bring back the charming glory of the palace at the same time bringing in the luxury of a hotel. In course of time, the local partner, Dan Gaych Group took over the same from Serena Group.

Inspirations are drawn from the Indo-Islamic form of gardens that dominated the Rajput dynasties based on Mughal garden design. The typical statements of the Mughal gardens have evolved from careful husbanding of water resources in orchards. The arrangements of these gardens are deceptively simple and suggest an abstract representation of forms and process with the water channels often being punctuated by pools and cascades. Thus, the landscape treatment involved reactivation of the fountains, water channels, the Zenana gardens amongst other traditional features of Rajasthani garden.

The gardens have been designed to imbibe the experience of the mystic charm of the Mughal-Rajasthani era with an effort to glorify the lavish lifestyle. The main courtyard has however been preserved with introduction of movable decorative planter trays to soften the stone paving. References for the introduction of Zenana garden has been taken from Amber Palace, Jaipur, with its setting, scale, regular geometry, sense of enclosure and brilliant lighting detail to accentuate the experience, making the area magical.

Intensive design attention has also been taken to work out the sequential experience of the tourists entering the complex and moving to the inner quarters of the palace hotel. Black marble chabutras, vantage points to sit, relax and appreciate the grand view, introduction of observatory gardens in form of prominent solar patterns, intricate local sandstone works for screens, planter boxes and frames with highly detailed marble works for the garden furniture, water cascades in the form of “chadar” at the central tank of charbagh, fountain and lighting elements makes the visitor reminiscent of the glory of the past.

The trees, traditional plants and fruit orchards are introduced as a measure to bring in the nostalgia and to soften the harshness and scale of the facade.

The requirements of modern amenities for a successful hotel have been also provided without disturbing and rather enhancing the historical labyrinths.