Project Name: Double Tree (Hilton Ahmedabad)
Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Architects: Studio Symbiosis
Partners: Amit Gupta, Britta Knobel Gupta
Project Architect: Nitish Talmale, Pranav Semwal, M. Shaique Uddin,
Project Team: Ahefaz Panjwani, Kartik Misra, Akshay Koodori, Joy Mondal, Isha Pundir, S. Adarsh, Mayank Ojha, Mariia Nazarenko, Rishi Sapra, Rakesh Mathur, Pancham Pathania.
Facility Managers: HPG Consultancy
Facade Consultants: Priedemann
Site area: 6860 sqm
Built-up Area: 24000 sqm
Start Date: April 2012
A luxurious and excellently serviced five-star property, the focal point around which the design has been oriented is the elemental fluidity observed in the structural façade as well as the surrounding landscape. The intent was to design a building which is symbolically iconic, and asserts its identity in the skyline through its form and stature. The conceptual ideal speaks of interweaving the form of waves observed in nature, with folded lines deeming movement trajectories, and with perception, added to the requirements expressed in the design programme.
Descriptively construing the composition of the building in the form of three waves, they seem to individually mingle to formulate dramatic spaces on lower floors, while on the upper floor, they transform into grids, for rooms of standardized sizes. The varying programmatic requirements throughout the building, while functionally demarcated, merge seamlessly according to the design, and thereby rises an iconic structure, one which exudes subtlety and elegance.
The wave formations an integral element of the conceptual design is not only depicted on the structure, but even on the landscape, stemming from each other, and appearing to be a harmonious amalgamation of the built and the un-built. The form of the structure has been emphatically designed with an effortless transition between the vertical structure, effectively highlighted by the standardization obtained due to repetition of the components of the façade and the designed horizontal landscape.
Designed as an essential part of the structural fabric, and not as a mere external surface, the façade of the structure would be effected and emulate the slightest upheaval or alteration impacted within, due to flux in the internal spaces, portraying a strong interdependent relationship between the two, ensuring coherence in the building system.
The entrance to the building exudes grandeur and invites all, with an extending cantilever, its canopy emerging from the landscape, and morphing back into it, the first glimpse of the structure itself representative of the elements of fluidity, and seamlessness in the design.
The demarcation of functional activities includes the three lower floors being designated for a reception lobby, an area dedicated to shopping, a multipurpose banquet hall, a number of meeting rooms, specialty restaurants, a lounge space and the vital service areas. These diverse range of functions have been tied together, into a coherent design language, in a semblance of natural formations, such as those of a canyon. The defined spaces follow the principle of a wave carving out a canyon. While the spaces function independently, they are all unified by their form, visually. Moreover, careful consideration has been given to each individual space, such as a spill out area for the banquet hall which folds into the landscape, allowing the space to modulate as per inhabitation needs and celebrational cause.
The restaurants have also been carefully situated in the midst of the green landscape, allowing for serene and striking views, and the façade itself wrapping around the space, giving the design of the restaurants an element of uniqueness. There is an all-day dining area, which has been designed with openness in its form, in order to assert the attractiveness of a buffet system, which is primarily employed there. The space itself is visible from the lobby, grabbing attention, while the specialty dining area has been placed a floor higher, which exudes a more intimate vibe, depicting interplay of the space, our senses, and the food offered, to ultimately create varied zones of larger and smaller areas, with differing levels of privacy offered.
The special features of spa, gym, saloon and swimming pool are offered at the top that is, spread out into the last habitable floor and the roof itself. The swimming pool, with a prime location of the terrace, offers splendid views of the city, along with a lounge, the sky lounge, offering a space for guests to spend leisurely times at, inviting to relax and unwind under the vast sky, and in the midst of the beautiful city, and the grand structure itself.
Essentially, the importance of lighting within design is a fact well realized, but not by a prominent majority. With The Double Tree Hotel, however, the lighting design scheme thoroughly complements the architectural design, and is not intrusive. It was vital that the iconic presence of the building be felt at all times. In the city of Ahmedabad, therefore, the idea adopted has been integration of light with culture and technology. Liner light fixtures have been used in such a way that the source of light is not visible from any point. Also, employing the inside out concept, it has been ensured that the landscape is not merely the surrounding but a part of the building, similar to how the meticulous details have ensured that the lighting is integrated with the building.
However, it had to be made certain that the lighting should not be overemphasized. LVI has followed all the international standards, as well as design paradigms. The latest models of technology have been used, to ensure comfort and flexibility from lighting. Moreover, by using solid state lighting, the property is environment friendly, which provides for least impact of night pollution and greater energy efficiency.
Extensive work in the form of drawings, diagrams and mock ups have aided in precisely communicating and coordinating the location and dimension of the niches with the architect as well as the facade consultant so as to ensure a choreographed final design. Therefore, with its structural beauty, and its complementary lighting, which emphasizes the pivotal fluid form, this building holds an esteem in redefining the skyline of the city of Ahmedabad.
An architectural practice which focusses on creation of spaces which emphasize the on equilibrium with the surroundings, Studio Symbiosis is based in Delhi NCR, London and Stuttgart. Founded by architect partners Amit Gupta and Britta Knobel Gupta, alumni of the prestigious Architectural Association, London, it was established in 2010 in India, and their work in a diverse range of projects, including villas, hotels and masterplans for various projects led to renown and recognition promptly.
-Devashree Vyas, Volume Zero.