Project Name: Shreyas Retreat
Client: Shreyas yoga retreat / inner challenges pvt ltd
Location: Bengaluru, India
Architects: The Purple Ink Studio
Design team: Ar. Akshay Heranjal and Ar. Aditi Pai Heranjal
Photography: Shamanth Patil J
Led by Ar. Akshay Heranjal and Ar. Aditi Pai Heranjal, the Purple Ink Studio, based in Bangalore, is a multiple award winning practice that focuses on an integrated approach to crafting unique design solutions; an approach that encompasses architecture, landscape and sustainable ideologies. The studio’s works are centred on the foundation of intensive research and on the novel concept of ‘Regenerative Architecture’ which stresses upon conservation and the reduction of the built structure’s impact on the environment. Championing the cause of creating a self-sustainable built environment, the studio’s initiative ‘Kilometre Zero’ is about creating experimental prototypes that can be multiplied to make large-scale Eco Cities.
Designed as an addition to a well-known Yoga Retreat in India, the 20,000 sq.ft spa is a ‘retreat within a retreat’ that offers its guests diverse, magnificent experiences with its remarkable spaces.
The architectural design has been conceptualised as the collective space being a sustainable model, emphasizing on the relation of man in nature’s dominion. The main block is partially immersed in the earth, forming a bond with the isolating quality of the same. Sunken courts have been designed in the block to facilitate an unencumbered flow of natural light and air. The main area has been planned thoughtfully as a series of different spaces that assist the seamless spatial transition of the guests.
The design makes clever use of natural light, which renders the exposed walls and ceilings with a serene glow and a magnificent play of light and shadows. Various design elements such as hand crafted jaali screens and solid wood doors create a strong connection between the spaces. This bond is further strengthened by the different openings that help merge the interiors and exteriors seamlessly.
The central court welcomes the Guest Lounge, with a water body on one of its sides and a sunken court on the other. The main area also consists of the Private Consultation rooms which are cleverly placed alongside the water body.
The Spa block is a semi-detached entity that is designed on the lines of adaptive usage, with each unit planned according to the specific function it attends to. Each spa room (up to 600 sq.ft.) offers picturesque views of the surroundings to its guests, while giving them the much-needed privacy from the outside world by utilizing local exposed jaalis, which also functions as a shell. The interior spaces boast of a mellow environment that is veiled by the structure’s porous shell. The guests enjoy the humble luxury of private open to sky lounge spaces that aid in post-treatment relaxation. The design of the spaces also ensures that ample natural light flows through all the areas.
With its ten massage rooms, the Spa offers its guests with a plethora of treatment options, ranging from age-old, holistic Ayurveda treatments to various Oriental and Western offerings.
The landscape integrates flawlessly with the built pathways, creating break-away spaces for the guests to relax. These lounge areas act as buffer zones helping the guests experience a smooth transition from the exteriors to the semi-covered spaces. They also mesmerize the patrons with a splendid play of natural light.
The designed spaces, growing from the sunken ground towards the sky, are an epitome of tranquillity and perceptual, organic progress as they become one with the lightness and grace exuded by their architecture. This sense is further intensified on the Upper level, which houses the Meditation and Yoga Pavilion. This vast space (2000 sq.ft) is complete with large fenestrations on the eastern side that allow the early morning sunlight to play freely inside, which creates a compelling atmosphere for the morning Yoga sessions. This Large Pavilion then opens up to the private Yoga and Meditation rooms, these spaces offering the guests with pleasing views created by the play of light and shadows against the roof’s jaalis and screens.
The Purple Ink Studio has merged various intrinsic aspects of architectural design in the Shreyas Retreat, diminishing the line of distinction between massing and landscape. Using a minimalistic, natural material palette, they have forged a unique, indiscernible and a soothing connection between the human physiology, its natural environment and the built milieu.
-Tanvi Naik, Volume Zero.