Designing off the Beaten Track

Well, for the uninitiated and those who can’t find Ranakpur on the map, the place is discretely nestled in the majestic Aravallis between Jodhpur and the lake city of Udaipur. It’s just about an hour’s drive from the former. Mana Hotels has recently setup a resort in Ranakpur which intends to soothe the tired city nerves and also provides agreat opportunity to enjoy the City of Lakes sans the chaos of a tourist hub.

What will strike a guest most, when he visits the Mana, is the unconventional and unorthodox architectural style that has become a signature of the property. If the words sound cliché, then a rendezvous of the place would be the only way to comprehend what unorthodox truly means.

Mana has incorporated an interesting fusion form of designing at its property at Ranakpur. This is apparent from the choice of materials that lends each building a characteristic look and feel. Besides, the design itself, is ecologically conscious. While glass has been used in abundance, it is strategically used mostly in places where the beneficial sunrays directly enter the space. “This is a scientific way to reduce the heat gain,” says Rohan Rajgarhia, CEO. The use of glass, undeniably, saves energy.

Usage of metallic and hybrid materials has been ensured after meticulous planning. Steel sections, gypsum board and vinyl sheets have been used only to accentuate the countenance of the buildings.

Traditional Rajasthani construction techniques are employed to highlight the interiors. The stone jaali, a century-old style of Rajasthani designing finds a resemblance in the designing. Only, vinyl sheets have been used to replicate thejaalis. These are, again, environment friendly.

In fact, there’s minimal roller-compacted concrete work that has been used in constructing the resort. Concrete has been used only for building the vertical columns and beams and masonry has been kept to the barest minimum. In most parts, stone slabs have been used instead of concrete, which in fact is a unique construction technique that’s popular in rural Rajasthan.

Aesthetics were a pertinent factor in designing the Mana and it is evident from the façade of the resort. Several materials, that were unearthed while excavating the foundation of the resort, have been used wisely. The look blends perfectly with the seasonal river inside the property.


July 2012

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