The design is in reverence to the river and the journey formed, a reminder of it. The landscape of the resort was conceptualised to softly echo the flow of the glistening waters as the building settles on the riverbed. Entering into the site, along the pathway, sits a narrow symbolic element of water being reminiscent of the memory of the river.
The linear character of the spatial structure is imbibed from the course of the river and finds its way into both hard and soft articulations in the landscape designed. The calm flow of the waters is metaphorically echoed by recreating it through the gentle meandering movement of the user through the site.
At times the allegoric stream takes physical form becoming water pools in the open or entering into the built at other. The site edge towards the river opens up towards the water, quietly letting the wandering mind to reflect in itself. As the natural flows are allowed to permeate through and denotes the element- water, what holds the scheme as an integrated whole, is the sacred grid of 9x9m aligned to north-south axis, symbolising the earth element.
This strong human gesture brings in a sense of order, with the grid intersections further emphasized by housing the existing large native Parahu (ErythrinaIndica) tree blossoming red in spring. Long stone masonry walls reinforce the linearity of the grid and the built spaces of the cottages happen along these walls. There are framed thresholds accentuating the act of entrance into the built spaces and green foliage walls demarcating open space.
There is a search for a balance of the arid and the green to create harmony between the built and the open. A square geometry is used to define courts as pause points in the expanding landscape. These courts offer a variety of experiences and are used as active nodes for gatherings or events. A huge existing Barh tree (Ficusbenghalensis) on the site, with its unique characteristic of a large spread of about 28-30 m diameter, is identified as a focal point and designed as a shaded community space, a remnant of the traditional tree-chaupal.
This space becomes the common cultural space serving as the spill out for the entire resort. The paved areas are permeated by the innocuous presence of flowering trees and plants, leaving the breeze with a subtle fragrance adding to the soothing quality of the experience.
Project: Mana Resort
Area: 4 acres
About Gauri Sehgal Gandhi
Founder, Plan loci, New Delhi
Gauri seeks to find balance between the tangible and the intangible. Her designs stem out of a strong sense of knowing that every location embodies an individual spirit and one needs to be perceptive to the music of the land. The approach is to erode the layers of complexity to achieve simplicity in design. She won the Runner Up Award in the Excellence–Landscape category in WADE ASIA 2019.
*Winning Project: Excellence-Landscape