Taj Residency | Chandigarh
Design / Completion 2002 / 2004
160,000 square feet
Concrete, sand stone, glass, texture paint
Having Started his career in Chandigarh under the team of ‘Le Corbusier’’ – Rajinder Kumar – principal architect at Rajinder Kumar Associates (RKA) could not resist the opportunity to go back 30 years later to design the Taj Residency hotel in the business district at Sector 17.
Taj Residency is conceived as a ‘smart’ business hotel in the heart of Chandigarh’s commercial sector. It is one of the first Ínternational’ standard hotel properties in the region. The challenge was to design a modern day hotel within a master plan and massing done forty years ago. RKA’s architectural approach was to work within this framework with slight variations that enhance ‘Corbusier’s vocabulary and skillfully articulate the form of the building. A very delicate handling of architectural controls and façade treatment have given this hotel a very distinct look of an international hotel yet blend into the architecture of sector 17.
The hotel is approached through a grand arrival court that has a large porte cochere with three pyramidical glass skylights that allow natural light under the porch and deep into the arrival area.
At the heart o the building design is a spectacular atrium that holds the public areas and guest rooms together. The atrium visible from most of the public areas and guest room corridors is lit by natural light through large glazings that provide a breathtaking view of the rose garden. A glass cab elevator moves through the space and provides changing views of the landscape outside.
Planned with two floors of public areas and five guest floors within the overall envelope allowed by Chandigarh’s master plan the project provided quite a challenge to design an International standard ‘five star deluxe hotel within a massing that was designed forty years ago by Corbusier’s team. The public areas flow into each other giving the feeling of a very vast expanse to the ground floor. This is further enhanced as the large glazings blur the boundary between inside and outside. Landscaped Terraces at upper levels enhance the experience of the public areas on the first floor.The restaurants and bars are designed to attract and serve not only the guest but also the general public of Chandigarh.
The main guest entrance and banquet entrance are segregated to avoid traffic mix up and allow for large Indian weddings to take place without disturbing the guest arrival area. An ‘L’ shaped arcade with large windows with natural light connects the main lobby with the banquet entrance.
The site is a corner plot surrounded by major roads on three sides and an adjacent property on the fourth side. This allowed very little open space to plan any swimming pools or recreation areas on the ground level. To allow for privacy both visual and acoustical the pool was designed on an upper level with a landscaped terrace. A compact spa and fitness center overlooks this landscaped pool terrace and provides views of the trees and park of sector 17 beyond.
The guest room floors are designed within the overall rectangular blocking and dimensions permitted by the Master plan of chandigarh. Within this envelope the rooms are planned in a very efficient manner on either side of a central corridor that opens into the atrium lobby and provides breathtaking views of the ‘Rose Garden”. Double insulated windows using a clear glass provide ‘true’ natural light into the rooms and bring the outside noise levels to acceptable International standards inside.
The presidential and major suites are all planned on the top floor giving the best views of the Rose garden and parks of sector 17. A single level basement is planned for plant, equipment, Mechanical services and back of the house facilities.
The exterior facades are treated in a combination of exposed concrete, textured red Indian sandstone and stucco. Precast concrete ‘jalis’ inspired by traditional Indian architecture and Corbusier’s use of concrete frame the building at the top creating an interesting skyline. The combination of exposed concrete columns and red sandstone give a very graceful presence to the hotel within the Sector 17 master plan.
The landscape is an extension of the building designed with water features and landscaped areas that exuberate the spirit of the garden city.
Hotel’s 152 Guest Rooms include Superior Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Luxury Rooms and a Presidential Suite. Other facilities include 4 restaurants serving both national and international delicacies, conference facilities, meeting rooms, fitness centre & spa, swimming pool and shopping arcade. The design fulfills all the requirements of a business traveler and top executives.