The Local Connect

Studio Lotus’ design for a mountain resort’s public spaces borrows from the vernacular and regional history of the place

Taj Theog Resort & Spa

Fact File

Project Name: Taj Theog Resort & Spa
Location: Theog, Himachal Pradesh
Client: Indian Hotels Company Limited
Architects: Pradeep Sachdeva Design Associates (PSDA)
Interior Design (Public Spaces): Studio Lotus
Landscape Architect: PSDA
Project completion date: Feb 2020
Photographer: Noughts and Crosses
Source: V2com
Choksi Pic: Andre Fanthome is the photographer for high-res picture of Ankur.

Taj Theog Resort & Spa

Taj Theog is a 90-key luxury resort that sits on a cliff on the periphery of Theog, a remote town in Himachal Pradesh. The project marks the Taj Hotels’ first hospitality venture in Himachal Pradesh and had a clear mandate to marry the region’s rich cultural heritage with world-class amenities to offer guests a service-oriented environment with a profound local connect.

Taj Theog Resort & Spa

Studio Lotus was brought on board by Pradeep Sachdeva Design Associates (PSDA), the architects on the project, to design its public spaces with the aim of bringing in the distinct warmth and intimacy of a mountain home to the hospitality experience.

Taj Theog Resort & Spa

The studio has employed a light material palette of locally sourced timber and stone to create a quiet and restrained spatial experience. Handcrafted elements from the vernacular lexicon are contemporized and incorporated, for instance, the hotel lobby features rows of timber spindles suspended on metal screens that also break the large expanse of space into smaller, intimate pockets. The scale of the space is further modulated through the use of locally sourced pinewood and slate, as well as intricate geometric patterns in the tiles and wooden paneling, both of which add visual density to the interiors.

Taj Theog Resort & Spa

The resort, spread across three levels, comprises zones characterized by specific elements to create a distinct identity. For instance, local slate and Budhpura stone are used within the all-day dining space; the wide floor span and low-hung roof of the bar are utilized to create a train carriage-like atmosphere, inspired by colonial-era railway dining cars; and in the specialty restaurant, sculptural expression of the wall cladding draws inspiration from Asian influences as well as the traditions of earthenware in the region.
Ankur Choksi, Principal, Studio Lotus
Overall, even with the narrative of the local stories woven in, the broad stance of the interior scheme is to provide a neutral, evocative backdrop to enhance the experience of the guests - the design intervention only attempts to substantiate this sense of luxury

Ankur Choksi, Principal, Studio Lotus

In a similar vein, leisure zones at the lower levels, including the spa, salon, and gym, feature artworks and storytelling devices to create a sense of place for each facility. A central contemplative kund-like water body greets visitors at the entrance to the zone. Corridors that lead to the treatment rooms are dotted with specially commissioned illustrations of local flora and fauna, and display cases with pressed and preserved flowers collected from around the site. The stone-and-timber vocabulary extends into the circulation spaces of the hotel; through the strategic usage of deodar wood as well as hand-carved motifs referencing the art and culture of Himachal Pradesh.

Taj Theog Resort & Spa
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