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Velmore Resort, Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, India by Studio Vasaka

Project name:
Velmore Resort
Architecture firm:
Studio Vasaka
Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, India
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Principal architect:
Varchasa, Karan Arora
Design team:
Built area:
41,871 ft²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Interior design:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
Hospitality › Resort

Studio Vasaka: Nestled in the mountain forests near Kasauli, a small hill town in Himachal Pradesh, the Velmore Resort offers a serene retreat from bustling city life. Kasauli has recently gained popularity among tourists for its scenic beauty and convenient proximity to major cities, making it an ideal destination for vacation seekers and nature enthusiasts. The resort's location, away from the town's hustle and bustle, provides a peaceful haven. The site, with its challenging topography, has been thoughtfully utilized to ensure the structure blends harmoniously with the natural contours without much altering the landscape. Surrounded by tall pine trees and offering captivating views of the valley, the resort is a perfect getaway.

To accommodate the site's unique shape and contours, the resort is planned as three distinct blocks. Block one houses common facilities such as the reception, administration offices, restaurant and banquet. Blocks two and three are dedicated to guest rooms. These blocks are designed to ensure easy access to the common pool deck via lifts and stairways and are interconnected by a golf cart track, enhancing convenience and mobility for guests. A defining feature of The Velmore Resort is its distinctive composition of stacked boxes. This series of stacked volumes creates a striking architectural statement, deliberately contrasting with the natural surroundings to establish a unique identity. The boxes incorporate tapered voids that serve as balconies, providing privacy while maintaining an open connection to the outdoors. These punctuated volumes offer unique inside-out experiences, allowing guests to engage with nature intimately.

Terraces complement the design, visually freeing up space and enhancing interaction between the volumes, voids, and the natural environment. The theme of stacked volumes extends throughout the structure, with bold blocks creating a dynamic interplay between mass and void. The white exterior stucco is a crucial element, acting as a canvas that enhances the resort's aesthetic appeal. This color choice strips away visual clutter, making the form feel intentional and allowing the building to leverage nature as a key element. When the distractions are taken away, the building uses nature to its advantage as the third material. The white surface beautifully captures the shadows of surrounding trees, which change from dawn to dusk and amplify the play of daylight.

Windows function as portals, connecting the indoor spaces with the natural surroundings and offering curated viewpoints. The design ensures that each space provides a unique perspective on the landscape. The Velmore Resort, with its sculpted volumes and thoughtful design, confidently sits on the contoured site, creating a beautiful dialogue between architecture and nature. It stands as a testament to the integration of bold design with the serene beauty of the natural world.

By Liliana Alvarez

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