Hotel at Bodhgaya
Hospitality Architecture I Gaya, Bihar
The hotel gently uses the vocabulary of brick details from the Buddhist trail - vaults to corbelled arches to stepped jambs that soften the edges of buildings and make them welcoming and timeless.
Client Marasa Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.
Area 76,000 Sq.ft
Status Completed 2020
Photographer Niveditaa Gupta
Team Shimul Javeri Kadri, Vaishali Shankar, Roshni
Kshirsagar, Ipsita Mallick, Aparna Kale
Bodhgaya is where the Buddha is deemed to have received enlightenment. It is perhaps one of the holiest and oldest sites of pilgrimage for the Buddhist world. This context as well as the skills and materials relevant to the area informed our design for this hotel, which makes extensive use of brick – a cottage industry that has remained active in the area over the last 2000 years. The vocabulary of the building, using the craftsmanship of brick vaults, pillars and architraves also attempt to convey the emotions that most embody the Buddhist practice – wisdom, courage, compassion, forbearance and perseverance.
Spread over 4.5 acres, the courtyards and water bodies, and the sloping roofscapes create the conditions for an ecologically sustainable and highly contextual resort for Buddhist pilgrims.
Trends Excellence Awards
Gold at Wade Awards
Shortlisted for Inde Awards
Kyoorius Design Awards
Aces of Space Awards
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Bodh Gaya, where Lord Buddha is deemed to have received enlightenment, is one of the holiest and oldest pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and tourists from around the globe visit the city annually. The Hotel in Bodh Gaya is a 78-key resort that covers an area of 5 acres. It is designed to cater to the religious tourism in the holy city and takes inspiration from the historic Buddhist architecture of the area.
The hotel uses the power of memory and emotion to create immersive architecture that embodies the tenets of Buddhism. Vaults, corbelled arches, and stepped jambs are re-envisioned in a contemporary idiom across all spaces in the hotel, reminiscent of the past but designed for the present. The hotel also conveys the Buddhist ethos of simplicity, compassion, and serenity through a series of gestures that evoke emotion.
The hotel’s interiors, artwork, and signage reflect ideas from Buddhist philosophy and symbology, which also aid in navigation. The five wisdoms associated with Buddhism, represented in the Buddhist icon of Vajradhatu Mandala, are expressed in the five public spaces, namely reception, cafe, banquet, lounge, and spa-gym-pool. These wisdoms are fearlessness, the wisdom of dharma, giving and sharing, unity with oneself, and oneness with the earth.
The inspiration for the building design was drawn from the extensive use of brick and terracotta, which supports the local economy. However, to ensure thermal comfort and sustainability, newer building technologies such as aerated concrete blocks and coloured concrete roofs were also incorporated into the design.
The Hotel in Bodh Gaya seamlessly blends into its context, recalling its cultural and local roots through architectural language and materiality, while also instilling a sense of belonging and pride amongst the locals. The hotel reinvents the past to represent the ‘now’; for a new purpose and a new user by using contemporary materials and technology.