CASE STUDY 1…

CHOKHI DHANI
Chokhi dhani is “A placid complex begetting a panoramic countryside view.” In the magical land of Rajasthan where the heat shimmers like phantom water, where the things one sees are not really there and where the things that vanish behind veils of illusion, stands Chokhi Dhani, an ethnic village resort with a blend of rustic environment and modern amenities making it an important destination in Pink city. GENERAL INFORMATION  Designer: Prof. Chinmay Mehta, Jaipur  Total area: 18 Acres  Cost: 1.30 crores (approx.)  Year of completion: Phase I 1992 Phase II 1995 LOCATION The site is on the outskirts of Jaipur, located on Jaipur- Tonk highway, 6 kms. from the airport and 18 kms. from the city centre. SITE Site covers an area of 18 acres, of which a five acre land is earmarked for future projects. It has been divided into two parts: the first is meant for a resort (for the tourists stay) while the other caters to the needs of day-today visitors. DESIGN APPORCH Prof. Chinmay Mehta, an artist-designer and also the Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, conceived the project. He made 3-D sketches in lieu of architectural drawings, plans, etc. to visualize the idea.

SITE PLAN

COMPONENTS Chokhi dhani is a placid resort complex begetting a panoramic countryside view. It consists of:  Ganesha temple The magical allure of Chokhi Dhani embraced in Rajasthani architecture welcomes with beautifully carved Ganesha Temple.  Sargahsulli shopping arcade The architecture depicts historical clock tower and the ancient craft of shopping arcade at its best.  Kotri The reception hall cum lobby magnificently erected with mud plastered floor, bamboo net ceiling adorned with Rajasthani paintings and murals will captivate your imagination.  Village huts Chokhi Dhani has 31 Village Huts & 34 Executive Huts. The spacious huts away from the hub of urban polluted life offers complete solace while one basks in the splendor of rich Rajasthani culture with every modern amenity and comfort.  Shekhawati haveli suites The Shekhawati Haveli with 8 royal suites is expressly designed for quiet, intimate moments, languorous daydreaming and restful solitude enjoyed by Thakurs.  Bindola The grandeur of this dining hall is truly breathtaking. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner of Indian & Chinese tastes.  Mandani The conference hall accommodating 120 persons with all secretarial services  Sajjan Goth The place forms an ideal venue for board meetings and conferences.  Kund Large traditional swimming pool like the one kings enjoyed in historic times and an adjacent health club.  Recreational room Facilities for billiards, table tennis and chess etc. SYMBOLISM

The site layout depicts a typical village plan with hierarchy of spaces: Focally placed village head i.e. thakur’s haveli with luxury amenities (kund and bar) nearby. Then the rest of the village huts spreading all around. Even the entrance gate is planned borrowing form of toran dwar with a typical warm village reception of tilak, arti and nagara.  The resort consists of about 30 hut shaped houses while eight rooms of the nearby Shekhawati haveli have modern facilities.  Kotari, the reception hall has a mud-plastered floor and bamboo-net ceiling with paintings.  Mandali or the conference hall has elegantly carved 'munshiji' desks, mattresses and masnads (round cylindrical pillows).  Sajjan Goth The banquet hall can accommodate hundred persons at a time.  Bakhari Slightly descending from the ground level is a square shaped cocktail bar with its machan on the second floor. It has four decorated underground spaces made of wood and bamboo.  Kund a large rectangular shaped pool with umbrellas at the corners serves as a swimming pool.  A cluster of huts encircles the centrally erected restaurant and banquet hall, with streets on both sides leading towards the haveli.  The open space near the kund becomes a dining space for parties.  Kabootarkhana Adjacent to the 'Ganesha' temple is the pigeon-house, where pigeons assemble in thousands.  Sangri The other part, meant for day-to-day visitors, consists of a large octagonal hut.  Attached to the `sangri' is the spacious kitchen where Rajasthani cooks prepare food in the traditional style.  Chaupal The open field overlooking the sangri has a congregational area, on one side and a museum (ajaebghar) on the other. In the evening the whole village is illuminated with about 2000 lanterns. A village fair is organized daily with different entertainers who give a variety of performances.

ELEMENTS, ENHANCING THEME Very minute detailing has been done to enhance the theme and to create a real village scene. The whole environment is adorned with such elements as  Chakki  hal  bamboo bridge  lanterns  chakkas  potteries  cots  well  chabutaras (platform)  aalias (nooks) for deepaks.

PLAN & ELEVATION OF CIRCULAR HUT

PLAN & ELEVATION OF RECTANGULAR HUT

CONSTRUCTION DETAILS  The foundations have been generally filled with stones and walls built with stone or brick.  The straight lines of the walls have been broken and rounded before a thin plaster of cement is put and then treated with a combination of mud, cow dung and husk by the village women from the neighboring areas.  The roofs, wherever air-conditioning was not planned, have been erected with iron pipes and purlins, which are covered with bamboo net and terracotta tiles (keloos), brought from different parts of the region.  The hut structures are provided with windows and doors at times with ‘aaliyas’ covered with built-in spaces for deepaks (terracotta lamps) in different shapes.  The walls are decorated with relief murals, created with brick motifs and relief work designed with thick cement plaster in tempera, mainly with clay colors geru (Indian red), pilli rnitti (ochre) and saphed rnitti (white clay).  The layout design has village temples, devaras, brick jalis and wooden enclosures.  Bamboos have been used extensively to integrate one structure with another. Thus creating harmony.  The architect has utilized local materials and manpower for the construction. CRITICAL ANALYSIS  Site provides no natural views, which are supposed to be essential for a project like resort but this shortcoming has been entirely subsided by the environment created with in the resort.  Parking area is not detailed as the rest of the resort and hence stands out.  Walkways after car parking are long and unprotected from rain and sun.  No covered connections between any two units, but problems aroused by this are taken care by efficient management.  Reception hall area, capacity, and facilities are grossly insufficient.  Visitors and recreation areas are well segregated from residential units providing privacy and avoiding cross Circulation patterns.

Underground bar is although elegant and intimate but also gives feeling of congested ness.  Variety in room types is achieved through different forms provided to huts, variation of interior facilities and the variety of detailing both in interiors as well as exteriors- give a sense of individuality and belongingness to the guest.  In a rather horizontal layout visual variety in verticality is achieved through semiunderground bar and two - storied huts.  Strong unity and harmony are achieved through the use of materials, detailing and forms. Also striking contrast can be seen in haveli / swimming pool and huts.  A/C units fitted and seen in exteriors of all units could be taken care off. PLAN OF HAVELI  Loss of sense of direction, also handled efficiently through attentive management.  Exploitation of local material and labor has been done in its full causing very low cost of construction.  Maintenance and repairs are effort taking but cost low.  With all its typical ambiance and aura Chokhi Dhani has gained popularity more like another tourist destination in Jaipur than a dwelling to stay in.

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