Tree of Life, Varanasi
Architect – Nimish Patel | Abhikram
Area – 3.50 acres
Construction year – 2014–Ongoing
This boutique hotel project is spread over 3.5 acres in a village near Varanasi. On the north side of the plot runs a storm water nallah with some very old mango trees and a banyan tree growing along the edge. The entrance zone is designed like a typical street of Varanasi — narrow and high, culminating in the foreground of the reception courtyard. The focal view from this forecourt is of the banyan tree which is twenty meters high and has almost ten meters spread.
With decorations of lights and flowers, the tree would become the prime greeting element, celebrating the eternal city in a way. The reception courtyard is the place for hundreds of Shiva lingas. Beyond the reception, lies the swimming pool in the form of a linga with a flowing tributary of water jutting out and meeting a kund, the edges of which are designed like a ghat on the three sides. Central to this kund is a performance area on the water edge and a temple pavilion on the eastern side nestled between the mango trees. The objective is to create an ambience which gives the visitor a feel and vibrations of the holy city.