The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

• July 18, 2009

vivanta wow plusmood 01 595x424 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

The Vivanta, designed by Singapore-based architecture firm Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects for Taj Group of Hotels. Taj Vivanta is located at the entrance to the International Tech Park in Bangalore, India, a contemporary 5-star hotel featuring touches of whimsy and contemporary technology. The hotel’s unique façade changes colour, texture and tone to reflect the memory of the site.

The distinct elevation of the hotel block is created by digitizing a landscape image of the site and applying different shades of glass that matches the pixels of that image as a memory of the site.

Wong Chiu Man, Managing Director
Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

+ Project description below courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects
vivanta wow plusmood model 595x93 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

ARCHITECT’S STATEMENT by Wong Chiu Man

vivanta wow plusmood sketch The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Sketch courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

We began the entire design process by understanding the cultural, economic and geoclimatic context of the Bangalore area. Because of the low mass dictated by the urban design guidelines, and because of the mild climate of Bangalore, we decided upon a strong landscape strategy as the concept driver. Taj readily supported our desire to design the architecture, interiors and landscape as one integrated experience.

In order to tap into the mindset and profile of the expected client base, the hotel was to deliberately zestful in spirit and dynamic in design. To express the borderless potential of the new generation, the building itself was formed by a simple conceptual ‘twist and fold’ of the ground plane to create a conceptual endless ‘promenade’ of spatial experiences.

The form design is conceived from the figure of 8 ‘mobius strip’, a 3 dimensional twisted loop that has a 2 dimensional continuous flowing surface. The hotel is thus conceived of as a ‘land-scraper’, the ideal form and space that unifies and blends the building with the earth, and becomes essentially an experientially rich hospitality space. Public and Private spaces flow and connect to each other and there is a cinematic treatment of the spaces and places in the hotel.

We envisaged that this strong sense of ‘flow’ will result in increased guest movements, and as a result, more interaction, and this will be a benefit for the expected young and trendy clientele for the hotel.

vivanta wow plusmood siteplan 595x506 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Site plan courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

SITE RESPONSE

Wedged alongside one of Bangalore’s main arteries, Whitefield, a rapidly developing suburb of Bangalore, is where many IT related companies are building corporate offices. As a result, rapid growth of residential precincts and related amenities follow.

Located at the entrance of the International Tech Park itself, Vivanta acts as an interface between the IT park and the fast developing city around it, providing one of the first working models of work / play environments in India. In light of this, a social and contemporary cultural hub for both the IT Park and surrounding population was sought.

With these urban design factors in mind, a gateway design statement was considered to be appropriate for the tech park. That mean a landmark of which the local and visitor populace would easily recognize.

vivanta wow plusmood model 1 595x274 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, model image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

vivanta wow plusmood model 2 595x288 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, model image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

OBJECTIVES

Since the beginning stages of construction, the 5-floor, 24m-high blue-green glazed, oddly shaped contortionist structure, has received a variety of names over the course of its construction due to its unique and eye catching form. Despite this, the building had one main purpose, according the its architects Wong Chiu Man and Warren Liu, of WOW “to be a business hotel that could serve and draw people to the area”.

The building which had assumed the title “Vivanta”, was commissioned by the Taj Group of Hotels, under a new label that would cater to the current trends and changing tastes of a younger and more design-savvy generation of hotel users and business travelers. Taj’s enthusiasm for a new hotel that broke traditional grains of hotel design gave WOW much aesthetic and theoretical free rein, resulting in a development strategy which has further transformed the area into a home for many upscale and big corporations.

The objectives as followed were :

  • To be ‘the venue’ that is vibrant, and exciting.
  • The green park-life environment to not only function as a business hotel, but also encourage social interaction and exchange on a myriad of levels.
  • The rooms serve guests well for working professionals, yet comfortable, spacious and warm.
  • The public areas to provide welcome relief from hectic work environments and dense city life.
  • The food and beverage offerings to be sumptious, delightful, tasty, full of quality.
  • The Spa & Wellness areas to be a retreat and regeneration zone for the tired business person or hotel guest.
  • The landscape to be an integral part of the hotel experience.

BRIEF

The brief called for the creation of a purpose built 5 star, 200 roomed business hotel offering an optimal environment for networking opportunities among top IT companies within the International Tech Park, Bangalore. The response was a unique combination of contemporary space and high-end technology set within landscaped grounds.

vivanta wow plusmood step 5 595x352 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

‘LANDSCRAPER’

vivanta wow plusmood model 3 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, model image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

The scheme comprises of a three story glazed block, detaches from the ground, contorting its way mid-air to contain its 200 rooms and allowing views to all rooms. The podium construct below it acts like a ‘landscraper’ (the opposite to skyscraper), a highly sculpted ground hugging structure that allows green to flow up to the roof of the building blurring the distinction between where the building starts and where the ground ends. Hence, by the two simple maneuvers of slicing and folding of the ground plane, the limited open space prescribed by the high site coverage is expanded in perception and the podium dematerialized. This allows the hotel to weave the conveniences and practical needs of the business traveler, together with a rich spatial and visceral experience that pertains to an otherworldly atmosphere.

The manipulation of the ground plane to encapsulate the hotel public spaces is derived from the idea of the contextual site ‘earth’ becoming the program, becoming the architecture and eventually becoming the experience of the user. This concept is in response to the client’s aspirations for a business hotel that reflected the company’s innovative entrepreneurial spirit whilst creating a social hub for the tech park round the clock. Vibrancy, park-life, interactivity, professionalism, in contrast to comfort, work relief & leisure, were also keywords that helped form part of the vocabulary to develop the design, taking into account, Whitefield’s topography and context.

vivanta wow plusmood 04 594x391 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

LANDMARK

vivanta wow plusmood sketch 1 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, sketch courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

The “landscraper” structural topography then becomes containers of the various hotel ‘public’ activities and functions, providing the users with a seamless journey between one space to the next. The landscraper structure behaves like malleable linear volumetric strips which are able to embody the characteristics of the ground by replacing the greenery it has displaced. In order to emphatically express the landform design approach, cast in-situ concrete was selected as the major construction material and left exposed where ever possible. Figurative incisions in the concrete served to express abstract patterns of natural flows and as well as help ease the construction joints of the panels.

Because the intent was to work with the skill level of the local construction industry, and because a raw look would be appropriate for the concept, imperfection was accepted as a virtue. Thus, defects in the workmanship was embraced as a positive part of the aesthetic, and a strong bush hammer finish was used to ‘even out’ the texture of the exposed concrete.

In areas where concrete was not appropriate, simple rough plaster, stone or wood paneling is used. At all times, the material palette for both exterior and interior was kept sympathetic, even contrasting to each other, so as to blur the distinction between architecture and landscape. Floor, walls and ceilings blended and folded into each other. This multipaletted material response broadens the basic landscraper concept, where the earth is made up of many different types of elements.

Visual interaction and openness is encouraged by achieving transparency through strategic use of voids at different levels of the building. Public spaces flow all the way to the roof garden level where functions and events can take place. Use of a lightweight roof garden construction in conjunction with ‘green walls’ (vertical planting) are designed to create the ‘landscraper’ experience.

vivanta wow plusmood lounge 2 595x190 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

vivanta wow plusmood lounge 595x398 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

LIVING LOUNGES

Entertainment is a vital factor in the successful positioning of a new hotel. Thus, the roof top bar and grill played a key role in attracting local clientèle as well as entertaining in house guests.

Based on an Indian garden pavilion theme, and taking advantage of Bangalore’s good climate, natural ventilation is used, and great unobstructed views of the surrounding tech park and the hotel’s sloping garden roof can be enjoyed by the guests.

The access is through a series of dramatic vertical accents. Either from the lobby along the main grand stair promenade, up from the pool along the main sloping roof garden, or an intimate passage from the patio of the Indian restaurant. The journey is then rewarded by arriving into a cozy lounge, “Tease” that is a series of tented seating platforms around a reflecting pool. An indoor disco/ live music area for higher volume partying and merry making.

vivanta wow plusmood restaurant 1 595x394 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

CHARACTERIZED CUISINE

The Indian specialty restaurant named “Terracotta” is based on the cuisine of the India’s North West. Strong emphasis on bread, meats and grilled vegetables. In order to take advantage of the mild weather of Bangalore, the design layout is a dining room with an open plan kitchen and a large dining patio. The entire kitchen is a backdrop to the restaurant where the bread oven, tandoor and grill become show case elements for the guests. Material patterns of the floor ‘wrap’ up from the floor to the ceiling of the restaurant providing a seamless transition between an ‘indoor-outdoor’ space.

vivanta wow plusmood restaurant 3 595x424 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

DINING DYNAMISM

The all-day-dining restaurant is the main dining area and is located close to the lobby and the ‘nexus’ of activity and flows of the hotel. It is a tall dynamic space that looks and is connected to several courtyards, gardens, terraces and the main pool deck. The ceiling of the dining room is a dynamic ‘energy field’; a rippling and waving surface that interacts with the action stations and dinners below. The buffet is a series of Pan-Asian food action stations that offer tasty samplings ‘wrapped’ in an architectural opera – the floor, walls and ceilings wrap, warp, fold and flow into each other. A large video screen that hovers above housed in a purpose built bulkhead, reflecting current events or entertaining videos that complement the piped music.

vivanta wow plusmood step 1 595x393 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

STEPS BETWEEN

A specific feature of the hotel is exemplified through the creation of flights of steps that blend almost seamlessly indoors and out, extending from an internalised courtyard that flows up and out. Subtly lit at night, the steps perform both functionally and aesthetically to soften an otherwse conventional courtyard.

MEMORY CREATION

The distinct elevation of the hotel block is created by digitizing a landscape image of the site and applying different shades of glass that matches the pixels of that image as a memory of the site.

vivanta wow plusmood step2 595x393 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

SPATIAL FLEX

The grass promenade behaves like a boulevard housing streetside cafes, boutiques, bars, restaurants, and gyms offering all the excitement and festivity of an urban boulevard. The proposal is a flexible and efficient commercial space having the ability for the programmed facilities to overlap each other, and the ability to expand or interchange according to demand and situation.

From a distance, the hotel mass looks like a medley of green and blue patterns. This is because the room facade is conceived from a digital picture of the site taken prior to construction. The image was pixelated and recomposed in the memory of the site. When seen from the park, the building mass looks like a smooth transition of greens to blues, blending with the trees and sky.

The overall effect is soothing from outside and inside as well, where from the experience of the individual rooms, no single view is ever the same. The flowing shape ensures that each room has a distinctive view of the green roofscape and pool views, and the pattern of the facade ensures that every room has a different mood lighting filtering in.

vivanta wow plusmood step 4 595x395 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

VIEW POINT

The words of theorist Guy Debord’s analysis in his book ‘The Society of the Spectacle’ relating to environmental planning and urbanism became pertinent in the design process:

‘The same history that threatens this twilight world is capable of subjecting space to a directly experienced time…that critique of human geography whereby individuals and communities must construct places and events commensurate with the appropriation, no longer just of their labor, but of their total history. By virtue of the resulting mobile space of play, and by virtue of freely chosen variations in the rules of the game, the independence of places will be rediscovered without any new exclusive tie to the soil, and thus too the authentic journey will be restored to us, along with authentic life understood as a journey containing its whole meaning within itself.’

vivanta wow plusmood hotel plan The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Hotel plan, courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

vivanta wow plusmood hotel 595x312 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

ACCOMODATE

The room concept is that of an urban studio loft. It was conceived of as one open plan space, within which 28m2 is zoned into bedroom study corner, relaxation corner, naturally lighted shower, walk-inwardrobe and bathroom and glass enclosed wc. The appliances and conveniences of TV, mini- bar, magazine rack, AV systems are all built into the walls. The rooms carry a light and lifted ambiance by way of fit and finish, stemming from the loft concept. Space conservation and an openness that is created by natural light reinforces this concept.

vivanta wow plusmood 09 595x363 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

vivanta wow plusmood 11 The Vivanta by Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

Vivanta, image courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

FUNCTION

The interiors have been designed with the knowledge of specific functions and purposes it needs to deliver in order for the user to have an experience that is unique only to this hotel. For example, the Banquet Hall caters to serve a large no. of users and it becomes essential that a breakout space with some visual interest is provided. Expressing borderless potential of hotel design, the building stands as the beginning mark of a series of a new generation of hotels that Taj is embarking on a journey to create and develop.

+ Project credits / data

Design: WOW Architects

Wong Chiu Man
Warren Liu
James Tan
Ulrich Schwarz
Agung Pamudji
Desmond Ong

Project: Spazzio (India)

Sohrab Dalal
Nikhil Chandra
Shrinivas Khate

Lighting: Bo Steiber Lighting

Bo Steiber
Lester

Engineer: Optimal Engineering

Abhay Ghate

+ All images and drawings courtesy of Warner Wong Design | WOW Architects

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Category: Architecture, Hotel, Interior, Selected

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