Baradari at City Palace Jaipur in Rajasthan cites an example of how design brings inherent value to a place when conventions on conservation and adaptive re-use are looked at through a fresh lens. Jaipur`s royal family invited Studio Lotus to redevelop the 14,000-sqft former palace café as a fine dining destination. The expanded brief included a private dining area, bar, lounges, and a quick-service counter while retaining back-of-the-house facilities. The existing buildings were given a new expression by stripping them of layers of paint and cement plaster. The exposed rubble masonry was then repaired with traditional lime mortar with details formed in lime plaster. A key conceptual move used the courtyard as a binding element for the program. An intermediate structure, existing as a toilet block, was dismantled to open up the area visually and spatially. A Pavilion in the form of a Baradari (literally a pavilion with 12 columns) was inserted as a bar into the courtyard to divide yet link the two zones flanking it. The concept creates a balanced interplay of historic revelations and contemporary additions: both drawing from and interpreting the underlying Indo-Saracenic influences of Jaipur`s architectural history. Traditional crafts of Jaipur like Thikri work, bespoke casting and foundry work, furniture, and stonework have been worked upon in this new idiom – whether it was through finding new form or using them in a new manner for a new use.

Renovation, 2016