With vast scale and diversity, India evolved a large variety in architecture, leaving architectural legacies to follow. Of them all, the Chospa Hotel in the Leh region sings praises of Ladakh vernacular architecture. Is there anything better to be welcomed in the most vernacular way and be one among the locals to experience the hospitality in true sense? An astounding voluminous entry, crowned with sky-lit roof becomes the first point of interaction of the visit. Engaging the visitors emotionally and physically, that element briefly introduces a milieu of contemporary hospitality and native luxury. Reflection of earth block walls, narrow windows for thermal comfort, use of timber and woodwork are all reminiscent of Ladakhi architecture and people. ~Yamini Vaswani
Evolving Native Vernacular Architecture and Contemporary Hospitality at Hotel Chospa in Leh | Enso Design
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Ladakh region in northern most part of India is gaining prominence and seeing huge flux of domestic and international travelers. Spectacularly jagged, arid Himalayan mountains enfold this magical place. Gompas (Tibetan Buddhist monasteries) dramatically crown rocky outcrops next to fluttering prayer flags and whitewashed stupas.
The old nondescript guest house located on the busy old Leh road in the busy commercial neighborhood of Leh was demolished to make way for the new 17-key hotel consisting of a café with alfresco seating and a restaurant.
The spatial organization is deliberately insular to mitigate the noise from the abutting busy street yet allowing a convenient flow of passersby to access the alfresco of the café from the upper corner. The atrium lobby aims to lend a casual yet a calming vibe found in most traditional Ladakhi homes. The lobby atrium opens out to the rear with open seating on the south side receiving much needed ample south facing sunlight.
The design draws its influence from the nearby Leh palace constructed in the early 16th century almost seeming to merge in form and color with the continuous mountain ranges enfolding this valley bringing coherence in context to the site.
The hotel is the union of contemporary hospitality with the scenic and material biome of Ladakh. The architecture mirrors the traditional Ladakhi construction and materiality, rendering an ambience familiar to locals and unique for visitors. It houses its guests in the raw patina, texture and density of earth walls fabricated by the resplendent local craftsmanship. These walls, built from earth blocks (compressed stabilized earth blocks) produced in-situ, mimic the thickness, buttress-like geometry, hues and tactility of vernacular Ladakhi architecture. Windows are narrow to maximize thermal comfort and the woodwork is reminiscent of traditional iconography and geometry. Together, the earth, stone and wood follow the local piquancy, creating a sanctuary germane to the physical, cultural and historic context.
Designed By: Enso Design
Typology: Hospitality Architecture and Design
Project Name: Chospa Hotel
Location: Leh Ladakh
Completion Year: 2021
Built Area: 22940 sq.ft.
Principal Architect: Chinglemba Chingtham
Design Team: Ajaydeep Jamwal, Diksha Hans, Shubham Sahai Gupta, Wugnaoyi Meiphok Zimik
Firm’s Website Link: Enso Design
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