Studio Lotus - RAAS Chhatrasagar, luxury tented accommodation admiring sunrises over the lake and sunsets into the forest
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RAAS Chhatrasagar, luxury tented accommodation admiring sunrises over the lake and sunsets into the forest

Studio Lotus

Hospitality  /  Completed
Studio Lotus

The original tourist camp at Chhatrasagar, built on a dam across a late-19th C artificial lake, comprised an eleven-key tented accommodation—operational during autumn-winter and dismantled during the harsh summers. Charming in their simplicity, the tents offered dismal insulation and acoustic privacy. This made for a tough business model to sustain, until a takeover by the RAAS hotel group. Core to the design brief was the site's sensitive ecological context, which made it imperative for structures to be erected with minimal environmental footprint, The underlying design principle was to frame the outdoor experiences along either edge of the pods; sunrises over the lake and sunsets into the forest; that intimate connection becoming an integral part of the guest experience.

The functional program comprises public and private spaces laid out in a linear configuration along the length of the dam. To the north of the central court is the reception-cum-bar and restaurant, abutted by an all-season infinity pool to the west; Fabric-lined pods create both acoustic comfort and serve as a vibrant canvas celebrating the diversity of plant and animal forms of the region - an extension to the sightings observed in the environs. Native babool and neem trees, and indigenous bird and animal life find expression through woodblock, screen, and digital prints as well as intricate hand-embroidered fabrics, locally executed. Retaining the memory of the original tents, a tensile fabric canopy stretches over the lightweight partitions spanning the entire length of the structure

The design team conceptualised a system of low-impact foundations and lightweight superstructures for the new property. Construction was carried out employing a dry construction methodology. The structure is of a lightweight metal weave that springs off pile foundations made of precast concrete hume pipes with compacted waste rubble. The restaurant construction is a grid of metal columns supporting a double-ring structural system of insulated Chopar stone walls capped by a traditional tukdi (stone slabs on a metal framework) roof. Awards won - AHEAD Asia Awards, Singapore Winner – Sustainability, Lodges, Cabins and Tented camps, World Architecture Festival 2021, Lisbon - Winner - Hotel & Leisure, Hospitality Design Awards, New York - Winner - Lodges + Camps

The design team sought to reveal the site in layers weaving in the experience of discovery with an element of surprise. Guests arrive at a drop-off area in a dense grove of trees which screens all views. As they walk through a shaded path flanked by orchards and thick underbrush, a stone wall and planted slopes of the dam reveal themselves. Climbing a series of stepped stone plinths, they emerge in a courtyard that frames a view of the stunning Chhatrasagar Lake with sweeping vistas of the surrounding wooded landscape. In tune with the ethos of the studio and the design philosophy of RAAS Jodhpur, local crafts have been expressed as contemporary interventions in the new property. Home to over 250 species of birds, the region's lush forests and teeming biodiversity are brought to life in the new property using a combination of indigenous crafts and vibrant wood block-printed illustrations by Dhvani Behl's studio Flora For Fauna.

The design intervention assimilates existing water features such as kunds (reservoirs) and swales into the site planning to facilitate rainwater collection. Women from nearby villages have been tasked with regular leppai, an indigenous process of plastering walls and floors with clay, as well as painting rangoli floor patterns and room numbers in lime. Designed as an archetype of sustainable luxury in a holistic sense, projects like RAAS Chhatrasagar can serve as guiding blueprints for future hospitality developments.

“We did want to give the guests the feeling that they were staying in a tent but we didn’t want it to look like a typical African safari tent. We went for a more relaxed, contemporary feel." Nikhilendra Singh, Owner of RAAS


 Nimaj, Rajasthan
 Walled City Hotels
 1860 mq
  2,676,740.00 $
 Studio Lotus
 Ambrish Arora , Ayesha Hussain , Deepesh Harbola, Pranvi Jain, Mallika Gupta
 Manjunath BL & Co., Akshay Kaul Landscape, Buildkraft
 Structure - Manjunath BL & Co., Landscape - Akshay Kaul Landscape, Interiors - Buildkraft
 Mangrove Collective, Buildkraft, Artlite, Flora for Fauna
 Studio Noughts & Crosses, Avesh Gaur


Studio Lotus is multi-disciplinary design practice founded in 2002 –twenty years later, it is one of the most path-breaking architectural firms in India.
Fostered with a culture of learning and intra-preneurship, the work of the practice is grounded on the principles of Conscious Design, an approach that celebrates local resources, cultural influences, an inclusive process, and a keen attention to detail. Studio Lotus aspires to craft spaces that address the emerging future of work, leisure and living; be it master plans, buildings or interiors, the practice’s process focuses on innovation that enriches their clients’ lives and businesses, adding value to all it touches.
Studio Lotus’s portfolio has been Internationally recognized – winning, among others: the World Holiday Building of the year at the World Architecture Festival, the Creative Re-Use category at INSIDE Awards, the DOMUS Italia Award for Restoration and Adaptive Reuse and a nomination in the Aga Khan Awards cycle.

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