One with Nature

Nestled in the lap of Aravalli Hills and spread over 20 acres, The Gateway Resort Damdama Lake Gurgaon designed by Rajeev Agarwal Architects is an urban sanctuary inspired by nature.

Aptly designed keeping the urban nomad in mind, The Gateway Resort Damdama Lake at Gurgaon provides a destination away from the city, within the natural setting of a nearby lake and the surrounding Aravali range of mountains. This new property brings together two well known business groups — Samak Dhoot Resorts & Spa Pvt Ltd and The Gateway Hotels & Resorts. While the former belongs to the Dhoot Group which is engaged in real estate, power, manufacturing, ground handling, solid waste management, healthcare, education and hospitality; the latter is a full service upscale hospitality brand in the South Asia region and a part of the Taj Group of Hotels.

The stunning exterior is one with nature and sees the use of raw, quarried Jodhpur stone, sand and lime stones for cladding and finishing. Large sheets of frameless clear glass are used to enclose the interior spaces providing invisible walls; thereby bringing the landscape into the interiors. The guests feel one with nature from every nook and corner of the resort.

Conceptualized by Rajeev Agarwal Architects, the resort is designed as a weekend retreat and is reflective of the natural atmosphere it is located in. The existing site, an erstwhile botanical garden, was densely planted with large trees and shrubs. The horticulture survey of the land documented 1,790 full-grown trees of varying heights and girths. The first design decision was to retain the full-grown trees and evolve an architectural, interior and landscape design around these. The resort recreates the feel of a walk in a garden where a guest is made to wander through the resort alternately moving between interior and exterior spaces, thus, always maintaining a connection with the landscaped outdoors. The interior spaces are separated from the outdoor courtyards (with existing trees) by large sheets of glass. The main block with all the public areas is organized in the form of a linear block. Courtyards with existing trees puncture this building slab. These courtyards are enclosed in clear-frameless glass to get an uninterrupted inside-outside connection. The rooms are organized in fragmented villas; four rooms to a villa. These have been scattered in apparent random pattern located within the interstitial spaces between the trees and other thick plantation.

The high-ceilinged lobby features laid-back contemporary seaters, scrap metal sculptures and large hand crafted fabric applique panels.

The materials used are in their raw, natural and ‘unprocessed’ form. Raw, quarried Jodhpur stone is used for exterior finishing. Landscape walls are made with local Delhi quartzite and random rubble stone masonry. Various sandstones and limestones are used for flooring and wall cladding throughout the resort with their natural textures intact. The structural steel is exposed inside and outside within the building and forms an important part of the design vocabulary. Large sheets of frameless clear glass are used to enclose the interior spaces providing invisible walls.

Scrap metal sculptures, waste material collages and craft panels from all parts of India were used to reinforce the nature inspired theme of the resort. The artworks were carefully conceptualized and commissioned especially for the resort at the beginning of the construction process. Larger than life scrap metal sculptures are placed throughout the landscape, reminiscent of the village life that existed here before the resort came into being. Buffaloes, cows, goats, cowherds, pelicans, soaring birds and insects are some of the natural fauna recreated in their natural formation. ‘Found material’ collages are used on walls in the public spaces reflective of the eco-friendly theme of the resort.

The Deluxe Resort Room displays soft hues, traditional Indian artwork, lush furnishings and straight-lined furniture.

The adventure sports complex nestled within the resort includes activities such as Zorbing, Rock Climbing, Balloon Bursting, Blind Mine Field and more. The fitness center Active Studio, Celsius the pool, The Spa and the sports park provide perfect unwinding options. With a banquet space spread over 930 sq mt, the resort is an ideal destination for conferences or weddings. Guests can indulge in a cosmopolitan mix of international cuisine and authentic regional home-style delicacies (Haryanvi food) at the all-day diner Buzz, savour contemporary Chinese and Thai cuisine at the Sian or relax over a few drinks at Swirl the high energy lounge bar. For the wellness seeker, Buzz offers an Active Foods Menu. Truly, The Gateway Hotels & Resorts is a sanctuary where a weary mind (and body) can refresh, refuel and renew.

To create an urban sanctuary inspired by nature using local materials and regional art forms.
Facade Quarried Jodhpur stone, structural steel, glass Landscape walls Delhi quartzite Flooring and wall-cladding Sandstone, limestone


Project The Gateway Resort Damdama Lake Location Gurgaon Area 20 acres Principal architect Rajeev Agarwal

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