Made using local building materials and techniques by the village folk, this sustainable wildlife luxury stay is designed with minimal impact on fragile ecosystems
A design process usually starts with a plot of land. For this project though, it began with a deeply nurtured philosophy. Core to the design of Wildlife Luxuries is localisation, as without that, you cannot hope to be sustainable. Whether it was the techniques used, the material that was built with, or the people who contributed to the building process—they were all of this land.
Working closely with the Institute of Village Sciences in the Gandhian town of Wardha, located 80 kms from the site, the architects researched various possibilities of low-impact construction. Instead of importing labour, the neighbouring village folk were trained in rammed earth construction and stone masonry. The vaulted roofs were made of terracotta tiles made by local potters.
Drawing on local resources wherever possible meant building not just Tipai but the community around it, who are now the heart of the staff. Since it is located in a drought-prone zone, water is a precious commodity. Working with a permaculturist, the land was rejuvenated with natural vegetation, strategically located water bodies and a robust rainwater harvesting system to reduce the impact on fragile ecosystems.
With no hospitality industry baggage, the architects were free to reimagine everything that a sustainable luxury stay could be. Moving away from staple hotel furnishing, all the textiles have been handwoven by Magankhadi with organic natural fibres. From the tea to the toiletries in the rooms, every detail has been curated for Tipai with small batch boutique brands who share the brand’s values for sustainability, quality and fairness.
Project: Tipai – Wildlife Luxuries, Tipeshwar Sanctuary, Maharashtra
Architects: Ariane Thakore Ginwala
Client: Wildlife Luxuries
Principal Designer: Ariane Thakore Ginwala
Consultants: Structural – VR Shah; Rammed earth consultant – At aur Rahman Kalakutumbh; Textiles – Anahita Ginwala; Vaults – Constructed by Centre of Village Sciences, Wardha; Landscape – Parag Mody; Plumbing – Aqua Utility Designs and Management Pvt Ltd; Electrical – Ace Antech Consultants and Engineers; Civil work done by the local villagers
Built-up area: 5,000 sq m
Year of Completion: 2022