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My latest architectural project is now complete and Part 1 of this series is to serve as an introduction to its history, context and concept. The newly refurbished 1-bedroom suite within the annexe courtyard of The Mayur in Lucknow, India could be seen as a 3-dimensional pictorial interpretation of Indian miniature paintings using as its representational tools a variety of surfaces that trace the history of the house and the region.

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Noblewomen playing chess, ca. 1780-1800. Attributed to Nevasi Lal

The 20+ bedroom house, constructed in 1936 fusing together art deco and regional motifs, was originally intended to be an extended family home. Changes to the extended family structure resulted in the house later becoming more viable as a guesthouse. The guesthouse has come to be known as a place for scholars and the like, visiting Lucknow to carry out research.

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Front of the 1930s house

The new suite reflects on the history of the house through devices such as portraiture of its original owner as well as drawing on regional art and culture.

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Original owner: Brij Chand Sharma

The project works its way from the courtyard all the way into the interiors; fitted out with textiles such as chikankari and block-printed fabric and combined with colour schemes inspired by the Imambara (a Lucknowi monument) and old Bollywood posters.

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Inside the Imambara

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Old Bollywood poster

Constantly in transition, the property could see a future conversion into a boutique hotel or similar. The owners’ desire to reinvent and renew has resulted in this first foray into the refurbishment of one of its suites.

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Scholar’s Suite; Courtyard

Part 2 will go into more detail about the finished project.

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