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The design intent of the new suite in the annexe courtyard of The Mayur was to create an experience for travelers/scholars that would heighten the sense of ambiguity at the threshold between home and hotel; echoing the original house and acting as a symbolic portal into the local Avadh region and beyond. As is customary at The Mayur visitors to the suite are likely to engage with the original home and contribute to its story, while simultaneously gaining an introduction to the region, neighboring regions and/or country through the visual queues around them within the suite . Studies of local textiles, architecture, art, festivals and popular culture brought forth the following images which influenced the theory behind the project and fed the design of each space. The images directly below are of the Imambara, Indian miniature painting, chikankari work, Woodblock-printing, mirror work, Ghalib’s haveli, old Bollywood poster from the movie ‘Don’, a blackboard, TV noise and the Indian festival of Holi.

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Each of the main rooms and courtyard aim to reflect an aspect of the house’s history through symbolic references and repurposed components, as well as an element of regional art and culture. The courtyard’s swing echoes the swing in the main house; a point of social gathering for inhabitants of the house including domestic staff who use the room to watch TV, the owning family who take their morning tea in the room and guests from the guesthouse who gather throughout the day. Within the same courtyard, the 16 pavers and horse’s head at the main entrance to the suite mimic the chessboard; said to have been invented in India and given great significance in Indian/Mughal miniature paintings.

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Courtyard; Section drawing (left), Photo of completed work (right)

The Mughal theme continues in the pastel-hued living room with its contemporary divan constructed from a repurposed window grille and shutter from the original derelict suite. The birds in the shelves are intended to recall the sensual pleasures of the vegetable garden that once existed adjacent to this suite.

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Living Room; Photo of model (left), Photo of completed work (right)

The tiled portrait of the original owner in the bedroom is most clearly discernible from outside the window and appears to peer out at those in the courtyard. Hard and soft references to regional textiles including mirror work, chikankari and block printing inform the appearance of the bedroom.

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Bedroom; Perspective view (left), Photo of completed work (right)

Blackboard paint on one wall of the kitchen/dining alludes to the many scholars who have stayed at The Mayur and is intended to allow future scholars to leave their trace by writing down their thoughts on the wall and rubbing them off, converting the wall into a sort of fixed palimpsest. Colours derived from old Bollywood posters are applied to the kitchen cabinetry and dining table-constructed out of sewing machine table legs and 2 repurposed window shutters.

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Kitchen/Dining; Axonometric view (left), Photo of completed work (right)

The bathroom took on extreme colour seen in so many aspects of Indian life. The composition is a translation of an actual image of ‘TV noise’ into a specific pattern.

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Bathroom; Detail Room Elevation (left), Photo of completed work (right)

It is always interesting to me to retrospectively compare sketches, drawings and models (on the left above) to the final product (on the right above). Of course another important comparison is the old ‘before-after’ coming up in my next post.

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