Play Architecture tops resort restaurant in India with undulating tiled roof

An undulating tile roof formed by intersecting catenary arches shelters this lakeside restaurant, designed by Bangalore-based Play Architecture for the Deva Dhare Resort in Karnataka, India.

Set over a narrow stream on recycled steel, the structure, which has been nominated in the Dezeen Awards 2022 hospitality building category, provides both internal and external dining areas for the 10-hectare resort.

Deva Dhare Restaurant is topped with a vaulted tiled roof

Nestled in the forests of Sakleshpur with sweeping views of the Western Ghats mountain range, Game architecture sought to create a form that would “weave and integrate seamlessly” into the landscape by making use of local materials and labor.

“The dining area is located on an extremely ecologically sensitive zone, where you have to touch the soil gently,” explained the studio.

“The design approach is bottom-up, where the construction process and material selection address the local climate, soil conditions, flora and available local labor.”

Tall restaurant in India topped with a tiled vault by Play Architecture
The restaurant is situated above a small stream in a Sakleshpur forest

To create a column-free interior, a dramatic, unreinforced catenary vaulted roof spanning 16 meters was created using five layers of 15-millimeter clay tiles typical of the area.

This roof sits atop a granite and steel deck slab, supported by the structure of thin, green-painted steel columns below, and accessed via two stone steps on each side.

“The shape shows how the forces flow through the structure, and the resistance of the shape allows large spans to be built with small thicknesses, saving materials and labor,” the study said.

“Moreover, the focus of this research was to stay away from sophisticated software solutions and find geometric, logical means and practical methods, allowing unskilled labor to apply the idea on a daily basis.”

Restaurant seating under a vaulted ceiling with large glass openings
Four glass-covered openings under the corrugated roof provide views of the surroundings

Four arched openings on each side of the restaurant are filled with full-height glass framed by black steel, providing views out in all directions.

To the east and west, glass doors give access to two terraces with views of the lake and stream, and to the north a short corridor leads to an independent bathroom block.

Underside of vaulted tiled ceiling in restaurant by Play Architecture with glass door leading to terrace
The curved roof is formed by crossing catenary arches

The platform’s granite slabs have been left exposed throughout, creating a continuity between the interior and exterior, and some have been replaced with glass to provide views of the creek below.

“The project is a simple, straightforward demonstration of the power of an idea…with a sincere effort to truthfully express the material and construction tectonics,” the practice said.

Other projects nominated in the hospitality building category of the Dezeen Awards 2022 include a copper-clad shelter for a teahouse in China by Neri&Hu Design and Research Office and a boutique hotel in Mexico by Alberto Kalach topped by barrel-vaulted roofs.

The photography is off Bharath Ramamrutham.

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