The Kumaon

Category B-2 Gold Winner

Category B-2: Public Amenity Resort Buildings    
Gold Winner

Award credit: Pradeep Kodikara, Jineshi Samaraweera
Location: Uttarakhand, India
Photography: Tom Roe, Nitin Pasricha, Akshay Sharma


This is a ten-room hotel set in the mystical Himalayan region in Uttarakhand, India. Named after the Kumaon region in the foothills of the Himalayas, this mountain lodge has been designed to respect the environment and celebrate the local culture, with all spaces within enjoying the majestic mountain view. 

Established as a base where guests can explore the Kumaon region and learn about Kumaon culture, the hotel is a destination for distinct experiences. This secluded escape set in nature is shaped within a striking but minimalistic architecture. Locally sourced elements weave the hotel’s characteristic charm through form—via building materials like locally quarried stone, bamboo, and copper—and through substance—using local crafts such as native woolen fabrics that beautify and personalize interior spaces. Locally sourced recycled wood for the fireplace and rainwater harvesting emphasize the nature-friendly ethos of the hotel and minimize the hotel’s carbon footprint to reflect the hotel’s respect for, and humility toward, the magnificent environment surrounding it. 

From the outset, the design vision was to create a chalet concept and scatter these chalets around the site, rather than situate accommodation within one big building. The chalets have been conceived as a two-room unit—with one room on top of the other—to reduce the foot print, and then staggered around the site to reflect the contour of the land. Public facilities are placed on the highest point of the land, and accommodate the library and dining hall. Using local stone as a building material and bamboo as cladding material to make the building look light, all the five chalets feature either a terrace or outdoor seating to immerse in the indescribable mystical mountain ambiance.