Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage site and aptly defines the grandeur of the Vijayanagara empire, it was built by. Evolve Back is a project by Earthitects recreating the magnificence of that era by incorporating the prevalent design principles from that time. The architectural experience of the empire is reflected through the attention to detail and understated elegance which further led to re-creating an authentic space. The resort is positioned in the center of the 27-acre land accessed by the grand entrance.
The fort-like entrance, arched openings, and boulevards paved in stone are the elements that resemble the Indo-Islamic architectural style of the Vijayanagara empire paying tribute to the builders and craftsmen of that era. The rich culture and history of Hampi are conveyed by the luxurious and magnificent spaces designed with intricate ornamentation and antique elements. The grand entrance is connected to the fort through a long driveway inspired by the old temples of Hampi.
The living area of Evolve Back Resort uses wooden furniture inserted with brass, granite flooring with rough texture, and self-colored vine inlays as court-style inspired architectural elements. The ancient bathing experience is re-visited with the in-room Jacuzzi overlooking a private space. The ruins inspire the motifs, wall detailings, and soft colors of every space that takes you back in time. The muted tones are paired with royal shades of red and purple.
The hallways of Evolve Back Resort are graced with symmetrical arches that add a royal touch to the place. The copper and wood sconces are replicas of historical marshals that illuminate the space with their soft light. The stone hallway is decorated with embellished pendant lights traversing to the 14th century. The Jal Mahal is inspired by the Water Palace within the Zenana enclosure for the royal ladies of the Vijayanagara empire.
The Jal Mahals are the independent suites placed on one side of the property amidst lily ponds with stepping stone pathways. The deck in the private space of the Jal Mahal is designed with Mantapa which overlooks the private pool with a beautiful view of the forest and boulders forming its backdrop. The mantapa can be used for traditional events or private dining affairs.
The deck further leads to the infinity pool which is inspired by aqueduct-fed pushkarini or temple tanks of the Vijayanagara empire that invites you for a royal dip. The center pavilion of the pool is accentuated by the stunningly carved gopuram with a tiered roof. Breaking barriers between indoor and outdoor at Evolve Back Resort, an outdoor shower is designed in the middle of a stepping-stone courtyard.
Other typologies of rooms in the Evolve Back Resort are Nilaya, Nivasa and Zenana planned inside the main fort with private balconies and jacuzzis. The main building is also equipped with a restaurant called Tuluva, a gym, and a bar. Zenana is positioned on all four corners of the building to get an unobstructed view of the surrounding scenic landscape and covers an area of 1590 sq m each. Nilaya covers 1372 sq m each on the first floor of the property. These rooms are designed with open-air terraces that allow the visitors to enjoy the sunrise. Nivasa is 950 sq m of space with balconies designed with a day-bed and water-jet pool.
Both masculine and feminine kinds of arches are used in the design of Evolve Back Resort. The masculine arches are minimalistic and utility driven while the feminine arches are curved and embellished with floral patterns. The feminine arches are inspired by the elegant Lotus Mahal of Hampi. The project also aimed to re-design India’s ancient system of wellness – Vaidyasala, which rejuvenates and refreshes the body, mind, and spirit. The lotus motif has always been a prominent symbol in the history of the Vijayanagara empire and the walls of the Vaidyasala are embedded with a lotus on a wooden band.
The Evolve Back Resort majorly uses stone and wood along with other natural materials which result in decreased carbon footprint. Waste management measures are taken which makes the recovery rate of dry waste 60%. The wastewater treated by the Sewage Treatment Plant is utilized in landscaping. The guest rooms are equipped with an in-built reverse osmosis system that provides high-quality drinking water further reducing the waste generation of 1,50,000 water bottles.
In-situ catchments, percolation ponds, and rooftop run-offs are some rainwater harvesting measures incorporated on the site that fulfill the water requirements in public areas, vehicle washing, and horticulture. A national park is designed on a major chunk of land that increases the growth of plants and trees which in turn help the wildlife and birds.
Evolve Back Resort by Earthitects is a project that recreates history and features intricate detailing and meticulously planned interiors. Each element of the design draws inspiration from the rich heritage of Hampi and transports back to that era with the beautiful execution of every element.
Project Name: Evolve Back Resorts
Location: Kamalapura Palace, Hampi
Total Built Area: 16,000 sq m
Firm Name: EARTHITECTS
Image Credits: EARTHITECTS