Name: Taj, The Trees
Location: Vikhroli, Mumbai, India
Built-up area: area: 29,342 sqm (3,15,834 sft)
Design: WATG, Conran & Partners with Studio Vikhroli
Client: Godrej Properties Ltd.
The Trees, is one of India’s most sustainably planned mixed-use projects that has been conceptualized and delivered on an urban design vision seldom seen in India. Located near Mumbai’s eastern shoreline, adjacent to the largest preserve of mangroves in the region, the former 34-acre factory complex is now a mixed-used, vibrant and liveable new district that proactively engages with the city. The central green spine of existing rain trees that reach over 50 feet in height sets the tone for this highly pedestrian-oriented development nestled within verdant nature. With residential and commercial enclaves as two distinct bookends, the master plan sites the hotel on the eastern express highway as its jewel abutting the site’s green heart on the other side which is designed to be the country’s first public art and sculpture park.
Designed by WATG and Conran & Partners in collaboration with Studio Vikhroli, The Taj is an urban response to an integrated master plan. A grade separated drop-off eliminates constrained boundary walls with other uses; materiality reminiscent of the site’s rich industrial legacy; an infinity pool that spans the length of the building overlooking the development’s green heart; and a bespoke gin distillery bar on the roof top overlooking the mangroves, are but a few distinguishing characteristics in which the hotel sets itself apart to redefine luxury. The functional program of the hotel includes a contemporary ballroom, a well-appointed business center with meeting rooms, an executive lounge, generous spa facilities, a fitness centre with leafy views, an all-day dining, a Pan Asian specialty restaurant together with 151 private rooms with green mangrove and verdant sculpture park panoramas.
The building envelope below the tower is articulated with a slatted metal edge which makes for a softened but robust base for the building. Owing to the placement of the hotel, all its edges needed to respond to different urban conditions as frontages in the masterplan. With no ‘back’ of the building it was essential to create strong linkages with programmed experience and function at the street level in active dialogue with the masterplan. We were keen that the hotel not only be the jewel within The Trees but also serve as a distinguishing feature which was unique as an amenity and experience to our commercial tenants and residents. We spread out the amenities providing a tea lounge that office goers could walk to and ground floor retail that complements the sculpture park to create a vibrant on ground experience. Seeing the ‘The Taj at The Trees’ come alive has reinforced our belief that a hotel need not be a walled off building but rather one that contributes as an active participant in a connected, programmed and vibrant neighbourhood.
The Trees is Godrej Properties’ ﬂagship project and its success can be attributed in large measure to the clear and deliberate focus on design and planning across scales from master planning to thoughtful innovations at the dwelling level. The narrative of ‘Imagine Life in the Trees,’ has consistently inﬂuenced the project’s positioning and product strategy, design, visual identity, place making, marketing communication, and customer outreach strategy in one seamless narrative. What makes The Trees unique as a project is the cohesive strategy underlying its development journey, the partners that are a part of it, and a unique co-creation, co-ideation design format coupled with high quality operational delivery of all assets.
Anubhav Gupta, CEO Vikhroli, Chief ESG, Sustainability & CSR Officer, Godrej Properties said, “We believe that the future of hospitality is here and now in Vikhroli. For the first time, both the Tata and Godrej Groups have partnered together to create a one of its kind 5-star property amidst a vibrant, mixed-use and verdant development of The Trees. We are very excited to open the hotel shortly and we thank all our partners, IHCL, and our own internal teams who have worked tirelessly to bring the best of global hospitality and sustainable luxury to Mumbai.”