Medieval Charm: New Delhi’s Dharampura Haveli is a total restoration marvel
APR 28, 2016 | By Kapil Aggarwal
Vijay Goel, my client, took me to a dilapidated haveli of a wealthy Indian merchant, dating back to the 19th century. He wanted me to restore it and although it was a first of its kind for both of us, the old building displayed enormous potential.
Almost all areas were structurally examined – walls, staircases, columns, beams and slabs were strengthened. Many experiments were done with materials and designs to achieve the appropriate results. For example, the restaurant was finished with exposed lakhori bricks. In certain places, the original building was either left exposed or replicated; the facade was recreated with balconies and chajjas, and more doors and windows were added inside. The elements used on the exteriors were typical of the architecture of Delhi during mid 18th to late 19th century. All rooms which were initially small, were redesigned into 14 spacious boudoirs. Artworks replicating the Mughal period were sourced from various parts of Rajasthan. With the second floor being in the most rundown state, a lot of brainstorming was done to revive it for cultural and hospitality reasons. It took us a year and a half to formulate the correct method for renovating this property into a hotel, with every phase of its construction a learning experience.
Also read: Madri Haveli in Udaipur is a restored fort to reckon with