Kolkata is slowly but surely undergoing urban transformation. For years stifling under democratically-elected communist government, now not even they can stave off the Indian urban development phenomenon. Malls, multiplexes, townships, highrises and commerical towers are starting to sprout up in the city, slowly but surely getting a little bit taller with each project. It's where Mumbai was 8 years ago.
Now, while the change isn't as visibly dynamic as in other cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad or Bangalore, it's certainly there, and, owing to its large population size and economic inertia, Kolkata has the potential to become a a true skyscraper city.
Most Kolkata developers try to keep out of the limelight, fearing the Red Party's red tape, but there are several significant/tall tower proposals that have been announced. Probably the farthest along of any of these capital projects is Shristi Infrastructure/InterContinental Hotels's hotel project
, to be branded "Vedic Hotels"
, located at the major "New Town Kolkata" development.
The principal architect is Delhi-based C.P. Kukreja Associates. The team of international architects includes Cervera & Pioz
, Spain; King Roselli Architetti
, Italy, and Ruben Anderegg, Switzerland.
The project will comprise of two towers of 150m in height and will be a state-of-the-art, green "biostructure", designs of which are Cervera & Pioz's specialty. The taller will be the hotel, the smaller will be residential, and will be surrounded by a major shopping and entertainment arcade that is modeled on the Universal Studios CityWalk
concept, featuring an eclectic mix of live entertainment, fun and fine dining establishments, specialty shops and state-of-the-art cinemas. Those are the other buildings you see surrounding the towers in the rendering. Also worth noting are the residential buildings in the background of the rendering, which comprise other projects in the New Town development.
Here are two articles that give a good overview of the Vedic Hotel project
Shrishti, InterContinental to set up 5-star hotel in Kolkata
Kolkata , Feb. 21
SHRISHTI Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (SIDCL), jointly with HUDCO, has tied up with the InterContinental Hotels Group Plc to set up a Rs 400-crore five-star hotel at New Town, Kolkata.
The foundation stone laying ceremony has already been completed. The hotel, scheduled for completion by 2008, will have 308 rooms. Shrishti has already signed up Delhi-based C. P. Kukreja Associates (CPK), as the principal architect for the hotel project. CPK has done large hotel projects such as the Intercontinental Hotel in New Delhi and Grand InterContinental Resort in Goa.
Mr Sujit Kanoria, Managing Director of Shrishti, said that the international architects roped in for the project include Cervera & Pioz of Spain, King Roselli Architetti of Rome and Ruben Anderegg of Switzerland. He said Cervera and Pioz are known for their emblematic buildings, and have pioneered new concepts of structure and construction like `Bio-structures.'
Green building: The Rome-based King Roselli, an architecture and design studio, is the winner of the Holcim Awards Gold 2005— Europe, for sustainable construction. Pointing out that the hotel complex will be a green building, Mr Kanoria said, "We feel this five-star InterContinental hotel at New Town will be the gateway of Kolkata, and should fuel tourism in eastern India in a big way.
Shrishti has already announced its own hospitality organisation (in association with HUDCO), to be developed under the brand name `Vedic Hotels' with a focus on India's traditional lifestyle.
The InterContinental Group has more than 3,600 owned, leased, managed and franchised hotels and 5.39 lakh guest rooms across nearly 100 countries and territories.It also owns a portfolio of hotel brands, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts and Hotel Indigo TM, besides managing the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, 1Priority Clubs Rewards.
Welcome to HOTEL CALCUTTA
Shristi Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd has announced a “250-to-300 room” five-star hotel in New Town, Rajarhat, in partnership with the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), expected to be ready to receive guests from 2008. “Our objective is to create a truly world-class hotel complex, which would buoy the image of the city,” says Hemant Kanoria, director, Shristi Infrastructure.
From this and other articles on the project, it is known that the cost of the building is Rs 400 crore. It's not clear whether this is the land, construction or total cost. The built-up area will be 9 lakh square feet on an eight-acre land and will provide employment for 5000 people.
While the the symbolic foundation/stone-laying ceremony has already taken place, the project hasn't actually broken ground yet, though there has been some site prep and grading. The hotel will "start to take customers" by the end of 2008, though that doesn't necessarily imply that construction will be totally finished by then.
Most likely, we will get more word on this project this year.