London and Hong Kong-based firm, Conran and Partners, have recently completed the interior design for Taj the Trees, situated within Godrej Properties’ flagship project, The Trees in Vikhroli, Mumbai. The design seamlessly blends contemporary architecture with the heritage and future aspirations of the site.
Located adjacent to a vast protected mangrove forest, the Godrej mixed use development provides a serene oasis amidst Mumbai’s bustling urban landscape. In addition to its exceptional natural surroundings, the site – an erstwhile soap factory – holds historical significance due to Godrej’s prominent role in India’s industrial journey, with the factory a leading example of a cutting-edge industrial township.
Conran and Partners’ interior design for the new hotel aims to embody the core values of the area, celebrating local craftsmanship, precision, and the beauty of intricate details. Their design approach goes beyond a mere “industrial aesthetic,” paying homage to India’s industrial revolution over the past century.
As the hotel is an integral part of a larger residential and commercial master plan, the lobby has been relocated from its expected ground-floor location to the first floor. This move creates space for a tea lounge that can be enjoyed by both visitors and locals, fostering versatility and integration in the use of the entire development. Additionally, the ground floor houses a spacious ballroom with access to a private courtyard garden, seamlessly connecting indoor and outdoor spaces.
The first-floor lobby exudes the grandeur of a classic Taj hotel, reinterpreted in a contemporary manner. It is connected to the driveway that encircles the building. With its lofty ceilings and bespoke artwork commissioned from UK artists Based Upon, the lobby also features an integrated wine bar that keeps the space vibrant throughout the day. A prominent community table takes centre stage, setting the tone for the spirit of the development.
Moving beyond the lobby, the meeting and event spaces adopt a co-working approach with sophisticated industrial detailing, aligning with contemporary workplace trends.
The second floor showcases an immersive wellness and spa area with five treatment rooms, a relaxation room, a salon, retail spaces, a gym, and a studio. Simple and natural yet elegant designs celebrate the local salt rocks, with copper accents adorning the ceiling and floor, contributing to a serene ambiance.
On the third floor, the light-filled all-day dining restaurant is intelligently designed for functionality throughout the day, while the adjacent Indian restaurant draws inspiration from 1920s Bombay Deco style, featuring dark veneered walls with gold detailing. Both restaurants offer expansive terraces adjacent to the spacious pool deck and overlooking the campus sculpture garden.
Taj the Trees comprises 151 guestrooms, including King Rooms, two-bay suites, and the Presidential Suite. These rooms offer breathtaking views of the mangroves or the pool podium and are designed to be open, airy and welcoming. They feature openable bathrooms, intricate joinery, and artwork inspired by the site’s context.
On the top floor, an intimate gin bar with an expansive terrace overlooks the flora, celebrating the entire gin-making process, showcasing infusions as artwork, and highlighting the distillation process.
Taj the Trees stands as a testament to the successful collaboration between Studio Vikhroli and Conran and Partners, bridging heritage and contemporary design to create a unique and iconic destination in Mumbai.
Tina Norden, Principal and Partner at Conran and Partners said: “Designing Taj the Trees was a true labour of love, blending the rich heritage of Mumbai’s Vikhroli campus with Godrej’s vision for its future. We wanted to celebrate the craftsmanship, precision, and intricate details that define this area, going beyond a mere ‘industrial aesthetic’. Our goal was to create a truly contemporary interpretation of a Taj Hotel, a space that embodies the essence of India’s craftsmanship and heritage whilst creating a modern and serene oasis in the midst of Mumbai’s bustling urban landscape.”