Flashback, at Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, by Urban Zen

Flashback, at Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, by Urban Zen

Flashback, at Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, by Urban Zen 3PROJECT STORY:

Designed with the nostalgia and exuberance of glistening past memories, Flashblack explicitly instills fond snippets of years gone by, emphasizing that ‘there is something for everyone.’ Spread over an area of 15,000 sq. ft , this multi-level lounge and bar, is a harmonized mix-bag of facets that render the interiors with an etching of indelible ink. While every individual has sought the silver lining in enveloping clouds, the design approach clearly presents colorful streaks in a grey toned theme, metaphorizing the name of the project through artistic intricacies.

The brief from the client was simple and primarily required the curation of a space relatable to a wide range of users from different walks of life. With the concept of concocting a quirky environment with bold interiors, each portion of the ambience tends to grasp the attention of the visitor. The design scheme thus is aimed at presenting people with a ‘non-intimidating’ environment that portrays its inclusive ambiance through a warm colour palette and engaging graffiti.

The Flashblack lounge and bar, quaintly distributes its spaces from the second floor to the terrace floor levels. With each floor possessing a distinct design perception, the common vibe of an intimate entertainment set-up is seamless. With a façade accomplished in pine wood, the structure announces the vibe of its interior, from the inception itself.

Upon entering the second floor, one is welcomed by a double heighted space which imparts an essence of magnanimity to the entrance. The artistic bar zones are differentiated from the relaxed lounge areas by its vibrant epoxy floor finish. With a back-lit display, the bar serves users with a tangy cocktail of experiences. A human graffiti, sketched on the wall gives the space an off-beat semblance; while the usage of wood and ambient lighting sprinkles the area with the requisite warmth. Usage of mild steel frames and black tandoor flooring for the double height pockets, supplement the bar with a re-defined sense of modernism.

The other portion of this floor is divided into mellow lounges with dimmed yellow lighting to amplify the customer’s comfortable experience. Mirroring the grey tiled flooring in the soft furnishings, these spaces utilize profuse amounts of wood, evidently displayed as a part of the aesthetic pine wood frames and the instilled decor.

Further on, as the design meanders into the mezzanine and terrace floors, one stumbles upon the accentuated colorful mosaic pattern placed across the walls as you journey upwards. Added to break the monotony of the dark themed décor, it portrays an essence of illusion when an individual moves between levels. The feeling of vitality has been subtly expressed through the inculcation of wooden massing and green wall installations, adding a more defined character to the connecting corridors.

The décor of the mezzanine floor is in complete compliance with that of the second floor, with a bar in vibrant epoxy flooring and aesthetic mild steel structuring. However, the decorative pendant pattern of the ceiling, is what completes the charming layout. Serving the functional aspects of acoustic treatment, DGU glazing has been installed which also aids in creating the visceral ambiance.

Arriving at the next level a further varied combination of seating milieus and configurations are presented to the user. With the schema laying out one indoor and two outdoor seating areas, the design composition offers a slight variation in flavor. The quaintly beaming bar houses a combination of deck wood flooring and vintage light fittings. Encompassing illuminated neon art on the walls, the outdoor seating arenas are bound by mild steel frames with over 300 exquisite bulbs hanging from them to create a showering ‘host of golden lights.’

The culminating level consists of two semi-open seating options and a luxurious private lounge. Decorated with three-dimensional art in bright hues of blue and yellow, the ceiling has cone lightings illuminating the aura of this serene set-up.

The design of the Flashback lounge, is a sheer corollary of plethoric compositional styles  ranging from being up-beat & naïve to posing for sophisticated opulence.


PROJECT NAME – Flashback

LOCATION – Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad

AREA- 15,000 sq.ft


COMPLETION DATE – October 2018

DESIGN TEAM – Rohit Suraj, Rohit Patnala

Braj Bhoomi: The Centre For Living Tradition, at Mathura, by Mohini Dubey

Braj Bhoomi, by Mohini Dubey

Braj Bhoomi: The Centre For Living Tradition, at Mathura, by Mohini Dubey 22Historically, the Braj region (the biggest tourist’s attraction place), is synonymous with the legend of Lord Krishna, has been home to a wide range of art and crafts. Although many of them have their origin rooted in religious rites and Cater to needs of devotees of Lord Krishna producing items such as Poshak and Tulsi mala. According to the Brief Industrial Profile of Mathura, there are 150 units of artificial jewellery (Kanthi mala) in the district alone. According to research, it is estimated the number of artisans in this cluster is around 1300-1500, who eke out a meagre livelihood.

The Project aims to bring the benefits of tourism to the communities that live around the assets by a platform that promoting local enterprises that improves the social and economic conditions of artisans while protecting the state’s unique heritage.

The project comprises of  Seven blocks: Haat to exposed artisan’s craft and talent, Museum to reflect and glorify the culture, tradition and heritage of Braj, Workshops 3 where visitors will be able to learn and interact with artisans to understand the nature of their craft, Amphitheatre 4 to organising the cultural programs and performances, Guesthouse 5, Canteen 6 and Admin block 7.

The concept is inspired by the historic references to design the spaces and to evoke out the elements of Narration through it.

A large domical roof structure, of the museum, reinterpret the feature of the architectural vocabulary of temple dome which allowing light to pour in and; punctures of courtyards and jaali between the thematic galleries providing sufficient lighting, ventilation; finishes with brick, red and dholpur stone i.e common material in the area.

Workshop emulate the form of an Indian village. Use of north light skylights to avoid direct sunlight into the studio.

Amphitheatre is placed as the heart of the place giving strong position in the plan yet keeping it shuttle due to orientation relative to craft court.

Formal, informal craft court is created gives a feeling of markets and bazaars. Clusters are connected with green patches completing the village scenes, having large overhangs of canopies shades the craft shops against harsh sun.

The flight of stairs reminiscent of ghats directs the view of kund; emphasizing the sacred nature; located at the lowest slope of the site to collect whole rainwater of the site is another ecosensitive feature.

Royal Enfield Garage Café at Calangute, Goa, by Studio Lotus

royal enfield garage cafe by studio lotus

Royal Enfield Garage Café at Calangute, Goa, by Studio Lotus 26Royal Enfield has a mandate of bringing richer and a more comprehensive experience of their iconic global brand to their customers. As the next level of Brand Immersion, the brand is set to launch highly-curated, larger experiences in key motorcycling destinations. These go beyond selling motorcycles and gear, into offering a space for the motorcycling community to congregate in and experience the Royal Enfield brand and its commitment to “Pure Motorcycling”.

In continuation of the highly successful roll out of the Retail stores, Royal Enfield’s retail design and architectural agency Studio Lotus took the brief forward and converted a much loved, quaint Goan eatery called J&A at Baga creek into the multi-dimensional Royal Enfield Garage Café.

The exciting new space is a seamless amalgamation of retail space, a bar &restaurant, a gallery space, a bike-customization area and a service center.The design approach to the Architecture and Interior Design builds around the core values of the Royal Enfield brand: Timelessness, Craftsmanship and an unadulterated love for motorcycling.

The buildings are planned on a half-acre plot of land as a series of independent yet interconnected structures, each of which tells its own story. The industrially-crafted retail building with its zinc roof, laterite infill walls and the now distinctive “Royal Enfield” charcoal grey metal and glass facade effortlessly bridges its Goan setting with Industrial craftsmanship.

The central traditional Portuguese style structure where the old J&A kitchen used to be,manifests as the anchor of the space.Converted into a multifunctional gallery, the space currently houses and tells the story of the legacy motorcycles of Royal Enfield – from the 1939 flying flea to the original 1963 café racer and other engines and replicas that form the brand’s rich history.


The facade of this building has been treated with specially-commissioned, locally-executed artworks inspired by a Royal Enfield iconography based Azulejos-inspiredinstallation that is created by Codesign and is hand-painted on tiles byGoan artisans.

Attached to this heritage structure is an exciting double-height space formed by a steel framework and a traditional Goan roof. These form the bar area and the first floor dining space, that has incredible views of the Baga creek. The double-height bar volume has a hand-painted backdrop by Monde Art, which takes the viewer through a meandering Goan road trip. Highlighted by customized brass headlight pendants, the bespoke sandblasted timber Bar top brings alive Royal Enfield’s presence across the world. A slowly moving, High-Volume, Low Velocity rotor mounted of the 20-ft high ceiling ensures a gentle breeze in the space at all times. The first floor lounge wall has an exciting installation byHanif Qureshi of St+Art.Flanking this structure at the rear is a state-of-the-art Service center with a bike customization zone, encouraging customers who don’t have the resources or space to turn their imagination into reality. Here, one can find all the essentials – a tool kit, for instance – required to customize a motorcycle.

The entire cluster of buildings have been set around a charming courtyard and coconut trees to deliver an experience that is Timeless, Contemporary, charmingly ‘Goan’ and unabashedly “Royal Enfield” at its core!

Project Facts

Name of the project : Royal Enfield Garage Café

Location:Calangute, Goa

Typology: Mixed-Use (Branded Environment)

Name of the architectural firm: Studio Lotus, Delhi

Design Principal: Pankhuri Goel

Design Team: Ambrish Arora, Shalini Satish Kumar, Raman Vig, Laura Robin

Client: Royal Enfield

Project area : 9,600 sq.ft

Year of completion : 2018

Photographer : Andre J Fanthome

Consultants :

Art / Artefacts : Monde Art, Hanif Kureshi (St+Art Foundation)

Mechanical : Edifice Consultants (MEP)

Environmental : Graphics Codesign

Landscape : ROHA Landscape Architects

Unbuilt : TRACES – GHOST TOWN REFUGE, at Craco, Italy, by Claudio C. Araya, Yahya Abdullah


Unbuilt : TRACES - GHOST TOWN REFUGE, at Craco, Italy, by Claudio C. Araya, Yahya Abdullah 38TRACES – GHOST TOWN REFUGE

How can a site carved from stone retrace the footsteps of the human fingerprint? An empty town with infinite stories, both of abandonment and fantastical romantics, must remain. Breathing a new life to forgotten history requires a careful surgical operation, like the recovery of a broken water vessel. The fragments speak stories of townspeople and the activity they have left behind, leaving only traces. A fossilized town can now be dis¬covered and restored as individual moments. Meshing the damaged ruins through an operation of nesting and stitching begins to relive the town through a dialogue with the contemporary. A new system of nesting within the old, maintains the relic of the previous age while the necessity of the new may come to life.

Unbuilt : TRACES - GHOST TOWN REFUGE, at Craco, Italy, by Claudio C. Araya, Yahya Abdullah 44OLD IS NEW

New volumes only find themselves embedded within ru­ined walls, allowing visitors to rediscover Craco through an archaeological type experience. The refuge shelters are embedded within a nest which act as a protective skin for the ruined walls. The notion of embedded box­es come to play, leaving visitors with legible layers of history. A gallery pathway is introduced within the cen­tral zone, linking


Unbuilt : TRACES - GHOST TOWN REFUGE, at Craco, Italy, by Claudio C. Araya, Yahya Abdullah 52GHOSTED MESH

One must get lost in the forgotten, to truly discover its value. Every visitor’s journey is part of the restoration process. A site of the past is monumental to the person; the surgical stitching of a ruin becomes the mending of the soul. An operation of protecting the old, becomes a renewed spirit of the visitor. Craco is the embodiment of layered stone

Unbuilt : TRACES - GHOST TOWN REFUGE, at Craco, Italy, by Claudio C. Araya, Yahya Abdullah 54Unbuilt : TRACES - GHOST TOWN REFUGE, at Craco, Italy, by Claudio C. Araya, Yahya Abdullah 56PROJECT FACTS

Location: Craco, Italy

GPS Coordinates: 40.379916, 16.437084

Client: YAC, Craco ricerche

Authors: Claudio C. Araya, Yahya Abdullah

Design Year: 2020

Area: unknown

Status: 1st Prize Competition, Cultural, Touristic infrastructure

K.J. Somaiya IT Cafeteria Pavilion, by Sameep Padora and Associates

K.J. Somaiya IT Cafeteria Pavilion, by Sameep Padora and Associates

K.J. Somaiya IT Cafeteria Pavilion, by Sameep Padora and AssociatesThe site for the new building is flanked on the west by an existing adjoining 8 storey engineering college building within which the café kitchen is located and on the North by the studio’s earlier project for an Information Technology college building.

K.J. Somaiya IT Cafeteria Pavilion, by Sameep Padora and Associates
Exploded View


The Café Pavilion a partially open dining space, is an addition/extension to an existing indoor cafeteria at the K.J. Somaiya Institute on their Sion campus in Northern Mumbai. The pavilion was designed to accommodate the dining space as well as create a physical link between these two existing buildings with a brick amphitheatre as the central pivot. Designed as a continuous platform, the dining space plinth weaves between existing trees, connecting both the buildings covered by a light translucent roof that floats above. The multi-wall polycarbonate roofing is aligned to match the height of the light shelf of the neighbouring IT building. The roofing membrane is suspended from a beam structure above the membrane so the roof plane appears continuous from below, with occasional shadows of tree foliage falling on it thus animating the space below.

K.J. Somaiya IT Cafeteria Pavilion, by Sameep Padora and Associates 62

K.J. Somaiya IT Cafeteria Pavilion, by Sameep Padora and Associates
Exploded View

The beam structure is held in place by peripheral circular columns which hold light fixtures as well as a cantilevered fixed seat all along the periphery of the plinth. This single detail of the column to seat, column to beam and beam to the roof membrane structures the entire project. The edge of the multi-wall polycarbonate roof structure hence stands independent of the columns making it appear light and independent of the vertical support.



Project Facts:

  • Project Name: K.J. Somaiya IT Cafeteria Pavilion
  • Architecture Firm: Sameep Padora & Associates (sP+a)
  • Design Team: Nikita Khatwani, Subham Pani, Aparna Dhareshwar,
  • Completion Year: 2019
  • Built Area: 1000 sq m
  • Project Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra. India (https://goo.gl/maps/Dzog7Mij1gS2)
  • Photographer: Sergio Ghetti
  • Structural Consultant: Rajeev Shah
  • MANUFACTURERS / PRODUCTS LEXAN multi-wall polycarbonate JSW Steel Sections
    Lighting by Tulip Corporation
    Kota Stone Flooring
    Jalaram Brick

Masala Republic at Hyderabad, by RMDK Architects

Masala Republic by RMDK Architects

Masala Republic by RMDK ArchitectsA chic restaurant in the young city of Hyderabad, Masala Republic is designed as a celebration of the quirks, vibrance and liveliness of the youth and their aspirations. Conceptualized by Dhruva Kalra of RMDK as a rich sensory experience with the playfulness of modern aesthetics, this restaurant is the perfect balance of elegance, comfort and contemporariness.

Embracing the client’s proclivity for innovation, luxury, freshness and simplicity, this space is cozy, young and dynamic with an ingenious overlay of materials, lines, colours and textures. The space is treated as an elaborate art palette, combining various details together, representing the extensive multi-cultural and inclusive and innovative menu of the restaurant. Spread over two levels, this restaurant builds a distinctive visual narrative with individualistic spatial treatments for the ground floor, the upper floor and the outdoor ice-cream section.

The highly minimal and modern entrance with grey toned, arched, French doors with huge glazing, create a striking impression and a visual fluidity, drawing visitors in. The interiors are a mix of rustic warmth, sleek modernity, and classical sophistication, with a base color palette of earthy neutrals and warm greys. The Herringbone flooring and accent walls, along with the exposed wooden in rough cut wood, emphasize on the versatility and beauty of natural wooden tones and textures, giving the space a balanced contrast and a welcoming ambiance.

The plaster and patina textured walls make for a unique art feature, further highlighted with the delicate copper arch panels, and dull gold spoked wheel lighting installations. The arched high chair seating area is designed as a stand-alone art exhibit in contemporary grey, with engraved wooden blocks and patchwork floor tiles. Artistic lights, relaxed furniture along with the fusion of rough-cut wood and patchwork tiles for the food service counter, ties the entire space together, creating a refreshing experience.

The formal dining on the upper floor is an indulgent space with luxurious flooring in black granite with white streaks, black and white Herringbone patterned tiles with monochrome patchwork tile detailing, and wooden flooring. The suspended wooden and linear lighting rafters create an interesting play of the ceiling inside the main dining area. The mono-striped walls and tables, along with monochrome furniture, wooden accent wall, indoor planters and minimal lantern lighting create mutedly lavish and graceful gastronomic experience.
The copper pendant light installations, sandwiched between the huge, minimal glass glazing, and the geometric, wooden wall divider in the semi outdoor seating, act as an artistic ceiling panel, thus creating a stunning experience. The hanging metal frames, and the blue and yellow furniture further add a vivacity to the entire space.

Masala Republic, thus, plays with different volumes, materials and functions to create an Avant Garde expression of contemporary art and luxury, integrating the whole space into a nonchalant, bold and scintillating sensory experience.

Hunka Hunka Town at Chandigarh, by group DCA

DCA Hunka Hunka Town
DCA Hunka Hunka Town

Set amidst the urban backdrop of central Chandigarh, Hunka Hunka Town is a space where the design speaks of its intention, and endorses the theme it was designed and built upon. Hunka Hunka Town came up with the idea of returning to the roots, a hang-out corner paying its tribute to the sixties and seventies of rock and roll, which defined music and lifestyles in the coming years.


This small restaurant, which focuses on the emerging pop trends of the sixties and seventies, was executed keeping in mind the specific requirements of the client. Following a retro background to portray the old school rock, this place has successfully been able to recreate that feeling to make it coherent to the young and contemporary. Creating an ambience needs much more than a simple interior facelift and the architects have walked the extra mile to engage all the senses of the user to provide them with a holistic experience. By tapping into people’s desire to feel a sense of belonging and meaning, group DCA has conceptualized the restaurant with an emotion that connects with their audience.

The challenge was to establish ‘a connect’ – recreating a spatial experience based on the core philosophies of the sixties in the twenty-first century. This required much more than just architectural expertise. The design involved an understanding of utilizing contemporary sensibilities to create an aesthetic that is archaic and contextual to a past time. Visualized as a social experience for millennial consumers, the whole ambience of the restaurant lends an immersive form of nostalgia. One instantly perceives the shift in paradigm upon walking in – from the straight and streamlined city of Chandigarh to the chic and classy ambience of Hunka Hunka Town. A chequered terrazzo chessboard floor and a predominant black and white theme transports you to the ages when monochrome was the new trend. The central seating features a long series of lighting fixtures arranged in parallels; the custom made fixtures are made from old vinyl recordings especially sourced to provide an aura unmatched. Being the most prominent visual element, these fixtures provide the theme of nostalgia to the restaurant.

The use of a minimum number of colors paired with the light finish of the walls and a combination of double seaters and suede leather finish sofas provide guests a soothing space for relaxation. Too much variety has intentionally been avoided to bring in a laid back yet jazzy persona to the space. The walls are covered with numerous posters displaying iconic rock legends performing live as well as vinyl records that have been sourced from multiple places for this purpose. Replicas of the dresses that Presley used to wear while performing live have been put on display. Guitars, gramophones and a host of other antiquities have been sourced, curated and placed on careful display. The subtle iconographies and the washroom signages have been strongly inspired from musical notes, and do the job of unifying the entire space to the broader theme of music.

The crown jewel of the restaurant is the bar. The leather chairs sit in perfect harmony with the matte black finish of the bar counter. The liquor counters at the back are constructed in a staggered pattern, offering charming views. Custom manufactured lights have been fixed inside unidyne microphones, sourced exclusively, and hung at varying lengths over the bar, creating an interesting interplay of light and shadows when lit.

Hunka Hunka Town does justice to the design; it serves its honest purpose of recreating an experience that connects the past to the present. It was designed to be a place for millennials to unwind – and in that, it boldly reverberates the vibe of the sixties.

Project Facts

Typology : Hospitality
Name of Project : Hunka Hunka Town
Location : Sector 26, Chandigarh
Principal Architect : Amit Aurora, Rahul Bansal
Design Team : Maninder Kaur, Sidharth Gaba, Tanvi Sehgal
Built-Up Area (sq ft & sq m) : 2065 sqft.
Photographer : Andre J.Fanthome

RAMADA Darjeeling, by R+D Studio

Ramada Darjeeling

Ramada Darjeeling

Ramada Darjeeling / A Boutique Hotel

The project emphasizes on a multi-scalar approach to site and program, embracing local, regional, and global scales and advancing the role of an architect as a catalytic and thoughtful practitioner who places himself among diverse actors, existing conditions, and imagined futures.

Situated in Darjeeling which once was a small hill town has since the year 2000, metamorphosed into an urban network of chaotic built with a sudden increase in home stays and government approved projects for 350 hotels due to boom in tourism. The client decided to seize this opportunity and put up the very first responsible hotel that addressed the prevailing issues of water shortages, lack of planned infrastructure and create a project in the heart of the city without disturbing the character of organic growth that the city chose.

RAMADA Darjeeling, by R+D Studio 74

The architecture of the building blends into the context to create a presence that is both local and global. The façade is a subtle reminder of the mountains within the new urban sprawl in a way cautioning the city of its erratic growth. The base of the building is an extension of the street with a series of retail. Within this sits an unoblivious entrance into the hotel that opens to a lobby which unlike its exterior is a representation of the global aesthetics of a modern hotel.The interior is a reminiscence of the mountains and reflects in the pattens and textures and use of materials which gives the place a boutique feel. The geometric patterning of the triangulated mountain wall is referenced through out the hotel in form of screen, carpets and surface treatments such as the tessellated suspended ceilings above the lobby. The main restaurant space is divided into separate zones with the striated mountainous ceiling extending across to tie the entire space with the fully glazed external façade.

The corridors reflect the vibrant colours prevalant in the region, with a custom designed lamp at the entrance of every room which is typical of the traditional house. Throughout the entirety of the space, the colours and gestures in details acts as a gentle counterpoint to the substantial and geological character of the region.

PROGRAMME – 60 Room Hotel with Restaurant,Café, Banquet, Spa & Pool.
LOCATION – Darjeeling, West Bengal
SITE AREA – 7000 sqm
BUILT-UP – 6000 sqm
TEAM – Shridhar Rao, Shikha Doogar, Smriti Kapoor, Ishan Pal, Shruti Wagh, Mudit Gupta, Shreya Gera.
PHOTOGRAPHY – Suryan//Dang (www.suryandang.com)



Lehar Sa Resort, at Madhai, Madhya Pradesh, by Akshay Selukar

Lehar Sa Resort at Madhya Pradesh by Akshay Selukar
Lehar Sa Resort, at Madhai, Madhya Pradesh, by Akshay Selukar 130

Initially, the plan was to design a Resort with 9 Guest Rooms, situated on an undulating site in Suhagpur District (Madhai), Madhya Pradesh. Designed on a contoured irregular shaped site overlooking a dense river and hills beyond, Madhai’s has a pleasant weather with average temperatures of 25⁰C.The construction system included Bamboos, Brick, Rcc, and locally available stone with a Carpet Area. Area of each Key being 38 SQM and 9 keys in total.

The Lehar Sa resort is planned to integrate the layout with the existing contours. Avoiding any cutting of the contoured land, individual clusters of rooms are located at different levels spaced to allow each room an unrestricted view. Using the site to its full advantage, all the public facilities and the rooms are river & poolside oriented in response to the amazing view. The climate of the location with temperatures in soaring just around 30⁰C most of the year.

The entire layout is created is organic in character and correlates to the organic settlement of the villages in the vicinity. Bamboo, timber and locally available stone are the materials that predominantly form the structures creating an eco-friendly and sustainable design solution. All the building and houses are situated to allow the natural undulating land to be retained in entirely with natural landscape in the form of local palms and other trees.

Vehicle movement is restricted to a small part of the site allowing access from the main approach to the road up to the reception area. The entire resort is perceived as a minimal intervention in the existing landscape by the layout and the material palette of the built forms that homogeneously integrate themselves with the site. Instead of a manicured look of most resorts, we wanted to retain the site as a whole and create the least obtrusive spaces that would blend within the landscape. Contextually designed Lehar Sa retreat is a sustainable design solution which will be known for its layout, aesthetics, and design.

Principal Architect: AkshaySelukar
Credits: City Madhai, MP
Client: Mr.BhupeshRathi
Completion Date: September 2018
Gross Floor Area (MQ): 400
Design Team: H and A Consultants
Photo Credits– Sameer Chawda

MEZBAN- INVERTED TOPOGRAPHY, at Calicut, Kerala, by Collaborative Architecture

Mezban at Calicult - Collaborative Architecture
MEZBAN- INVERTED TOPOGRAPHY, at Calicut, Kerala, by Collaborative Architecture 184

The project Mezban at Calicut, is a part of a business hotel, in a tier 3 city in the country, which has been redesigned by the firm as a repositioning exercise. The strategy was to create a new identity to the already popular restaurant though interior architecture making it a new destination dining in the city to spur the business of the hotel.
The brief called for a highly flexible layout with higher efficiency on floor, though it meant cutting down the seating capacity. 8 pax and 6 pax tables were taken out in favour of 4 pax and 2 pax seating which could be joined to create desired groups easily, with the linear lay out. The brief also mentioned the project to be executed on a very tight budget, environmentally compassionate (we wouldn’t call it sustainable, as the focus was to follow environmentally good practices rather than going for certifications) and low on routine maintenance.

MEZBAN- INVERTED TOPOGRAPHY, at Calicut, Kerala, by Collaborative Architecture 186

The brief also called for an ambience, which could seamlessly straddle between a Fine Dine and a Lounge – fine dine during lunch and dinner and Lounge space during early evening hours.

MEZBAN- INVERTED TOPOGRAPHY, at Calicut, Kerala, by Collaborative Architecture 188

A vibrant waiting lounge is carved out from the restaurant space, showcases the happenings on the restaurant floor.

The design derives its strength from the innovative architectural lighting. The minimalist design gets transformed by the custom designed lights which create an undulating topography and magical lighting quality to the space.

‘Collaborative’ designed the series lights along the exterior wall named as ‘Thousand Moons’, which lends an unmistakable character to the façade.

Lalita designed all the architectural graphics as well as the stationeries, menu, etc for the project.
The biggest challenge was to execute a sophisticated project like this in a tier 3 city of the sub-continent, where the very basic work done satisfactorily itself is a challenge. The project had a bizarre mix of logistics – local as well as international. So was the case with the execution team.

The restaurant became the ‘Destination Dining’, acquiring almost 85% additional clientele paving way for a seismic shift in the customer profile. The new positioning of the restaurant enhanced the business of the hotel, becoming the best-rated hotel in town surpassing two, existing 5 star properties. It also brought about an immense dialogue among the general public of the benefits of good design, and how they impact business in a positive way.

The idea of ‘design as a tool to transform business’ was not what this client was exposed to or experienced personally in their business before. So it was more like a close collaboration of opposing ideas, converging at the right junctures for an immensely satisfying project!


Location : Calicut, Kerala
Client: Mr. Mohamed
Design Team: Lalita Tharani & Mujib Ahmed
Project Team: Muneeb, Mazhar, Shaoukath, Vineeta Parekh

Neel Manel Pushkar, Rajasthan, by R+D Studio

Neel Manel Pushkar, Rajasthan, by R+D Studio 208
Neel Manel Pushkar, Rajasthan, by R+D Studio 210Client Brief:
100 Room Resort at Pushkar, Rajasthan. with a 200-year-old 2 storey Haveli, Chhatris and a step well. 5000 sq. ft. Banqueting facilities with speciality restaurant, spa and event spaces.

Pushkar, a city in Ajmer, Rajasthan is a significant pilgrimage site. The region dotted by havelis, stepped wells, Ghats and temples portrays a vivid image of traditional Rajasthani architecture. The urban morphology suggests human-scale volumes with narrows alleys among them opening into the sacred Pushkar Lake. The streetscape appears homogeneous with edifices of similar character. The city fabric is dense but a many intermittent chowks and alleys keep it porous.

The program involving an extension and adaptive reuse of derelict heritage buildings required a proposal for resort in the Pushkar district. Upholding the traditional identity of the place while creating a contemporary piece of architecture was crucial for a site with such a strong context.


Catering to the relationship among the functions and adjacency of spaces, the recreational areas- restaurants, library and meditation center are zoned within the existing heritage structure whereas the rooms and conventional hall are a part of the extension. The layout is designed with the higher built forming a backdrop and the lower further stepping down towards a proposed lake. The design reiterates the city fabric and the visuals which Pushkar brings forth. The terraces evoking the image of Ghats become the vantage points for the lake. Voids between the built allude to the alleys leading to the waters. The built stays permeable and intends to merge with the surroundings. The rear-built stands in sandstone while the front in a pale blue stucco finish toning down the materiality towards the lake. The platforms at the junctions make up for event spaces to liven up as the sun sets.

A pale blue stucco finish knits the blocks in tranquility of the lake.



Neel Manel Pushkar, Rajasthan
Design Architect: R+D Studio, India
Developer: Vishal Anand Sharma
Team: Shikha Doogar, Shridhar Rao, Ashwjit Singh, Shreya Gera, Neha Deswal, Raghav Raj, Karishma Garg, Arushi Chand, Durga Prasad G., Sonal Jaiswal.

Program: 100 room Resort Hotel
Collaborators: Whizztech Projects Ltd.
Area: 17,850 sqm.
Status: Unbuilt

Aloha on the Ganges, Rishikesh, by Layers Studios for Design and Architecture

Aloha on the Ganges - Layers Studios for Architecture and Design

Aloha on the Ganges - Layers Studios for Architecture and DesignOverlooking the mighty river Ganga in Rishikesh, the resort sits at an absolutely stunning location and one would not be wrong in saying that this is truly a dream site for a landscape architect. With this very thought LSDA picked up the challenge of designing the landscape for the resort to be operated by Leisure Hotels, which was a part of a larger serviced apartment complex.

The nature had already played its role perfectly and therefore the foremost landscape design dictating decision was to play along with the natural gradient and topography with reduced site intervention in terms of grading and construction and use local & sustainable materials which gel with the context thus lending the resort landscape a serene and meditative feel.

The landscape design majorly comprises of two areas, Entry area and the Garden area adjacent to river Ganga. The Entry area is a series of terraces planted with native trees along with a mix of auspicious and flowering trees and is planned more like a visual treat from resort’s numerous lobbies and indoor restaurants.

The other side, Garden area, facing the river Ganga, having the lawns, restaurant and the infinity edged swimming pool is naturally graded and no retaining walls are used throughout the entire landscape. This reduces the need for cutting and filling or use of stone or concrete walls to hold earth. The area looks one contiguous space where guests can move freely from one level to another. By using the existing site levels and difference in ground levels, the restaurant kitchen was tucked away under the swimming pool deck as well.

The design achieves its success, when the guests are mesmerized by the sight of the pool’s water seeming to fall in the mighty Ganges. The infinity edged pool was placed precisely at site to achieve this illusion. Further, with huge mountain rocks protruding from the lawns, which were purposely not removed, the emphasis is laid on coexisting and being one with the nature around.

While detailing for the project, all lighting was custom designed as well. All path lights are actually planters that have lights incorporated at their bottom part, so that during the day they do not stand as oddities in an otherwise seamless space. Even the Pole Lights were custom designed using granite & mild steel frames rendering them their sculptural look.

Rangeen, restaurant at Ahmadabad, by Prashant Pradhan Architects

Rangeen, restaurant at Ahmadabad, by Prashant Pradhan Architects 245
Prashant Pradhan Architects, a firm based in Gangtok, Sikkim, has designed Rangeen, a restaurant in Ahmadabad that seamlessly blends the traditional experiences with the contemporary in its interiors. Prashant Pradhan shares his experience below:

Rangeen, restaurant at Ahmadabad, by Prashant Pradhan Architects 247I was approached by Pareshbhai regarding a fine dining restaurant in Ahmedabad in 2013. This was after having spoken at length on numerous occasions about his concept for it. He had been working on trying to give shape to his vision, but no design had emerged. His concept was to create a fine dining experience in an environment akin to eating amidst the ruins of Polo in North Gujarat.

We at Prashant Pradhan Architects, began working on the design and the concept stage was quickly approved. The approach was to create a sharp contrast between the traditional heavy stone masonry and temple carvings with a contemporary design approach. The use of natural materials and a minimal colour palette was chosen in order to highlight the beauty of the temples. The floor and parts of the upper ceiling were monochromatic black and the parts of the structure at eye level were designed to have CNC etched veneer on a plywood base – further accentuating the contrast. We also sought to use traditional screens (jalis) and incorporated them into the design in order to delineate the different areas in the restaurant.

Finally we were responsible for designing the entire interior of the restaurant – the look and feel, the finishes – floor, walls and ceiling, designing all the furniture as well as all the lighting for the place. It was an altogether enriching experience to be able to work in such detail with artists, artisans, craftsmen, carpenters and others involved with the project. It was also clear to us that such a project – could not have been possible without the unflinching support of the clients – Pareshbhai, the man with the vision and Prajeshbhai, his nephew who is responsible for getting the restaurant built. It was also clear that it was something that would be very difficult to rebuild, replicate or plagiarise. So, some architects have claimed that it was designed by them. 😉


Accessories design – Unnati Saraf / Photography – Pratikruti

Keshav Kutir Restaurant at Vadodara, by Manoj Patel Design Studio

Keshav Kutir Restaurant at Vadodara, by Manoj Patel Design Studio 251

Keshav Kutir Restaurant at Vadodara, by Manoj Patel Design Studio 253The client’s rationale was to create a captivating space within the 1600 sq. ft. area that would serve as a restaurant with dine-in and take-away service. The aim of the project was to given a complete new experience to the diners of this 16 year old restaurant that had been shifted to a new location. The major criteria to keep in consideration was that the space was rented and thus the client insisted on developing a low cost design with the use of reusable material that would facilitate them to shift or expand in future. Client describes his personal inclination towards to a climatically controlled space with ample light and a moderate temperature inside the restaurant. All though, the client expressed many interests, he encouraged us to be imaginative and inventive while designing the restaurant so as to set up a vibrant, colorful and dynamic space that is appealing to any passerby from the front road.

Concept Note

Keshav Kutir Restaurant at Vadodara, by Manoj Patel Design Studio 255
Layout Plan

The first and most important basis of the layout was to allow maximum functional space utilizing that could support combined seating plans. The selection of the overall materials and finishes were made keeping in mind that the space was rented. Thus the entire process of selection was focused on low cost and reusable materials. To ensure a controlled climate inside the restaurant, number of alternatives for the roofing system was considered. Roofing material and insulation were thought for experiencing pleasant atmosphere in most cost effective way. Studying the climate and position of the sun throughout different months of the year, a north facing entry for the restaurant was adopted in order to minimize the heat conduction through the metal façade.

Design Process
The layout of a restaurant was worked up on contemplating factors such as operational work flow and various placement options that could provide communal dining experience. The design and development process involved understanding the clients’ requirement, optimizing space utilization and maintain budgets while ensuring that the design remains focused on the target customers. Use of innovative material gave us a great opportunity to work with different joinery details and to play by overlapping materials. Also, according to the client’s requisite, the graphical aspect of the design was given keen attention keeping the entire ambiance of the restaurant colorful yet light. Soothing temperature being one of the chief elements, a cavity in the roof was created. As an addition, waste thermocol was installed to create a low cost insulation that would minimize the heat transfer from the roof. The ventilation provided in the roof plays a significant role in the design as well as function by encouraging the hot air to escape from the top.


Project Facts:

Project title – keshav kutir Restaurant
Architect : Manoj Patel Design Studio
Website : www.manojpateldesignstudio.com
Email : manojpatelstudio@gmail.com
Completion Year : june 2018
Project Location : Vadodara, Gujarat, India
Design Team : Manoj Patel, Shivani Tamboli, Ajay Prajapati, Nirmal Arapada
Photographer : Tejas Shah
Text : Ruchi Mudkavi
Material : corrugated metal sheet

Indigo Deli at Palladium, Sameep Padora and Associates

Indigo Deli at Palladium, Sameep Padora and Associates 259
Indigo Deli at Palladium, Sameep Padora and Associates 261
The design of the Indigo Deli at Palladium was conceptualized to subvert the trappings of its mall context and the monotonous repetition of most brand architecture. A juxtaposition of the program and spatial intent, the design process aimed to combine the intimacy and warmth of traditional wine cellars with the program of retail shelving. The resultant form is an insert into the space subverting rigid structural geometries of the existing space. The quasi-dome, quasi-surface armature is suspended off the ceiling slab using customisable threaded suspension & levelling rods. The design intervention is a backdrop for the variety of the multitude of products & events it contains. The construction process was designed using parametric tools for design process, documentation and digital production tools for mechanised routing and assemblage.