Thursday, March 15, 2012

Architectonic Interior

By Savitha Hira

Although design means big business in the hospitality industry, a focussed design exercise that can brilliantly strategize a business model is a welcome treat anytime, anywhere...

The act of designing, whether on fresh grounds or a refurbishing exercise, can be inherently challenging, to say the least. Yet, just as we writers flirt with our vocabulary, finding newer ways to express ourselves, architects and interior designers find different elements that are conducive to their periodic musings and learning curves, flirting with their personal connect with the project and the answerable needs of their clients.

Collaborative Architecture led by Mujib Ahmed and Lalita Tharani is a Mumbai-based firm fast garnering international renown. Their most recent accomplishment, Mezban – a restaurant in Calicut, South India, recipient of several awards and considered to be one of the most innovative fine-dine spaces of the year internationally, is a simple exercise in design rejuvenation ably complemented by fine execution.

With the intent to create a destination dining experience on a cost-effective budget, the designers chose two singular synchronous elements – lighting and ceiling. Conceived with LEDs, the entire lighting scheme evolves through an innovative inverted topographical landscape, where simple box-like stalactites arrest one’s attention. The use of colour white aided by alternating shifts of transparent and opaque glass forms the perfect adjunct, contributing positively to the spacious feel of the 2800 sq. ft. restaurant space.

A restrained yet indulgent use of form is seen through the toothed edges of the sofas and the curvilinear bucket seats in an otherwise straight-lined interior. Ushering in a miniscule design shift but sustaining the craft of line-work, are the contemporary chandeliers in the alcove seating and the subtle lines that define peripheral details.

The project derives its strength from its minimalist palette, imaginative application of design elements and a functional floor plate that is the ultimate key to good hospitality business.


  1. That is well put Savitha... Cheers to that fantastic feature!!


  2. I believe certainly that adding character to an interior enhances its business worth. However there is one fundamental condition - and that is that the 'character' must reflect the desired 'market' or customer/user base. As in all commercial interior work design must match expectations attract the right clientele. In that way expenditure on the refurbishment or creation of the space is properly targeted and controlled, in line with the business model and proposed outcome.
    The interior has great appeal - as a scheme which avoids ostentation - and therefore it presents an unchallenging but appealing environment - but the 'market' position is a little unclear.
    Posted by Joyce Moore on linkedin Group: The InteriorsHub Forum.

  3. Have Mujib Ahmed and Lalita Tharani thought of incorporating the art of Engraving on the glass into their wonderful world of Lights? Say for example the type that is done by Vijay Kharkar and covered in these columns? I feel they together can create something breath taking.
    Sanyogita (Artist)

  4. Thank you Sanyogita, for suggesting the use of my art to create something, which you think can be breath taking. I feel honoured. I would be too willing to work with any one in the interiors.
    Vijay Kharkar


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