Hospitality Design Special
Info & Images: Courtesy the architect
Mumbai-based design firm, Sumessh Menon + Associates carves out a 2100 sq. ft. fusion fine-dine and lounge bar – a bespoke night out experience!
The ‘N Bar & Grill’ in central Mumbai, designed by self-taught interior designer Sumessh Menon is an exercise in fusion – Indian and European, just like the restaurant’s cuisine.
The tone is set from the entrance, where the white GRC trellis of slatted wooden strips creates an element of intrigue, shielding the interiors from passersby; yet acknowledging its presence and connect with the outside. The wooden doors leading to the restaurant and bar are inset with a grid of magnifying lenses and complement the semi-transparent nature of the façade. The vocabulary of a rich material palette carries forward indoors as laser-cut leather, Brescia Aurora Italia marble, brown leather, dark wood tones, laser-cut veneer, customized polygonal lamps in perforated and gold-plated metal, onyx-look-alike printed vinyl, amongst a host of other treatments and finishes creates a formal aesthetic.
Sculptural Light Box - the Bar
Elements take on sculptural forms, and the lines between artwork and design are blurred. An undulating series of layered waves in repoussé (hammered) brass dominate one space, while perforated and hammered bucket lamps focus light on textured veneer tabletops in a woman-centric theme right down to gold hues on the walls and on plush velvet chairs in another; and in yet another space, we see echoes of the wave motif in exposed plywood organically melding into the ceiling, walls and down to the storage of a bar, giving the bar the appearance of a sculptural light box with its diagonally cut tobacco Italian marble slabs arranged on backlit onyx to creating a floating apron.
Although there is a wide variety of materials and textures in use in this project, Sumessh manages to tie up elements and motifs through repetition or modification. Various elements find reflection in a varied form in different spaces, sustaining the design vocabulary.
Diligent attention to details introduces an element of surprise, even awe at places; viz., the chair headrest with its glass oval delicately suspended on gold buttons and etched with a woman’s profile; or the funky wall pattered with panels of differently treated glass - coloured, stained, blown, textured, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and the like.
Though the premise may seem clichéd, the design approach is defined by indigenous materials and techniques that do not visibly hark on any Indian motifs but distinctly conform to a contemporary sensibility rooted in traditional architecture.