Friday, January 15, 2016

6 Ballygunge Place: Celebrating heritage with a twist!

By Marina Correa
Photography: Ravi Kanade and Subhrajit G Mitra; courtesy the architect


The design for the refurbishment of renowned Bengali restaurant 6 Ballygunge Place, Kolkata, contemporizes the region’s traditionally-rich art and cultural heritage in a pastiche of pop colours and kitsch style…

Expressing itself in varying scales - such as oversized sketches on the exteriors (referenced from Sahaj Path); miniature-sized Sara paintings on wall plaques, pint-sized lamps dotting the stairwell balustrade, scaled Potochitro human figurines etc. – varied nuances urge a diner to explore further.
sahaj path referenced sketches on exterior of building
old world charm - wooden louvered windows

Constituting an integral part of good design, visual continuity is orchestrated via Lalu Prasad Shaw-inspired traditional Bengali paintings seen on chair backs and cushions whilst Sara paintings (traditional Bengali iconography) lead the eye upwards.
traditional Bengali paintings seen on chair backs and cushions

Similarly, by ensuring a neutral colour palette of white walls and hand-painted greyish furniture, the multitude of artworks are brought into the foreground. Adding to the narrative are light fixtures encased within bird cages - reminiscent of erstwhile Bengali fascination for pet birds.
black and white chequered flooring

Hand-painted wall murals heighten the overall aesthetic as some of them appear real (a man sitting on a chair smoking a hookah)!
bengali sara paintings on walls

Diligence to details comes forth via subtle and bold patterns such as etched textures below arches; delicate wallpaper; printed crockery, classic-themed B&W chequered flooring and the like.
traditional motifs as decor

Since the 6,000 sq.ft. restaurant is ensconced within a residential building typology, the segregated configuration of rooms accentuated by alcoves, arches and columns effect a 3-D look-feel on the first floor, while an expansive banquet hall features on the second level.

traditional cultural elements as decor

Moving on to the exteriors, railings as a boundary interface and fenestrations effect partial transparency while allowing chiaroscuro elements to animate surfaces. Completing the picture are green touches which play peek-a-boo through wood-and-glass-paned windows whilst louvered doors open into balconies – providing a breath of fresh air akin to this project-specific collaboration between Abin Design Studio and Square Consultancy that ensures a good dose of intrigue and refinement for a repeat visit. 

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