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Friday, September 15, 2017

Face-lifting the Udipi!

By Rutvi Ashar
Photography: Indrajeet Sathe; courtesy the designer
Read Time: 2 mins 
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A restaurant that is not just another brick in the wall! South High designed by The Orange Lane stands tall as an unusual take on the classic ‘udipi’ restaurant…

Located in the swanky commercial hub of Mumbai’s Kamala Mills, South High is a standalone property - a breath of freshness in a space surrounded by skyscrapers and the humdrum of fine dine. Following a strong concept to the tee, traditional patterns bind the complete space together.

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The Orange Lane, Mumbai, surprises with their choice of larger-than-life elements that dominate the walls and ceiling, while the neutral terracotta flooring balances out the decor. Walk into this 1700 sq. ft. restaurant to be greeted by a sprightly, animated Kathakali face that sits amongst native language (Tamil and Kannada) musings - the typography complementing the perforated copper booth seating. Colourful renditions of quintessential Indian elements bring to life a standalone space finished in earthy terracotta tiles with blue and rust inserts and rough POP textured walls in muddy finish, antique blue painted service stations and green patina paint.

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While most restaurants today double up as bars, we realise that blending certain cuisines with bars is challenging in terms of design. So, we have South High that hobs nobs with regular diners by day and the bar-going crowd by night. Catering to the former, seating inspirations from traditional lunch canteens with typical perforated copper and wooden benches and tables with decorative mouldings, ornate legs and arm and back rest blend in with artistic style of the place assembled as booth seating; complemented by high table tops – the space doubles up as a bar by night. 
 
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Working with local artists from Southern India, subtle yet impactful elements highlight the restaurant viz. a hanging wooden Chanapatna birds partition, a laser-cut jaali and antique carved wooden door; local newspaper panels that cover the bathroom walls continuing the South Indian vibe without being very in-your-face about it.
 
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The brief seems to be a tricky one as the designers attempt to tailor in a modern Indian feel with their recognized style. The exposed ceilings and most of the other surfaces are elaborately done up: a specialty of the designers, while furniture and flooring act as supporting characters collectively offering a unique atmosphere.

Fact File:
Client: Suraj Shetty
Design Firm: The Orange Lane
Design Lead: Shabnam Gupta
Design Team: Namrata, Disha and Foram
Area: 1700 Sq. ft.
Location: Kamala Mills, Mumbai

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