Name of the project: Cultured Café
Firm: AND Studio
Completion: March 2018
Area: 1,200 sq. feet
Location: Bansi Ram Marg, Humayunpur, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi, 110029
Photo courtesy: Suryan // Dang
Design Team: Architect Love Choudhary, Architect Arushi Bansal, Architect Akshay Arora
Feature/ Text credits: One Digital
In the Humayun Street of Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi nestles a cafeteria, designed by Love Chaudhary, opening its doors to visitors belonging to diverse cultures and uniting them via the universal language of food. With a spatial dining area, this ‘snowy-white’ appreciation of space with a décor that of a forest is a time travel into two different ages, modernism & archaic at one place.
The client desired to create a warm, snug little eatery which could evoke a welcoming feeling amongst the diners providing them with a relaxed, easy-going spot for casual hangouts. The brief was to invest in a multi functional centre supporting daily life experiences be it catching up for a coffee, or maintaining one’s fitness through yoga & meditation, or hanging out for a joyous jam session apart from serving wholesome meals and bakes. The inspiration behind the ‘CULTURED’ cafe is to bring people of every taste, every age group, every culture, under one roof, as suggested in its name itself, which could be made possible with an inciting design which in itself has to be a mélange of greenery and minimalism.
Since the location of the cafe is in a tiny dwelling giving it the authenticity it deserves, it brought a huge challenge for the designers to add a touch of elegance to the space maximizing on the constricting area opportunity of 1200sq feet provided by the client. Space was conceptualized in a manner to provide the diners a leisurely vibe & with an intent to craft an open floor plan supported by an open kitchen ensuring apt sunlight & ventilation.
Space is designed with an arched featured wall hand done with a white, rugged texture and wooden log inserts encase the bakery, coffee and billing counter. The area is structured with anything-but-basic white walls, complemented by black and white French styled doors and windows. The white painted ceiling becomes a backdrop for the tailor-made PVC jaalis with flowing greenery making ambience much captivating. The hue of teal has been infused in the interiors to break the monotony of the monochrome color palette.
The hue of teal has been infused in the interiors to break the monotony of the monochrome color palette. Teal color partitions painted like the shade card of Asian Paints called the “ombre effect” have been incorporated to maintain privacy and create interesting visual barriers. The dining tables made to order in petrified wood flatters the white painted french-styled chairs. The wall hung tables crafted in rubber wood pose a subtle contrast to the white painted background.
Fenestrations & Facade
The outdoor balcony, designed with a bamboo cladded ceiling and four-seater custom built swing is a magnet for visitors especially during the evenings where impromptu jam sessions are conjured setting the right mood, right atmosphere for dining.
Hanging green vines continue to snake around the exterior area comprising of a metal jaali with circular fenestrations with suspended planters letting the guests divert their gaze away from the congested street of Humayunpur.
Talking about the lighting, unnecessary downlighters/track lights have been avoided, yet the placement the filament light bulbs illuminating each table resonate with the intimate character of the set up. The highlight of the cafe is a wall with colorful tea cups emitting light scones. It was thought to be a striking element against which all the social butterflies can take the perfect selfie of the day. The live kitchen counter is flooded with warm filament light to provide the necessary luminescence. In a nutshell, it’s an adequate play of light & shade, not so cluttered & ‘less is more’ approach making for an inviting aura to the place.
Completed within five months since its conceptualization in November 2017, Cultured Café with its minimal & rugged language, but still comprising multiple amenities be it the yoga sessions or jam sessions , be it the alluring interiors or small library of board games, books and musical instruments, makes a complete package in its own.