Location: Worli, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Our first impression of seeing the proposed property was to effect a complete turnaround from the den-like atmosphere that existed. We aimed to carve out a minimal stylish form from something that was chaotic and loud. The idea was to create a stylish understated form for the progressive cuisine planned at the new restaurant
Our design process involved a detailed room-by-room analysis of energy zones, responses to light and circulation, as well as symmetries and formal connections. We opened up portions of rooms that offered vistas into others, working in a design language gradually.
Elevations were worked out with great attention to materiality and texture, to allow for interesting incidental effects. The Bar created a moire-illusion from the juxtaposition of industrial perforated sheets, offset by both heavily and lightly textured walls, created by demolition and natural plaster, to effect a monochrome stylishness.
Part of the concept revolved around creating a few ever-changing formats for incremental art installations. We panelled a wall with small hooks that take in turn, origami boats, tiny black pebbles, and on occasion, fresh flowers. The idea was to keep the mood fun and whimsical.
The vignetted approach to creating interest emerges in smaller ways, like our Faux-candle and smoke insert. We also used a wall to display all the brushes used in the fit-out with a bright yellow paint drip.
Cafe Nemo favours the use of stark black and white juxtaposed with a bright yellow wall that showcases the old bungalows age and opens into a green corridor. We retrofitted some of the old furniture from the property to fit the new design language.
The first room at Cafe Nemo is part of the day vibe, with large windows at one end letting in bright sunlight to create a fresh, day-washed atmosphere. The monochrome furniture was aimed at being a understated base for the progressive cuisine being dished out at the Restaurant.
The second room works as an extension of the first, and features a bold black and white checkered floor with the incomplete hook installation.We kept the mood upbeat and fresh for the first two rooms to encourage a day audience.
The Bar and parts of the back of Nemo tend to favour a darker palette, and invert the proportion of the black and white elements, to create a darker, moodier space for an active buzzing night-time vibe.The Bar also sports a small cross-stitch installation on it's wire mesh loft.
The last, almost secret room is a pixellation inspired upholstered space, that works to create an acoustically insulated space for gigs and private parties. We created a pixel wall as a base for projection mapping, that creates the entire atmosphere for music performances and Electronica nights.
The idea for Cafe Nemo centred around creating a stylish, understated shell for the "agnostic" cuisine. We aimed for the stark black and white space to create a strong style statement, hopefully one that would balance warmth and style, through fun, ever-changing art installations that pepper the space.