We were asked to design in North Mumbai, a contemporary take of the popular South Mumbai eatery Khyber, in response to the area's burgeoning young, hip and discerning clientele.
The design was a collaboration between architects Khosla Associates and graphic design firm, tsk Design.
The Khyber Pass has been both a divide in war and a passage for trade. We interpreted this "divide/passage" as a dramatic axis along the ceiling, dividing the space symmetrically. This central feature, a reflective copper-clad form was laser-cut with a decorative pattern derived from a tribal kilm/carpet, and lit from within. The pattern is an abstract interpretation of the "tree of life", symbolic in Islamic Art, of the passage between earth and heaven.
The restaurant spans three levels; the 4th and 5th floors connected by a dramatic central staircase. The colour scheme and textures were inspired by the climate, terrain and tribal art of the frontier region. The expanse of floor, resembling rough black slate is cushioned by lush silk curtains on the periphery and luxurious fabric on the seating.
18th century intricate Persian paintings of a nobleman and a female acrobat, were graphically treated and digitally printed onto antiqued porcelain tiles, creating a mysterious fresco-like backdrop for the space.