Location: Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India
For the fit-out at Darwin, at the picturesque Saj Resort in Mahabaleshwar, we referenced the age of Discovery, and old Botany textbooks, to create a mood for a vintage, old-school bar, that aimed to collect the best in the flora and fauna around the resort as part of its decor. Clues came in from crumbling volumes, glass baubles, and pressed specimens.
The space at Darwin featured wood paneling, smaller private zones, like a built-in library seating corner, and a large naturalist inspired Bar, where alcohol was interspersed with specimens from nature.
We tried to use the natural views of the Bar to conceive of hybrid interesting seating experiences, like the swing seating at the perimeter. The idea was to provide a bunch of fun seating variants, so as to create areas of interest within the Bar.
Custom blown-glass planters and lamps populate the space, in keeping with the age-of-discovery material language, to create mood-lit areas for the night operations.
The night vibe at Darwin creates a darker, more moody experience, where the lighting shifts to the backlit sample wall, referencing all the pressed specimens, allowing a different night mode to stand out.
Smaller curated areas serve as table dividers, and further the Darwinian exploration vibe. We wanted the space to be heavily nature inspired, so it sits well in the picturesque landscape.
The interiors of the Library seating, an interesting smaller cutaway experience within Darwin, that serves as a resource for hotel guests to spend a quiet afternoon, or a private group seating at night.
Darwin aimed to be a young, fun insert into the older resort, as a precursor to a larger design project, where each individual area will be relooked at, in a phase-wise upgrade. We aim to use various interpretations of the nature inspired direction through the entire property, to make it a destination of choice for their guests.