Location: Gk Ii, New Delhi, Delhi, India
Project Work Status: Completed Projects
Area: 2500 Sq. Ft.
Client: Ritu Dalmia
Redesigning one of Delhi?s well-loved restaurants has resulted in a design that is different and yet retains the personality of the brand that her guests over the years have come to know and love. The client wished to introduce the concept of the caf?, a deli and an all-day dining menu on the ground floor, while retaining a fine-dining experience on the first floor. We took the palette and elements created for the brand during the design of Caf? Diva forward, and reinterpreted them in this space to create new, iconic features that are unique this outlet, such as the staircase, the bar display, the live kitchen and the wine cellar, while still maintaining a connect with the Diva identity.
The restaurant is approximately 2500 sq. ft spread over 2 floors, with a kitchen on each floor. The site had some awkward spaces on both floors due to an external staircase creating pockets with no clear head height. On the ground floor this space was integrated into the back counter and display of the bar so as to avoid customer interaction with the space. On the first floor, the space available under the staircase was comparatively larger and adjacent to the primary seating area of the restaurant, and thus was converted into a wine cellar, which forms the backdrop to the entire restaurant.
The staircase that leads guests from the ground floor to the first flanks the fa?ade of the restaurant and was redesigned in lacquered metal plate creating a shelving system above and below it, while framing views into the ground floor of the restaurant. The restaurant staff uses the shelves along the staircase differently during different times of the day: displaying cookbooks to olive oil and other products during the day, to white lit candles at night. The staircase thus reinforces the mood and the brand much like as shop window does for a retail store. Along the first floor, the fa?ade was redone to create four equal windows for the restaurant that frames views into the park for four different tables, while bringing in much needed daylight into the first floor.
The ground floor has been treated as a caf? with a small deli and a live kitchen, giving guests a view of the wood fired oven and a large bar. The first floor is designed as a fine dining restaurant with a different menu and an independent kitchen. The first floor also houses a new wine cellar that showcases Diva?s extraordinary wine collection.
Aside from the ambient lighting for the restaurant, we worked in collaboration with Anita Dalmia to custom design and fabricate the pendant shades for both floors of the restaurant. With a vibrant print on the inner lining of the pendant lamps, they appear as a surprise to guests and add a subtle and playful graphic dimension to the understated palette of the restaurant.
Since the restaurant is known for its wood fired oven pizzas, it was important for this to be integrated into the dining experience. However, at the same time, it was important that the live kitchen not be so prominent that guests felt like they were on display. Keeping this in mind the live kitchen face is designed as a light MS grill with clear glass, fluted glass and mirror in fills. This combination allows the animation of the kitchen to become apparent as silhouettes behind the fluted glass while guests can catch glimpses of themselves and the restaurant in the mirror. The kitchen becomes clearly visible behind select windows with clear glass. The effect proved to be playful and magical, like a game of hide and seek between the kitchen and the restaurant.