An Indian Health Food start-up wanted to create their first gourmet dining experience in the heart of one of Delhi’s busiest markets. Space, once occupied by a fast food joint, was selected for its prime corner location.
Lead Architects: Ujjwal Sagar & Sanjana Mathur
Client: Atul Talwar
Lighting consultant: White lighting solutions
Manufacturers/products used: Saint Gobain clear insulated glass SGG EVOLITE Clear
(ET 150 II)
Quickstep Floor designers: Classic oak natural –
Impressive ultra- IMU1848
Drop ceramic design: Printed hexagonal floor tiles
White Lighting Solutions: Pendant lamps, Tungsten
The location afforded a sprawling visual connection to the hustle bustle of the plaza outside and also the heavy greenery around. Care was taken to ensure that the design capitalized on this. The concept of being in touch with the natural greenery outside while consuming all natural products inside, drove the design forward.
The café employs a deep green in its branding and was continued in the overall design of the space. This coupled with earthy tones and materials makes for a fresh and vibrant look. The space was subtly divided into separate seating zones to cater to different customers while making one cohesive whole. Polished pine wood members and thoughtful lighting accent different zones.
Customers enter on the ground floor, where they are greeted by angular pinewood members branching out above to create a canopy that acts as a backdrop for the space. A green metal girder shoots across above, dropping pendant lights over the seating. The girders rigidity strongly contrasts with the disarray and texture of the pine wood canopy above, pulling the space together.
As one makes their way to the upper floor, they are greeted with tall windows that wrap around the space allowing unconstrained views of the outside. The green continues throughout while being complimented by pinewood installations that lend warmth to each seating zone in a separate way. Bar style seating was created up front, facing full height windows to ensure a beautiful scenery for customers looking for a quiet nook to work out of. A pinewood pergola was created to lend a sense of privacy to the seating along the side of the restaurant. Up down lighting highlights the beauty and sculptural quality of the pine wood vertical members.
Pinewood Pallets were in turn used to create a large lighting feature to form a beautiful rustic chandelier over the banquet style, central seating area. Hexagonal tiles in different patterns are laid out randomly and add pops of color throughout the café.
This fresh and natural look is to be repeated in all future expansions of this health food brand.
- Professional Photos: PDF attached separately
- Drawings: ZIP file attached separately
Ujjwal Sagar and Sanjana Mathur
Studio bipolar was started in 2016. The partners Ujjwal Sagar and Sanjana Mathur were batchmates at Sushant school of art and architecture.
For Sanjana it was a natural entry into architecture being the daughter of architects (Rajat and Sushree Mathur, Fountainhead, they’re based in Delhi and they do a lot of infrastructure work like Metro stations JNU new campus etc, one of their accomplishments include the recently completed Magenta Metro Line in New Delhi), and the strong arts program at Vasant Valley School set the tone by honing her talents.
Ujjwal however, took a little longer to find his way. After school he signed up for a bachelor’s degree in physics at Delhi University. A year in, the need to do something more creative was strong, and he moved into architecture.
The New Delhi-based students met at Sushant School of Art and Architecture where, ‘studying under wonderful professors like Rajat Ray and Anurag Roy who encouraged us to look out into the world and really ponder the meaning of “space”, recollects Ujjwal, co founder, Studio Bipolar.
Sanjana interned at Anagram Architects under Vaibhav Dimri and Madhav Raman. ‘Working directly under them, I was really taught how to design. I worked directly under them during my internship, and was exposed to how they design, and what they look for in a space. The best thing about Vaibhav and Madhav is that they gave me a lot of freedom to experiment with my own ideas, which built my confidence, something that’s really important for young architects. Had heard about this methodology of theirs, which became my main reason for my internship.’
Ujjwal meanwhile did his initial training at Design and Development Atelier (DADA) in Gurgaon under Sumit Arora and Mukul Arora. ‘At DADA, they focused upon, and developed my core technical knowledge. Every day was like a masterclass in fusing great design with great functionality. Their meticulous approach and attention to the minutest detail made a great impression on me.’
He then moved to Anagram Architects where Ujjwal and Sanjana got numerous opportunities to work side by side on projects. Madhav and Vaibhav continue to be their architectural gurus. ‘Not only were they great bosses, it was their approach towards resolving their designs which truly inspire us. They gave us wonderful advice when we left, saying “There will never come a time when you go ‘Ah! Now I know everything!’ All you can do is keep learning everyday”. A unique quality we found was that they don’t have a set “style”. Each project is dramatically, visually and spatially, different from their previous works. They taught us that there is always a new solution to every problem. Since then neither of us have stopped wondering – can this be done better? does it have to be done only this way?’ commends Ujjwal.
When they felt confident, Sanjana and Ujjwal decided to branch out on their own – and Studio Bipolar was born in 2016. Initially it was just the two of them working out of a Chaayos, sda market coffee shop! But gradually a variety of projects entered their growing portfolio and they moved into their own office space, and started to grow their team.
“We chose to call ourselves Studio Bipolar because we think of ourselves as “polar opposites”. We like to think of our work as an amalgamation of opposing perspectives as both us have dissimilar, yes distinctive design aesthetics. Ujjwal loves ultra-modern, minimalist design with graphic elements. I tend to favour a more eclectic/natural look, with lots of exposed brick and earth tones. For our Hwealth Café, we chose to maintain a very simple palette of pinewood and rough white walls. Graphic tiles were added to give a “punch’ to the space, to energise it,’ details Sanjana, and adds laughingly, ‘as you can imagine, trying to work together on anything more often than not ends up in an argument!’
Since starting work in 2016, Studio Bipolar has been involved in various residential, commercial, f&B and office projects. “there is no one kind of project that defines us. We are designing a 15000 sqft classic European inspired chateau alongside an adaptive reuse project converting an abandoned factory warehouse into an office!”