Chennai-based Mancini-design, with its grounded approach and fearless imagination, has re-defined the feel of every place it has worked a project in.
Mancini-design is 8 years into the business and works a complicated set of principles in every project it undertakes. The firm is committed to understanding the needs of its clientele, but is also driven by a need to function on an-almost spiritual level.
This outfit, with 28 designers, juxtaposes a fine empathy with context and a rebellious questioning of convention. And if that wasn’t hard enough to pin down and define eloquently, Mancini has an insatiable appetite for newer and more eclectic design ideas.
Ergo, the firm’s work so far has been sometimes colour-drenched and quirky, sometimes two-toned and restrained. It is to the talented team’s credit that finding a common thread of thought in their works is hard. Though, the designers’ belief in ergonomically correct lines and an overall clean efficiency is inescapable in all their efforts. Mancini-design’s leitmotif is its simplicity, but this ethic comes splattered with unconventional flourishes.
Because the firm combines architecture, interiors, urban planning and product design, their repertoire is that much more interesting. From dreamy resorts to avant-garde cafes, you will find a delectable range here.
This is a coffee place, but then coffee has come to mean way more than just a beverage in the ambitious India of the 21st century. It has come to represent global choices, financial freedom and, arguably, a sense of belonging to a wider world.
All these imagined purposes can be happily indulged at Mocha Mojo, located at Adyar in Chennai. Its fantastic design, straight out of a superhero’s magic hat, can threaten to overwhelm if taken in, in one go. Mancini has conjured up a space which swaps coffee mug shelves with walls so dramatic that after excess caffeine, they may seem to move.
The firm dug deep into the ‘70s for inspiration and has used brightly-coloured MDF boards to create a Lego-like wall-furniture set-up here. Adding to the star-ship effect are the elements of slick resin flooring, concealed lighting and modern cushions and chairs. This is Mancini’s imagination at its eccentric best.
The brilliant blue façade of this heritage boutique hotel stands out, even in the rarefied grounds of Tanjavur with its beautiful palace. The 15 uniquely designed rooms in this space have been tailor-made for travellers who value their traditional roots as much as their chic modern wings.
The deep blue accenting is this hotel’s signature touch, curling about in rooms that take after old-style family homes in their ceiling and furniture designs. Every room is set apart in detailing, with energy-efficient facilities being a constant. The striking colour palette and the pulp fiction-ish imagery make this hotel a visual delight. When sunshine hits the ground and matter here, it transforms this place into a Mediterranean haunt.
The project highlights Mancini’s careful balancing of legendary historic surroundings, and the demands to build something modern and cheeky. The one way to slay competition is to work in tandem with it and acknowledge its strong points. Mancini knows this so well.
It is a tall order to match up to the verdant beauty of Kerala. The Park is located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the largest in the state. So, Mancini takes a smart turn here – going abstract. Assigned to design the landscape and interiors of the luxury retreat’s spa, guest rooms and suite, and restaurant, the firm has put up stone totems to worship the water.
The materials used are all local, tweaked into contemporary moulds. The exterior is built to make the lake look even more appealing – a leaning triangular behemoth is the highlight of the hotel’s landscape. The interiors are equally self-assured, what with the custom-made linen with beautiful black and white prints, generous granite inlays and wooden accenting. This project shines a spotlight on Mancini’s love for nature, and how it believes in letting natural elements influence its designs.
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photographs Courtesy Mancini Enterprises