Colours dappled on a white background held together by rich burnt wooden elements and golden hues – this is the Shalom-S Lounge Bar where architecture seeps into your core to transport you to a rustic, peaceful and ethereal existence.
The new address of Delhi’s popular haunt, Shalom-S Lounge Bar, is Mediterranean all the way. Designed by Delhi based architectural firm Studio Us Design, the restaurant overwhelms you with its flavours – spicy aromas tickling the nose buds, vibrant splendour for the eyes to feast on and an intoxicating atmosphere for the mind to take in!
The 4,800 square feet space is spread on three floors including a terrace, connected visually by a triple height atrium. While the top floor is an outdoor experience, the middle floor is primarily a dining area, while the bar and lounge seats are designed on the lowest level.
The beginning of the design process started out as a dilemma for the design team – do they replicate the existing design or create a completely new avatar? After much brainstorming, the team decided to tread on the middle path – create a space that reverberated the essence of the old purlieu within a new ‘mise en scène’. So they stuck to the underlying theme of ‘Shalom being all about inner peace, harmony and contentment’ in a shell splashed with Mediterranean strokes.
When you enter Shalom, a lounge seating plan in combination with table seating greets you. The low seating set against white walls has back-rests and accents cushions in assorted shades of green, yellow, red and blue lending a colourful stroke to the space, while the burnt wood table arrangement imparts a rustic earthy feel; and together, these elements balance the pallid background.
Another element connecting the design in an elegant equation is the ‘jali’ work that keeps popping up; sometimes as accents, screens, partitions, or in the form of illuminated features that create art out of light. The Arabic jali work, an integral part of the design philosophy is seen in two kinds of patterns, a geometric pattern and an inorganic pattern with volutes forming interesting floral networks.
But the most capitulating, like a sorcerer holding all in a magical spell, is the lighting that drapes the volumes in golden hues. The primary design is wall washed dim lighting bounced to achieve a dull soft glow augmented by spot and focus lighting in the niches and dining areas. Most enchanting of all illumination is without doubt the backlit jali screens lining the bar and triple height atrium wall, where the latticework sets the restaurant aglow in an elegant haze.
The terrace has outdoor seating, with wood being the dominant material at play, forming the railings, ceiling top and even the staircase. Set against the beauty of the night, wood brings to the space, a rustic charm made resplendent by luminaries, Arabic lamps and pendants that take a thread from the lattice motif seen in the restaurant below.
The triple height atrium reaching up to the terrace provides a visual connect among all levels, soft daylight caressing the spaces inside during day and at night the activities inside reaching out to the outside.
The bar on the lowermost floor follows the basic design theme, and in here, the bar displays is the key focus. Bottles shine like jewelry, framed in radiant backlit jali work at top and bottom of the shelf.
This lounge bar is a Mediterranean rhapsody held together by the simple earthy material palette, colourful accents jali work and a lighting scheme that interlaces the entire volume into a singular entity.
The real challenge, says architect Sumeet Nath, was to upgrade the concept while retaining the essence of the old; and by blending in different Mediterranean styles to create a space that hovers on the line between casual and elegant, he has indeed overcome the challenge.
Text By K Parvathy Menon
Photographs Courtesy Arvind Hoon