Khosla Associates and tsk Design’s ideas for this roof-top fine dining restaurant in Bangalore makes a stylish retro chic statement.
Set on the 16th floor, which happens to be the top floor of Bangalore’s swanky UB City building, is the fine dining restaurant The Tower Kitchen.
This was a project that Bangalore based architectural firm Khosla Associates enjoyed working on immensely. The synergy of the firm’s collaboration with graphic design specialists, tsk Design has resulted in a contemporary space with unique visual details that have become an essential part of the restaurant’s identity.
Interestingly, the coffered concrete ceiling of the space first offered the architects inspiration for the fluid forms and design style that was to follow. Choosing not to conceal the coffers within a false ceiling, principal architect Sandeep Khosla explains, “In almost an Alvar Alto-ish way, we created wooden trapezoidal boxes that were inserted into each of the coffers which gives you this warm feeling and in a sense, gave me a lot of reference to the architecture of the Modern movement”, referring to the Finnish master architect’s legacy use of timber forms and fluid curves. The ceiling design element then defined the references to a mid- century modern design influence in this contemporary restaurant.
The indoor space of the restaurant consists of an intimate bar lounge area and the main dining area. It is here that the graphic design firm tsk Design has created an interesting visual statement by playing with form, texture and colour, transforming space barriers into art installations.
An interesting screen consisting of a thick laser cut metal grid composed of various shapes of utilitarian kitchen utensils, like pots, pans, and spatulas, separates the bar area from the dining area. The playful screen, painted a bright post box red, introduces a hint of colour which the architects have cleverly used as an accent in different design elements through the restaurant.
Beyond the metal screen are seen large pivoted doors, which segregate the main dining floor from rooms designed for private parties, an exclusive chefs table and a private kitchen. Taking the kitchen utensil theme further, design director Tania Singh Khosla of tsk Design customised the doors with giant cut outs of kitchen tools, ingeniously designed as pivoted pieces within the large swinging wooden doors themselves, allowing for varying degrees of privacy and a visual interplay. The private rooms enjoy views of the city lights on one side and intended hidden views of the restaurant through the stunning screen doors.
Sandeep’s personal penchant for mid-century modern furniture and lighting and firm partner Amaresh Anand’s interest in cars manifests itself in the nuanced detailing in this project, they point out. Bringing out the duality between the wood and painted surface, the subtle red on the edge of the giant pivoted kitchen tools is reminiscent of paint detailing seen in vintage cars.
The architects have also custom designed a hanging light feature that forms a stunning visual focus in the central dining area. Sofas edge a central pebbled square shaped water body above which is suspended the light installation consisting of a series of translucent planes in different sizes. “Each of the shapes is constructed out of a double walled layer made out of translucent industrial mica sheets, lit from within with LED’s, and then encased in an edge strip of polished brass”, Sandeep explains.
The fluid round edges draw inspiration from the 60’s era and continue further on in the red and teal blue upholstered Saarinen inspired chairs, the service buffet counters with tapered legs, and in the detailing of the timber clad ceiling.
Columns are clad in rough flamed granite, the edges of which again are washed with a hint of red light. The south wall and the walls of the private dining areas are clad in alternating strips of smoked mirror and wood, akin to the wall coverings of the 60’s era. Also seen beyond the central seating cluster is the semi outdoor whiskey and cigar lounge area through a large full height glass partition where comfortable lounge seaters have an interesting hue of lime green and chocolate brown.
The architects in collaboration with the graphic design firm of tsk Design have successfully created a space that is a literal throwback to the mid-century modern era, is laced with a contemporary mantra and visually stuns through its fine detailing.
Text By Shibani Amin Rangaraj
Photographs Amit Pasricha Courtesy, Khosla Associates