Coast Café in New Delhi, designed by Studio Lotus is a two-level culinary and aesthetic escape in the midst of the cultural hustle and bustle of Hauz Khas Village.
Coast Café looks like the place where poems could be born. It has sublime interiors that are draped in sunlight. Its spaces are peppered with neat, potted plants, and its air is punctuated by just the right mix of pleasing colours.
On its walls are collections of artistic inspirations, commissioned by Aashti Bhartia, the owner, particularly in favour of up-and-coming, young artists. It is a continuation of a trend that has gathered steam in recent years, and at this restaurant-bar, it realises its potential of being an ever-changing but grounded accent scheme.
In the lively environs of Hauz Khas, Coast Café is a gastronomic and visual break, and an example of mindful design. The team from New Delhi-based Studio Lotus aptly encapsulates the philosophy behind the restaurant-bar as “simplicity, modernity and attention to detail – with a focus on a hand crafted material palette.”
Spread across two floors, this space earlier, was just a derelict rooftop that was assigned to the design team as part of their renovation commitment to the Ogaan fashion store. The spare brief asked for a coastal cuisine restaurant and bar on the store’s top floor, and Studio Lotus spun its own signature yarn around it and created a classic.
The lower floor of the establishment is the bar, and up a sea-shell-inspired iron-and-teak spiral staircase is the resplendent, veranda-shaped restaurant. An erstwhile dank central bay was liberated during the renovation process and was turned into a courtyard, with a few nods to Delhi’s ‘Mughlai’ charm thrown in for good measure.
The arches of brick on the renovated façade and of metal mesh on the restaurant floor form the perfect entryways to the acreage of sunshine and good air that informs the look of the café. “These arches will eventually get covered with creepers that have been planted on the terraces,” adds the team.
While talking about the largesse of natural light, it is impossible not to mention the aesthetic magic of its shadow-play here. On the brick walls, stripped and clothed in white and aqua pastels, and on the marble-topped tables, the sunrays chase the contours of every piece of upholstery and cutlery. Sitting on the cane and teak chairs, with such beauty wafting over you, it will be difficult to resist the temptation to get wistful.
The lamps of the space embody the theme of simplicity too, and range in shape from simple dark cones, to closed bowls made in cast-blown glass. The windows here are framed in steel and its ledges crafted out of teak. The white flooring is in situ cement terrazzo. Apart from the art, one of the walls features a series of rectangular glass encasings that further participate in the sunshine-grabbing game.
Coast Café’s ambience has been inextricably influenced by the overwhelming noise and clutter around it –a factor that is the focal point of the success of its design. In an indulgent atmosphere of colours and trinkets and drapes, it is restraint indeed to conceptualise a space that is populated by white walls and wisps of greenery. All credit then must go to Studio Lotus’ ingenious talent towards recreating the soul-refreshing magic of the coast right in the middle of urban sprawl.