British Brewing Company in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, has been designed by NU.DE Offices as an eclectic watering hole full of wood infused charm and delightful open-air seating.
The greatest advantage that the design team from NU.DE Offices had while conceptualising this project’s look was the sheer swathe available to it – 1,800 sq ft, with 2,500 sq ft of terrace space added for good effect. British Brewing Company in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, was going to be a lovely sprawl, and it had to be designed to include several possibilities.
The final result has achieved that and much more, and a venue has been created that not only includes multiple seating styles but also has a cosy wood infused look that exudes gravitas, and a ‘picnic’ section that showcases that this place is not averse to some carefree fun. This theme of eclecticism, of containing variable small spaces, repeats itself throughout this resto-bar’s interior.
Let’s start with the most visually striking element, and admittedly, also the core pre-occupation of the design process here.
“The British Brewing Company had a pre-defined material palette that included the potential to innovate and create a uniquely distinct space. In this case we deployed the parametric umbrella system, considering the unique site opportunity that included two thirds outdoor terrace space and one third indoor space,” says Nuru Karim of NU.DE Offices. The island bar was inserted at the threshold of the inside / outside space and forms the core or heart of the project.
The parametric umbrella, even in this landscape of eclectic props, manages to be the show-stealer. It was realised using the CNC milling technique and was finally hand-assembled on site after multiple physical models of design iterations had been dutifully studied by the team.
The two stumps of the solid, wood umbrella, come together to form a minor arch that hovers over the bar area. The umbrella’s calm beauty comes alive when its insides are lit up with warm yellow lighting and its tapering form starts throwing shadows above and below. It is a rather delicate detour in the standard template of rough-edged watering holes.
The bar is a large oblong space that has its feet spread across both the inside and the outside, in the open-to-the sky area.The wooden bar counter-top takes a wide swirl within the interior section and then effortlessly breaches a glass barrier to stretch out and breathe in the city air.
This segment sets up a delightful face-off; imagine sitting at technically the same table at the same place, but experiencing different weather conditions. An illusion that is sure to seem even more surreal in the company of good food and good drinks.
The rest of the interior space plays home to the usual resto-bar suspects. There is the exposed ceiling overlooking the entire swathe, its criss-crossing pipes and paraphernalia making sure that no one feels that the elegance of the spot is too choreographed.
The dominant hue of the entire place is that provided by wood, its natural character and polish enhanced by careful lighting and upholstery. There are graphics and signage and flat screens poking their heads here and there – no semi-casual bar seems complete without them anymore. And there is a huge black board menu cheerfully announcing the gastronomical delights on offer.
The seating scheme has clearly been designed keeping in mind the cosmopolitan character of BBCo’s location. Apart from the bar, patrons can choose from high bar tables, a barrel pod section, a classic booth segment, and of course, the lovely terrace area that is protected by movable covers and stared at by the surrounding sky-scrapers.
This branch of British Brewing Company, (the others are at Goregaon, East and Thane, West), brings together the familiarity of trusted resto-bars to the fast-gentrifying environs of Navi Mumbai, and mixes it with well-planned flights of design experimentation.
While the team’s almost academic approach to design may have decided the look of the place, the real winner here is the inclusion of multiple styles of seating across a generous space that could have easily been defined by the dreariness of just one all-encompassing idea.
Text By Shruti Nambiar
Photographs Sameer Chawda