by Jincy IypeJun 19, 2020
Architects Farah Ahmed and Dhaval Shellugar of Bengaluru-based FADD Studio transformed the imagery of an unfinished church into MISU – an Asian bar and casual dining space in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru.
MISU breaks away from the typical identity of an Asian restaurant, which is characterised by deep red lighting, bamboo and cane furniture and fixtures, as well as walls painted in dragon murals and traditional symbolism. The restaurant instead brings to the fore a new face of a much contemporary Asian eatery defined by a set of Roman inspirations.
The setting breaks away from the trend that Asian restaurants have to look typically 'Asian'. – FADD Studio
Upon entering MISU, an aisle flanked by slender copper mesh columns and an arched ceiling extend into the interiors. This central passage continues into the depth of the restaurant, dividing seating on its either sides, and terminating at a cubist mural of a woman’s face. Walking through this path appears similar as approaching the alter at a church.
A series of small steps break the floor level into two. While the lower level comprises cluster seating along the aisle and bar, the upper floor makes for a more intimate setting for the patrons.
“When we saw the site, an old building with arches, we knew at once we wanted to take some of the structural remnants inside," say Ahmed and Shellugar.
A web of softly illuminated copper mesh arches hanging from the ceiling, cover the entire restaurant space. Much fragile in their visual appeal, they lend the interior its distinguished 'under construction' appeal.
Abstract forms appear at many places within the MISU restaurant. Geometric murals made using copper frames are interspersed with colourful shapes on the walls. More colour has been added to the space through the use of vibrant upholstery and a large stained-glass window at the back of the bar, which during the day makes for an overpowering element in the scheme of things.
FADD Studio, which had earlier designed the first eatery of the brand in Bengaluru itself, made sure that there are threads of familiarity in the subsequent project. This included the use of blue, green, mustard and crimson in the palette – the colours that marked the restaurant’s debut – as well incorporating copper, which the first MISU had in abundance. The idea of a central path visually aligned to the mural of a woman’s face was also drawn from the former project.
“Because of its intentional unfinished and work-in-progress sensibility, patrons will feel the need to come back to see the progress. Misu 2.0 is a fusion of concept and materials, a wonderful evolution from its predecessor,” say the architects. While keeping certain elements from the former project in place, the rest as the studio refers it was 'as blank as a canvas could be'.