by Pallavi MehraMay 11, 2022
India-based MAIA Design Studio has designed a casual Asian restaurant in Bengaluru, Karnataka, using local materials and traditional Indian handicrafts in its interiors. The restaurant called Lucky Chan, in its current location, was meant to be a space for a home. However, the 150 sqm layout was too fragmented and had a very low ceiling height for it to be a residential structure. The ground floor area of the two-storey home was then leased out to be designed as a chic restaurant.
The interiors of the Lucky Chan restaurant feature local material in plenty and the use of Indian craft techniques in its design within a more contemporary context. With this vision for the interiors in mind, the designers at MAIA Design Studio collaborated with the local artisans of a nearby township called Channapatna. The collaboration resulted in a 250 module wooden installation inside the restaurant, and was executed by Atul Johri and Mubarak.
One remarkable feature of the installation is that it is 100 per cent eco-friendly and handmade, with over two centuries of in-hand lathe woodwork and natural lacquering tradition behind it. The colours for lacquer have been derived from plant-based sources such as Manjista root for red colouring, turmeric and tesu flowers for yellow, indigo extracted from indigo dyes, and walnut bark for brown tones.
Every module for the installation is hand turned and the forms have been kept modern to fit the contemporary context of the space. The modules are fixed at a distance of 450 mm apart from each other in a grid format. The large inverted beams that cut the space on all sides, have been affixed with mirrors. The mirrors also reflect the installation, thereby creating the illusion of the modules extending to infinity. This also helps in making the visual of the room open up and make it lighter, while also making the large 900 mm beams disappear.
In accordance with the theme of using local materials in its interior design, the restaurant features yet another locally sourced element, which is the light grey granite sourced from Sadarahalli, a place in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, which has a type of granite named after it. Along with this granite, there is a light birch wood paneling that has been used extensively on the walls and floors of Lucky Chan to create a neutral backdrop to the pastel palette. Intricate layering of the light grey granite gives the light and airy interiors a subtle texture and the patterned mosaic tiles in red, green and yellow colours pop out against the natural textured quality of the granite and birch wood. The contrasting tones of the pastels and the neutrals give the restaurant a sprightly yet sophisticated appearance.
The restaurant design also make use of raw silk lamps, which have been custom made in Pondicherry. The chairs for the restaurant have been hand-woven with coir, which is another traditional crafting practice, and is usually used for making charpoy or the traditional Indian day bed. While the interiors have been designed with a keen effort to incorporate as much local craft as possible, it also fits within the palette of the restaurant and its contemporary atmosphere.
(Text by Shreeparna Chatterjee, editorial trainee at stirworld.com)