CAFE DIVA

Spread over 1100 sq.ft., celebrity ched, Ritu Dalmias’s newest outlet is located at The Sangam Courtyard at RK Puram. Chef’s brief for the new venue was to create a fresh ambience more suited for a café being clean, simple and warm. A minor digression from existing Diva’s that had already created a brand for itself, the design team intended to distill some elements from them, hence keeping a some what continuity in design.

The design team that including senior designer Vritima Wadhwa and architect Kanika Jain, had the opportunity to work closely with client, right from space conceptualization to detailing. Our client a very pragmatic lady offered her critical opinion in the project from space conceptualization to construction, providing immense learning throughout the project.

The rustic arched metal façade allows outside light to filter in along with offering views through the restaurant, making it more like a sidewalk cafe. The large, entirely glazed façade provides was also created to create an inviting casual mood. Taking over one fourth of the space, the kitchen forms the heart of space and is characterized by clean tiles and large window openings for controlled service, an existing element in most Diva restaurants. A fairly simple material language and clean lines have been followed in space. The overall finish of the wall is a mix of plaster, white cement and hay spreading from the façade outside to inside. The red cedar paneled walls enhance the feeling of warmth in space. Large panels of clear mirror have been used to accentuate the length of the space. The space employs volumetric and space disposition play.The bare shell is carved by extending the metal façade into a sweeping half vault across the length of space. This along with kitchen, dispenser bar and partition volumes sculpts the front of house space having a bare ceiling 4 meters high with exposed services. The floor is a seamless aged concrete plane. The furniture language has an underlying contemporary theme to it with cabinetry supported on metal pipes framing the kitchen walls and a wine rack acting as a screen at the entrance. The furniture works on a muted color pallet working harmoniously with other elements of space, with winged booths and leather metal chairs. The space bathes in warm glow of light from adjustable track spots and printed linen lamps by Anita Dalmia, suspended from the ceiling. It is difficult to categorize the restaurant to be rustic or opulent, modern or contemporary, since it presents a very fine balance between all of this.

The restaurant is located on first floor of mall, having a visually strategic location from mall entrance. It was a clean rectangular shell of 1100 sqft. with a singular column commanding the space. Like any businessman, the client wanted to have a fine balance between economy of covers and design. The design emerged from much back and forth during the process where numerous factors had to be kept in mind while space conceptualization. These in brief ranged from economy, services planning and overall design. The restaurant has about 40 covers in 780 sq.ft and services area of about 320sq.ft.

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