S Bar and Lounge
Friday 17 May 2013


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When Delhi's most popular and long lasting watering hole decided to go for a make over the dilemma in the design brief was obvious.  Would it make sense to stick to a time tested successful design scheme easy to replicate or should there be a change?  Finally a middle path was found which had resonance in the old design feel and yet was an upgrade in every other aspect from planning to material specifications.

The point of departure for the design was the space planning.  As the new space had a terrace area a triple height atrium helped create a visual linkage to the outdoor space.  This also allows soft daylight to seep in the daytime for a brightly lit ambience.  This visual connect between all levels also works well when busy nights are in motion.  The DJ console forms the focus of almost the entire space, being placed almost in the centre of the entire restaurant.  As the S bar has always been known for the food and drinks as it has been popular for its music, the lounging, dining, drinking character of the lounge further reinforces this synergy.  

The top floor being the outdoor space and the middle floor is designed keeping in view the popular bar nights.  The first floor serves mainly as a dining area with a few lounging tables thrown in to create the ambience that is integral to S.  Smoking areas and terraces are incorporated on all floors.

The material palette consists of rough textured walls with a Cycladic architecture look, with rough textured granite and unpolished slate tiles completing the palette.  A juxtaposition of finely cut jaali work with back lighting creates an interesting contrast of the finished and unfinished.  Similarly a plethora of bright yet earthy coloured upholstery creates an interesting overlay on the otherwise mellow tones of brown, beige and grey.  The bars have interesting bottom and back lit displays for bottles.  The toilets have a rich red wine coloured wall schematic.  The use of water less urinals is a first in bars in Delhi.

Possibly the most interesting effect in S continues to be its lighting schematic.  Completely electronically dim able, the lighting is primarily wall washed and bounced for a soft glowing effect.  The dining areas are highlighted by focused spot lighting, an interesting overlay for the indoor spaces are the fabric lamps in the triple height atttrium.  An interesting cut jaali work luminaire highlights the bars and counters.  The outdoor area uses an interesting bunching of Arabic lamps and pendants to create a point of interest.

The building exterior also runs the language of the interior with soft rough edges and interesting lighting.


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