The latest product of Renesa Architecture Design Interiors Studio, “Social with Distancing” restaurant and bar in New Delhi, India, showcases their architectural design ideology and the safe seating typology behind India’s first covid response restaurant and bar.
-Text provided by the authors
In the midst of this global coronavirus pandemic, when the very nature of public space has become both threatening and threatened, the future of the restaurant industry has been brought into question numerous times . It is now of worldwide interest to re-think how our public spaces will adapt to a post-COVID-19 era, and take the necessary actions.
Understanding that “social distancing” is of vital importance, our various daily-life spaces will face an inevitable change. Considering the current situation which calls for proper architectural solutions in response to the unprecedented pandemic, the studio has conceptualized India’s first covid response restaurant for their New Delhi(India) Social branch.
Restaurants play a pivotal role in our collective post-pandemic future, and to be able to return to them safely, they must be empowered to be active participants in the rebuilding of trust.
Masked waiters, tables placed six feet apart, and fluted glass are all the elements that realize a half Vietnamese – half contemporary space set in New Delhi, India. Renesa’s new design introduces India’s first covid response restaurant that responds to the “new normal” redefining the boundary between communal and booth seating in restaurants. With people yearning to come together with friends and family at restaurants and bars once again, the studio wanted the design to blend two seamless ideologies: design inspired by the buzzing streets and alleyway shops of Vietnam and the intricate lattice arrangement of Dwarka’s (New Delhi’s largest residential Development) various sectors that allow to socially distance without seeming so.
Designed before the pandemic, the idea was translated and evolved into the benefit which seemed revolutionary at the time- but is now what the market is demanding. It is a space conceptualized pre-pandemic, designed during and for the pandemic, and sustainable beyond the pandemic. Following the rules of the new normal, the restaurant features seating zones, elevated levels and high impact experiences that work towards creating a new urban aesthetic.
Owing to the urban sprawl, the concept was to borrow cues from the Vietnamese architectural heritage, providing a sense of consistency while experimenting with materials and themes that are associated with the ‘Social’(Indian Hospitality brand) . The onset of the design drew from its locality; Dwarka. The intent was to lay out Dwarka’s grid, creating nodal patterns from which the spaces would emerge. The seating areas in turn emerged at a six feet apart distance creating an individual zone for a particular group of people. Thus, through design we were able to create something interesting as well as offer a need of the time safety measure to the customers choosing to dine in.
A commercial space that creates a homelike hosting experience with its inherent quirks, the layout unfolds systematically forming pockets of privacy and distancing starting with small vietnamese medicine , watch and hat shops that act as props to the brand value. As you move further into the space, our idea was to not only satisfy the post pandemic norms but also the regional and Vietnamese spirits that are filled by sunlight, greenery, and an interactive surrounding.
The concept is followed through in the main dining area where we used floating steel frames that act as lattices in a wooden finish forming booths for seating. These are alternated at different levels that act as visual elements in engaging the customers and also ensure distance and privacy while dining in. In the middle, community tables were used with folding partitions that act as barriers between two different groups, in a manner of socially distancing yourself. Located at a higher level is the DJ that gives a panoramic view of the entire restaurant identifying with different energy zones and levels the people can enjoy from.
Social’s logo is a highly recognizable brand element and the branding that follows it; Powerful, yet playful and fresh. In line with that, the multilevel approach also capitalized on the language and seating efficiency. The use of natural matter and soft wood shades, cement rice bricks and cane aimed to achieve not perfection but real environments. Tonal shades, greens and rice brick wall finishing add a rural, yet revitalizing vibe to the place.
For partitions and the furniture, the same approach was applied. The partitions employed fluted glass with a sliding folding design maintaining the interactive nature. Locally sourced bamboo mesh blinds were inserted to add an additional layer for distancing defining these grid patterns from the top. The furniture and lighting crafted in natural cane, meets the ergonomic and functional needs of the project, without creating domination, but integrating in harmony, and speaking the same language as the rest of the space.
The final intent for Social was spaces that happen, both in the formality of the proposed set of furniture, and in the nuances that the scheme creates between form and function, between open and enclosed, between the pandemic and the new normal. The result: is Social [with distancing].
Facts & Credits
Project Title “SOCIAL WITH DISTANCING”
Type Restaurant and Bar Interiors
Area 4400 sq ft.
Location Dwarka, New Delhi, India
Photography Niveditaa Gupta
Clients Mr.Riyaaz Imlani, Impressario Hospitality
Design Team Renesa Architecture Design Interiors, Sanjay Arora – Founder Principal Architect, Sanchit Arora – Principal Architect and Concept Design Head, Vandana Arora – Interior Designer and Decor Head, Virender Singh – Studio Technical Head, Akarsh Varma – Architect, Jagdish Bangari – Architect and Graphics, Aayush Misra – Architect, Tarun Tyagi – Architect, Tanushi Goyal – Architect, Janhvi Ambhudkar – Architect, Prarthna Misra – Architect, Anushka Arora – Architect and Text
Contractor Mr. Jitender Kumar
Lighting White Lighting Solutions, IndiHaus Lighting