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Lounge Bar: by Studio Ardete

Posted by
on December 20, 2017 at 08:35 AM

© Courtesy of Studio Ardete

Studio Ardete, acquires its name from the amalgamation of Architecture, Design and Technology - the potent combination of ingredients that go into each of the spectacular projects whipped up in the laboratory of their practice. It is, therefore, hardly a surprise that this firm, led by architecture graduates from IIT Rourkee with celebrated academic careers and significant international experience to boot, has made quite a mark on the design landscape of this country. Practicing from tony yet tiny Panchkula does not place them at the centre of the design scene in India, but their distinctly masterful work covering a wide range of programs has definitely earned them a place around centre stage. Today we celebrate this TFODian pair of architects Badrinath Kaleru and Prerna Aggarwal Kaleru by showcasing their design which was shortlisted for the prestigious INSIDE Festival Award at the recently concluded World Architecture Festival at Arena Berlin.

‘Fluid Bar Exchange’, as the name itself suggests, is a hip and happening lounge bar located on the compact terrace of a Chandigarh hotel abutting a highway. Here, the interior décor by Studio Ardete plays quite the protagonist in creating the sanguine setting for a fluid exchange of spirits of either variety!

© Courtesy of Studio Ardete

Dispensing the linearity of the compact 155 sq m of built space into a basic, uncluttered layout gives the designers a neat canvas on which to unabashedly unleash their creative vibrancy. The tables are laid along the linear central space lodged between the long bar counter and the line of glazed windows, affording each of them a clear view of the highway-side outdoors as well as proximity to the bar.

© Courtesy of Studio Ardete

Curiously, the highlight of the space is the ceiling design, a psychedelic affair achieved through an ingenious application of customised FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) elements. These are 157 in number, shaped into hexagonal polyhedrons that are fixed to the ceiling panel in a continuous array. Disposed to have their elongated peaks pointing towards a common direction around the centre of the glazed row of windows, these lopsided FRP pyramids imbue the space with a sense of movement as well as directionality.

© Courtesy of Studio Ardete

Further, two faces of each FRP polyhedron are finished with turquoise mirror paint to reflect the changing coloured lights shed by ceiling fixtures placed discreetly between these elements. The patterns thus created by the changing colours of lights reflected from the faceted pieces on the ceiling panel morph fluently and constantly to psychedelic effect. As the spirits and the conversation flow, so do the patterns of light on the ceiling in tandem. And, the kinetic pulse of the bar is set to beat.

© Courtesy of Studio Ardete

The long bar counter made completely of white Onyx gets back lit in colours that change in harmony with the rest of the ambience. The shelves in the background are designed with pronounced corners that weave into each other alternately, reflecting the prominent geometry that dictates the theme. Diffused lights flow in between and soften the harsh edges. 

© Courtesy of Studio Ardete

The entry to the bar from stair and lift lobby at one end is marked by a prelude of things to come. Fused pairs of the same polyhedrons placed artistically form a dynamic and inviting installation. Similar polyhedrons suspended in the stairwell form an eye-catching chandelier.

© Courtesy of Studio Ardete

The pulsating DJ booth at the other end of the bar is visible on entry. Digital graphics lighting up the back wall of the booth match their step with the music to draw the visitor into the mood within.

The sober colours and textures chosen for the furniture and floor serve to balance the jazzy highlights of the ceiling, and their low height and horizontal disposition conveys a scale of intimacy. The dark grey walls with discreetly engraved geometrical forms are subtly dotted with tiny polygonal mirrors.

© Courtesy of Studio Ardete

To lend continuity to the bar’s earlier reputation of being a roof-top venue, a retractable roof has been added to the entire front portion, to be thrown open on clear nights for an open to sky experience.

Using a single geometrical form and repeating it in artistic formations in combination with a play of lights over a neat and simple layout has resulted in a superior interior space that functions as well as it interacts and entertains. A well conceived idea has been meticulously thought through and painstakingly executed to magical effect! Kudos, Studio Ardete, and wishing you continue to belt out  such design gems and bask in international recognition thereby.

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