Orange is the new black
Designed by Studio Mestry, Wok This Way is a compact Asian restaurant with a fresh, new oriental vibe
Wok This Way is a quick service cafe serving traditional Asian cuisines with innovative combinations of locally sourced vegetables. The client brief was simple – a cafe that would have an oriental look and would also have an overall strong sense of identity as a space that will stand out in a neighborhood which is overly crowded with restaurants and cafes. Studio Mestry created a space that would go along with the kind of food Wok this Way offers – simple, clean, organic, while also creating a bright and inviting cafe that adds a whimsical pop of orange – the brand colour.
Since it was a tiny space of roughly 350 sq-ft with a high ceiling, the studio created an intimate experience while bringing out the oriental element in a subtle way. The rear end of the space is used as the kitchen area along with a common washroom tucked in a corner. The front space is the main dining space which has a table chair set up on one side and a long high table with high chairs on the other.
A combination of pale wooden seating and table tops along with white walls and black ceiling, set against an orange wall, make the space look bigger and brighter. To add the informality of a street feel, grey terrazzo floor tiles are laid throughout the space along with lantern-like lighting. To have maximum visibility, the entire cafe facade has clear glass panels with a combination of orange powder coated aluminium sections and solid paneling at the top and bottom.
To avoid clichéd references to Chinese culture in India, the design refrains from using obvious traditional patterns or symbols anywhere. Instead contemporary elements redefine the Asian design, like the use of cane as backrests and within the kitchen wall partition and wall art using different patterns and line graphics. Traditional woven cane is used in the space through a series of arches for the kitchen partition and high backrest for the seating. Laser cut metal artwork is fixed on top of the cane backrest, which is inspired by oriental food Wok this Way offers. Along with cane, inspiration was also drawn from the traditional Asian window design with mullion grids for the backrest. Wall art with a contemporary take on the oriental patterns and graphics is installed on one of the walls along with planters suspended from dimsum boxes. On the opposite wall, four wooden shelves are placed to display artifacts and more greens. These are supported by circular orange metal rings of different sizes.
The material palette used in the space consists of neutral colours of ash wood laminate, grey terrazzo floor, white walls with hints of orange throughout. Overall the design is kept simple by using geometrical shapes, clean graphics and arches set against a vibrant orange backdrop and lots of plants throughout the space.
Name of the project: Wok This Way
Built area: 350 sq-ft
Architecture firm: Studio Mestry
Photographs: Anish Padalkar