A uniquely designed door that resembles a bookshelf opens into the 'Den'
A uniquely designed door that resembles a bookshelf opens into the 'Den'

DesignEX, founded by Smriti Sawhney designs an exclusive club, ‘Home’ in South Delhi

A European-style members-only club at Ambience Mall in New Delhi is becoming a popular hangout

An intimate family space especially for those who have an affinity for music, Home Delhi for PVR Director’s Cut is a members-only club with the contemporary sophistication of a European style residence. Located at Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj – a prime area in South Delhi and spread over 4025sq-ft, it was completed in February 2019. Designed by architect Smriti Raheja Sawhney’s studio, designEX, this place is a perfect blend of engaging design, divergent colour schemes and stark detailing. 

The client’s brief was to create an exclusive membership-based club with an international vibe, having the comfort level of one’s own home. Earlier, the space was a restaurant called Mistral, incidentally also executed by Sawhney in 2009. Converting the client’s brief to reality, the architect has designed this place to be luxurious and homely by modelling a London walk-up apartment. The place empowers an extraordinary style statement highlighted through vital components like vintage showpieces, etc. The expanse exudes a sense of class. The theme is based on contemporary style – but with some added elements from modern concepts, Home maintains the intrigue of the patron.

The library-like exemplar of ‘Den’ leaves a lasting impression on the visitor’s mind. A uniquely-designed door that imitates a bookshelf opens up to a distinctive expanse. Moving inside to the dining area, the design scheme brings to the fore an offbeat theme that narrates the story of a land far away. A pepped-up ambience with a bold colour scheme throughout, grants the Terrace a unique character. Despite its grandeur, Home successfully creates an aura of intimacy, to be enjoyed with one’s friends and family.


The bold colour scheme grants the Terrace a unique ambience

Sawhney, who was raised in an architectural household, exhibited an inclination towards design from a young age, choosing fine arts after her matriculation. She studied architecture at TVB School of Habitat Studies, and flagged off her career with Citadel India in the 2000s, offering online design research and solutions. The young architect soon quit her desk job in favour of more creative pursuits. She started working for her father at sites, gaining the opportunity to travel around the world, grasping knowledge and ideas beyond books. 

In 2001, she started her architecture firm in Gurugram - designEX - an amalgamation of design and execution. With just six architects and a small managing body, designEX worked on major projects and went from a room with four desks to two large offices in Delhi NCR and Kolkata. Today, designEX primarily works in the F&B sector with more than 25 restaurant chains as their clientele. The clarity of thought and concept design that she brings is derived from her varied experience in the field, acquired over the years. A firm believer of ‘form follows function’, her designs reflect a relatable interface and an organic touch, much like her role model- Frank Lloyd Wright. Some of the celebrated projects and names she has worked for, apart from Home Delhi for PVR Director’s Cut, are Anidra, Punjab Grill, Mistral, L’Opera, Stores for Suneet Verma, Ravi Bajaj and SETZ.

Sawhney is committed to keeping the team at designEX focused on delivering uncompromised and top-notch design compositions. Her keen attention to detail and interest in revolutionary designs while keeping a hold on reality push her towards excellence in execution.

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