When in Bhopal, check out the über chic S7 Cafe
Designed by KR Architecture Studio, the cafe makes the most of recycled, unconventional materials to create a contemporary ambience
S-7 cafe designed by Kamalroop Singh, principal architect, KR Architecture Studio is located on one of the highest roof tops in Bhopal. Serving Italian, Mexican, Indian-Punjabi cuisine, the cafe is an exploration of an experimental material palette. Startimg with the bar area itself, recycled pipes are repurposed and fitted in an attractive way, keeping the otherwise discarded pipes out of the landfill. ”We have a matt surface (commonly associated with recycled pipes) or a polished finish and are available in transparent or opaque forms and a wide variety of colors and sizes. They are low maintenance and require only dusting occasionally with alcohol-free agents. The potential for using recycled materials for wall coverings is almost infinite,” says Singh. The cafe walls are covered with Mandala Art Paintings and composed of recycled wood and fiber chips in a resin base, and the tiles are made from recycled glass bottles.
When it comes to flooring, the designers have explored different iterations of stone, wood, cork,and linoleum as flooring options, which are low maintenance.
To make the cafe more visible to passers-by, the space next to the windows are creatively fashioned in wood and metal. Planters are placed around giving the appearance of an inviting “glass house”. The building is separated from the pavement by a low concrete wall. Planters built into the walls create a more welcoming entrance that synchronizes with the verdant interior. Inside, the walls are covered in custom made aluminum paneling to add texture with a material palette of grey paint, wood and patterned tiles, creating a intriguing backdrop for the greenery. To compensate for the lack of natural light towards the back of the space, a grid of LED lights across the ceiling livens up the nook. Except the chairs, most of the furniture is custom designed at the site by local carpenters.
“We chose furnishings made from sustainably harvested sources of wood, which contain solvent-free glues and CFC-free foam for the Shisha House. We used natural fabrics of wool, eco-certified or organic cotton, linen, silk or hemp (alone or in blends), and window coveringsmade from natural materials, wood slats, woven reeds, and grasses. We used inherently flame-retardant materials for upholstery and curtains, which require less fire-proofing treatment than synthetics, which best suits the Shisha House. We avoided nickel and chrome; leather treated with chrome; paints; varnish and glue containing nonylphenol ethoxylates; PVC;brominated flame retardants and synthetics including plastics where possible,” shares Singh about the overall material language of the cafe.
The surfaces in some places have been restored by stripping them of layers of paint and cement plaster. The exposed rubble masonry has then been repaired with lime mortar with details formed in lime plaster. “A critical conceptual move has been the use of the courtyard as a binding element for the new spaces and program, rather than just as an extension of the restaurant,” adds the principal architect. Overall, the design scheme celebrates multiple, ingenious ways to use diverse materials to create an ambience that is refreshing, young and hip.
About KR Architecture Studio
KR Architecture Studio is an integrated, multifaceted designing firm headed by principal architect Kamalroop Singh Maan who graduated from NIT Bhopal in 2001 and with a masters degree from NIT Bhopal. After five year of experience in residential, hospitality & retail sector, he set up his architectural and interior design practice KR Architecture Studio in Bhopal. His team of associate architects and designers work with research oriented temperament focusing on functionality, technical details and upcoming technological advancements in material and textures while at the same time not forgetting the basics. Every project and client is seen as a new learning experience and an opportunity to be trend setters. The team is driven by an eager desire to do something new and distinctive with each project.