Sumessh Menon lends his signature touch to 1522’s maiden Mumbai outpost
The best restaurants often sport a warm and inviting vibe. Of course, as one of India’s premier hospitality designers, Sumessh Menon knows that well. And the latest project by his firm, Sumessh Menon Associates, is a true study in restaurant design. Vibrant hues, earthy materials and eye-catching elements come together to form Bengaluru restaurant 1522’s first-ever outpost in Mumbai.
The restaurant is divided into three separate areas: semi-outdoor, indoor and rooftop. Upon entering, visitors are greeted by the lush interiors, which lend the space an instantly refreshing feel. Menon has resorted to the use of earthy materials and raw interiors infused with live trees and planters hanging from bright blue trusses, which adds to the green design vibe.
“One sees a lot of customisation and creative intricacy formed purely out of detailed spatial planning. The amalgamation of a plethora of natural materials like wood, terracotta, stone and cane, along with well-planned biophilic design elements, truly makes this space the perfect urban oasis for relishing your favourite culinary delights,” says Menon of his latest work.
When one walks into the semi-outdoor space, one is welcomed by the faint, trickling sound of a water feature, which stands alongside a green wall. Instantly, one is beckoned to feast upon the cool foliage that wraps the outdoor space of the restaurant, in effect, almost transporting oneself to a luxurious holiday setting. Continuing with the design language that is written inside, the cement tile flooring is seen to be snaking its way out from the indoors, spilling out on to the outdoor area, with the bar lending orientation to the entire space. Also, a lively amoeboid-shaped mid-height set of community tables define the outdoor seating area, and have been placed against a backdrop consisting of an entire wall of planters. One finds organic shapes on the boundary wall with colourful mosaic work, as well as beautiful, nature-inspired carving details on the burgundy, fluted columns. Finally, a gorgeous laser-cut, backlit staircase leads visitors to the rooftop section. The journey up to the roof is also interesting, with the mid-landing wall clad in terracotta tiles, coupled with an eye-catching larger-than-life artwork painted over it.
Moving inside, the lower floor is carved into an indoor and an outdoor space that share a stylishly-designed, elliptical bar, which has artwork plastered all over it, evoking memories of Bengaluru and, therefore, the brand’s origins. The indoor area has been carpeted in an unusual green cement tile flooring with grey micro cement poured in at the edges. This provides the effect of a charmingly earthy, yet playful vibe that ties in seamlessly with the wood-and-cane furniture and bright prints as well as the exposed terracotta brick walls of the private dining and performance area.
On the other hand, the cheerful artwork in the brick wall niches of the private dining and performance area is inspired by rock music, as is the etching work that finds its way onto the stunning wooden tabletops. Menon has played with materials as is evident from the rich mix on display – right from the flute glass and deep wooden & brass finishes that provide a certain inherent charm to the English-bar-inspired space, to the intricate detailing in the form of moulding and rivet detailing as seen on the striking green wall that spans the entire length of the space, gracefully curving into the ceiling above. In fact, even the light fixtures with amber and brass touches afford a hint of semi-classical richness.
In keeping with the rest of the eatery, the rooftop too has an intrigue-factor about it. It is almost like a magical garden, inspired by European conservatories, with its delicate looking blue truss work, sloping roof, large hanging chandeliers interspersed with huge planters and creepers, and all this supported by its very own bar. The rooftop bar takes a U-shape, with iron trellis work as its bar front and a wash of ombre paintwork forming the back. The brass-finished, cage-shaped bar display suspended above creates a unique look against a backdrop of a grey, textured wall with metal window frames clad across its entire length. The entire flooring of the rooftop is laid in intricate mosaic work, displaying floral prints and scattered leaves. Adding to the drama, a large X-shaped community table with mosaic tile-top stands imposingly at one end of the floor space with a large planter placed at its very centre. Another long table displays a live-edge wooden table-top, infusing the space with a great degree of warmth. What is interesting to note is that the plants have not been conventionally placed as peripheral objects, instead forming a part of the design – whether it is an art wall with creepers growing along its length, planters placed on tables or even creepers running across the round AC duct at the very centre of the roof. A small mid-landing corner is carved into the end of the rooftop floor, making for a perfect spot for a small gathering on its own, amidst a lively garden. No space has been spared from this treatment – even the tiny smoking area in the corner displays exquisite mosaic artwork on its walls, while all four washrooms exhibit their own vivacious colours and artwork.
Having said that, the beauty of this space is truly experienced in its entirety. When singular details and well-thought-out design come together as a creative whole, the result is indeed quite stunning.