“Visitor should be comfortable, relaxed & have a pride of place”

Kapil Bhalla, Architect – Afraa Lounge

The medley of colour, texture, lighting, furniture’s and architecture creates a multi-faceted atmosphere at Afraa Lounge in Kolkata, making it appealing to its diverse audience. Ar. Kapil Bhalla answers few key questions addressing the design ideologies behind revamping of the restaurant, put forth by Bhumi Gupta.

What was the brief given by the client to start with the design process?
The brief was simple – to reinstate Afraa in a timeless style that would appeal to a larger variety of customers. The cuisine was expected to be Mediterranean.

What were the initial thoughts for the design idea and how did it develop?
Kolkata, as a city has been timeless, growing in its unique style, but still rooted to history & tradition in many ways. Our aim was to address this integral character in a way that every visitor would be comfortable, relaxed & has a pride of place. However, the stylisation was a distinctly inspired eclectic French setting.

What are the key aspects in the planning of this restaurant?
Making double height spaces, a myriad of colours, textures, hues & tones.
Various seating clusters for different lounging & dining needs. Patterns in flooring, fabric & fenestration juxtaposed together in the midst of wall art of flora & fauna of the region.

What is the material and technology used, techniques adapted for the project?
The material is actually very organic & tastefully dated. In contrast, there is high technology in the lighting & audio visual effects.

What interior design features highlight the design of the space?
The connectivity of the vertical space, pockets of privacy to suit the pallet of many a personality.

Over the past 10 years, Afraa has been synonymous with quality food and chic ambience. The restaurant recently was renovated and revamped into a brand new avatar, it now promises a completely new world of gastronomic experiences.
It offers a sweeping view of the city skyline; the lounge offers a plethora of comfortable seating arrangements. The bar made of marble and wood is set against black-and-white flooring. The seventh floor restaurant sports a medley of decor styles, including those inspired by neoclassical architecture. Bright chandeliers and soft controlled lighting systems complement each other well. The lighting is kept low to evoke a sense of nostalgia. The palette of colours used is earthly, grounded and comforting in their familiarity.

Kapil Bhalla, as Principal Architect and planner, enjoys the challenges posed by the diverse nature of his profession. This produces an architecture that creates places which enrich the way people live, work, play and heal.
Together with Jayashree Darda Bhalla, he founded SE-Arch on the bedrock of academic brilliance. Kapil has wide ranging interests, his attention to detail and exceptional time management skills resulted in the growth of the architectural practice with repeating clientele.

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