Hortus In Kochi By Minnie Bhatt Design

Hortus is a bar and lounge named and inspired after the Hortus Malabaricus novel written by Hendricks Van Rheede, the Dutch governor of the Malabar province. When the founder of Hortus, Isaac presented Minnie with this idea, she was ecstatic because she could see the direction the design could go. On her vacation, she stopped by a museum in Fort Kochi where she viewed some book illustrations of flowers and fruits. These illustrations served as the design’s inspiration. She designed huge ceilings that serve as suspended lights and large-scale, custom-made artworks to make these the focal point of the room. A strip light illuminates these suspended ceilings, emphasising the artwork.

There are four of these ceilings, which when combined form a sizable rectangle. These suspended fixtures provide lounge-style seating, including couches and armchairs with coffee tables. The bar is another highlight of the space with the bar front inspired by the Malabar butterfly – the idea of Malabarica or nymph of the Malabar. And the bar front is created with engraved tiles in black and white. The antique mirror panels that make up the bar’s backdrop are covered in illuminated fiber panels that have hundreds of hexagonal pieces adhered to them to resemble a honeycomb. The whole approach to the space is maximalist, as Isaac Alexander, proprietor and the man behind the concept bar wanted to create a plush and premium ambience with many points of interest. A deep green was used to paint the walls and ceiling to create a backdrop for the room.

The space also has an elevated private area with pale mustard walls with hand-painted flowers and plaster of Paris mouldings. For this area, they made an antique brass hanging light fixture with bulbs just for it. There is a wooden rack that separates this section from the others by being covered with numerous glass cloches. The cloches contain dried flowers and leaves. Wooden flooring and natural terrazzo are used in the flooring. In one part, some of the triangular tables have intricate china mosaic tops with fascinating flower motifs. A separate, sizable smoking room with a striped floor and floral wallpaper that is separated from the rest of the bar by metal and stained glass doors exists. All of the accent lights were specially made for the area. The soft furnishings include pastel and jewel toned floral patterns.

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