The ‘Orchard Cafe’, designed with a dual purpose of being a cafe during the day and a more elaborate multi-cuisine restaurant space at night is a recently completed project in Ahmedabad by ‘hsc designs’. The space is an interplay between black and gold shades established through varied bold curves, magnificent chandeliers and organically positioned furnitures. ‘Orchard’ therefore becomes a versatile space that responds to multiple needs of different users during different hours of the day.
The materials used were consciously chosen to transmit a sense of luxury while also creating a sense of playfulness, through the reflections that were created through these high glossy finishes as seen on the various surfaces in the interior spaces. Apart from the parametric design elements and inspiration, the Orchard Cafe is also an example of sustainable design and execution, as it reuses materials and ensured close to zero-wastage of scrap materials obtained during the execution phases of the space.
At the entry of the cafe is a translucent archway, supported by panels that act as protection from the heat during the daytime and offer a glowing effect at night while the lights are turned on.
Facilitated through the combination of computational technology and handmade craftsmanship, the main element of the space being the spiralling bar table flows through the entire space connecting the serving and seating area act like an endless loop. The brass tables are made as pods intertwining with each other leaving the possibility of moving the tables for flexible seating whenever necessary. The outer area is made playful with a simple flowing bench and swings making the waiting area interesting.
Ar. Hiloni Sutaria, founder of hsc designs, a boutique architecture studio based out of Ahmedabad further discusses with A+D about the ‘Orchard Cafe’
Nikitha Sunil (A+D): How do you predict the transformation into a restaurant like space in the evening from being a cafe-like environment during the daytime?
Hiloni Sutaria: The space is designed in a way that the natural light, skylights align with the ceiling lights to create a perfect symphony of lights from dusk to night , when the space would be used the most. The ceiling lights ie. the custom made chandelier and ceiling lights transform the space completely at night. It produces an ambience of a luxurious restaurant by reflecting the brass finishes and reflective mirrors. Later, in the evening/dusk time, the orange light reflected through the space through the mirrors gives it a more relaxed cafe ambience.
Nikitha Sunil (A+D): What do you think would catch one’s eye, while entering Orchard for the first time?
Hiloni Sutaria: When someone enters the cafe for the first time the thing that is likely to catch their eye is the long-serving table. It flows into the whole space connecting the whole space into one. Also, the chandelier that compliments this serving table with the finish of the ms lights being contrasting to the glossy finish of the table.
Nikitha Sunil (A+D): What was the process of designing ‘Orchard’ like? Did you conceive it as a whole entity or was the layout first finalised, then furniture, then lighting that matched the former?
Hiloni Sutaria: The process of designing the cafe was complex. When we received the brief, the client wasn’t sure if they wanted it to be a cafe or a more versatile restaurant. So we started with the idea of furniture that flowed through the whole space integrating the functional aspect of the space into a singular flow. Also, to make sure that the other space is open to change if needed so in the future. Later, when the cafe’s work was halted for a period due to the pandemic, the brief accordingly changed and we then resumed. So definitely, the design of the space was more organically changed with a few changes as time progressed
Nikitha Sunil (A+D): How easy or tough was it to decide the materials, finishes and surfaces that had to be used for ‘Orchard’? Did the curves from the beginning relate to smooth/ glossy finishes?
Hiloni Sutaria: As the space was small and was designed to function as a singular space, the material decisions were governed by that. The finishes of the table and the seating space are all the same along with reflective surfaces on transitory spaces. This enables the space to look bigger and had the quality of awe and surprise. We wanted to make sure that whoever used or entered the cafe had a permanent impression of the space and hence the mix of scales ie.
The grandeur of the chandeliers and the curving arches lead into smaller to bigger spaces. While choosing the materials the functional aspect of it being a cafe was taken into consideration. Additionally, finishes that would last long, are stain-resistant and can sustain the heavy movement were chosen.
Nikitha Sunil (A+D): What could have been the biggest challenge you solved in terms of executing the parametric design elements at ‘Orchard’?
Hiloni Sutaria: The challenges faced were the merging of technology and execution of the design later. Also, the budget of the project was controlled and needed to be executed with simple yet striking materials within the controlled budget.
In terms of challenges in executing the parametric design, the biggest challenges were the sprawling serving table and the large chandelier over it. As they had to be compiled off-site with exact precision and accuracy to avoid any margin of error that might occur during installation on site due to their multiple compound curves and angles.
The challenges were also the most enjoyable bits of the project. The main bar table was a mammoth to assemble and put together. Also, as we wanted to give storage in the table that was an added challenge to the same. The chandelier over the bar table was another aspect of the same. Making sure that the ring angles are aligned at the exact positions to make sure the result is structurally and aesthetically viable was a great exhausting but fun exercise for the team as well.
- INTERVIEW: Nikitha Sunil Vallikad | Contributor, A+D
- PROJECT: Orchard Cafe
- ARCHITECTS: hsc designs
- LOCATION: Sanand, Ahmedabad
- PROJECT AREA: 3000 SQFT