Architecture Discipline

Architecture Discipline

New Delhi, IN



The design intent for Artusi, a traditional Italian restaurant, was commenced by envisaging a natural and unpretentious restaurant which, within the hospitality milieu, was to stand out in its own context. The client brief called for a design approach to be more than what meets the eye. 

Envisioned by the client to be a space that would grow organically, and in its true form be unassuming, this traditional Italian restaurant is designed with an insouciant approach. With the idea to set the mood for a quintessentially authentic experience, the design conforms to offer the same by employing varied elements to create a visual ploy that would mystify the diners. 

Located at the One Horizon Center in Gurugram, Artusi provides the visitors a traditional, yet novel ambiance. The interior space comprises multiple elements/artifacts that are in line with the initial brief – offering a sense of bafflement yet simultaneously captivating the attention of the patrons. To a curious eye, the ruse behind the use of the various components is clearly perceptible. At the entrance is a wrought iron gate lined with brass planter grills in front of the canopy. As one moves further inside, they are greeted by a stone vaulted arch opening, engraved with imagery that is pixelated; intended to appear as such. This was done to keep up with the satirical take on design, as specified by the client brief. A dark alley leads the diners into a vaulted transitory space, where lies the hostess desk with the menu on display. From here, one is gradually led to a seemingly large, archetypal dining hall.

The space is designed as an intimately lavish yet old-style setting with double linen covered table tops festooned with candles, flowers and lamps. All the furniture is crafted out of carved timber; Period chairs with dusty pink upholstery lie in contrast to the cream-colored walls and starch-white table tops. The bar stands out merely as a display of a large number of bottles and a predominant coffee machine. The glass which enclosed the bar on the rear end is closed off to create an opaque corridor. A mid-century liquor trolley sits in front of the bar in the dining hall and an underplayed wine cellar subtly placed adjacent to the bar is visible to the curious. The ethanol fireplace is yet again, a tongue-in-cheek jab at the design interpretation. The fireplace is crafted locally, out of found objects, appearing to be an example of classical Italian design- in white marble decked with centerpieces, mouldings, while complimenting a modern looking wainscot.

The ceiling is adorned with traditional moldings, with carefully planned services alongside old-fashioned registers and fluted embellishments. The speakers are concealed deep inside the services and therefore merge with the mellow aesthetic of the space. The three chandeliers- made out of wrought iron, mimic the old decorative style are truly locally made. A contrasting patchwork carpet which was originally a set of carpet tiles made out of distressed old carpets is laid across the floor to recreate a modern understated elegance. Layered with details such as old-style awning and blackout curtains with sheer drapes, the entire place is held back by a GI painted metal screen with planters, offering privacy as well as a pleasant view. 

The dining hall is enlivened with photographs and imitation paintings in brass frames, hung on the walls. The inconsistency in the period details is a deliberate attempt to illustrate the change in design language from different eras and evolution of space over the years. 

The project aimed at knitting a simplistic yet opulent Italian-space experience through diverse ornamentation which meant going back to basics and seeing things the way they are, without re-iterating any styles in context-specific geometries. The outcome of the process is an iconic interior space with a combined experience of authentic cuisine being served in a traditional, yet contemporary setting.

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Status: Built
Location: Gurgaon, IN
Firm Role: Architecture