OTHERWORLDS' como agua resto-bar unfolds like a huge bird's nest in the indian forest

OTHERWORLDS' como agua resto-bar unfolds like a huge bird's nest in the indian forest

como agua by otherworlds completes in North Goa, India

 

Step inside Como Agua, a new bar and restaurant on the Vagator cliff overlooking the sea in North Goa, India. Conceived by multidisciplinary practice OTHERWORLDS, the design combines sustainably sourced bamboo and a wild shrub, Lantana Camara, a combination that playfully alludes to dining in an overgrown and enlarged weaver’s nest surrounded by lush tropical paradise. As an invasive species of plants widespread in the Western Ghats, the Lantana Camara claims agriculture, forest growth, wildlife, and tribal livelihood every year — yet, by repurposing it as a building material, ‘the project displays innovative building practices using biological materials while creating emphasis on Lantana removal, use and restoration,’ comments principal architect Arko Saha. 

OTHERWORLDS' como agua resto-bar unfolds like a huge bird's nest in the indian forest
all images © Fabian Charuau, Studio Charuau

 

 

evoking the wild nest of weaverbirds

 

The design of Como Agua is heavily inspired by forms found in natural environments. ‘We were fascinated by the wild nests of weaverbirds. The weavers are social birds, usually nesting and feeding in colonies. They collect all sorts of natural materials like twigs, fibers and leaves to weave a membrane that acts as their nest, usually hanging from the branch of a tree,’ notes the studio. Materials used for building nests include fine leaf fibers, grass, and twigs. Many species weave very fine nests using thin strands of leaf fiber, though some, like the buffalo weavers, form massive untidy stick nests in their colonies, which may have spherical woven nests within. OTHERWORLDS, therefore, wanted to explore the experience of dining within and around a weaver’s nest. Like the weaver, the team also foraged into the forests of the Ghats to collect wild Lantana and weave them to create spatial structures for the space.

OTHERWORLDS' como agua resto-bar unfolds like a huge bird's nest in the indian forest
Como Agua by OTHERWORLDS

 

 

The top deck of the Como Agua restaurant houses two nests where one can sit and dine while enjoying the extensive views of the beach and sea of North Goa. On the ground floor, an undulating Lantana membrane wraps the bar and pizza counters and houses a wooden bench in between, offering a cozy corner for dinner. The wire mesh lamps spread across the bar-resto to light up the tables are also inspired by hanging nests found in trees; these lamps hang at different heights, creating a whimsically warm atmosphere that mimics the organic nature of their biological counterparts found in the forests.

OTHERWORLDS' como agua resto-bar unfolds like a huge bird's nest in the indian forest
the resto-bar sits on the Vagator cliff overlooking the sea in North Goa

 

 

building with bamboo and repurposed Lantana camara

 

Lantana Camara has been listed as one of the ten worst invasive species in the world, invading over 40% of the Western Ghats, a total of 13 million hectares. Arriving in India as an ornamental plant in the early 1800s, predominantly by the British, Lantana has escaped from gardens and taken over entire ecosystems through its multiple hybrid varieties. In the 200 years of its arrival, the plant has evolved to now climb up the canopy as a woody vine, entangle other plants by forming a dense thicket, and spread on the forest floor as a scrambling shrub. Lantana is mainly dispersed by fruit-eating birds, monkeys, bears, and the like, but it is also capable of growing from its root stock and nodes. This results in its widespread growth, ultimately affecting biodiversity, livelihoods, and human and animal health — from displacing native plants and reducing productivity in pasture through dense thickets formation to making it exceedingly difficult for tribal communities to access the forest for edible tubers and firewood collection.

OTHERWORLDS' como agua resto-bar unfolds like a huge bird's nest in the indian forest
tucked within the Ghats forest

 

 

These alarming issues and threats expose the imminent danger of Lantana growth, highlighting its eradication and the urgency of exploring new methods of removal/restoration. For Como Agua, OTHERWORLDS has repurposed Lantana from the Western Ghats, bringing it on-site to cut, trim, bend, and wrap-around metal mesh structures to create a membrane used for railings, compound wall partitions, nest-like structures, facades, and canopies. Completing the design is bamboo, sourced jointly with Bangalore-based company Bamboopecker. Native to the region, bamboo is extensively used for structure and facade treatment. Varying thicknesses and sizes are treated with salt water and then used in the space. OTHERWORLDS recycled local wood pieces to create custom bar countertops and facade patterns. Even the outdoor built-in benches are made using reclaimed pieces of Matti wood. Indian Kota stone makes up the interior flooring. In contrast, larger Kota stone slabs of varying polished and colors (rough to smooth) are cut into thinner pieces and then laid on site to interlock with the outdoor wooden deck. Locally available Matti wood comprises the furniture and outdoor decking.

OTHERWORLDS' como agua resto-bar unfolds like a huge bird's nest in the indian forest
outdoor built-in benches are made using reclaimed pieces of Matti wood

OTHERWORLDS' como agua resto-bar unfolds like a huge bird's nest in the indian forest
top view of Como Agua

como-agua-designboom-full-5

OTHERWORLDS' como agua resto-bar unfolds like a huge bird's nest in the indian forest
playfully alludes to dining in an overgrown and enlarged weaver’s nest surrounded by a lush forest

OTHERWORLDS' como agua resto-bar unfolds like a huge bird's nest in the indian forest
using Lantana Camara as a building material to ‘repurpose’ its invasive quality

como-agua-designboom-full-6

 

 

project info:

 

name: Como Agua 

location: Vagator, North Goa, India

architecture studio: OTHERWORLDS

principal architect and founder: Arko Saha

project team: Arko Saha, Mandar Pounikar, Lionel Alphonso

local architect: Yogesh Pednekar

landscape contractor: Prabhat Hegde
steel design and fabrication: Vikra Enterprises
woodwork: Orville Dsouza, Ideal Concepts, Narayan
civil contractor: Nilkanth Kerka, Sagar Astekar
project coordinator: Siddharth Kamat, Sandeep Govenkar

bamboo / Lantana consultant: Bamboopecker

photographer: Fabian Charuau, Studio Charuau | @studio_charuau

completion year: 2023

total area: 348.38 sqm 

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