portal 92 incorporates the dynamics of a rural village into trendy rooftop cafe in india
 

portal 92 incorporates the dynamics of a rural village into trendy rooftop cafe in india

when commissioned with ‘the village cafe’, a cafe/bar located in moradabad, india, design firm portal 92 analyzed the historical and cultural meaning of a village in india, and used it to design an intricate and lively space. when creating the cafe, the designers studied the dichotomy of thought regarding what villages represent and the interpretations of their relevance. the textures and volumes of the space have been designed to reference an experience, reminiscent of rural indian settlements. shaded gathering spaces which are semi-shielded from direct view from the larger sitting zones are interspersed throughout the outdoor seating areas.

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being the primary unit of organization and habitation in india, villages over a period of time have become synonymous with the ‘identity of india’ itself. the cultural and architectural diversity found in villages across india can be mesmerizing yet the influence of globalized invasive materials and knowhow can be seen percolating unanimously. the merits and demerits of this invasion continue to spark attempts at discovering sensitive design solutions in an actively urbanizing india.

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imitating those found in villages, the designers created the possibility of taking various paths throughout the space, moving through a world of movement patterns. this experience gives the illusion of an intimate organic settlement where the regulars find their own path, ones seldom taken by new visitors. the form of the planters and walls have been carefully modulated to generate a surreal impression of rural settlements. the terracotta plaster lends warmth and vibrance to the ambiance, while the exposed concrete rings cast in iron sheets puncture these walls exposing glimpses across the spaces.

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the plant species were curated to thrive in the local environment and complement the brass detailing around the cafe. the city has a growing brass handicrafts industry hence lending it the name of pital nagri or ‘brass city’. brass vessels of different sizes were incorporated in the décor to reference this local trade. indoor pendent lamps were customized to be suspended from the ceiling using wooden posts with carvings.

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the flooring of the central court was composed using broken slabs of rough black kadappa stone found locally in india. with them, portal 92 created a space which represents a lucid memory of a village for todays ‘urban indian’, looking for a drink down nostalgic lane. the raw and rustic material palette paired with the muted brick red hue of the walls, reference the rural indian settlements, and the scattered plants and intertwined paths create a lively dining atmosphere.

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project info:

 

designer: portal 92

project name: the village cafe

location: moradabad, india

lead architects: sagar goyal, aanchal sawhney

photography credits: niveditaa gupta

photographers email: [email protected]

lighting: indi hauz designs, dbel studio

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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