CW Interiors |
Main Course | October 2012

Shades of delight

Sanjay Puri paints a pretty canvas for Saffron Bay, a brand new restaurant with a banquet opened opposite the ever-famous Mumbai Chowpatty.

Think of a Mughlai restaurant and you are immediately flooded with mental images of royal thrones, intricately designed jharokas, marble with inlays and all that takes you back to the era. Saffron Bay has none of these. It’s contemporary, with a black envelope, lounge-like lighting and an ode to India’s vibrant colours seen in the form of coloured lighting in the tiny private dining spaces designed to conceal some of the columns within them.

Private talk

“A space as small as this, with such low ceiling height, posed a lot of restrictions to the design, which were countered through a graphic composition of lighting that varies constantly,” says Sanjay Puri, Principal Architect, Sanjay Puri Architects, who has designed the restaurant and the banquet below it. In addition to the space and height restriction, the designers also had to work with the existing air conditioning system, which posed another big challenge to the design.

Puri designed the private dining spaces in such a way that the solutions become the highlight of the space! The insides of each of these spaces are completely enveloped in colour and a graphic representation of ancient Indian art styles. There is a bright pink room with a graphic rendition of Rajputana art, a turquoise room with Madhubani art, a lime green room with Ajanta Ellora art graphics and a saffron room with Mughal art graphics. Each of these create different focal points within the 1,200 sq ft restaurant that is otherwise monochromatic.

Party time

The banquet below is a piece of visual delight created with similar height and space restrictions, drawbacks that have been overcome by using a unified design element throughout the space. Suspended aluminium discs at ranging levels blur the many beams across the room, creating an illusion of increased height while forming a graphic composition that is further varied by colour changing LEDs.

Two existing niches in the wall are designed to create an illusion of infinity with mirrors and LED bulbs reflected within them multiple times, achieving a sculptural quality and becoming a focal point within the party room.

The restrictions of the small space are thus all collectively dealt with by a design that creates spaces within a space, cohesively incorporating form, colour and tradition to create a distinct identity.

Total Area: 3,000 sq ft
Total Cost: Rs 1.5 Crore

Text: Sumisha Arora
Photos: Vinesh Gandhi

Meet the architect: Sanjay Puri

Firm: Sanjay Puri Architects, founded in 1992.
Firm Specialisation: Town planning, architecture and interior design.
Design philosophy: Evolving innovative design solutions that are contextual and sustainable and creating spaces that are exhilarating to experience while being functional.
Philosophy towards life: Time and tide wait for none…Time the tide and ride it.
Favourite architect/Designer: Although there are no favourite architects, there are some works like the cinema hall at Dresden, Germany by Coop Himmelblau, The Ray and Maria Stata Centre building at MIT, Cambridge, US, by Frank O Gehry, the Norddeutsche Landesbank in Hannover, Germany by Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner, that I like.


Sanjay Puri Architects, 20, Famous Studio Lane,
Off.Dr.E.Moses Road,
Mahalaxmi, Mumbai 400 011.
Tel: 022-2496 5840.

Saffron Bay, 39B, Chowpatty Seaface,
Next to Café Coffee Day,
Marine Drive, Marine Lines,
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