What do you expect to find in a typical Asian bar? Images of the laughing Buddha and fire-breathing dragons, bright red hues and soothing music, of course! Well, Jimmy Hu, an Asian bar in Koregaon Park in Pune, has a different perspective of Asia to offer. Designer Shabnam Gupta, owner of design firm The Orange Lane, thinks ´Asia is not just about ancient Oriental civilizations. It is an amalgamation of several distinct cultures that share some commonalities; it is a continent that is racing to embrace modernity even as it cherishes its past glories.´ Keeping this in mind, Jimmy Hu is contemporarily designed to be a melting pot of various Asian cultures.
´It is a combination of perceptions of Asia, which cannot only be composed of vintage elements. This space emits a sense of sexiness, stylishness and an aura of modernism,´ says Gupta. Her vision of Asia, its contrasting elements and its modern aspects, certainly tells an exciting story.
The outdoors is loud and ultramodern, with vintage roof ceilings. Vintage scooters parked at the entrance beguile visitors with their retro look. The area is a haven of green, with individual sculpted stone walls enclosing the space. Above, you see bamboo sticks in a crisscross pattern, with Tibet-inspired prayer flags hanging from them. The patio, which flows into the outdoor space, has lounge-like seating with leather sofas and coffee tables. The different spaces that have been created within the bar ensure that people with different personalities can find the perfect niche for themselves. While the outdoor space and the patio are glitzy and elegant, the interiors have been designed to depict what Asia stands for in popular idiom meditation, peace and calm.
Steering away from any particular theme, Gupta has used miniature barrels in the bar space, which have been painted in fresh strong colours with Asian writing brushed on them. To soften the effect, the colourful barrels have been set against a backdrop of a grey stone wall with radiating square lights set at a distance. From China-inspired barrels, tea kettle lamps and ala from India, to paintings depicting nirvana, dragons, a meditating picture of a man in Tibet, the design elements in the restaurant evoke images from various countries across the continent.
Gupta´s Asia is certainly not a solemn place. Its playfulness is represented through an entire wall made up of recycled doors! This wall forms the focus of the bar as it includes a space for the DJ on the top truly a unique concept. One of these doors, interestingly, leads to the washrooms. The naughtiness of this idea becomes clear when Gupta says: ´Let someone have their third drink and find their way to the washroom!´
Mood setter ´Just like the music sets the tempo, the lighting of a place sets or breaks the mood,´ says Gupta. The bar strikes the right balance by going soft on the light without letting it get too gloomy. The lighting also artfully guides the eye to areas that Gupta wants to highlight.
In an effort to revive the dying art of in-situ, the designer has incorporated this concept in various spaces in the bar. While most of the seating is in-situ, the materials used in the basins and walls have also been designed to adopt the same concept.
The whole design ensures that at Jimmy Hu, the sensual stimulation will come not just from the spirits imbibed but also from the creative artwork and refreshingly different interpretations of Asia!
Total Area: 2560 sq ft
Total Cost: Rs.75,00,000.00
text: Monisha Rao
photos: Indrajit Sathe
The Orange Lane,
31-N, Laxmi Industrial Estate, Andheri Link Road, Andheri (W), Mumbai-400 053.
Tel: 022-2633 4073, 2637 0512.
Hot Or Not?
Vintage chic is HOT! I feel we are going back to basics in terms of this style of decor; it could be recycled finish furniture, old world lanterns, vintage textured wall finishes, etc. Modern is totally out! Shiny, polished and cold is making its way out and warm colours in dirtier texture and classic motifs are also coming back.
Meet the designer
Firm: The Orange Lane was founded in 2003.
Firm specialisation: Hospitality/ residential interiors.
philosophy: The Orange Lane team constantly believes that change is the only thing constant. Our designs range from soulful to eclectic with lots of experimentation in each project. It is our constant endeavor to keep reinventing our design sense
Philosophy towards life: The day you stop learning, is the day you stop growing.Favourite architect/Designer: Charles Correa and Geoffrey Bawa.