CW Interiors |
Main Course | June 2011

A Live Canvas

Delhi-based design firm Lotus lends Canvas, the newest hang out in Mumbai, a pulsating design.

A plush lounge and an uncompromised dining experience that transforms into a throbbing club in the after-hours – that's what Canvas, the newest hang out at Palladium in Lower Parel, Mumbai is. Designed by Delhi-based design firm Lotus, the project has been conceived as an empty canvas – slightly raw and unfinished, so that the events and people complete it. It becomes what you want it to.

Adding Colour

At first sight, the space looks like a riot of colours. However, Ambrish Arora, Founding Director, Lotus, draws attention to the fact that the basic shell of the space is quite bare. "Our design approach was to create a shell using neutral materials like brick and concrete finish walls and then add elements that give colour, luxury and quirkiness to the venue," he says.

Besides, the designers have taken full advantage of the double height ceiling, open areas and a picturesque view of the city of Mumbai that the site is blessed with. The space has an industrial feel that is offset with luxurious elements like quilting on the ceiling, which also helps in the sound insulation; gold baroque motifs that lend a touch of sophistication and plush furniture that is comfortable and inviting. Fusing the industrial feel with baroque touches was the challenge, and the result is well appreciated.

Central Thought

Right in the centre of the dining space is a stage, which can be used both for live performances and as a dance floor. The seating has been designed all around it, in three levels. The seating near the dance floor is flexible and can be removed if necessary. The mezzanine floor has wooden flooring and is treated more like a fine dine area.

The red velvet curtains are drawn open in the day to reveal breathtaking views of the city and closed at night to lend the lounge feel. The sheers behind them also help in changing the mood at different times of the day.

Sculptural Embellishments

To fill the empty canvas, it was necessary to add installations. The sculptural central glass bar is designed to hold the space together. Each glass brick was moulded and the bar was assembled on site. The ring installations seen throughout the space add an element of transformation and drama. The glowing discs in the ceiling turn into objects pulsing with light and colour when turned on – an indication that the dance floor is now open.

Light and Sound

The mood of the space shifts gradually during the course of the day. The warm, soft lighting seen in the early evening changes dramatically as the space transforms into a club at night. All the elements then take on the colour of the mood being created – the entire venue pulses with light and colour, from the rings on the walls and the ceiling, to the glass bar and the in-lit ledges and tables.

Acoustics were crucial to this project since it sits directly on top of The Comedy Store, a live entertainment venue. Any sound leakage from the club to the lower floor and vice versa would not be acceptable. Thus, acoustic double doors at all points of entry were installed, and acoustic spray was used on the ceiling and membranes in the partitions to achieve almost complete acoustic insulation.

At every step, the design increases the visitors' desire to be a part of the enticing picture, and to complete it.

Key materials:

  • Brick tiles
  • Reuter-cut cement board
  • Mosaic flooring set in epoxy
  • Quilting on the ceilings
  • Wooden flooring on the mezzanine floor
  • Duco painted paneling on the mezzanine
  • Velvet and sheer curtains

Total Area: Approxiately 5,000 sq ft
Text: Sumisha Arora
Photos: Anirudh Goel  for Jaa Collective

Contact: Canvas, 4th Floor, Palladium Mall, High Street Phoenix, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai-400 013.

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