The Busride Design's funky cottage project in Mumbai is yet another ode to their impassioned and whacky creativity.
What looks like a pretty, quaint little cottage just scooped out of the countryside on the outside, surprises visitors with its 'earthquake-hit' look once you get inside.
Jam Jar Diner is a lovely little restaurant close to the Versova beach in Mumbai. Conceptualised as it grew, or rather as it was being stripped of its prior avatar, this cottage has it all - pretty antiques, art deco patterns, a cosy ambience, a refreshing burst of colour, gorgeous arched windows and a strange sense of belonging. Zameer Basari, Co-Designer at Busride Designs tells us, "It was only after everything that belonged to previous owners was removed from site that we realised it was in fact a small 'cottage' with a mezzanine floor, located about 100 m from the sea. The word 'cottage' stuck thereafter and we set out to make it the strangest little cottage in the area." 'Why strange?' you may ask... Because some of the storage cabinets and shelves, responsible for making a dramatic first impression, look like they have been hit by a tornado or were caught in an earthquake!
However what charms the visitors is the beautifully orchestrated use of colour and pattern. On the ground floor, a play of black and white attracts the eye. The whitewashed walls and the rough black stone flooring sharply contrast each other, so do the metal black beams on the soffit distressed white roof. Arched windows and doors that are restored to their past glory with borders, mouldings and outlines, are fashioned in the yesteryear style. Nostalgia pops up at every corner with old wood almirahs, stained glass railings and lamp shades, chunky steel girders, pickles in jam jars, phantom cigarettes, all memories of the good time gone by... not too long ago. The owners wished to give the restaurant the cosiness of a home, and a casual attitude, almost as inviting as someone's home. "We've tried to use recycled wood wherever possible to be eco-friendly as well to achieve a lived-in look", shares Sahil Timbadia, co-owner of Jam Jar Diner. In fact, many of the items on display are family heirlooms. "Some of the artefacts are items that our grandmothers refused to let go of, so just gave them a new home," he adds.
Tiles of joy
Well, the interiors of the diner may be a winner, but the garden is a masterpiece. If one is familiar with the work of world- renowned Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi, then the Jam Jar Diner's garden sit-out doesn't come as much of a shocker. Gaudi has designed some of the world's most amazing structures ornamented with intricately worked-out patterns in broken pieces of ceramic and stone. Seemingly inspired by this, the team at Busride created a tiled extravaganza in a fluid sense of design balancing the hardscape and softscape. "Yes we have created a surrealistic mosaic landscape in the terrace. The terrace was imagined as a back garden to the cottage. It had to be very finely curated, everything in its exact location, the perfect mix of hard and softscape. Herbs used at Jam Jar are grown in abundance on the terrace. As an experience, the inside and outside at Jam Jar are seamless. The levels were worked out in such a way that the terrace is totally visible as soon as you enter the front door. This is what gives Jam Jar its airy and sunny interiors," shares Basari.
Besides the beauty of the interiors, Jam Jar is a place for all times and weather. The triangular skylight which was the most difficult thing to create on the existing roof does the trick for this place. It brings in light when needed, warmth when cold, shade when it's sunny and when it's raining, you can stay indoors but not feel boxed in!
So how does Busride always manage to surprise people with a funky design? Basari grins, "The funk is incidental. Actually we're text-book designers!" Wonder what textbook he refers to?
Text: Sumisha Arora
The Busride Designs, 10A, Ground Floor, Ranwar Village, Veronica Street, Off Waroda Rd, Bandra (W), Mumbai-400 050
Meet the designer: Zameer Basari
Firm: TheBusride Design Studio, founded in 2006
Firm specialisation: None. We'll design almost anything!
Design philosophy: Each project is unique.
Philosophy towards life: Fun and irreverence!
Favourite architect/Designer: Riteish Deshmukh and Ball-Nogues Studio in LA