Designed by Studio Lotus, The House of Celeste encompasses a cafe, patisserie, fine dining restaurant, and bar.
29 September, 2021
A visit to The House of Celeste presents as an immersive journey into a world of colour and texture that celebrates the idea of experiential dining. Located in Gurugram, India, some thirty kilometres southwest of New Delhi, the theme of the restaurant was created through conversations with Michelin Star chef, Suvir Saran, who is at the helm of the enterprise, and Studio Lotus, who has translated his ideas into a tropical wonderland.
The floorplate of The House of Celeste encompasses some 292 square metres over two levels and Studio Lotus has conceptualised the interior, without altering the original interior structure, seamlessly joining the spaces to offer two very distinct dining experiences.
Entry to the restaurant is through the alfresco Outdoor Café which leads to the Verandah and a patisserie. Further along is the Fun Dining space, a fine dining restaurant, a bar as well as Pinjra, an intimate private dining area.
Within the interior the theme is that of a tropical oasis, a jungle destination that pays homage to the variety of cuisines that abound in India through art and handmade objects. There are colourful, textured wallpaper panels at the back of the bar and in the Pinjra, while handcrafted furnishings, banquette seating and comfortable easy chairs populate the floor space.
Asha Sairam, Principal, Studio Lotus led the team in the design of The House of Celeste. She says “At The House of Celeste, the fundamental idea has been to not overwhelm the spaces the guests spend time in, rather, to create pockets of intense expressions of the concept that surprise and delight the visitor. We also decided to infuse this concept into smaller pockets in concentrated doses.
For instance, the patisserie and the bar feature bold, patterned floral wallpaper layered with hand-painted details of flora and fauna. The wallpaper backdrop anchors the dining experience so that all else would remain relatively understated in expression. We carefully added details that guests can discover upon closer inspection — elements that guests would perhaps be oblivious to at first glance, but would keep discovering each time they return.”
Materials used include rich brown timber, mild steel and stone with the timber providing the framework for mosaic tiles, textured paint and all that fabulous wallpaper and art. Colour is everywhere. Saturated musk and rose pinks, satin sheened green in upholstery, violet, royal blue and yellow that morph from bright at the café entrance to pastels in the bar and a more subdued palette in the private dining space.
Attention to detail is at the heart of the interior and every space is beautifully resolved. For example, one feature of note that intrigues diners is the series of bird tracks etched into horizontal timber beams at the dado level of the walls that encircle diners at Pinjra. While the inclusion of splayed vertical timber battens on the bar façade and the timber panel effect on the walls at Pinjra add further interest.
There is a common feature within the design that presents as a storytelling device, the Cabinet of Stories. This element divides the kitchen and dining area and presents as an uninterrupted grid of mild steel embellished with timber, mirrors and animal figurines that bring stories of cuisine and culture into the interior.
Sairam further added, “Creating a sense of balance is crucial to the design narrative; the story becomes a secondary layer to reinforce the physical attributes of the space. Space by itself is meant to serve a fundamental function, and it must look to serve that function first; the layering of design elements is a subsequent intervention.”
Studio Lotus has produced a visually exciting interior for House of Celeste, where dining out becomes a destination in itself. As a multi-disciplinary practice, the studio is well versed in creating interesting and original design not only for hospitality but for a range of projects that include residential, workplace, institutional, cultural and retail as well as master plans. Architecture and interior design are grounded on the principles of Conscious Design which is an inclusive approach that focuses on a rigorous process as much as the end result.
The House of Celeste showcases the handmade and the artisanal in its celebration of colour and beauty and, add to this wonderful cuisine, this is a restaurant like no other.
The House of Celeste
Client: Suvir Saran, Animesh Singh Rao (Cucina Hospitality LLP)
Location: Gurugram, India
Interior Designer: Studio Lotus
Project Team: Asha Sairam, Neelam Das and Sonam Agarwal
Project Manager: Design Realm, Delhi
Services Engineer: GM Consultants and Engineers, Delhi
Date of completion: 2020
Time to complete: 2 years 8 months
Total Floor Area: 292 sqm
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