Ashiesh Shah creates the “visually soft” interior of a restaurant in Mumbai

Textured surfaces and winding shapes inhabit this outpost of the vegan chain of restaurants Sequel in Mumbai, designed by local architect Ashiesh Shah.


Housed in an office in the Bandra Kurla city complex, the interior is designed as a soothing antidote to a busy business district.

“The restaurant alludes to timeless charm, celebrating an ethos of subtle luxury, a slow life and a refined lifestyle,” Shah explained.

Dining room Sequel’s Mumbai outpost has seating chairs (above), as well as numerous separate tables (picture above)

Divided into two zones, To be continued it contains a pick-up and drop-off counter on one side and a café on the other, which serves as a formal dining area for shoppers looking for a break from work.

These two areas are divided by a central partition with doors on both sides for easier circulation.

Seating area with sheer curtains and rounded seats in the restaurant by Ashiesh Shah
Transparent curtains cover the window of the restaurant that is being wrapped

Shah designed the restaurant as a reflection of Sequel’s philosophy, which he described as “futuristic in form and earthy at its core”.

Textured materials are paired with neutral colors and delicate edges to create a “visually soft interior”.

Spherical lights and chairs inside the Sequel restaurant
Chess had a number of furniture items, such as these chairs, made to measure by the project

“The selection of materials for space pays homage to India’s craft and handmade procedure,” Shah explained.

A sculptural lighting fixture, handmade with lacquered canapé beads from the Indian state of Karnataka, hangs in the center of the seating area.

Seating area with oak veneer walls and a sculptural chandelier made of wooden beads inside the restaurant, by Ashiesh Shah
A chandelier made of lacquered wooden beads hangs above the dining room

Here, the walls are lined with oak veneer that extends from the ground towards the walls and along the mesh façade, while a transparent curtain covers the curtained window. The corresponding bracket is finished with the same oak veneer.

The delight of the restaurant is curved by the walls lined with wooden cladding of the sleeve which is handmade on the spot, before being finished in open grain veneer with gray lacquer.

A monolithic serving counter wrapped in molded off-white Corian resin comes out of the wall and the snake comes out into the dining room.

Its curved lines resonate in the overhead ceiling, where ball-shaped lights are placed like pearls inside an oyster-shaped relief made of textured lime plaster.

The same bumpy plaster was applied to parts of the walls and a series of oyster-shaped shelves that seemed to grow out of the wall, while the floor was lined with patterned terracotta bricks.

Oyster-shaped ceiling relief with spherical lights below Mumbai
The ceiling is decorated with oyster-shaped reliefs

Many of the pieces of furniture, including rounded chairs and sofas in the official dining room, as well as consoles, counters, coffee counters, common tables, shelves and cabinets, are made to measure for the project.

“Lighting, materiality and form together celebrate the narrative of perfect imperfection,” Shah explained.

Integrated white shelves inside the restaurant by Ashiesh Shah
An integrated shelf system seems to be growing out of the walls

In her work, the architect says she deals with the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of wabi-sabi, which finds beauty in imperfections.

Other textured restaurants include Yakusha Design’s Kiev dining room with rough concrete walls and this fine restaurant where Valencia studio Masquespacio used uneven finishes such as rough stucco, ceramic tiles and terracotta tiles.

Photo courtesy of Atelier Ashiesh Shah.

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