With its blusterous and energetic populace and its chaotic cityscape, Mumbai, is unlike any city in India. The Mumbaikar culture is unique and tells a story about the city’s modern skyscrapers, from the Victoria Terminus to the Madh Fort, not unlike a catalogue of historical events, cultures and architecture.
It is this idea of the passage of time, the gradation of culture and design movements in Mumbai, which the Bar Stock Exchange in CBD Belapur plays with. The design identity and language are bright, lively and eccentric but, at the same time is very sensible and remains true to the theme of time; incorporating elements from different eras ranging 1940’s to present day in its interior and décor. One couldn’t look further than observing the main door to this restro bar, which depicts the contrast between the designs of old and the designs today. The distinctly Indian arches carved into wood dominate the face of one panel of the door, while the other panel portrays a Rubik’s cube disintegrating into the wooden face of the door.
The design of the BSE restro bar has a strong sense of continuity, with its rustic exposed brick exterior forming a wall overlooking the interior seating. Contrastingly, the large frameless windows give a modern look and feel to the place and filling the interiors with ambient light. The presence of vegetation in the exterior as well as the interior is part of a balance of tones and material as the green proposes an ecosystem outdoors for those who prefer to enjoy another atmosphere and adds a sense of comfort across the table.
The décor also uses objects like record players that add to the aesthetics. Another example of this is the bookshelf rising in the center of the restaurant, branching out as it reaches the ceiling. It is a great showcase with a very suggestive artistic proposal, a kind of veil that covers the visibility of the restaurant with the aim of seducing the visitor and calling him towards the eccentricity. There is also a portion of the wall which is exposed layer-by-layer to its original elements of cement and brick, which consolidates the BSE’s design language.
The interior design seems to achieve its inference through a blend of contemporary furniture and décor with distinct Indian elements. The chairs are near Scandinavian, with portions of cross-hatching bamboo bands that are almost indigenous to the Indian Subcontinent. The rest of the furniture is contemporary creating a harmony between the eccentric and the functional.
The bar is designed with a modern outlook but has very bright colors which adds to its sophistication. Its choice of color is also perfectly complementary to the bright patterns on the wall behind the bar counter as well as the lighting fixtures which are upcycled and minimal in design.
One of the key features of BSE is its lighting across the interior and exterior inspired from different eras. However, the lighting in the bathrooms is a complete takeaway from the rest of the space. Neon lights with quirky quotes are put up in the washrooms, doubling as a source of light making it livelier and club-like. It is unlike anywhere in the restro bar and acts as a focal point.