Sanjiv Malhan of Office For International Architecture (OFIA), whose work has created nightspots such as Three Stories, has outdone himself this time.
FLO is a concept whose time has come. A sophisticated Lounge, Bar, Club and Private Dining which caters to the eclectic tastes of the urban traveller is another design first for the capital. In the heart of South Delhi's party district - Saket, FLO is bound to resonate with today's Indian whose travel arm (real or virtual) has touched the world's hot spots.
Circles, lines and hearts create subtle patterns that flow in and out on specially designed glass-clad walls. The palette is controlled and restrained to muted blacks and whites but sophisticated accents of neon and metal provide relief and bestow a welcoming warmth.
Experimentation with materials and playful execution gives jaded eyes a sense of newness and intrigue; neon like lit up walls feature kaleidoscopic light imagery that harmonise the interior aided by a 'white on white' wall graphic that pulls all elements together into a pleasing whole. Textures and geometric shapes are used to create a 3D effect; unusual materials lie cheek to jowl, juxtaposed with contrasting surface textures while furniture shapes echo a certain whimsy and eclectic. Pyramids on the ceiling and placed inside tables as displays, are just some of the amusing touches that create an aura of play - of reflections, of light and shadows.
Designed and executed by Office for International Architecture (OFIA) the international architectural practice founded and run by Australia-trained architect Sanjiv Malhan, technology forms the soul of the FLO experience: From mood-controlled lighting, customised sound offerings and a peekaboo bed lounge experience that is hidden from all eyes through a clever use of levels, FLO is a technological child of the future. Maybe, some day all Lounges and Clubs will have the foresight to offer such camouflaged luxury. Today, however, FLO clearly stands apart as a forerunner of times to come.
The design aesthetics of FLO are reminiscent of retro yet not entirely; touches of contemporary baroque abound lending a touch of humour and childlike enjoyment. A subtle play of form and shapes, echoed in the partnership between light and shadow, are used to create an atmosphere inspiring enough for Delhi's cognoscenti to let down their hair. Delineated spaces offer privacy and intimacy to enjoy this finely crafted experience with friends and within the select circle that we choose to de-mask and reveal ourselves to.
FLO is a welcome relief from the plethora of poorly finished, ugly and clumsy spaces that masquerade as avant garde lounges at par with internationally trendy, hang-loose watering holes.