Restaurant Delhi: Fio Cookhouse by Abhigyan Neogi

Architect Abhigyan Neogi of Chromed Design Studio shares with us the design and conceptualisation of the popular restaurant — Fio Cookhouse. Abhigyan graduated from TVB School of Habitat Studies, New Delhi.

After working with Morphogenesis for 2 years, he started his own studio — Chromed. This multidisciplinary design studio has many exceptional and noteworthy projects to their credit. They score on innovative designs that are enhanced by a fine amalgamation of technology, resources and ergonomics; the aim being to deliver exceptional design solutions to their clients.

Fio Cookhouse in Delhi is indeed an exceptional space in terms of architecture and design. When you walk into this place it is hard to believe that a bustling metro station is situated overhead! Such is the tranquility and calm you experience here.

The icing on the cake is the outdoor space that is incorporated into the design – in a bustling city with skyscrapers isnt a green space more than welcome?

The 1500 square feet outdoor area offers cosy nooks for private dining nestled in nature. A cemented driveway and a signboard cocooned by greenery make for a refreshing entry. The outdoor space is pebbled and dotted with flagstones, thereby creating a quaint pathway. Modern tables in teak veneer and stylish contemporary chairs and sofas upholstered in muted beige and brown palettes complement the green space around.

Fifteen feet tall openings designed with glass and wood panels held together by metal frames impart grandeur to the entrance. A 180 degree hinge allows the swivel doors to integrate the indoor areas seamlessly with the outdoors. Wooden louvers facilitate ample flow of natural light, while full height windows in glass enable the customers to enjoy soothing outdoor views. The indoor space is cleverly demarcated into two areas – fine dining and bar. White linen curtains that separate the bar area and lounge make for an elegant statement. The dining and bar area has full height cabinets crafted out of over two hundred wooden cubes held together in a metal frame of electroplated brass. Lighting within these cubes creates a mesmerising effect, while simultaneously showcasing the artefacts within. The 5000 square feet restaurant has two levels which ensure a free-flowing space. Designed as a cafe during the day and a fine dining restaurant by night, lighting and design features were used effectively to maintain such flexibility without detracting from visual appeal.

Concrete flooring with brass inlay adds to the expansiveness of the space and the sleek modern furniture is arranged in a manner that retains the spacious appeal of the space. The stunning bar clad in white marble makes a dramatic statement and the stylish bar stools accentuate the lines of the furniture. Dramatic pendant lighting in metal and fabric highlight the texture of chiseled brick walls.

As Fio Cookhouse is housed under the busy Nehru Place metro station, one would expect at least faint sounds or vibrations if not high decibel din. Well, here lies the beauty of the architecture and design – the place is so tranquil and calm that it is hard to believe that a metro station is overhead! Perfect acoustics guarantee a noise-free and calm ambience within. The ceiling design with special corkboard covers and chemical treatment play a major part in shutting out the sounds. Wooden trellis on the ceiling made of metal and exposed plywood edging makes for a stunning design feature and also doubles up as a false ceiling, camouflaging the ducts and pipes within.

Scandinavian inspired chairs carry the lines of the design and the rugged textured walls act as the perfect backdrop for a monochromatic colour palette in beiges and browns, with splashes of green in the plants. Modern sleek sofas covered in rich brown fabric work well with the occasional upholstered armchair in printed fabric with birds and floral motifs, adding an element of old-world country charm. Potted plants placed strategically maintain the refreshing look indoors as well.

Trendy lighting aids in creating a beautiful ambience within Fio Cookhouse. Lights with dimmers create a charming effect – giving the look and feel of candlelight. Beautifully lit niches and shelf cuboids enhance the look further. The gargantuan light fixture that creates a dramatic point of focus at the bar is crafted out of heavy rods and gold plated glass —indeed a unique specimen! One of refreshing aspects of the design is the use of brass in place of what typically tends to be steel in modern interiors. A refreshing golden glow of warmth indeed!