Sudhir Thorat speaks about the new frontiers of restaurant architecture
Recent social and technological changes have prompted architects and designers to adapt their work to meet the expectations of the modern traveller. The indispensable norm being followed in hotel architecture is that they no more design spaces; they believe in designing experiences. People want to go beyond their usual routine and they desire to experience something new. In order to accommodate this new reality, architects and designers are re-imagining all areas of a restaurant’s operation. Hotel restaurants are being turned into memorable spaces through imaginative design, pushing creativity to new heights and turning each venue into a destination in itself. These are just a few of the exciting developments of architecture and design that are being explored in the restaurant sector.
Sustainability is a delicate issue for the restaurant owners, as they are doing their best to minimise short term costs. But being ahead of the game is important, which sometimes leads to innovative ideas. Over-sized windows for natural lighting, green walls and green roofs, recycling bins for guests, electronic water faucets, organically grown food for cooking and graywater recycling are just a few of the trends for staying green.
A very successful practice overseas is utilising the graywater in various forms in a commercial kitchens. Several tactics include after washing a round of pots, dishes or utensils in the compartment sink, save the final rinse water and use it for soaking or pre-rinsing the next round of dishes. This method could save about 18 gallons from being dumped prematurely. Steam-clean the floors. Water from steam tables and some types of other steaming equipment is stored in a reservoir to be dumped out later. Instead of dumping this clean water down the drain, use it for cleaning the countertops or floors at the end of the day or anytime the steam table water is changed.
Moreover by installing a water saving device, a restaurant kitchen can regulate water used for grinding and can reduce total water use by up to 70 per cent. In fact another resourceful tip is mounting a pulper. Not only do they compact your garbage, they use recycled water to do so.
It is not enough for a restaurant to label itself as a professional getaway or leisure; people are doing business over meals, and they are cavorting while they are travelling for business. There has to be a degree of escapism, in every restaurant.
The interiors of an eating joint is always envisioned as dynamic, multi-use spaces which have the capacity to host both formal and casual talks, providing both intimate and social zones, and yet can also be a place where individual work can be accomplished. In fact the restrooms are also designed spa-like, luring the guests through sublime luxury and relaxation.
The dimension of design has transformed from the times where the eateries were considered as the mere place for eating out. Today the facet of tranquillity and ambience is majorly considered. Wood embellishments, theme inspired decorating items, carpets, drapes, a chimney corner, a TV set and the possibility to play your guest’s favourite musicals these adds up to an impressive outing.
The contemporary architecture focuses highly on keeping the décor simply elegant by incorporating fewer patterns. More colour and texture is not in vogue as it visually affronts the visitor. Embracing soothing textures instead enables to explore your senses, endowing with the feel of enthrallment and immerse into a distinct realm. The idealist approach is to integrate a few bright colours to animate spaces and a soothing joyful atmosphere that works splendidly.
The current inclination in architecture is towards focusing on coalescing local origins. To develop an assertive perception of the place and create a genuine experience, small sculptures and photography to integrate an art project into the image of the hotel, and fresh painting could be the best ways to depict contemporary yet traditional designs.
Another salient feature being implemented in modern day architecture is compatibility with technology. The corporate populace prefers the technical know-how at restaurants to be in place to ensure their fidelity with the place for long run. The spaces offer the possibility of adjusting lighting, air conditioning and even window blinds through smart phones, which often is a good business approach. Another trend is to make certain the placement of devices that aid online registrations.
The reminiscence of a good restaurant stays with guests for a long time if the experience is inimitable. Bearing this in mind, hotel owners and architects strive to personalise spaces as never before. Themed hotels is the new concept slowly gaining interest in the industry thereby leaving a lasting impact on the minds of people.
The writer is managing director, 3D Architecture