Vertù The Lounge
‘Whether to solemnize or to recover from vacuous blues
It is a blessing to discover a space that colours every mood into its own hues.’
As you step into the terrace café, you feel disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the city, savouring the breezy vibes of the space. Upon entering from the lobby, the enclosed space is adorned by welcoming Indonesian elements, which opens up into a windy outdoor expanse. The thoughtful hierarchy of spaces allows a sense of pleasant surprise to the visitors. Crafted in three segments, every segment of the café is thoughtfully designed in harmony, considering the purpose of the space and the context, and hence, each segment offers a different experience to the visitor.
With an impulse to craft a café that breaks the monotony of café design in the town, Vertu proceeds to stand by the purpose through a thoughtful use of material palette and design elements which beautifully embrace and enhance the natural context and gracefully screen the robust contextual buildings. The design creates a breezy and sophisticated ambience, which is dissimilar to the mentality of limiting it to a use of solid elements in the rooftop. Situated in the urban fabric of Ahmedabad, the site of the café had many opportunities and challenges. Located on an intermediate floor in the existing building, the site had two terraces along with an existing enclosed space. With an existing adjoining building on one side flushed with a porous green screen creating its own context, the site had all the other sides were open to the view of the nature and skyline of the city.
Out of three segments of the café, only one segment was enclosed, keeping the other two segments open to the stunning natural context. Near the entrance, the first segment was initially conceptualised to be an enclosed space, but due to a change in the regulations of the government, the constructed elements had to be demolished, after which there was a revision in the regulation which stated that the roof could be covered, keeping the sides open. The partially constructed elements were retained, keeping one frame partly constructed, unlike other fully constructed frame, with a philosophy of the beauty of acceptance of transience and imperfection. So, the segment has the top covered, with sides open, which flaunts a beautiful flooring that synchronizes with every shade of the sky. What makes this terrace café more unique is the way conceptually the ground is brought to the terrace, and the cool colour palette which beautifully flaunts the use of hues of blue.
Every design element and artwork crafted for this café has a story. Nature is closely experienced here. The spaces are porous, which allows natural breeze gushing through the hair, making visitors feel out of the world and giving them a unique experience in the urban context. The second segment, though enclosed, flaunts a beautiful view of the skyline of the city on one side. This space leads to the third segment and the division consists of framed screens which sport a glass panelling. This segment enjoys an informal open space with no structural barriers. The sitting around the raised platform allows a pleasant sunset view.
It is understood that not every process goes smooth or hurdle free. Right from the commencement stage to the completion stage of crafting Vertu, there were many challenges faced, but it is very interesting to know how every challenge was converted into a beautiful opportunity by timely and thoughtful decisions and how it enhanced the existing design concepts. Most of the elements are kept raw and bare. Considering the tight budget of the client. The material for cladding was used in a very unique way, which considerably reduced the costing, yet achieved the desired level of aesthetics. The approach to the fine dine spaces is oriented by guiding wall which conceals the service areas. One unique feature of the café is that all the service areas are properly studied and designed accordingly, yet beautifully concealed, though being adjacent to the dining spaces. Being a partially open to sky café, conditions during rain have been considered and resolved.
Worked to develop a café that pushes the boundaries of convention, ambience of Vertu is more about the harmony of constructed elements and nature surrounding it, resulting into pleasant views, a play of lights and shadows, and a unique experience.