Beer Garden, Vikhroli: Studio Lotus brings thriving greens and bucolic aesthetic to cosmopolitan Mumbai

MAY 3, 2023 | By Dyumni Pandit
Sleek tall red-brick-coloured pillars stand in a line to form something of a fence around the beautiful Beer Garden. The spaced poles allow a seamless connection between the outdoors and indoors; Photography by Avesh Gaur
Glazed glass windows panelled with matte black plating divide the indoor and outdoor corridor. The tight palette highlights the industrial expression embedded in the café; Photography by Avesh Gaur
Lush foliage nestles the quaint outdoorsy Beer café. The café blends with the outdoors by its choice of rustic wood colours; Photography by Avesh Gaur
The interiors of the café have cosy wooden furniture and grey granite tones. It houses indoor plants to promote the outdoors. The red, fluorescent lights add the feeling of a bar; Photography by Avesh Gaur
The outdoor patio opens into the beautiful green oasis. Similar tones of comfortable wooden furniture, red brick colours, and grey granite follow here as well. The micro-concrete finishes and the exposed ceiling accentuate the café’s industrial expression; Photography by Avesh Gaur
The café has tall ceilings with hanging lights. The glass windows sieve the sunlight, making the café seem like a natural setting. The wooden furniture and indoor plants look like the perfect fit together; Photography by Avesh Gaur
The café has an outdoor curved seating bench as well. Surrounded by canopies of trees, the bench is a great place for a small gathering; Photography by Avesh Gaur
The unique circular structures act as a beautiful backdrop to the café. Similar pillars in brick red surround them sculpturally to highlight the industrial expression; Photography by Avesh Gaur

A minimalistic, easy to navigate labyrinth-like pavilion extends into lush foliage. Deep verandahs intersperse comfortably in the magnificently built industrial expression, blurring the boundaries between rustic interiors and the sublime outdoors. With a skilful design direction to build a new anchor for communal activities, Studio Lotus manifests the Beer Garden within Godrej’s impressive 34-acre ‘The Trees’ premises imagined as a multifaceted project in, with the masterplan conceptualised in collaboration with Studio Vikhroli in the locale of Vikhroli, Mumbai. 

Ankur Choksi, Subrata Ray, Shamik Chatterjee, and Sharvani Upadhyay lend their architectural prowess to contribute to the progressing revival of the whilom industrial project that is now heading towards a more community and environment-centric initiative with this redesigned 5,000 sq ft café.

The sleek sculptural staircase acts as a backdrop to the outdoor courtyard, making it a great place to click pictures. It also leads to the beautiful alfresco terrace seating that has moveable landscape benches; Photography by Avesh Gaur

The calm amidst the storm

Building on the existing narrative of renewing and place-making, Studio Lotus uses the landscape extension formerly planned for Imagine Studios and transforms it into a quaint café.

Nestled in the heart of dynamic zones abuzz with routinely movement of people and activities, the café draws visitors and residents alike with its intimate garden setting and two stylistic courtyards. The residential clubhouse, Imagine studio, the busy pedestrian corridor and the Boiler café surround the green haven.

The café embraces uniformity and order in its architecture, using straight lines and consistent patterning; Photography by Avesh Gaur

 A confluence of courtyards

Hues of brown complement the sleek matte black walls and brown stylistic panelling on the ceilings. The wooden furniture with indoor plants makes one feel like they are sitting under a tree on an autumn evening for a cup of coffee.

Most of the sitting area flows into the intimate garden placed within two courtyards. Although a glazed wall separates the two, they seem to be seamlessly trickling into each other. Studio Lotus perceptively ensures that the two courtyards make the space more breathable than enclosed.

The exposed ceiling stylistically creates a halo for the greens, enhancing the importance given to nature in the creation of this café; Photography by Avesh Gaur

A peripheral fence envelopes the primary courtyard, defining it as a semi-closed space. A barbeque counter and an extensive bar sit in the centre of the room, opening the café to the landscape. It guides one from the entrance to a tranquil oasis of green canopies.

Acting as a sculptural background with its beautiful pergolas, the second courtyard brings abundant natural light into the café. Unique shadow patterns dance on the wooden walls as the tall trees sieve the golden sun rays.

Structural, polished curved black stairs add a glorious backdrop to the café, making it perfect for some sun-kissed pictures. It leads to the serene alfresco terrace seating that accommodates movable landscape benches.

Comfortable and cosy brown chairs sit in front of the rustic brown tables to blend into the background setting of lush foliage; Photography by Avesh Gaur

Urban Expression within nature 

Studio Lotus imbibes Imagine Studio’s design narrative to underline the surviving establishments and the legacy of the site. The café uses shades of grey granite with micro-concrete finishes to tread the delicate uniformity of the space. The exposed ceiling and structural system highlight its urban expression. Bright red-brick colour splashes the monotony of the palette with some liveliness.

The design studio resourcefully adapts an existing silo to make it into a kitchen utility. The silo, repurposed into a lantern, playfully juxtaposes the room’s rectilinear architecture to add a fresh touch to the indoors.

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