Hospitality Design
This Site Web | Advanced Search
Hospitality Design Home Hotel Industry News Green Hotel Design Hotel Furniture and Products buyers' guide Hotel Design Projects Hotel Interior Design Events Photo Gallery buyers' guide
Projects


Online Exclusive - Rasika West End, Washington, DC

Jan 16, 2013

By Erinn Waldo


For his newest Washington, DC, restaurant, Rasika West End, award-winning owner Ashok Bajaj charged designer Martin Vahtra with creating a space that not only looked completely different than its sister eatery in the Penn Quarter, but also shattered the usual Indian restaurant stereotypes.


With that in mind, Vahtra, founder of New York-based Projects Design Associates, mixed the romantic elements of ancient and modern India. The layout flows between a library, a quirky bar, and a colorful dining space all under a surprising canopy. With the large quantity of windows, Vahtra found that the best space to work with would have to come centrally. “That is why the central tree concept came to be,” Vahtra says. The “Banyan tree,” made of honey-colored Anigre veneer, climbs the central column and across the ceiling in hundreds of interconnecting triangles. Completed with 3D modeling, 35 sheets of drawings, and C & C cutting tools, the structure hangs down and opens to coves of lighting.

The magenta lighting from the tree structure illuminates banquette fabrics and wallcoverings inspired by Indian saris. The design also revolves on “the jewel colors found in Indian silks and shapes found in traditional Indian architecture,” Vahtra explains. Shades of cerulean and turquoise on the booths hint toward a Hindu festival of colors. Subtle traces of the culture also emerge on the walls, including exposed white-painted brick, which covers many buildings in India.

Beneath the multifaceted ceiling and between carefully decorated walls, three “cavern” booths along the window are designed with curving roofs like an Indian hall. “[The booths] were inspired by shapes and details we saw used on Indian temples,” Vahtra says. “People love to sit in them.” Another popular sitting area is the library, tucked privately towards the back, which is lit softly by circular lamps and filled with meticulously arranged but randomly selected books.

The highlight: the various Indian symbols subtlety integrated throughout. “We were designing the bar area and found images of Indian gods with many arms spinning off their bodies,” Vahtra says. “This gave us the idea to have shelves cantilever and ‘spin’ around the column in the bar area in a sculptural fashion.” The result is a seemingly precarious juxtaposition of shelves, artfully suspended over the bar area.

Even with the contemporary style, Vahtra wanted a comfortable setting for the restaurant’s famous food and hospitality. “We suggested having a traditional Indian hand symbol called a mudra introduced somewhere in the restaurant,” Vahtra explains. “We decided on a gesture symbolizing welcome.”












    hdexpotab1
hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.

 

MORE  

 
Produced by: Emerald Expositions
Nielsen      Contract Design | Hospitality Design | K+BB | DDI



Hospitality Design is the leading interior design industry publication and established web resource in the business. Providing comprehensive reporting on hotel industry
news and exclusive coverage of the latest ecological-friendly green hotels and bar designs, HD Magazine keeps you updated on the latest hotel trends in technology
and innovative interior design ideas. From recent hotel renovations and openings to award-winning luxury hotels and hotel construction projects, HD Magazine
keeps you informed on news that matters most to your hospitality business.

Hospitality Design Magazine | Hotel Industry News | Green Hotel Design  | Hotel Furniture and Products | Hotel and Bar Design Projects | Hospitality Design Events 
 | Hospitality Design Newsletter | About Hospitality Design | Hospitality Design Magazine Advertising | Hotel Design Opportunities 
| Contact Us | Site Map | RSS 
hdexpo2 hdboutique2 summit