Mezze Madras | Serenity by Sadhana | Chennai
Mezze Anna Nagar – “Savouring the Middle East: A Culinary Journey through Anna Nagar’s Exquisite Middle Eastern Restaurant”
Mezze Madras Nestled in the bustling neighborhood of Anna Nagar, Chennai, this Middle Eastern restaurant stands as a beacon of cultural fusion and culinary delight. To feed tasty appetencies, designers of Serenity by Sadhana were approached with a brief of setting up new modern-classic furnishings on a 3400 sq. ft. area amidst a dense urban setting.
The Principal Architect Ar. Sadhana Raghu shares that Beyond being a mere dining establishment, the space is a carefully curated canvas that immerses Middle Eastern aesthetics, seamlessly blending tradition with modernity.
A bold composition of projecting mass with solid and void texture forms the external façade with an open structure as the eye-pleasing entrance. Upon entering, one is welcomed by a double-volume space that draws the eye upwards to a series of lighting fixtures hanging from the modern wooden ceiling, playing an evocative part in the design. Seemingly modest, this restaurant will sweep off visitors’ feet, especially during the night hours when the lights illuminate the entire area.
Designers say that revitalizing the space, remodelling and reimagining interiors was a challenge where an old building that was previously used as an ice cream parlor was completely changed in terms of civil work to make it a restaurant space that satisfied the client’s spatial requirements. The design scope not only included the customer seating side but also organizing and designing the BOH areas such as the kitchen, store, and packaging spaces as well. It was important to understand the workflow in a commercial kitchen to make it an efficient layout for the mezze support staff as well as customers.
Ornamentation of this restaurant is in optimizing flow and rethinking space allocation in such a way that changes to open out the compartmentalized spaces inside the building posed a major challenge in this project. The goal was to maximize seating for customers and to make it a bright and spacious fine dining space. From the entrance itself, visitors will be awestruck by the beauty and elegance of this dining area in an earthy and eye-catching colour palate.
Elegantly zoning for experience with eye-soothing designing distinctive dining areas that accentuate the floor tiles selection. The layout is ingeniously orchestrated to evoke a sense of communal warmth while allowing for private, intimate moments. The seating areas are strategically positioned to ensure a dynamic yet cohesive flow. This space was designed as 4 zones- Zone A & B on the ground floor and Zone C & D on the first floor; Each zone having its unique feature. The ground floor is an inviting space that can be seen through the glass façade. The glass façade also ensures connectivity to the outdoors while eating a meal in an air-conditioned space.
The first floor, connected by a wooden staircase was mainly designed for private bookings or communal reservations. First floor – Zone C has an outdoor seating area that enhances the experience in the evenings for those who want to have a relaxed cup of coffee. Seen through the arches, the pastry unit has also been strategically placed just opposite the entrance to attract customers.
Eye pleasant crafting dining spaces with a touch of architectural drama create a distinctive feature of this interior project is the incorporation of arches and niches, a deliberate homage to the architectural heritage of the Middle East. The arches, with their graceful curves, frame the spaces. Niches, adorned with intricate details of hand-painted artwork, serve as captivating focal points against the neutral palette walls. The carefully curated niche artworks are a branded design trait that is seen in their flagship Alwarpet branch as well. They serve as windows into the streetscapes of the Middle Eastern regions.
Designers make sure that the selected textures & tastes create a sensory appeal in design that invokes the senses through textures, fabrics, and materials. Visual aesthetics play a paramount role in crafting an immersive and authentic experience. The colour palette is a celebration of vibrancy, with warm, earthy tones dominating the space. To break monotony, different types of flooring tile have been used. Printed floor tiles for zone A and C, and subtle self-embossed grey tiles for zone B and D.
Furniture details are meticulously chosen to harmony comfort with elegance, contributing to the overall aesthetic appeal. Simple neat wooden tables serve as canvases for the culinary masterpieces presented to the guests. Versatile, plush upholstered chairs and benches against the walls contribute to comfortable seating. Colourful patterns in the form of tiles on table tops and the pastry/ billing unit have been incorporated into the space. Bamboo pendant lights and large indoor plants add warmth and elegance to the cosy environment. Having a glass facade, allows passersby to be able to see into the space, making it an inviting space to attract customers.
In conclusion, this Middle Eastern restaurant in Anna Nagar is a sensorial journey that transcends the mere act of dining. The holistic design perspective gives a balancing form and function to this restaurant’s interior décor. The meticulous planning of space, the thoughtful layout, the striking visual aesthetics, and the curation of furniture details all come together to create an immersive experience. From civil changes to furniture layout to material scouting, the design team put their heart and soul into this project to make this a customer-centric transformation. As customers step into this oasis, they are not just enjoying a meal; they are embarking on a journey through the heart and soul of the Middle East.
Serenity by Sadhana led by Ar. Sadhana Raghu is an architectural studio based in Chennai working on a diverse scale and typologies of projects ranging from residential, hospitality, industrial, commercial and workspaces. The studio approaches each project with a search for a contextually appropriate idea. They put a lot of emphasis on the design process as the firm believes that each project has a unique site, context, program, and requirements that need to be analysed, imbibed, and explored with an innovative way of taking that idea and creating meaningful spaces. They like to work with different materials and methods of construction as they believe that materials play a very important part in articulating the character of the space. The studio strives to achieve a design aesthetic that is honest and understated, is sensitive to its surroundings and enhances the purpose for which it is built.
Project Name : Mezze Madras
Design Firm : Serenity by Sadhana
Principal Architect : Ar. Sadhana Raghu
Design Team : Ar. Sadhana Raghu, Ar. Khanishkaa Vignesh, Pragathi Bhatt (Intern)
Project Design Area : 3400 sq ft
Project Location : Anna Nagar, Chennai
Project Type : Commercial, Hospitality (Restaurant design)
Photography Credits : Gnani Photography