So named for its mission to combine the best of work, life and play, Bengaluru, India’s Social is a chain of 21 experiential social clubs located across the country, designed to serve as connective hubs for young artists and professionals. When the brand decided to open its largest, and fourth, location in the capital city by fall 2018, it turned to locally based design firm Restore for the concept and design.
From the start, the intent was to create a fictional abandoned penthouse, once glorious but left to suffer from decay and vandalism. The space features an array of micro-environments – the veranda, the garden, the terrace, the library – each meticulously designed to encourage social interaction.
“Every Social [concept] takes inspiration from the location itself. We enjoyed imagining that it was an old penthouse of a rich man that now left, so the Social gang took it over,” explains Federico Fraternale, Head of Design, Restore. “Our interpretation of the name ‘social’ is that we need to create a space that is ‘democratic.’ It’s for all kinds of people to be social; to mingle, to laugh, to dance, to drink and to just be.”
Intended to be a respite from the hectic and chaotic world below, Sarjapur Social features 18,800 square feet of lush greenery, marble floors, crystal chandeliers and a grandiose staircase with brass inlays that evokes memories of its imagined past glory. Attention to detail was critical to make the narrative believable, so Restore designed the sculptures and wallpaper, and even the paintings, that populate the space, to support the aesthetic.
“There is visibility from one environment to the other,” says Fraternale. “There are varying degrees of energy in them – the volume of music, the kind of seating, the number of people standing, et cetera. But interact, you will. How will depend on your mood, your company and your objective for the evening.”
The space is situated on the eighth floor, so designers took advantage of an expansive terrace overlooking the city. In keeping with the theme, “vandals” (i.e., local street artists) were invited to make their mark in the form of graffiti murals that are in stark contrast to the lush greenery and fine materials used throughout.
“We live in a concrete world most of the time. When we have an evening out, it’s important for a change in ambience. Greenery is necessary… it lets you breathe and sets you free,” says Fraternale.
The juxtaposition of organic elements, like live plants and wicker furniture mixed with urban, time-worn elements – like faded frescos and crumbling concrete – tell the intriguing tale the design team first imagined. In short, Sarjapur Social encourages its visitors to immerse themselves in this post-modern space and escape for some good, old-fashioned human interaction.
Impresaria Entertainment & Hospitality, Bengaluru, India
Design and Architecture, Props/Decs, Wallcoverings/Materials
Restore Design, Bengaluru, India
Krishna Interiors, Bengaluru, India
Photography: Shamanth Patil, Bengaluru, India