Designing Poetry

Sona Reddy


The interiors of this sunny eatery were inspired by Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai styles, which were then juxtaposed with many nature themed visuals, primarily of airborne birds.

The name and intent of the establishment Haiku may be distinctly Asian, but the design team was determined to avoid employing the related clichés.

In place of deep red colour sweeps and dim-lit spaces, the guests here are greeted by flushes of sunlight, beautifully patterned accent walls, elegant furniture pieces made from reclaimed wood, and a heady feeling of being at a European promenade café, but on a rooftop!

Every aspect of the 100-seater Haiku seems to have come out of a restrained universe; the floor is a mix of cement and wood and the view to the outside includes potted greenery and surrounding trees. The exclusion of loud details, in colour or form, helps direct the focus on the nuances of food and the experience of eating - critical factors that may be lost in a more elaborate setting.

Air-conditioning has been avoided and instead air coolers have been used, which are supported by breezeblocks and terracotta tiles on the roof. This brings the temperature down by 4-5 degrees. The lamps – sphere-like to conjure up clouds – add to the sense of calm, while that feature wall, sporting a expansive array of wooden slats to depict branches of an abstract tree, is an absolute beauty! Synthetic birds, suspended from wires, dot the wall’s foreground, guaranteeing every diner a pleasant canvas to stare at while tucking into the food.