Moroccan Mantra

Sumeet Nath


Remaining true to the lineage of a previous restaurant on the same premises, Laidback Café in Delhi designed by Sumeet Nath of Studio US Design has a contemporary ambience with a Moroccan aesthetic. It clearly harks back to the luxury bar which once occupied the space; bringing back the brand and making it current was a significant part of the design team’s exercise. Because of the Mughal context of the architecture, a Moroccan theme was decided upon. The sensory assault which this kind of aesthetic is associated with, together with the related colours and textures, has been toned down for contemporary consumption. Since two adjacent buildings were joined, levels had to be matched. Through interesting planning and the levels, the space is divided into an indoor modern dining room, outdoor terrace café, indoor luxurious bar and an upper level, covered hookah terrace. Arabic imagery abounds, with jalis and intricate detailing in the lighting which casts lacy patterns on walls and floors, together with arabesque patterns in the upholstery. The options of seating vary from comfortable dining to casual lounge seating and an area with high tables and stools.