Pauze Café is the brain child of two Chembur residents who wanted to change the nightlife experience in the area. Located in Vasanth Vihar Commercial Complex in Chembur, Pauze Café was originally a run-down country bar which hardly had any space for the youth to hang out. But the owners were confident and ‘adamant’ that this space could be recreated for today’s crowd. So, the brief to the architect Joel Roy was simple: a space that will enable different types of groups and people to hang out for drinks and delicious food in an intimate setting. Also the space must adapt itself to various activities through the day – from a café to a lounge to a pub at night. From screening games to comedy nights; karaoke to hookah, the café-lounge needed to be a fluid space that mutates with the users.
Joel is a young practicing architect from Mumbai who believes in the experience of architecture through the humanist instinct that looks for physical conditions that are related to our surroundings. The experience of architecture originates as a bodily response and Joel has used this simple concept to exploit and recreate a space with fluidity.
Joel has played with his design instinct while drafting a new, modern and social space plan for Pauze Café. The 800sqft space needed to be maximized to accommodate various activities. The design team made cozy booth style seating that is sunken and hidden from prying eyes which allows for intimate conversations, while larger corners allow for more boisterous groups. The long central community table can be pushed to the side to create an event space when needed. Stadium style boxes overlooking the the screen and the space below allow the customers to lounge around. Cantilevered tables allow for more leg room within a confined space while facilitating ease of cleaning.
– Ar. Joel Roy
An interesting design element of the café, is the way the design team has used wood as the material for creating a new generation space. Here Joel’s experience in design and computational thinking through his experiments with TROPE, an organization which attempts to explore geometry through hands-on making sessions by understanding the underlying principles of geometry before moving onto digital tools came handy. The form of the wooden rafters was derived from the transition of different arches and is used to enclose the booths while creating a strong visual element. The natural pine-wood rafters form an interesting contrast with the white brick wall.
Another interesting design element that needs mention is the bar counter. It was designed taking into consideration the fact that people of different heights must be able to use it comfortably. Constructed using CNC milled wood, finished with the help of local craftsman to the required degree of smoothness, the bar counter is the center of attraction in the café. In contrast to the dynamic form of the bar counter, the display was kept simple and minimal to reflect the interiors of the bar and increase the sense of space.
Pauze – ‘the café, the lounge, the pub’, is simple and is a design experience for those who are interested in not just having a good nightlife experience but also experiencing and imbibing their surroundings. Architect Joel Roy’s design philosophy seems to resonate with Donna Karan, the well-known American fashion designer – “I design from instinct. What feels good. What feels right. What is needed. Give me a problem and I will approach it creatively, from my gut”, says Donna.