Church Street So­cial

A hash­tag is all it takes to con­nect people on the vir­tual plat­form in to­day’s so­cially net­worked re­al­ity. Church Street So­cial in Ban­ga­lore now ex­tends this idea to the phys­i­cal realm.

VM&RD - - CONTENTS - Mansi Lavsi

Church Street So­cial, a new resto-pub at the ev­ery-busy Church Street in Ban­ga­lore, is a con­cept ori­ented place down to the most minute de­tail. It dwells on the idea that vir­tual con­ver­sa­tions and sim­i­lar so­cial in­ter­ac­tion can be ex­tended onto the real world, and hence the name ‘So­cial’. This is the first of a se­ries of ‘ So­cials’, which are al­ready in the pipe­line. “An air of com­fort had to run through the space and a de­ci­sion was taken that the space would not look new. For people to re­late to it, it had to feel as if it’s been there for a long time. A lot of start-up firms are nos­tal­gic about cafes and pre­fer them, be­sides other so­cial spa­ces, for their ini­tial meet­ings. Church Street So­cial wants to be a space which draws a co-work­ing at­mos­phere and works as a hang­out zone as well,” says Ayaz Bas­rai, De­sign Head, The Bus­ride Stu­dio of Smoke House Deli fame.

To give an aura of an old space, the colour pal­ette and the el­e­ments used were quite neu­tral; but were given a quirky twist. The en­try into Church Street So­cial is an all blank fa­cade with the name carved out of a rusted metal sheet. Once you are in­side, the whole space is bar­rier-less. Ac­tiv­i­ties on all ta­bles are open to pub­lic view and that was the whole idea. Also, along with be­ing a ‘hap­pen­ing’ place, the serv­ings at Church Street So­cial are quite a vis­ual treat too. It could be the cock­tails in a bag or the stacked up sand­wiches; they do grab your at­ten­tion. The na­ture of the space also gives the op­tion to ob­serve other or­ders and fol­low suit. Fur­ther, ex­tend­ing the so­cial con­cept, the cen­ter ta­ble is a huge piece de­signed to be a com­mu­nity ta­ble. It con­tra­dicts the idea of pri­vacy which is very generic to restaurants. Dif­fer­ent groups of people sit on the same ta­ble thus ex­plor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of start­ing new con­ver­sa­tions. The idea is to help you leave with more friends than when you came in! “We had to re­search on how so­cial in­ter­ac­tions hap­pen on­line. There are var­i­ous plat­forms which pro­vide for such in­ter­ac­tions. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion pat­terns were stud­ied and brain­storm­ing fol­lowed as to how they could be cre­ated in the real world. Church Street So­cial is what you see as a con­clu­sion,”

says Ayaz Bas­rai.

From the minute you en­ter Church Street So­cial, it is a clean line of vi­sion and a chunk of slab from the 2-storeyed space has been re­moved to ac­com­mo­date the stair­case, which has also been strate­gi­cally lo­cated to of­fer a full un­hin­dered view of the space even dur­ing move­ments. The stair­case con­structed form crate wood also works as a shelv­ing unit and in­cor­po­rates the pos­si­bil­ity of host­ing Church Street So­cial mer­chan­dise which may be in­tro­duced at a later stage. The so­cial idea is re­flected in ev­ery as­pect of the de­sign. The ma­te­rial tem­plate at the restopub is made up of sim­ple in­gre­di­ents which con­trib­ute to a raw look. Crate wood, metal, ex­posed brick walls and ex­posed con­crete col­umns give the de­sired feel to the space. The dis­tressed look that the ma­te­ri­als ren­der to the place give a stripped down vibe. When the space ex­udes the vibe of ‘been there for long’, it leads to in­stant com­fort and greater flu­id­ity of mul­ti­ple in­ter­ac­tions. This seems to be at the core of the de­sign ap­proach. The zon­ing has been thought­fully laid out. On both the floors, nearly equal space has been al­lot­ted to the smok­ing and non-smok­ing sec­tions. This ob­vi­ously stemmed from the group in­ter­ac­tion con­cept the place is rooted in. Also, the com­mu­nity ta­ble idea ex­tends to the smok­ing zone as well. Be­sides, the bar lo­cated on both floors at the rear end of the space has space around it for live per­for­mances and gigs. An im­por­tant as­pect of the space are the graph­ics and graf­fiti, cre­ated by artist Han­ish Kureshi. They com­mu­ni­cate the con­cept in ways eas­ily un­der­stood by the on­line gen­er­a­tion. They put the stamp on the brand essence. His role is in fact a very im­por­tant one in cu­rat­ing the ‘So­cial’ con­cept from scratch to com­ple­tion. His graph­ics beau­ti­fully bal­ance the sub­tle and the ob­vi­ous in a way that to­tally merges with the brand phi­los­o­phy. They add to the in­te­rior state­ment, but do not take away from the ‘cool­ness’ of the space.

Speak­ing on the ex­pan­sion plans of So­cial,

Ayaz Bas­rai says, “So­cial plans to open soon in Mum­bai and Delhi. We have ideas to use on­line so­lu­tions to con­nect So­cial out­lets. One of them would be to project real time video feed be­tween two out­lets. This could work to have half a ta­ble in Ban­ga­lore and the other half in Delhi. Such a con­cept would help clos­ing on the gap be­tween in­tercity work meet­ings.” Talk about con­nect­ing in a vir­tu­ally real world!

In­te­rior De­signer Ayaz Bas­rai, The Bus­ride Stu­dio

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