AJA

AJA

Architect
Arch.Lab
Location
Sector 11, Chandigarh, India | View Map
Project Year
2019
Category
Restaurants
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

Aja Restaurant

Arch.Lab as Architects

Aja, a food brand ideated in 2014 in Chandigarh, aims to serve globally inspired street food that focuses on healthy conscious consumption. Their vision can be summarized in their brand’s slogan, Fresh, Grilled and Healthy.

photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

While interpreting the brief, the challenge was to create an experience that corresponds with the brand’s global vision while creating a reflection of its place of origin.

photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

The concept for the restaurant therefore, takes cues from the characteristics of the city, either as capturing the openness seen in the landscape, or aligning with the texture of the city. It is interpreted through a specific material palette of concrete, wood and greens in a contemporary experimental form. 

photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

The site is a rectangular block, which is a ground floor of a three story commercial building, offering fenestrations at opposite ends of the shorter length. To make maximum use of the daylight, serving spaces and the live kitchen are placed along the longer side of the space, leaving the shorter sides uninterrupted. 

photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

As one enters the restaurant, the live kitchen on the right satiates the senses with the aroma of spices and the visuals of herbs and vegetables. On the left, the space opens up to the dining area. Here, the city’s greens are imbibed as two dynamic forms of landscaped islands containing a variety of indoor plants, along the central space of the restaurant. They add freshness to the environment and create a sense of enclosure while heightening user experience.

photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

In Chandigarh, concrete became an important material of choice for Le Corbusier and his team, which made it define the image of the city's built environment. Hence, concrete as a material is significantly explored in this project to reinforce the connection between the citizens of the city and the restaurant. The freedom of casting concrete in any form was sensitively explored to achieve the desired impact and finishes. A layer of concrete is casted in situ on the existing walls of the site. These walls along with the micro cement flooring give the space an impression of a monolithic volume.

photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

Wood as a material became part of the palette to add warmth to the overall ambience. Low-lying wooden furniture, unique to the restaurant, augments user experience while making the space look immaculate. Wooden hanging lights are designed and fabricated exclusively for the project. These interact and engage with the green islands like a playful installation flowing throughout the space. Lights above the dining tables are capped with a piece of tinted hand blown glass to add an element of luxury to the space. Even elements such as the door handle have been customized to fit and complement the project.

photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

Therefore, Aja, while deriving inspiration from the elements of its hometown stands as an epitome of a space unique to the city of Chandigarh.Aja, a food brand ideated in 2014 in Chandigarh, aims to serve globally inspired street food that focuses on healthy conscious consumption. Their vision can be summarized in their brand’s slogan, Fresh, Grilled and Healthy.For us, the challenge was to create an experience that corresponds with the brand’s global vision while creating a reflection of its place of origin.

photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

The concept for the restaurant therefore, takes cues from the characteristics of the city, either as capturing the openness seen in the landscape, or as aligning with the texture of the city. Therefore, the spatial character of this restaurant is dominated by a specific material palette of concrete, wood and greens in a contemporary experimental form. 

photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

Team:
Architects: Arch.Lab 
Lead Architects: Harsimran Singh and Mohit Vij 
Design Team: Harsimran Singh, Mohit Vij, Taruni Aggarwal, Jasnam Kaur
Space Illustration designer: Ankita Thakur
Space Illustration Execution: Ankita Thakur, Gunmeet Singh, Sowmya Singh
Art work and concrete tile fabrication: Inspace
Photographer: Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj

Materials used: 
Flooring: Stone - Granite
Wall Cladding: Precast Concrete panels
Lighting Fixtures:Hardwood
Furniture/decor: Stone, Hardwood and metal

photo_credit Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Purnesh Dev Nikhanj
Project Credits
Architects
Product Spec Sheet

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Blanchette Architects revamp an old carpet factory into a vibrant office space
18 Aug 2022 News
Blanchette Architects revamp an old carpet factory into a vibrant office space

A well-known Montreal-based firm, Blanchette Architects renovated an old factory building for an ind... More

Archstudio revitalizes a rural house in Beijing’s suburbs with recycled wooden construction
17 Aug 2022 News
Archstudio revitalizes a rural house in Beijing’s suburbs with recycled wooden construction

Located in a typical Chinese village on the outskirts of Beijing, ‘Mixed house’ designed... More

Park + Ride by HUB is a paradigm for sustainable mobility
17 Aug 2022 News
Park + Ride by HUB is a paradigm for sustainable mobility

Located in the city of Antwerp in Belgium, Park + Ride designed by HUB is a large-scale public parki... More

Monologue Art Museum by Wutopia Lab offers an oasis free from worldly distractions
17 Aug 2022 News
Monologue Art Museum by Wutopia Lab offers an oasis free from worldly distractions

In Qinhuangdao, China, the Monologue Art Museum by Wutopia Lab opened on the park green of SEATOPIA... More

ERRE Arquitectura transforms a disused space into an oasis of well-being
16 Aug 2022 News
ERRE Arquitectura transforms a disused space into an oasis of well-being

Located in the heart of Valencia in Spain, Clinica Alejandria designed by ERRE Arquitectura is a pla... More

Bellgave residence offers a striking contemporary evolution of California mid-century modernism
16 Aug 2022 News
Bellgave residence offers a striking contemporary evolution of California mid-century modernism

Situated in the Hollywood Hills at the edge of a steep promontory, the private residence Bellgave by... More

Australia’s first purpose-built centre for LGBTQI+ communities in Australia offers a diverse range of community services behind a distinctly tubular façade
15 Aug 2022 News
Australia’s first purpose-built centre for LGBTQI+ communities in Australia offers a diverse range of community services behind a distinctly tubular façade

In Melbourne’s beachside suburb of St Kilda, the Victorian Pride Centre is the first purpose-b... More

Visitor Centre for the Bernau Trade Union School celebrates and reveals a celebrated Bauhaus Monument
15 Aug 2022 News
Visitor Centre for the Bernau Trade Union School celebrates and reveals a celebrated Bauhaus Monument

In 2017 the iconic Bauhaus work ‘Bundesschule Bernau,’ built by Bauhaus director Hannes... More