India-based architectural firm, Renesa Architecture Design Interiors‘ has created a pinker than pink space, The Pink Zebra, an F&B concept by The Feast India Company in the old colonial Indian city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Photographer – Saurabh Suryan / Lokesh Dang
For anyone who's ever wished they could visit the fictional places in American filmmaker Wes Anderson's singular worlds – the lobby lounge of The Grand Budapest Hotel, the vibrant coaches of The Darjeeling Limited – a meal at Kanpur's The Pink Zebra could satisfy that urge. Feast India Co.'s latest eatery, located in the Uttar Pradesh city's Swaroop neighbourhood, evokes Anderson's "fearful quirkiness", of which owners Sagar and Jaivardhan Bhatia are fans, while tapping into Kanpur's (formerly Cawnpore) industrial Raj history and its past importance to the British India Corporation.
Designed by New Delhi-based Renesa Architecture Design Interiors Studio, the lounge, bar, dining area and terrace spanning 4,000sqf (370sqm) is a bold, bizarre, bubble-gum pink spatial extravaganza that borrows Anderson's taste for symmetry and restricted colour palettes. Renesa melded spatial meticulousness with often contrasting colonial and art nouveau elements – arches, mouldings, stylised organic forms – to connect the new restaurant to its diverse surroundings. In re-purposing the two-storey building (one of the city's oldest), lead architect Sanchit Arora sought to create a hybrid of old and new in a "complex and contradictory architecture".
The love for extreme symmetry and restricted colour palettes can often give the expression of a surreal , self contained world but adding that certain bizarre element to break that monotony of Wes’s spatial ideology came through the black and white zebra lines dipping themselves in the pink monotone set in the British Raj’s colonial order.
Opting for challenging geometries instead of clean lines, shocking colour contrasts and flirtations with surrealism, The Pink Zebra's black-and-white stripes spread out in all directions, simultaneously adhering to and jettisoning any sense of symmetry.
Ceiling slats, shaded in pink, allow for natural light that adds an extra note of drama to interior spaces. Classical opulence and contemporary sleek furnishings sit side-by-side, with inlaid lighting, wall detailing, modern art accents and retro accessories completing the cinematic, and brazenly pink, aesthetic.