Team Chromed has recently conceptualised El Chico, a 60-year-old eatery in Allahabad. Dating back to 1957, as a household tradition for the El Chico family, the restaurant design was designated to us with the confidence of retaining its heritage. The eatery began as a coffee shop before evolving into a multi-functional restaurant. Combining the brand's authenticity with the current trends was a challenge for the design team, which was accomplished by preserving a few of Allahabad's documentation by displaying it throughout the staircase, including crockery, coffee mugs, scripts, and kitty party invites. All of the artwork was from the city. Keeping the sustainability factor prominent, the material used was also sourced locally, resulting in a modern twist in terms of patterns and style. Hence, the glory of the El Chico brand name was kept intact by adhering to the heritage of the structure through regional influences translated into a contemporary design language. The idea behind restoring the space was to give it a modern look and feel while maintaining its heritage spirit.
Meandering through the interiors of the project, the ground floor of this eatery constitutes a bakery and a sweet shop with a pastel colour motif. Coming to the first floor, it houses a vegetarian restaurant with a modern industrial motif adorned with sustainable elements and a myriad of hues. The colour scheme exhibited is grey being the primary colour, yellow as the complementary pop, and green added through greenery to reinforce that pop of brightness. The island seating is the focal facet, with a central planter surrounded by CNC cut jali and a radial pattern of yellow. The counter elevation is the planter in the middle of the seating area. To keep the overall narrative of the space flowing, a central installation of a water body forming a tree-like structure is added to the double-height room that forms to be a conservatory on the terrace area. The fine dining establishment required more permeable sunlight to pass through so that the shading and lighting of the interiors were more dynamic, which is achieved by strategically placing the angles. This overall colour scheme here is teal, with hints of vibrant colours in the decor, such as tan in the furniture and crimson & deep red in the drapes and sofas to make a style statement.
Following the essential aspects aids in the creation of a competent and sustainable future environment, resulting in the establishment of a city. The structural design, flooring design, and colour palette of the project have all been executed in a zestful manner to contribute to the contextual references of the city’s cultural influences. Chromed Design Studio’s aim is always to prioritise conceptual design, which here included a concoction of vibrancy reflected through hues, shades, and colours, weaving a unique portrayal of history, heritage, and legacy.
Name of the project: El Chico
Completion: December 2021
Square Footage: Plot Area - 3800 sqft : 4 floor each of 3800 sqft
Photo Credits: Vaibhav Bhatia
Ar. Abhigyan Neogi Principal Architect & Founder at Chromed Design Studio