CAFE LOTA & MUSEUM SHOP AT THE NATIONAL CRAFTS MUSEUM (NCM), NEW DELHI The museum cafe and courtyard of the National Crafts museum were in a poor state of disrepair and needed design interventions to revive the area, for which we were brought on board. The overall idea concept in the renovation was to retain the use of humble material in building the framework and functional aspects and using craft to elevate the spirit of the spaces. For the Museum Shop, building openings have been reconfigured to naturally connect it to the landscape around, making the shop much more visible and create a sense of lightness by bringing in daylight from the old internal courts. The high volume of the building and elements such as the old timber rafters have been restored and revealed by removing the false ceilings and restoring construction details.
The walls serve as a canvas for either storytelling through craft or for merchandise. Café Lota is a natural extension of the Museum shop and is set in the negative space created by the boundary wall and the museum shop. A lightweight metal framework inserted into this odd volume ties the space together and creates nooks and portals for people to dine and converse in. Negative spaces are filled with plants to create a light and airy yet shaded enclosure that makes full use of the beautiful trees and painted walls that surround the eatery. A lightweight bamboo trellis of varying density brings dappled light into the space through the day. Both the spaces use a tight palette of local sandstones, local timber such as mango, Mild-steel and sand plastered walls to create a monolithic backdrop for the crafted objects and an earthy setting
that ties all the spaces together. Modular and easy to re-configure MS & Timber display system, that spans tall vertical surfaces in some places effectively holds the varying nature of craft objects and textiles. The Entrance to the premise and the ancillary facility block for the toilets, offices etc were also cleaned up & re-configured. The design approach has been adapted by the Museum team for further development of the other building and overall development of the entire NCM complex. STUDIO LOTUS Lotus is a multidisciplinary design practice whose work seamlessly weaves Interior and Exterior spaces, from large Architectural ideas to the smallest of Furniture details. Lotus works on the principles of Conscious design – an approach that celebrates local resources, cultural influences and a keen sensitivity to the impact on all stakeholders. The firm prides itself on its collaborative work environment, which brings the best out from within the team of 44 talented and highly committed individuals from multiple disciplines, working together in the domain of Interior Design & Spatial Narrative. The firm has won numerous awards Nationally and Globally and its projects have been published in various publications in India & abroad. Some of its accomplishments include World Holiday Building 2011 at WAF Barcelona, DFA Grand Jury Award (Hong Kong) 2012, IIID Design Practice of the year in 2009 & 2011, Awards in Hospitality Design, silver at the Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards, amongst several others.