Secret Garden by Alkove-Design
A restaurant inspired by a children's book of hidden gardens, flowers, mystery and magic.
Gardens are a formative part of any designer’s imagination, and Secret Garden was another dream project in Alkove’s recent streak of theme-based interiors. The ‘garden’ brief is not unusual in any designer’s repertoire, but the ‘secret’ part of it was what piqued our instincts.
The inspiration behind the interiors of the Secret Garden came from the children’s book of the same name, in which a hidden garden full of wild flowers and mystery gave two children an abiding love for nature and magic. "We wanted this space to have the same quality of joy and wonder, that would reconnect every visitor with the child inside them. Every element of the interior was designed to cultivate a dreamlike mystery." says Akove-Design.
Bamboo and cane have been essential for this project, the intent was to create this space with sustainable and locally-sourced materials. The bamboo floor lamps which light the pathways have been made by local artisans. Apart from those, the designers have also used 'Tokri' ceiling lamps and suspended bamboo wind chime-planters.
The green turf and golden letters one can observe just upon entering were created around the imagery of morning sunlight on fresh green grass. The outdoor area and lounge have been laid with terrazzo flooring, with green marble pathways running across the space.
The outdoor area is furnished with cozy two-person tables, each with its own bespoke mounted beer and snack holder, and cozy turquoise sofas with a backdrop of indigenous Plumeria bushes festooned with chilly lights to resemble fireflies.
The lounge area has four huts made of woven and patterned choir rope, within which there are restored log tables and tufted turquoise sofas making for an intimate seating arrangement. This space is separated from the bar interior with the locally made suspended bamboo wind-chime planters, which make a soft rustling sound when the breeze blows through them.
The bar space comes with turf-and-gold details, 'Tokri' lights and woven bamboo lamps, and controlled-suspension pinewood swings. These swings are attached to the floor with rope detailing, which allows for a light swaying without taking up the space for a full swinging arc. The windows behind the bar are filled with up cycled shovel-themed planters, and one of the walls has small vintage garden tools mounted on it.
The three separate spaces are harmonious and distinct at the same time. The Secret Garden is meant to be a seamless transition to natural spaces in the midst of a city, with locally sourced materials and a certain wildness. It is designed to make for a cozy, mysterious secret spot, giving visitors the joy of unexpectedly stumbling across a little space of their own.
The Secret Garden is Alkove’s attempt at making an environmentally responsive and artistic space that fully engages with everyone who walks into it. Most of all, it is a reflection of Alkove’s desire to revive the love of sustainable gardening and the significance of gardens in our lives. In a world where green spaces are more and more dispensable, the inexplicable mystery and magic of gardens is no longer felt on a daily basis. Gardens are the best example of mankind and nature working in harmony to create living, breathing spaces full of beauty and harmony.
Alkove’s intention is to bring back this feeling, such that every visitor feels about the Secret Garden the way Marie Church expressed in her seminal poem, ‘My Garden is My Sanctuary’:
“As I look out to my garden,
I feel a sense of pride.
It really is a lovely room,
Except it is outside.”
Project: Secret Garden
Location: Pune, Maharashtra
Design House: Alkove Desig
Team: Ar.Ninada Kashyap, Ar.Komal Mittal and Ketaki Abhyankar
Furniture: Kernig Krafts, Jodhpur
Bamboo Work: Sagar pawar
Content: Rashmi Dharia
Photography: Ishita Sitwala