Seeing Green: emerald granite interior for Punjab bistro

Situated on what was once dilapidated farmland, Elgin Cafe in Punjab, India is an emerald-green bistro by day and a restaurant and wine bar by night.

Architecture and interior design practice Studio Renesa has used green granite to evoke the feeling of alfresco dining.


Its maximalist interior was informed by the “feel of the outdoors” and the celebrated emerald green granite found in Udaipur.

“We focused on the use of indigenous materials and this was an opportunity to use the evergreen Udaipur green granite,” head architect Sanchit Arora explained.

The studio used the granite on the wall panelling as well as on the tabletops. Gold furnishings in the bathroom and tan leather seats contrast the otherwise intense dark green colour.

Other features that contribute to the outdoor atmosphere include wicker chairs and an abundance of plants outside the windows.

The space is divided into three sections to cater to the demands of the restauranteur, who required space for three types of dining.

Upon entering Elgin Cafe, customers are welcomed into the cafe area which the designers created to have a “day dining aesthetic”. This space then transitions into a bar in the evening with a la carte dining.

Great importance was placed on ensuring a seamless transition between the day and night experience.

“The idea was to balance the cafe vibe in the morning to a high tea by the late noon to a drinking bar vibe in the evening,” said Arora.

“The studio felt that the maximalist approach of monolithic colour blocking would provide the subtlety of an easy-breezy space in the morning to an understated luxurious brunch space and a classic dark pour-bar in the evening,” he continued.

Folding shutters and sliding doors separate the cafe from the private dining room, which opens out onto a green garden with a pool.

A small entrance leads to the winery. Here, wine bottles are integrated into shelving alongside a long bar clad in green stone. High stools surround the high table, providing diners with a place to try out the wines.

According to the designers, the prominent green colour choice “binds all of the spaces together” at the Elgin Cafe, creating a sense of cohesion.

“The most important aspect about having a cafe-cum-restaurant is the change of the light and time patterns with the space remaining as a constant element,” said Arora.

“The clear thought of merging day and night had to be enforced with a heavy element and the colour does the job well,” he added.

Images by Niveditaa Gupta via Dezeen

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