Ahmedabad, Gujarat 2014 – 2015
Amazo Bistro is an all day café and restaurant on the edge of Ahmedabad. The restaurant space occupies the corner ground floor of a building, with an adjacent area for outdoor seating. The building sits on the north side of a busy road that connects SG Highway to SP Ring Road, two major thoroughfares in the city. While the adjacent seating area could be a fantastic addition to the restaurant, and a great opportunity to bring the ambience outside, its drawbacks were that it perches on the edge of a busy road, and it is soaked in sun all afternoon. For us the challenge was to create an enclosure structure that extended the character of the interior space outside, but which also protected the exterior from noise and sun, all while feeling open and engaging.
For this we came up with a custom made vertical garden, formed from interlocked bent pipe mild steel frames, and anchored with a floating foundation of exposed concrete planters. The system had to be simple to construct and simpler to maintain, with robust plants to withstand the southwest sun. Each vertical frame stands on its own feet, weighted by its concrete planter. Neighbouring frames are interlocked with smaller, alternating mild steel pipes. These were welded together on site and tilted up into place. Then the concrete planters were placed inside and filled. The same interlocking pipes support a mild steel rod basket for ceramic pots which each hold a combination of upward growing and hanging plants that climb out of their perch to eventually camouflage the frame that supports them. The pots step back as they rise, pushing the overall centre of gravity toward the centre of the planter, and helping to stabilize the structure, even in high winds. A drip irrigation system runs along each pot, irrigating the plants while at the same time turning the whole screen into a wet, porous mesh whose evaporation cools the hot prevailing south-westerly winds that pass through it.
The planted frame both shades and buffers the outdoor space from sun and road, but this containment also draws the space into conversation with the restaurant inside. The language of the garden is reiterated in the stripped down, open interior, split with lightly framed shelving units that form intimate dining areas connected through a blur of lightweight wood, jars and glasses.