Gurgaon’s latest watering hole, Prankster pub and restaurant, is a trip back in time.
Touted as Gurgaon’s largest restaurant, Prankster definitely has bowled over its clients with its impressive interiors and campus theme. The owners of the resto-bar, Inderjeet Singh Banga and Jasmeet Singh Banga hired Chromed Design Studio to envision a youth-friendly space. “The design brief given by the client was to convert an open flat of a whopping 10,000 square feet into an F&B space which gives the visitor an experience of a lifetime, keeping the theme – food centric with a full-fledged brewery, while attracting the young working population in the heart of Gurgaon. So the idea we went with was to make a masquerade of a university campus and take the guest on a nostalgic spree,” explains Abhigyan Neogi, Architect and Owner, Chromed Design Studio.
Having started out at an early age, Abhigyan Neogi was involved in the interior space with a few advertising projects before he graduated from TVB School of Habitat Studies, New Delhi in 2008. He began Chromed Design Studio in 2010 by designing a large-scale F&B project ‘Hive’ in Gurgaon and a farmhouse in New Delhi. Chromed Design Studio has successfully completed many popular projects including the Cyber Hub Social in Gurgaon, Capsule at Hauz Khas Village, Prankster in Gurgaon and a residential project in the UK. Neogi has also been acknowledged with a Young Designer Award, India
in 2010; Estrade Award, Singapore for Best Commercial Interiors in 2016; Runner up for Retail Interiors by FOAID India in 2016 and a Commendation at the Saint Gobain and Economic Times Award for Best Hospitality Design in 2016. Once he was on board the Prankster pub project, he decided to take inspiration from the name, proposed clientele and the location. “Located in Sector 29, Gurugram (Gurgaon) which is host to many restaurants, pubs, bakeries and cafes, Prankster is certainly up there with the most bizarre name. Tremendous amount of thought has gone into the aesthetics to justify the name. Many themes were discussed like a Charlie’s beer factory (reference to Charlie’s Chocolate Factory) focusing on the Brewery that it is or a built-in casino design. Finally, we narrowed it down to designing a university-like set up which fit perfectly once conceptualised,” explains Neogi
When asked if an architect follows a particular design philosophy for such a project, he explains that he does not limit himself and likes to base his designs on experiences and people. “It is all taste-based architecture with regional context considerations. For me, everyday is a learning experience and my team seeks inspiration from everything around them. For Chromed Design Studio, it is always about people; hence, all the designs are people-centric and are optimised to their needs and henceforth the trend and philosophy is relative.”
For this particular project, the idea was to give people an inviting and fun space to reminisce about the good, old college times. Neogi restructured the space given to him into a campus layout keeping in mind seating areas for food and dining experiences. “The space was divided into pockets replicating a campus design yet not killing the barrier-free and expansive floor plan as well as the bar at the heart of it, which could be easily accessed from all corners. Designed with the intention of replicating an actual university campus, Prankster consists of a library with whimsical book installations, a mixology lab with actual laboratory equipment, a hostel room with bunker beds and ghostly pyjama lights, a classroom with Einstein waiting on the wall, a bar replicating a locker room, along with an amphitheatre with stepped seating, and a canteen and Chinese van to order your favourites. There is also a parking lot with a Jeep and Lambretta scooters as seating.”
ADDING A DASH OF QUIRK
MGM Design Studio was hired for all the light installations to create the quirky look, “The innovative lighting installations were all customised adding a young look be it the retro camera lamp, black and white graphic wall lights, blow-horn metal pendant lights, ghostly pyjama hostel lights or the books lighting installation. Thought-provoking graphics were done by basicshit.org who did designs like the ones shouting “blow me” outside the principal’s office or the washroom wall graphics with an unconventional pee-ology water saving process. All this combined helped elevate the overall quirkiness of the project,” says Neogi.
When asked if the architect has any pointers for planning a home space, he laid emphasis on inviting positive influences in. “As an architect, I feel that we have a social and cultural responsibility to create designs that uplift the human spirit in addition to the function they serve and the end users have the responsibility to maintain it. We create physical environments but it is the end user who subtly infuses positivity and relevance, which improves quality of life. These collectively make a space meaningful and fascinating beyond its physical manifestation. Special attention should be given to location, space, budget and comfort of the end user
Spatial character, efficient planning, material maintenance, functional quality as well as aesthetic enhancement together make a good design.” Nostalgia is a powerful emotion that has been tapped into throughout the Prankster pub. Many of us think of the best years of our lives as the ones spent in college and when you find that after-work spot which helps you unwind in a familiar campus-like environment, the place is a really a keeper. Convinced to take the trip down memory lane yet?