Let’s Link at Zync
Text: Brinda Gill Photographs: Courtesy, Mayuri Bhopatkar Bhakay
The ‘y’ of Zync, playfully shaped like a martini glass with a bent straw, suggests the presence of a lounge. The bar and dining section are subtly demarcated from each other yet form one free-flowing space. Yellow rope lights streak across the ceiling, adding a touch of sparkle to the soft glow of recessed lighting
Stylish and Vibrant: Zync, the new discocum- restaurant in Pune, designed by Mayuri Bhopatkar Bhakay
A black board, affixed on a silver-grey sheet, with the word Zync catches the eye at the busy traffic signal near Wadia College, Pune. The ‘y’ of Zync, playfully shaped like a martini glass with a bent straw, suggests the presence of a lounge. The exteriors are simple and selfeffacing, and seem to block off interface with the traffic and crowds. Walking into the building lobby and up the steps to Zync, its wooden doors – with large handles placed asymmetrically – invite one to step into a space that is simple yet spirited.
Zync has recently taken the place of Five elements, a popular restaurant, and xion, a trendy club, as the owner dheeraj keswani wanted to merge both the adjoining spaces and transform them into a stylish discotheque-cum-restaurant. The new resto-bar spreads across 3,500 square feet including the kitchen and service areas.
The brief interior designer Mayuri Bhopatkar Bhakay received was to make it a vibrant space, which would appeal to the youth of Pune while keeping costs to a minimum. ‘i have tried to match the ideology of the place in the design with a combination of natural materials and colours,’ says Mayuri who completed her interior design training from the Fashion institute of Technology, new York in 2001.
The area is divided into two sections: one is the 1,200-square foot dining area and the other the dance floor. Mayuri transformed the look of the dining space and initiated a few changes in the dance area. and even though she was working on a budget, Mayuri realized that she needed to create a sense of space and keep the seating spaces flexible so that on crowded evenings the seating in the dining area could be adjusted to accommodate more guests.
To create the sense of space, the wall between the dining area and disco was demolished and replaced by a glass wall with a sliding entrance door. This instantly ushered in a sense of openness and guests in either area could see the other space even as each retained its distinct functionality. To enhance the spacious feel, Mayuri designed the seating along the walls, so that the centre, which was also stamped by a solid pillar, could remain open and allow easy movement for guests to and from the disco. one of the walls was fitted with large mirrors to reflect space and light.
In the restaurant section along the wall opposite the disco, Mayuri created the main focus area of shelves to display bottles at one end with a service counter in front of it, and seating along the rest of the area. To highlight the space, she designed a flowing wooden counter at the bar area, surfaced with dark brown wenge veneer, that extends along the wall, across the ceiling, down the far wall and then runs along the floor before turning vertically into a short partition. The last section snugly accommodates a single table with seating. Mayuri prefers using wenge veneer, saying, ‘one can play with its dark brown in combination with white. it’s great for highlighting form and gives space a distinct character.’ The bar section is shielded from the seating space by a partition that offers diners privacy.
The floor was surfaced with granamite, a type of vitrified tile with a soft satin look that allows the light to reflect off it. The walls were painted white to create a sense of space; the column was also painted white to minimize its impact. of this space Mayuri says, ‘The walls, floor and furniture seem to flow into each other without visible breaks or separating elements. The waveform of the bar counter flows into the lounge area and continues ahead to form walls and ceilings. The absence of straight angles and dominance of pure white creates an atmosphere of being wrapped in a comfortable, but stylish cocoon.’
The lighting system, a selection of recessed and rope lights, blends into the design. The recessed lights in the ceiling, under the counter, near the shelves and seating offer subdued yet adequate lighting. The yellow rope lights on the other hand add a touch of sparkle as they streak across the ceiling. Most of the upholstery is in simple colours of blue-green and a camel hue. one sofa along the wall was upholstered in fabric simulating a peacock’s train for which Mayuri procured a blue-green fabric and had solid gold circles machine embroidered on it.
The section with the dance floor has been designed to give it a dash of verve and blend the elements of both sections of the resto-bar. The area had a raised dance floor with modern low seating in small glassfronted cubicles as well as seating at a space above, accessed by steps, that overlooks the dance floor. The dJ’s console with led lights was at the height of the seating on the higher level and could be accessed by a narrow passage.
Mayuri did away with the raised dance floor to extend floor space; the entire section is at one level with the dance area marked by wooden flooring. The ceiling was painted dark blue so that the music-sensitive lights can stand out better. The dJ’s console was brought in front so that it can no longer be blocked by guests who would often stand right in front of the dJ. Mayuri also added rope lights for lighting and effect, while being careful to ensure, as is her philosophy, that there are not too many colours or patterns so that ‘people can enjoy themselves and not get confused by too many design elements’.
The minimalist design efforts seem to have paid off for dheeraj says Zync has become very popular in Pune and quips, ‘on saturday evenings if you open the door of Zync someone falls out!’
The dominance of pure white, accented with glowing colour and interesting lighting, creates an atmosphere of being wrapped in a comfortable but stylish cocoon.