Cottage Restaurant was designed and built for the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust. It is located in Pondicherry, on the street facing the main canal that once divided the old French quarter and the old Tamil quarter.
The building is a reincarnation of an iconic restaurant – of the same name – that the Ashram has been running since the 1950’s. It caters food (savouries & sweets) primarily for the ashramites, as an alternative to the Ashram Dining Hall. Its seating capacity is approximately 150 customers.
A monolithic exposed concrete wall with a generous opening at its centre defines the entrance. A large steel sliding door, painted navy blue, gives a colourful character to the building when closed. The building uses a limited material palette of exposed concrete elements, black unpolished Cuddapah stone, and white plastered walls. The use of air-conditioning is isolated to the space where the sweets and savouries are displayed. The rest of the building is kept open, making use of natural air ventilation.
Landscaping: Yellow bamboo and stone gardens are the main landscaping devices integrated throughout the building’s three courtyards. The single mature neem tree on the site was consciously protected and became the starting point for the design.
Interior Design:. All tables, chairs and display units were designed in keeping with the project’s overall spirit, the climate and, the comfort of the users in mind. All furniture is locally fabricated.
Client: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust
Site Area: 320 m²
Built Up Area: 600 m²
Team: Mona Doctor-Pingel, Noble George
Interiors: Tushita Gandhi, Mona Doctor-Pingel
Landscape: Mona Doctor-Pingel
Structure: Bhanuprasad Dondeti, Auro Service Consultants
Contractor: Mohan Construction
Photo Credits: Georgio Molinari (Deceased)