The interiors of Sotally Tober live up to its name with gravity-defying chairs, driftwood lights, mirrors on easels and splash painted walls.
Three young partners - Niveditha D, Karthik Shankarna and Prarthana Prathap wanted to bring to Koramangala in Bengaluru, a neighbourhood pub that you could walk right into from home, or make an impromptu plan for when walking past. With a name like Sotally Tober (SoTo), you can expect everything about the space to be whimsical and eclectic. “While the industrial look was something that appealed to them, they wanted something that would make people feel like the name of the restaurant,” says Farah Ahmed Mathias of FADD Studio, the designers of the space.
Walk in, leave it all behind
Sotally Tober is set up in what used to be an old residential bungalow which lived one avatar as an office space. The exteriors have a ribbed cement wall that wraps around the outside. Sherra boards were sanded, cut into strips and placed on this wall. All metal fixtures on the outside were treated to enh
ance rusting. The metal was then sanded and coated with water-based poly-urethane.
The façade with its gravity defying chairs will make anyone, inebriated or not, stop in their tracks and then walk right in for more of this happy high. Prarthana explains that the foyer introduces the space to follow a wooden table set with large glass jars that are filled with Holi colours invites guests to come in for some fun. On the walls surrounding this table are mounts that hold collectible manual cameras.
A splash of paint
The designers wanted to try something completely new for the treatment of walls. “The one thing that people do not treat like one unit is the walls, says Farah. We needed movement and expression. So we looked at artists and found inspiration in Jackson Pollack, known for his drip painting.”
Artist Aarti Karwayun came on board to manually splash paint walls at SoTo. Beginning with the first floor and working her way down, Aarti spent a good week splashing walls with paints that corresponded to the colour palette of the restaurant’s furniture. All through a shade of grey on the walls have been maintained as a background. “The splashes may seem random, but it was quite structured and was done directly on the walls, with no post-treatment”, says Prarthana.
Farah explains the result as being audaciously delicate. “Within this shell, we added simple chair and table clusters in colours chosen to enhance the blues of the walls. Black, vermillion, raspberry and blue were the dining colour blocks. We finished the space with custom-made lights, which were mostly elements from the kitchen and these added the ‘eclectic-ness’ to the space”.
Sotally Tober’s lighting elements stitch the interiors together. The designers at FADD Studio worked along with lighting experts The Purple Turtles to create lighting fixtures that will be the centre of every conversation for a while.
Elaborating on the lighting work, Radeesh Shetty, Founder, The Purple Turtles says, “Most of the lighting requirement came directly from the architect in form of references and sketches. The idea was to develop a look that was quirky and out of the box. Keeping in mind the high volume of traffic in the space we had to ensure the fixtures were easy to maintain and did not pose a risk to any customer. The clients wanted the fixtures to look good when turned off or down as well”.
He explains that there was a lot of scouting around for each of these elements and sources across India were activated. The drift wood was the toughest as there was a limitation in terms of the ceiling height.
The company sourced wooden pieces and then worked on ensuring the wires were put inside the fixture to make the light bulbs seem like they were growing out of the fixture.
Seating in SoTo
Seating in SoTo is varied. Downstairs, past the foyer you have a comfortable cubicle for a group and an open floor space with tables and chair clusters. This leads to the smoking area, which though enclosed, gives the feel of an outdoor space thanks to its toughened glass ceiling. Bringing a bit of the interiors outside, this space has metal oil drums that have been treated, splash painted and placed.
Metal stairs with treads lead the way up. The upstairs opens up with a large bar area and long community tables down the centre, and regular table-chair-sofa clusters all around. Another seating space is placed on a lower level, on what used to be the car park slab.
Sotally Tober, with its soft colour splashes, eclectic lighting matrix and completely whimsical feel, assures that every guest will actually feel and experience the name to the hilt.
Text: Ruth Dsouza Prabhu
photos: Mannan Upadhyay & Shamanth Patil
FADD Studio, Office #102 & 204, Sophias Choice, No.7, St.Marks Road, Bengaluru 560 001.
Tel: 080-2222 3661.
Meet the designers
Farah Ahmed Mathias & Dhaval Shellugar
Firm: FADD Studio – Farah and Dhaval Design founded in 2012.
Firm specialisation: Interior design.
Design philosophy: To be unique and to try and achieve something new in each project.