“How about we dip a zebra into a deep pink sea?”
This was the question that would eventually inspire the design behind India’s most colorful eatery: The Pink Zebra. Situated amidst a bustling landscape of old colonial buildings in the city of Kanpur, the two-story structure which now houses Feast India Co.’s newest restaurant and bar, is an architectural marvel in its own right. However, once dipped in the most electrifying shade of pink and carefully wrapped in graphic black and white stripes by the creatives at RENESA Architecture Design Studio, the space took on a life that was altogether new.
“The play of light, color, and lines is a simple ideology on paper, but, in reality, it has so much potential,” Sanjay Arora, founder and principal architect at RENESA, tells Domino. “The site provides a fascinating experience of cultivating the idea of the renaissance of the old British era and the new age Kanpur through a very bold, yet cheeky and intense narrative.”
Spanning two equally psychedelic floors, the 4,000-square-foot restaurant—which Arora and his team completed earlier this month—boasts a fine dining area on the main level and an outdoor terrace and second bar upstairs.
If The Pink Zebra looks unusually familiar and slightly cinematic, that’s because it is. The king of on-screen whimsy and daydream destinations himself, film director Wes Anderson, served as the restaurant's primary muse. “The idea to add funk to the pink monotone color was basically to establish a connection between the old British Raj city of Kanpur and the quirkiness of Mr. Anderson,” explains Arora.
To say The Pink Zebra is Instagram gold would be a total understatement.
On the main level, the restaurant’s retro concierge desk, deco-esque lighting, and gilded bar are clearly inspired by one of Anderson’s most celebrated films, The Grand Budapest Hotel. The director’s distinctive use of symmetry and fabulously color-charged sets inform just about every fanciful moment found in The Pink Zebra—from the candy-colored walls to the blissfully trippy stairwell that leads to the terrace, one of Arora’s favorite visual moments.
Thanks to the partial coverage from tilted slats, any snippet of natural sunlight is immediately manipulated to mimic the striking stripes that grace the floors, walls, and light fixtures. Promising an unparalleled al fresco drinking experience (and, possibly, a dizzying affect), the aesthetic-driven space was designed with the senses in mind.
“We wanted to overcome the boredom and monotony of a simple restaurant and bar experience and give the viewer the insight to imagine the unimaginable through its design,” suggests the New Delhi-based designer.
Aside from the restaurant’s architectural charm, The Pink Zebra’s natural splendor can, without a doubt, be accredited to that alluring shade of pink. With so many pinks to pick from, Arora and his team could have easily gone with a rosy, blush shade or possibly a hotter, neon iteration of the much-loved color. However, this light pink dream (RAL 3015) strikes the perfect balance when paired with geometry's most basic pattern.