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Kiki – by the sea is a ravishing beach side restaurant | Sangrah

“One’s rendezvous with Kiki – By The Sea bears a likeness to a cinematic montage. Situated along the banks of River Chapora, which sits inland from Siolim, the venue witnesses the river’s union with the mighty Arabian along the west. A bird’s-eye view reveals the site’s vast, 155-feet-long riverfront footprint that makes it an amorphous part of its landscape,” Shreeya illustrates. 

Kiki – by the sea is a ravishing beach side restaurant | Sangrah

Flanking the entrance, a lofty pair of bamboo mashaals (fire torches) keep vigil, radiating grandeur as they scale over 14 feet in stature. “The brightly-lit mashaals at twilight shine bright against the star-strewn, clear skies of Goa!,” says Shreeya.  

Tucked amid thickets of entwined palms on one side and the river stretching wide on the other, the resto-bar is steeped in the balmy village’s ease while creating a milieu which plays host to dreamy sundowners!

Founded by the sibling duo Harshit Tibrewal and Akriti Bajaj, Kiki – By The Sea is their second entrepreneurial venture along the Konkan coast. “The brief focused greatly on channelling a magical ambience, a space where patrons could savour the venue’s sheer proximity to the water. We deciphered that understated grandeur, a seamless blueprint, and nature-led inspiration would headline the design process. Be it dreamy luncheons, intimate dinners, or electrifying gatherings, we wanted the space to echo a sentiment of luxury that felt like an extension of the context,” she observes. 

The venue shares a porous relationship with the streetscape. Lacklustre, opaque walls have been bartered for old-school wood fences that hold a central, keyhole-shaped entrance into the premises. “The idea was to synthesise a shift in ambience as soon as one steps through, making the entrance a whimsical portal inspired by Alice in Wonderland and other fantasy literature,” she highlights. 

Stepping into the restaurant’s embrace, one witnesses a carpet of speckled terrazzo unfold. These large pavers are alive underfoot with a tactile sensation which summons memories of cherished childhood summers spent outdoors.

“With the site and its bounty of nature as its inheritance, I conceived the bar as an immersive node versus a mere front. The structure is akin to a tree, with its canopy dynamically extending to create a dramatic silhouette. In my mind, it is an installation and is breathed to life, especially at sundown as the backlit bar niches and suspended globes are illuminated,” elaborates Singh. The underside of the bar’s canopy is sheathed in a mottled, antique mirror, which ushers in a visual patina to contrast the contemporary grammar of the venue.

Draping the atmosphere, the slatted bamboo and wood sunshades overlap and cascade to create a ceiling structure over the layout’s heart. The intricately designed ceiling simulates the playful fluidity of the waters it peers into. The monumental spread of the roof is a focal element that draws one’s attention spontaneously. At daytime, the construction of these shades invites filtered strobes of daylight, creating morphing imprints on the terrazzo floors as the sun maps its journey across the sky’s infinitude. At dusk, the edges of these circular members are aglow, exuding soft illumination which lends the environment an enigmatic quality. Intrinsically, the structure bears a chameleonic character, granting the premises a dichotomy of ambiences. 

“The inception of the bamboo ceilings was serendipitous! A little weary after ideating a barrage of structural options, I started to doodle circular shapes on the print of a floor plan. And there it was, my moment of revelation! A brigade of local craftsmen brought their expertise to the forefront and gave our vision a physical form,” Shreeya beams!

Kiki’s floor plan has been deftly crafted to leverage the expanse of its longitudinal site, allowing areas to uninterruptedly blend. The rise and fall in levels across the zones have also been expressed in gently curved forms, paying homage to the waves that lend the waters a sentient quality. 

Tracing its inspiration to the timelessness of Mid-Century influences, the furniture (crafted by Go for Green and Karrara Mujassme) draws visual cues from the rich repository of nature. Bright blues, ochre yellow, generous accents of white, and botanical-inspired prints make an unmissable debut through the restaurant, paired with raw wood and bamboo to create a bevvy of seating configurations. 

The deck is sequestered to one edge of the site, concocted as a minimalist cabana that stares into dream-like vistas. Its lush green wall rises to meet the latticed bamboo ceiling, the latter sieves daylight into kaleidoscopic shadows over the area where guests relish their soirées. “The wood floors of the deck are a departure from the green and white terrazzo which washes over the blueprint. It creates a visual sense of transition and has an interesting story of descent,” avers Singh. The studio salvaged the wood from a decrepit boat that had lived out its nautical adventures. The result is naturally seasoned and swoon-worthy wood that adds character to the deck while bearing a nostalgic link to the waters.

“I feel that the venue far transcends what we had translated on paper. It delivers the aspirations my clients harboured despite the challenges that faced us at many junctures! All I am taking away from this endeavour is deep gratitude and joy, handing the space rightfully over to its patrons to make it their own,” concludes Singh jubilantly. 

FACT FILE

Firm Name : Sangrah

Project Name, Location – Kiki – By The Sea, Goa 

Typology and Square Footage – Hospitality, 13,000 Square Feet

Year of Completion – 2023

Principal Designer – Shreeya Singh

Text Credit – Lavanya Chopra

Photography Credit – MagicWeavers Studio

Firm’s Instagram Link: Sangrah

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