Out of Africa
Koregaon Park’s arterial North Main Road, busy and important as it is to the city’s shopping and entertainment scene, has borne a rather cluttered facade with it’s haphazardly placed eateries, clothing stores and buildings. We had been looking for an opportunity to challenge the status quo, and a perfect one came in the form of a brief from The O Hotel last year. Asked to design a compound wall to complement their new entrance, we decided to challenge the brief.
The O’s interiors were designed by celebrated South African designer Les Harbottle, whose roots are reflected in the animal printed upholstery, handicraft artefacts in the suites and wall textures.
We therefore streamlined our design thought process to create something in tune with the overall vibe of the hotel. While in the process of referencing concepts, a meeting at our clients drew us to a wire framed elephant in papier-mâché at their office, an earlier study of a room artefact. Taking it along to our studio, and adding a rhino for an element of interest, we conceptualised a landscaped habitat at a corner with the animals in life size to provide visual relief to the staid walled entrance.
Taking shape over months in our workshop, we fabricated our animals in metal and lined their framework uniformly with LEDs so that they could glow at night time. High grade fibreglass replaced the paper-mâché of it's conceptual ancestor, equipping them to weather all seasons - sun, rain and storm.
The saluting elephant and grazing rhino in tall grass and oversized palms now grace North Main Road in all their splendour, and are a new Pune landmark.
What are your thoughts on our new installation ?