New Delhi-based, multidisciplinary design practice Studio Lotus has transformed a portion of Jaipur’s lavish City Palace Museum into Baradari, a contemporary fine dining restaurant that pays homage to its rich architectural roots. Formerly used as a fairly nondescript palace cafe, the 14,000-square-foot property has been given a sumptuous revamp using traditional craftsmanship and artisanal techniques. The adaptive reuse project is not only a hybrid of centuries-old elements and modern aesthetics, but is also a historic preservation project that included careful restoration efforts.

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new restaurant with restored stone walls and open-air dining space with marbled floors

The royal family of Jaipur commissioned Studio Lotus to redevelop the neglected property into a fine dining destination with a private dining area, bar, lounge space, a quick service counter and back of house facilities to accommodate approximately 200 patrons. The design team began with a lengthy research and restoration phase, during which the walls were stripped of recently added plaster to reveal the original stone masonry. These walls were then restored and repainted using traditional techniques and materials, including cured slaked lime with crushed sandstone and brick.

open-air dining with stone walls, marbled floors and black and white furniture

dining area with stone walls and black and white furnishings

The restaurant is organized around a pavilion-like bar, created in the likeness of a ‘baradari’ (meaning a pavilion with twelve columns), that divides the courtyard into two zones and is built from handcrafted marble and glass. Traditional Jaipur craftsmanship is mixed with modern design throughout the restaurant, from the structural additions to flooring and furniture. The black and white marble floors, for instance, are a contemporary take on the traditional Rajasthani leheriya pattern, while the designs for the decorative art made from thikri (mirror) techniques were computer generated.

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black-framed glass windows and doors in a restored stone building

indoor dining area with marble tables, gray seating and exposed stone walls

Energy usage is also minimized thanks to a combination of low tech and high tech means. In addition to energy-efficient air conditioning and remote-controlled LEDs, the restaurant is equipped with rainwater harvesting systems and strategically placed water features that help create a cooling microclimate.

+ Studio Lotus

Images via Studio Lotus