As you step inside Hunka Hunka Town, a small yet impressive restaurant located at Sector 26, Chandigarh, there is no mistaking the vibe of the space… one that immediately transports you to the Rock and Roll music era of the sixties and seventies. Quite evidently, the design of the restaurant endorses the theme and pays tribute to sixties and seventies of rock and roll, which defined music and lifestyles in the coming years. The name of the restaurant too takes inspiration from the lyrics of the cult song ‘Burning Love’ by rock icon Elvis Presley where the words ‘Hunka Hunka’ meant attractive in a masculine humorous way.
Keeping in mind the client’s specific requirements for a retro background, New Delhi-based architectural firm Group DCA have been successful in recreating the feeling… making it coherent for the young and contemporary. However, creating an ambience needs much more than a simple interior facelift and the architects have walked the extra mile to engage all the senses of the customer to provide them with a holistic experience.
The architects met this challenge of reinventing a spatial experience based on the core philosophies of the sixties in the twenty-first century by not only applying their architectural expertise but also understanding and utilising contemporary sensibilities to create an aesthetic that is archaic and contextual to an era gone by. The restaurant offers a unique experience for its millennial consumers in the form of nostalgia. The classic ambience of Hunka Hunka Town is pronounced through the chequered terrazzo chessboard floor and a predominant black and white theme. The central seating features a long series of lighting fixtures arranged in parallels. Spreading a lovely aura, these bespoke fixtures are made from old vinyl recordings. The use of a minimum number of colours paired with the light finish of the walls and a combination of double seaters and suede leather-finish sofas provide guests a soothing space for relaxation. The intentional minimal palette lends a laid back yet jazzy persona to the space. The walls are covered with numerous posters displaying iconic rock legends performing live as well as vinyl records that have been sourced from multiple places for this purpose. Replicas of the dresses that Presley used to wear while performing live have also been put on display alongside guitars, gramophones and a host of other antiquities. The subtle iconographies and the washroom signages have been strongly inspired from musical notes, and do the job of unifying the entire space to the broader theme of music.
A key design feature of the restaurant is the bar. The leather chairs compliment the matte black finish of the bar counter beautifully. The liquor counters at the back are constructed in a staggered pattern, offering charming views. Custom manufactured lights have been fixed inside Unidyne microphones (sourced exclusively) and hung at varying lengths over the bar, creating an interesting interplay of light and shadows when lit.
While you sit comfortably in the leather chairs and enjoy the food and music at the restaurant, you are bombarded with unique elements (reverberating with the 60s vibe) wherever your eyes travel. This retro ambience at Hunka Hunka Town has thus managed to resonate well with the young and the hip crowd making it an instant hit!
Compiled by: Alifiya Mehamdabadwala
Photographs: Andre J Fanthome, courtesy DCA Architects