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Architectural Spotlight

The Tote

by Serie Architects

The Tote is a series of renovated pavilions at the Mumbai Race Course that have been converted to a wine bar, restaurant, pre-function and banquet facilities. The goal of the project was to maintain the shell of the pavilions themselves but to give them a new interior. The Tote is a heritage structure and in its past hosted bookies and hopefulls trying their luck on the races.  The project sought to maintain the roof profile for three quarters of the pavilion structures and preserved the full roof for the other quarter. From the outside the Tote pavilion maintains its colonial facade, but when you pass through the doors it is like passing into an enchanted forest, its almost like you fell  into Narnia. Up in the ‘branches’ there are strategically placed skylights in abstract shapes that mimic the effect of sunlight breaking through foliage.

One of the most striking aspects of the site isn’t so much the buildings themselves but the Rain Trees that surround it. The Rain trees cover the open spaces around the pavilions and providing shade and extensive outdoor space that can be utilized for events and programming. These mature Rain Trees influenced the design of the steel support trusses which echo their shape. This, combined with the expansive glass creates a transparency between the indoor and outdoor spaces and and meets the firm’s goal of a ‘continuously differentiated space’ with no clear boundary into the conservation building. The branches af the support trusses are also differentiated depending on their location within the pavilions.

“Therefore each dining program (wine bar, restaurant, pre-function, and banquet facilities) is captured within a different spatial volume, defined by the variable degree of the branching structure, the structure branches into finer structural members as it approaches the ceiling.  When the branches touch the ceiling, the ceiling plan is punctured with a series of opening corresponding to the intersection of the branches with the purlins and rafters. These openings become light coves and slits. “

Juxtiposing the lightness downstairs the 40ft long bar upstairs has dark chocolate wood pannels that give the impression of looking at a folded orgami figure or kaleidoscope.  The original cubbyhole betting windows, were left.


3 Responses to “The Tote”

  1. there are many wine bars in our area and i always visit them coz i love to drink ::

    Posted by Detox Diets · | 04/11/2010, 9:36 am
  2. wine bars are great. my father installed a wine bar in my home and my wife also loved it -“.

    Posted by Edward Young | 03/12/2010, 1:49 pm

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