“How about we dip a zebra into a deep pink sea?” was the question that eventually inspired the design behind India’s most colorful eatery: The Pink Zebra. It is situated amidst a bustling landscape of old colonial buildings in the city of Kanpur. The structure is dipped in the most electrifying shade of pink and carefully wrapped in graphic black and white stripes by the creatives at RENESA Architecture Design Studio.
“The play of light, color, and lines is a simple ideology on paper, but, in reality, it has so much potential,” Sanjay Arora, founder and principal architect at RENESA, tells Domino. “The site provides a fascinating experience of cultivating the idea of the renaissance of the old British era and the new age Kanpur through a very bold, yet cheeky and intense narrative.”
The Pink Zebra may look unusually familiar and slightly cinematic. The king of on-screen whimsy and daydream destinations himself, film director Wes Anderson, served as the restaurant’s primary muse. “The idea to add funk to the pink monotone color was basically to establish a connection between the old British Raj city of Kanpur and the quirkiness of Mr. Anderson,” explains Arora.
The restaurant’s retro concierge desk and gilded bar are inspired by one of Anderson’s most celebrated films: The Grand Budapest Hotel. His distinctive use of symmetry and color-charged sets talk about every fanciful moment found in The Pink Zebra, from the colored walls to the blissfully stairwell that leads to the terrace.
Due to the partial coverage from tilted slats, any snippet of natural sunlight is immediately manipulated to mimic the striking stripes that grace the floors and the walls. Offering an unparalleled al fresco drinking experience, the aesthetic-driven space was designed with the senses in mind.
“We wanted to overcome the boredom and monotony of a simple restaurant and bar experience and give the viewer the insight to imagine the unimaginable through its design,” suggests the New Delhi-based designer.