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Rustic & Raw Ambience | Sao 26

The SAO 26 continental eatery nestled in the quiet locale of Uttara, boasts a warm and hearty experience both for the palate as well as for the tact and vision. Its subdued space, rustic and raw ambience give a sense of cosy and comfortable atmosphere; meticulously designed by Ehsan Uz Zaman and associates.

The design of the space took almost two and a half months to complete. It started in the mid of 2020; when the Covid pandemic restrictions were about to be eased. The new SAO 26 eatery is quite similar in ambience and feel to its previous SAO 26, but the new SAO 26 is more environment-friendly and sustainable. For instance, the embodied carbon impact from cradle-to-gate/manufacturing to the site was carefully monitored by the design team. Wood extensively used in the furniture and decor has been all reused and 85 percent of them can be repurposed. Substantially, not only wood, but almost all the materials of the restaurant can be re-utilized. The interior is inspired by the ship’s deck and is composed of bare concrete walls and a black ceiling. Almost all the paintings and old-aged photographs hung on the wall are collected from shipyard auctions. The ultimate design goal was to take diners to the profound part of the shipyard and dine on the deck while ordering the signature seafood dishes: Flaming Prawns or Stuffed John Dory or Balsamic Braised Baby Octopus Stew.

While entering the restaurant, one can feel the openness of the space without any visual obstruction of the exterior view.

Ehsan Uz Zaman

The free flow of space, the appropriate use of furniture arrangement, and the well-prepared food make SAO 26 an ideal hub for the urbanities, expresses A.K.M Rashed Mondol, Head of Operations, SAO 26. One of the striking parts of the restaurant is its lavatory. The antiquated faucets, fixtures, and floor tiles will surely throw ship wreckage enthrals. “The lavatory was not included initially by the client, but convincible made it later. As the space is very small, we installed a mirrored ceiling and that makes the space look larger than it is. The lavatory is much detail oriented and holds a lot of stories behind its making”, says Ehsan Uz Zaman. “In terms of project constraints and challenges, we figured out that above the false ceiling is a tin/metal roof and even double cooling would not suffice the extreme heat. To maintain the proper indoor temperature, we installed a line of exhaust fans between the false ceiling and the tin roof. Our only purpose is to serve people with good designs and well-made projects, and we hope we continue doing so” the architect continues. 

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Tasmiah Chowdhury

An architecture graduate who believes architecture exists as an emotional platform. She enjoys putting down this emotive tool into words while enjoying a cup of latte and plugging to ‘Rabindra Sangeet’.

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