Heliotrope Architects utilized rich colors in the wood, paint, and textures of Rupee to transport guests into the beautiful South Asian inspired bar and eatery in Seattle, Washington.

  • area / size 700 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Owners Joe Sundberg, Rachel Johnson, and Patrick Thalasinos have opened their second restaurant on a small neighborhood street in Seattle. Rupee, a follow up to the trio’s well-regarded restaurant Manolin—also designed in collaboration with Heliotrope Architects—was built entirely by the owners themselves. Inspired by the owners’ journeys to South Asia, Rupee features a menu of Indian and Sri Lankan-inspired food and cocktails. The 700-square-foot intimate space seats 26 and brings two architectural gestures together to set the tone: color, and warm materiality. Color, a vibrant peacock green, is used to visually immerse guests within the setting and mentally transport them away from the typical gray skies of Seattle. Second, was to add a layer of warmth through the incorporation of natural material materials including wood and hand-crafted objects. Oregon walnut was chosen for its depth of color and richness. It monolithically tops the 9-seat bar and wraps the bar casework, adding a subtle nod of the Pacific Northwest into the mix. Polished brass is used for trim elements and is combined with leather for stool seating, while Indian clay tiles and slatted pendant lights add a further layer of visual interest. Together, these elements coalesce to create a holistic experience that accompanies the aromatic dishes and spiced cocktails.

    Design: Heliotrope Architects
    Photography: Aaron Leitz, Noah Forbes