For Telugu Medium in Hyderabad, India Sona Reddy Studio references the local vernacular

Hyderabad is India’s fourth-largest city and a major southern capital of technology and culture. Located on the Deccan Plateau, its warm, inland climate has also inspired a beautiful vernacular architecture—one that local architect Sona Reddy Studio sought to emulate in a new, buzzy restaurant called Telugu Medium.

Cofounders Malvika Rao, Anil Karnati, and Rohit Medisetty brought on Sona Reddy to create a unique and immersive experience for guests that invokes the heart of the city’s vibrant culture. What’s most striking about the new 5,200-square-foot dining space is its creative and varied use for a local building material: brick. Employing forms from barrel vaults to free-standing arches, the spaces are porous and warm, working with rather than against the local climate.

All these domes and vaults sit on load-bearing walls. This choice to recall traditional building practice is not only an homage to Deccan vernacular, but also a sustainable move: these techniques minimize the building’s use of concrete and steel, materials that require arduous extraction of resources and bring with them a significant carbon footprint. By contrast, the bricks and mortar used here are natural, local, and of course biodegradable.


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