Bandhej, a lifestyle store, was relocated in 5000 sq.ft of basement space in a shopping complex in Ahmedabad. The store deals with a variety of products from house accessories, textiles, men’s fashion wear to traditional saris and jewellery etc.
As the store was located in a basement, a large orthogonal space with heavy structural members, one of the ideas that generated the design was to introduce a curved wall as an element to soften the spatial feeling of the basement as well as conceal as much of the structure as possible. And as the shop contained many forms of merchandise often not visually compatible with each other, the idea of multiple shops within the shop to house these different merchandize separately was employed.
Thus, what has emerged in the process is a central ‘street’ edged by a curved wall and a series of niches and rooms off this movement spine that connect the separate shops within the store. This approach allowed for each ‘shop’ to be treated differently depending on the product housed within it. The different surfaces in each shop are thus treated with different materials ranging from wood veneers, copper, stainless steel and pigmented plaster. The floor, although black, uses six different types of black surfaces – dark grey cement finishes, grey slate, black vitrified tiles, rough and polished black granite, black ceramic tiles and black cuddapah stone.
Different lighting levels and patterns are also used to accentuate the differences in the various pockets within the store – the street or movement spine is dimly lit while the shops are bright pockets. Also, each shop is connected to the larger store through a series of cutout windows, which create a screen and produce a series of layered effects with varying textures as one moves through the store.