Designed by Studio Lotus, the concept of the Abhishek Gupta Store embodies his approach in creating signature styles that are contemporary yet deeply rooted in Indian craft.
Programmatically, the space had to capture the dual purpose of showcasing two separate product repertoires for Abhishek - his fashion collection and his line of exclusively engineered state-of-the art sound systems through a ‘Listening Room’. Both functions had to be concurrent but distinct; with the potential to intrigue and engage a cross-pollination of clients. The design builds on the basis of that rationale and plugs the twin experiences in a unique spatial interrelationship.
Inserted as a ‘floating’ cube in the site, the ‘Listening Room’ allows for a classical layout that flows around it. This naturally creates a sequence of courtyards, which offer a series of intimate browsing pockets in the peripheral space. Subsequently, on the other end, providing for the collection to be showcased as multiple stories waiting to be discovered as one progresses through.
The acoustically engineered sub-space purposefully derives a certain scale and is articulated in mirror cladding that lets it ‘disappear’ and at times be a backdrop to the store’s primary focus — fashion. The interior, planned like a study, allows Abhishek to curate high-end audio equipment and engage in an exclusive listening experience with his clientele. Slim openings in the cube with ‘Priva lite’ glass panel inserts lets the ‘Listening Room’ fog up for privacy and incite curiosity when not in use.
For the retail space in particular, Studio Lotus sought inspiration from Abhishek’s approach to extrapolating motifs that render depth into his designs. Geometric patterns in varying scale have been used across mediums for embellishing as well as forming a homogenous skin for the store to translate a similar spatial intensity.
The perforated composition of these patterns alters in scale, opacity and is applied selectively over mirror and glass to generate the effect of a ‘moire’. The multiple layers bring in visual drama and a play of light while binding the space. This distinct character propagated by the perforated skin extends to the façade, establishing presence at the street level. The changing light levels, from morning to night, shift the dynamics of the space keeping it in flux. The pattern has also been adapted into Mild Steel screens, which are used diversely to demarcate zones, as backdrops and shelving units for lifestyle products curated by Abhishek.
While an overlay of gold foil detailing accentuates some spaces, the overall space with exposed services has been painted in a deep charcoal tone. The existing loud Italian marble floor was also dyed to develop a vintage dark patina to focus the entire highlight on the garments. The overriding hue helps unify the different mediums into a restrained monochromatic canvas, without losing the richness of textures and authentic qualities of the different materials to evoke an understated premium expression for the brand.
Collaborations with Ayush Kasliwal Furniture Design for commissioned furniture like the Sari Table and Klove for select lighting have also added unique elements to heighten the overall experience of the store.