Asahi In­dia Glass

VM&RD - - CONTENTS - Shika Kr­ishna

Shop­ping for Ar­chi­tec­tural Glass is a unique ex­pe­ri­ence at the flag­ship store of Asahi In­dia Glass (AIS) Lim­ited in Gur­gaon. First of its kind, “Glasx­perts” is a one-stop-shop that brings an in­te­grated ap­proach to glass se­lec­tion and in­stal­la­tion for homes, of­fices and com­mer­cial spa­ces. Ms. Asha Sairam, Pro­ject De­signer from Lo­tus, shares the chal­lenges and mile­stones of the pro­ject.

Lo­cated at the ground floor of Agora mall in Gur­gaon, a small por­tion of the cur­rent re­tail area was al­ready used by AIS as of­fice space. "Gaug­ing the huge po­ten­tial that the ar­chi­tec­tural glass in­dus­try im­bibes, a fully func­tional show­room was pro­posed to be con­ceived that would rep­re­sent the brand spirit as ‘the one-stop so­lu­tion’ for any glass re­quire­ment and the com­mit­ment to a has­sle­free ex­pe­ri­ence for cus­tomers”, says Asha.

A study of po­ten­tial clien­tele re­vealed two fun­da­men­tal cat­e­gories- ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers who may al­ready be fa­mil­iar with the tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the prod­uct and in­de­pen­dent home own­ers, who may not be aware of the pos­si­bil­i­ties with glass. This find­ing led to di­vid­ing the re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence into two zones- one for pure demon­stra­tion and the other an easy to browse prod­uct dis­play zone. Asha ex­plains, “As the dis­play of the glass did not re­quire much space, a ma­jor­ity was ded­i­cated to the demon­stra­tion area which was de­signed to in­no­va­tively show­case the ap­pli­ca­tion of glass in com­mer­cial, res­i­den­tial and hospi­tal­ity in­dus­tries”.

The demon­stra­tion area has sep­a­rate sec­tions for home and com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tion with the dis­cus­sion hub be­tween them for con­sul­ta­tive meet­ing with po­ten­tial cus­tomers. Tyvek, a ver­sa­tile non-wo­ven ma­te­rial which does not fade or tear is used to create phys­i­cal screens which use in­no­va­tive graph­ics ap­pro­pri­ate for each.

Un­like as in tra­di­tional re­tail space an un­con­ven­tional method was used to present the store of­fer­ings. “Ha­bit­u­ally, this could have been done by us­ing fur­ni­ture and props that recre­ated a home or of­fice like space. How­ever, deal­ing with glass as the pri­mary prod­uct – which is trans­par­ent and has no real vis­ual char­ac­ter, we chose to avoid any kind of vis­ual clut­ter of tra­di­tional set­tings,” states Asha.

Dif­fer­ent con­trast­ing back­drops were used to high­light and draw at­ten­tion to the va­ri­ety of glass fea­tured in the store. This con­cept also helped in breaking up the store lay­out in­ter­est­ingly into dif­fer­ent sec­tions and pock­ets, us­ing Tyvek screens, to ex­pe­ri­ence the prod­ucts in the store. Asha ex­plains, “Held from ceil­ing and the floor, Tyvek gave the flex­i­bil­ity of print­ing on screens while laser

cut per­fo­ra­tions al­lowed them to be­come light and trans­par­ent cre­at­ing lay­ers in the space. Ceil­ing height of 5me­tres added to the drama as it al­lowed some screens to be taken to full height.”

To show­case the use of glass be­tween in­door and out­door spa­ces, one edge of the demo space is cre­ated as an out­door space, with an As­tro­turf in­sert in the floor­ing. The back­drop to this outer space is a 5m high wall span­ning the en­tire length of the store. The wall is clad with ce­ment board printed with graph­ics rep­re­sent­ing var­i­ous scenes like a cityscape ad­ja­cent to the of­fice-like space and a green back­yard for a home set up.

De­signed as an in­ter­ac­tive space, the dis­play area ex­hibits var­i­ous types of glass based on its func­tion. Asha ex­plains, “As glass is best ap­pre­ci­ated when one looks through it rather than at it, the dis­play pan­els were flanked against the wall and floated about a foot away from it. The pan­els were also made piv­otable al­low­ing cus­tomers to move them with ease and change their view­ing an­gle as de­sired.” The walls, like in the demo area, form back­drops for the dis­play with ab­stract graph­ics which rep­re­sents the var­i­ous func­tions of the glass on dis­play. Touch screen pan­els en­able cus­tomers to ac­cess de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about the prod­ucts.

A unique ‘suspended glass meet­ing’ room was de­signed and en­gi­neered to hover, without any sup­ports go­ing to the floor, over the dis­cus­sion space in the demo area.

This was made pos­si­ble with a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort be­tween Glasx­perts, Ban­ga­lore based struc­tural con­sul­tants Man­ju­nath & Co. and Lo­tus. The meet­ing room is con­nected to the of­fice via a suspended glass walk­way and a glass stair­case. To create a dra­matic ef­fect at the store front was a chal­lenge and Asha ad­mits, “The fa­cade of the store proved to be most chal­leng­ing. With so many lay­ers in the space we felt the best ap­proach would be to have a clean and open glass fa­cade; how­ever the clients also wished to re­tain a sense of pri­vacy in the store.” The en­tire fa­cade was clad with Lu­misty po­lar­iz­ing film which al­lows view into the store only when the viewer’s line of sight is per­pen­dic­u­lar to the glass. It re­mains frosted oth­er­wise. This cre­ates a mag­i­cal ef­fect on the seem­ingly sim­ple glass fa­cade as dif­fer­ent parts of the store are re­vealed to passers-by from dif­fer­ent an­gles of view. Over­all, ef­fec­tive pre­sen­ta­tion tech­niques used in the store with a com­bi­na­tion of tech­nol­ogy and engi­neer­ing helped create a unique am­bi­ence in the store and hence a su­perla­tive sig­na­ture brand ex­pe­ri­ence in inside it




Ankur Choksi, Asha Sairam, Arun Kullu, Chandni Ag­gar­wal, Navin Jha, Vi­jen­dra Sharma, San­jay Ku­mar

Graphic De­sign Col­lab­o­ra­tors

Code­sign, Gur­gaon

Struc­tural Con­sul­tant

Man­ju­nath & Co.


Build­kraft In­dia


An­dré J. Fan­thome

The demon­stra­tion area has sep­a­rate sec­tions for home and com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tion with the dis­cus­sion hub be­tween them

As­tro­turf inserts in the floor­ing was used to demon­strate the use of glass be­tween in­door and out­door spa­ces

The in­ter­ac­tive dis­play area presents the prod­uct range based on fea­tures and is sup­ported with touch screens that pro­vide de­tailed prod­uct in­for­ma­tion

An all glass meet­ing room, is en­gi­neered to be suspended without any sup­ports from the floor

The glass fa­cade clad­with Lu­misty po­lar­iz­ing film cre­ated a mag­i­cal ef­fect for passers-by as they moved in front of it

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