Eka, the eth­nic In­dia life­style brand launched a su­per spe­cialty store Eka 2 in South Ban­ga­lore. The store de­sign was con­cep­tu­al­ized by FRDC to cre­ate a home like en­vi­ron­ment that of­fered an ex­ten­sive range of hand­crafted prod­ucts in a home con­cept.

Af­ter see­ing success with the first store, Eka 2 was launched in Jayana­gar in Ban­ga­lore in a 9000 sq ft stan­dalone du­plex res­i­den­tial build­ing along with a land­scaped garden. Ban­ga­lore based Fu­ture Re­search De­sign Com­pany (FRDC) was com­mis­sioned to con­cep­tu­al­ize this project. “The brief was to cre­ate a re­tail space that would gen­er­ate a WOW re­sponse first and fore­most. Also, we wanted min­i­mal struc­tural changes to the house in or­der to re­tain its her­itage char­ac­ter­is­tics. The idea was to cre­ate a walk-through space that al­lows each room a unique dis­play theme and yet strings it all to­gether as one co­her­ent ex­pe­ri­ence. Given the ex­cel­lent work­ing re­la­tion­ship we had with FRDC and the ac­claim we re­ceived for our Eka CBD store, work­ing with them was a nat­u­ral choice,” says Kimiko, Di­rec­tor at Eka.

The store pre­sented an ex­ten­sive range of eth­nic In­dian life­style prod­ucts hand­crafted from nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and sourced

di­rectly from ar­ti­sans, NGOs and se­lected man­u­fac­tures. The store of­fers an in­ter­est­ing as­sort­ment of Di­vin­ity Idols, Wall art, Metal Sculp­tures, Fig­urines, Tribal Art, Sto­ries in Slate, Po­etry in Wood, Bags, Foot wear, Sil­ver Jew­ellery, Wall Clocks and Rus­tic Colo­nial Fur­ni­ture with Home Linen. The of­fer­ings are zoned log­i­cally in ‘rooms’ to make brows­ing and shop­ping con­ve­nient.

“As a de­sign ap­proach we cre­ated dif­fer­ent zones for each prod­uct group, in line of the blue­print of the house such as bed­room - ap­parel sec­tion, liv­ing room - di­vin­ity sec­tion, back­yard - out­door fur­ni­ture & stone sculp­tures and so on. We deemed to have a zero mod­i­fi­ca­tion or al­ter­ation in the ex­ist­ing built form,” says

San­jay Agar­wal, Di­rec­tor, FRDC.

The of­fer­ings and the buy­ing pat­terns of the cus­tomers de­ter­mined the cat­e­gory ad­ja­cen­cies and pre­sen­ta­tion strat­egy of the store.

“As per prod­uct cat­e­gories we de­fined the zon­ing strat­egy. Main ground floor had Di­vin­ity & fur­ni­ture zone. First floor had work­shop, jew­ellery, bed linen, ap­parel, bags & shoes sec­tion which were com­bined with cross mer­chan­dis­ing for the cen­tral dis­play in each space,” says San­jay.

The de­sign strat­egy to re­tain ex­ist­ing green­ery, like the Al­mond tree at the store front, was used to draw at­ten­tion to the store and add to the con­cept of a home like des­ti­na­tion. On this note, San­jay ex­plains,

“Since the prop­erty was lo­cated off the main re­tail area, we wanted the store to stand out through colour, light­ing and nat­u­ral sur­round­ings and Green­ery. Ex­ist­ing green­ery and palms were ei­ther re­tained or trans­planted and with min­i­mum in­ter­ven­tional de­sign in back­yard spa­ces for ‘ bazaar’ and more pro­mo­tional dis­plays were cre­ated, which on one hand soft­ened the house build­ing and on other pro­vided per­fect set­ting for the home store. Leaf struc­ture of Metal as a pat­tern for the fence and the Bold Sig­nage above the beam pro­vided el­e­ments of re­tail to the ex­ist­ing build­ing front.”

Ex­plain­ing in de­tail about the de­sign ap­proach, San­jay avers,

“The main en­trance and the cash counter have graphic el­e­ments into it. While on the ground floor, I-shaped blocks are en­graved on the front yard for the park­ing space and metal green leaves on the com­pound walls to cre­ate green ef­fect in front space. The front en­trance space is de­signed with 25mm thick pol­ished gran­ite for the grand open­ing. For the di­vin­ity sec­tion, we had used crys­tal peak white on the walls whilst the ceil­ing is high­lighted with desert yel­low. There are Bam­boo Green lam­i­nate at the back of the wall fix­ture sys­tem which act as a high­lighter in the space and the din­ing room walls are kept neu­tral as crys­tal peak

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