The Big Door
The Big Door, located at a posh urban setting in the foot of Pali Hill in Mumbai, unfolds a tale of rich Indian traditions . Its merchandise selection transports you to an epoch of heritage grandeur. Indian jewellery, home decor elements and collectibles
The seeds to the concept of The Big Door were sown six years ago when Vivek Gupta, Owner and Partner, The Big Door, was doing up his own home and realized the need for authentic Indian furniture. By the end of 2013, this idea took form and presented itself as a heritage hub in a contemporary format. Talking about The Big Door, Vivek Gupta, Partner, comments, "It’s an effort to bring back the value of our traditions with original genuine art pieces, showcased on an apt platform and reviving the past. It’s our passion for genuine art that inspired this project. It’s very close to our hearts and we shall make sure our customers have a memorable experience.” Jewellery showcased in the store is inspired from Mughal, Nizam and Rajput styles sourced from Ravi Jewels, Jaipur named after the owner Ravi Ajmera. He brings with him three generations of experience in the fine craft of jewellery designs, ranging from precious and semi-precious jewellery, set in gold, silver and silver- gold plated metal, to Victorian, polkis and jadau pieces, each of these mesmerizing creations is unique and design oriented. These delicately crafted masterpieces exhibit fine workmanship, tradition and exclusiveness and range from pure silver furniture inspired from the Raj period, marble fountains and jalis to traditional pichwai from Rajasthan and bronze work from South India, besides Persian calligraphic fauna, antiques and intricate woodwork. The store thus had to reflect the products’ exquisite craftsmanship. The elevation of the store had to be symbolic of what lay on the other side of the threshold and hints at the grandeur in store. It endures the iconicity of royalty and sends across an intimidating vibe to the beholder of the larger than life gesture. Replicating the entrance to a fort or palace in North India, The Big Door opens its gates to set the path for entry. The space inside holds a common stage for jewellery and furniture. The challenge was to create an ambience suited to both and bound by the thread of heritage features. The jewellery section is hosted on a podium in the center of the ground floor of the store. Its design endures a richness that jewellery as a product demands. Minimalist in style, exclusive in charisma, and urban and well-finished in look; the jewellery station sets itself apart. The rest of the ground floor displays a character of retro times with textured and unfinished
surfaces. It works in the background for the old doors and heavy furniture displayed. Their display on the ground floor is a decision dictated by logistics. A lounge on the ground floor is suggestive of luxurious offerings. It caters to the bespoke feature offered at The Big Door. One of the unique features of the store is that, anything you point your finger to, is on sale. It works on the concept of newness and uniqueness. There is no repeat of merchandise and rather resorts to bespoke to give the client the best. “I would say we cater to three categories; the affordable, the desirable and the aspirational. The ambience speaks of a luxurious abode but the merchandise does not demand atrocious prices,” says Vivek Gupta. A mystical looking black staircase set in a shaft of red, leads way to the first floor. A crystal chandelier bows down on the staircase and is suspended from a ceiling resulted from fine craftsmanship of heritage boudoir. These ceilings are one of the USP’s of the store and a few variations in them can be seen when you move your eyes up in different parts of the store. The powerful emotions exuded by the colours and the chandelier make quite a statement for the store and backs its luxury silhouettes. The first floor greets you with a wooden arch finished with intricate carvings and marks the entry point.
Silver furniture is displayed on this floor along with other home decor creations. It is a conscious decision to display silver furniture here so that it would not take away from the charm of the jewellery on the ground floor. The best part about design of the space here is that, it comes from the merchandise itself. The decor is so articulated that the products themselves create the space. This concept showcases the use of products as well in a home environment. So essentially, everything that creates space here, has a price tag on it and is yours to take home; including the elements in the wash room. The walls are textured in different colours to impart the unfinished look. Uneven melamine brush strokes create the texture. The lighting has been focused in a way which would give a gallery effect to the space. Track lighting is the most convenient option to call attention to products. As for the jewellery section, the lighting has to be bright and in order to achieve this, lighting for the showcases came from above and inside the case, with special emphasis placed on lighting from above so as to allow the product to sparkle and not let anything cast a shadow. To one’s surprise a staircase leads up into the unknown. On further exploration, a terrace garden comes into view. Outdoor furniture basks in the sunlight in this space. Also, a Mughal tent is put up on sale here and is testimony to the high heritage value of the store and diversity that it provides
Architect KNS Architects Design Team Kanhai Gandhi Brinda Palan