Hyderabad’s legendary confectionery brand Almond House’s 4200 sq ft outlet defies the design of your regular mithai shop. VM&RD takes closer view of the space designed by Delhi-based Ravish Kalra Deepak Kalra (RMDK) Architects.
The heritage of a company is a great element in store design that make spaces echo the brand’s ethos. And for Hyderabad-based Almond House, it was vital that the design of its new outlet should speak of its heritage and also help in elevating the brand’s position in its category.
Chaitanya Muppala, CEO, Almond House says, “Our design brief for RMDK was simple. We wished for the new store to reflect the new energy brought on by a generational handover of business. The demand was that the store should carry the weight of the heritage of the brand while pushing a brand strategy to create and reposition
to a super-premium segment in our category. Our brand values of crisp and subtle sophistication were to be absorbed into the design, keeping in line with our affinity towards minimalism and aversion to bright and gaudy. We wished to distance ourselves.”
As one enters, they are welcomed with a unique, sombre design that takes one back in time. The challenge was to mix traditional styles with new elements and so a simple palette of materials was formed that included ample of wrought iron work along with warm, rustic finishes with just a touch of gold to add the richness linked to traditions. The front facade is an amalgam of traditional design with modernised elements. Metal columns and balusters create an extension to the existing arched building facade on the upper floors; framing a modish interior through full height glass facades. Wall display shelves with minimal framework against textured stone walls allow the rustic character to flow through.
The store is divided into three sectionsnatural ice-creams, sweets and premium sweets. Each of the three sections have
a distinguished character in a formal coherent concept. The unifying element of this space is wood and brick, along with various finishes, aiming to differentiate volumetrics and functions. The premium sweets area is ornamented with patterned monochromatic flooring with a panelled ceiling with the warmth of wood and gold in all its fixtures. Dark finishes, graceful forms and warm luxurious materials create a sense of relaxed contemporary elegance.
Service counters are done in three ways, giving each area its respective importance while pertaining to the theme of modern traditionalism. The wrought iron girders backlit with a jaali inspired by Indian diyas, the exposed ceiling add to the balanced contemporary look.
The vast central space allows all the elements to be experienced in tandem with each other creating a wholesome experience.
Dhruva Kalra, Architect, RMDK, explains, “We worked with a diktat to remove the Mithaiwala tag to peer closer to attract the younger generation. In process, what was achieved was an artfully curated space, reflective of a well-travelled host who appreciates culture and history, and appealing not only to their patrons but also the metropolitan customer.”
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Chaitanya Muppala, CEO Almond House says, “The customer experience oriented design perspective provided by RMDK has also helped us in our silent strive to transition from a traditional business towards a process-driven business. What was proving to be a management problem with regards to systems and process flow implementation on the retail floor was definitely elevated in more ways than one by the planning and design.”