VMRD - - Contents - Satarupa Chakraborty

Spread across 6500 sq ft and de­signed by the city-based ar­chi­tec­tural firm 4Walls De­sign Stu­dio, Crest – The Na­ture Store takes the brand’s long legacy of ply­wood dis­trib­u­tor­ship to the next level of ex­pe­ri­en­tial re­tail.

Crest – The Na­ture Store in Hy­der­abad is a re­fur­bished re­tail space con­verted from a fab­ri­cated shed which pre­vi­ously housed a godown, which makes up half of its space, the other half be­ing the store. The raw 6500 sq ft struc­ture, was hap­haz­ard in­clud­ing a half mez­za­nine and an en­tire ground floor with 23’ height. The par­al­lelly-lo­cated store didn’t al­low much of space to ap­pre­ci­ate its el­e­va­tional view. How­ever, the raw and in­dus­trial struc­ture gave room for in­spi­ra­tion and imag­i­na­tion to reimag­ine the store de­sign. The whole store de­sign has been con­cep­tu­alised with the use of only the brand’s prod­ucts. There­fore, the zon­ing is based on two broad types of ply­woods – Nat­u­ral and ar­ti­fi­cial. While the whole store is de­signed like a fluid gallery, the height of the space con­trib­uted to the breath­ing space. In or­der to fo­cus on the prod­ucts, the path­ways of the store have been kept dark, fo­cus­ing on the prod­uct un­der strate­gic light­ing, build­ing a “pilling ef­fect” to­wards light in a dark room. The in­dus­trial de­sign theme, com­bined with gen­er­ous use of metal and glass, was put to play to bring about the dark-and-light ef­fect.

The Artsy Gallery

Hav­ing a lengthy front fa­cia, the car­pet area is de­vel­oped with the ideas of ex­oskele­ton and en­doskele­ton. En­doskele­ton has been de­rived from tough­ened glass along with glass doors for the main en­trance and the ex­oskele­ton is done through a can­vas cov­er­ing over the glass from the road with a depth dif­fer­ence of 15”. This can­vas is de­signed in an ab­stract frame work, run­ning through the com­plete height of 23” which makes it su­per huge and is de­signed in breaks so as to have two sets of fa­cia: one that shows the skele­ton and

the other that shows the dis­play through the glass fa­cade. In the evenings, the store lights al­low the dis­play of prod­ucts next to the glass. The rest of the fa­cade is lit from wall wash­ers from above and be­low. From the mer­chan­dises of Crest, 4mm ex­te­rior fun­der­max fa­cade in rus­tic brown was used at the en­trance, while a tri­an­gu­lar 2”x2” CNC was used to re­duce the loud­ness of the sheet and in­crease the noise of at­trac­tion.

The ground floor, span­ning across 4500 sq ft show­cases the ve­neer world, wardrobes,

Aditya Ti­bre­wal, Di­rec­tor, Crest

Be­ing in core dis­trib­u­tor­ship busi­ness for a long time in the whole­sale mar­ket, we de­cided to give the brand a facelift through a re­tail space. At the same time, we wanted a space that stood out in terms of be­ing ex­pe­ri­en­tial and cus­tomised.

kitchens, re­cep­tion, fur­ni­ture pieces. A 15’-20’ long wooden log im­ported from Rus­sia, which was cut from a sin­gle bark of 500-year-old trees, acted as a show­stop­per piece.

There was a chal­lenge to re-de­velop the I-sec­tion stand­ing in the cen­tre of the whole shed sup­port­ing the mez­za­nine and a 12’ high di­ag­o­nal box was de­signed to cover the same in or­der to make it look like the part of de­sign. The box was also used as tran­si­tion of space to the ve­neer world, which had kitchens on both its sides, mak­ing it look like a tun­nel. Pine wood was the cen­tral ma­te­rial in the ma­jor part of the ground floor.

Look Of A Li­brary

The ve­neer world is de­signed like an en­closed art gallery, with ara­con pan­els walls in grey shade to go along with the in­dus­trial theme. Both the sides of the room are left as a can­vas to show the ve­neer sheets. Cen­tral track lights fac­ing to­wards the walls, makes them blow up and an in­di­rect light­ing al­lows the seat­ing area to be lit, which is good enough for the prod­ucts. An ac­tual tree trunk is clamped in air with both sides hav­ing a sim­i­lar ve­neer of the same skin of the tree, de­pict­ing the idea that ve­neer is a real skin and not ar­ti­fi­cial like lam­i­nate. The hang­ing white board in the cen­tral space show­cases a huge sketchy art work, ex­plain­ing how a ve­neer is made from a tree trunk to a beau­ti­ful rolled sheet.

Ab­hi­nav Batchu, Founder, 4Walls De­sign Stu­dio

With stores in the old whole­sale mar­ket evolv­ing into new mod­ern show­rooms, it had its own chal­lenge of com­pet­ing with many other sim­i­lar stores. It was clear to me that one needs to be unique in such a sce­nario and in or­der to level up the po­ten­tial of the store to the unique ve­neers and wooden logs, which is their USP, one needs build both the back­ground as well as the fore­ground.

The first floor of meza­nine over­look­ing the dou­ble height space has a ship deck kind of im­age. A piece of fixed glass at a 20-de­gree an­gle was placed, giv­ing the whole view of the ground floor. Log benches, easily ac­ces­si­ble cat­a­logue sheets etc lets one browse through some 5000 dis­play op­tions ef­fort­lessly within a li­brary-like space.

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