Spread across 4500 sq ft in Jaipur and designed by VB Design Studio, Radhika Jewels is the brand’s foray into retailing after having spent a decade in jewellery manufacturing. The store space, a merging of the Indian passion for jewellery with the best of Indian art, celebrates bridal shopping.
Having been in the jewellery manufacturing and wholesale business for the past one decade, this is the jewellery brand’s first retail venture. And what has come out is a richly adorned space full of sensory indulgence. Spread across 4500 sq ft and designed by Jaipurbased VB Design, Jaipur-based Radhika Jewel’s first store in the city evokes nothing less than palatial splendor. So what inspired it, particularly the design initiatives?
A journey from the scratch
The existing space was almost a clean shell with no sunlight and an uninspiring façade. It took a couple of months to complete the project’s identity development, which was followed by the construction. Later as the boutique decided to include lines other than bridal wear jewelry, the retail planning was tweaked accordingly. After about 6 months, the efforts bore fruit in the form of an upscale, one-of-a-kind jewelry boutique. The boutique subsumes a light neutral color scheme that pleasantly envelopes the entire store design. Right at the exterior space, a rose gold signage tops the 30 ft. wide façade of the boutique. The flooring has a combination of dual finish granite tiles laid in random triangular patterns that guides you to the main store and enhances the expansive feel of the property. A well adorned wall mural made in GRC lifts up the overall ambience, while an amalgamation of hexagonal classical columns crowned with arches balances the low height and wide proportions of the façade. Italian marble clad columns further complement the dainty classical façade. Profoundly detailed ‘Sabyasachi Hazarbuti’ wall covering adorning the walls of the elevation sets a distinct feel to the boutique. A pair of opulent wooden doors with frosted glass opens out to the retail and basement space respectively.
Enabling interactions aesthetically
Though most of the design planning was left to the architects, I was very sure about one thing — I did not want a regular jewellery store feature, where the interaction between the customers and sales person happens over the counter. We realized that bridal jewellery shopping is often done by groups of family members and purchase decisions are made after much consideration. Therefore, a lounge seating was a must, along with a conducive environment, where interactions are encouraged.
The lounge space, exclusively designed for the bride, is lavishly replete with blush pink sofas, floral design rugs from Jaipur Rugs, Moroccan style mirrors and jewelry showcase cabinets on all the four corners. Sliding glass doors under an arched top lead to the lounge space, while floral patterns of the Hazarbuti wall covering extends into the etched door designs. The arches across the space are inspired by an architectural style that is reminiscent of both the Mughal and ‘Rajasthani’ influences.
Our first rendezvous with the client gave us the food for thought that the entire design should celebrate the essence of being a ‘Bride’, her emotional journey and the care and affection she receives from her close ones. It’s when we discovered our design theme; when the bride became the hero of our fairy Jewelry story.
Artwork in the front arched niche features intricate gold leafing around floral designs, conveying the imagery of a delicate bride adorned in beautiful wedding jewelry, meant exclusively for her.
Also, the striking contrast between the customized Bamboo Silk carpet in mint green and off white silk threads right at the outset, besides the neutral color palette of the walls and ceiling grab the attention of the buyer. The primary display space has symmetrical elevations holding the jewelry cabinets and the central niches are exquisitely covered in ‘Paan’ leaf shaped artwork and mirror paneling.
The whole store space is a tribute to various Indian art forms – be it the ‘Shamiyana’ vestibule connecting the lounge which features a gold leafing artwork (inspired from ‘Kaali’ embroidery design of South India) or the ‘Paan’ leaf shaped artworks behind the admin’s desk, the nine gold leafing artworks, the ‘Pichwai’ artworks scattered around the store or the Sabyasachi Nilaya Hazarbuti wall coverings used in a variety of tones throughout the space. It’s a rich celebration of art and craft.
So were there any obstacles in the whole journey towards a distinct retail experience? “Throughout the project, we faced a number of challenges; the major one was to correct the geometry of the space. After many successful and failed experiments, we were able to create a space which is not only an ode to the rich Indian tradition, but is also expressive of a language that the brand now speaks,” Bipin Bakiwala, Principal Architect of VB Design Studio, said, summing up the design journey.
Rahul Jain, Director, Radhika Jewels
Bipin Bakiwala, Principal Architect of VB Design Studio