Rad­hika Jewels

VMRD - - Contents - Satarupa Chakraborty

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

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