4th Dimension design studio creates individualistic retail and experience centres for two independent water fixtures and fittings brands in Mumbai
How can a store outlet for shower fittings and plumbing be made into unique experience centre for consumers? An idea that inspired 4th Dimension design firm, led by principals Mihir and Rini Kotak, to create completely distinct yet thought-provoking retail experiences for brand/facility – Isenberg and Water E Motion. The design narrative ensures the products form the core display and are incorporated in the design through the building materials.
Water E Motion
Right from the inception, both the clients and the architects agreed on the concept of the retail space. The plumbing and items related to plumbing, radiant cooling and heating systems were the core products and they had to be highlighted in order to offer an experiential set-up. Also in addition to that, a specialised zone to showcase the engineering products along with a training centre was proposed.
A vertical garden adorns the entrance. The space was divided into three parts: an engineering section; a finished product section with live displays and a lounge for conversations and networking sandwiched between the former two.. The radiant cooling system (which is a product on sale) has been incorporated in the ceiling and floor to help maintain the desired internal temperature and reduce the energy consumption by the HVAC system. ‘Live’ paint by Asian Paints was used as the backdrop of the lounge area. This unique paint has a metallic base and a topcoat of oxidising paint that reacts with the atmosphere and changes, creating a natural weathering effect pattern. The backdrop of the coffee counter is adorned with indoor plants in vases whose colours echo those of the flags of the countries from where products are sourced. The overall space is an eco-friendly set up with a range of innovative products and radical in-house service systems. This project is a LEED Platinum rated energy-efficient design.
The design firm had to create a live experience centre for Isenberg that would go on to become a standard design module for the upcoming stores across the country. As one enters, asymmetrical, straight-lined separating fins and a display area on the opposite wall welcome customers. The client’s brief of ‘Live Experience Centre’ was interpreted with interesting spaces for display keeping the fixtures as standouts. The space was detailed with textural and material play, a striking colour palette, customised display and smart use of lighting to create a striking and lasting influence on the customers. The designers responsively dealt with the plumbing so as to service live counters by creating a loft. The designers had an eco-conscious take on the designing where recycling of water was concerned. Thus, through creativity and innovation, a responsive green retail space was achieved.
As Mihir Kotak, Principal Architect, 4th Dimension puts it, “For us, the key to good design is to understand the space first. And increasingly, we believe it is our moral responsibility to use and make the client aware of energy-efficient products. The endeavour is always to use technology and techniques for conserving resources, while keeping a sharp eye on the aesthetics. This has been the highlight of all our projects.”
Photos: Photographix by Sebastian Zachariah and Ira Gosalia