When Roca’s Display Studio in Mumbai was to be designed, architect Navjot Paul Singh was given the task of creating a meeting point rather than just a showroom. As he says, “Being third in the line of the set of Display Studios across India, the client brief was very straight forward and interpreted as: The Mumbai Setup, to be the first to display the Premier Range of Laufen, along with Roca and Parryware, should not only be a showcase of its products for the important market like Mumbai – but also offer the city a social meeting point for professionals, plus do events on architecture and design (as all the brands are leaders in innovation, aesthetics and progressive) along with other visitors.”
The main design challenge was to distinctly divide the space into zones (for each brand), subtly merging into each other, while giving each brand its own pedestal to shine on. Some of the other touch points: were…
• The space had to be inviting, bright and spacious in feel
• It had to have complete bathroom sets for patrons to feel and touch
• There had to be a 3D Design Viewing and Planning Support space
• Flexibility of space was important, in order to hold large groups during events
“During the first site feasibility visit, the design team was taken aback by the stark difference between the greenness around Mumbai’s international airport and the site location. That became an important part of the Design Development process,” says the architect.
The design intent was to create an oasis in the concrete jungle amidst the hustle and bustle of a very busy artery of Mumbai, with its own micro environment. “Being an experience centre and not a retail store, on the first floor, a blend of neutral colours, a combination of linear lines and abstract patterns are used to accentuate the sophistication and geometry of the product line.
So, as you enter the display studio, the narrow approach corridor wall that leads to it became the canvas to bring forth the rich history of the Roca brand with randomly placed panels (over hardwood rafters of various thicknesses) as a confidence builder for the visitors towards the brand while they get to learn about its worldwide presence and trade-trusted quality.
At the entrance of the studio, you are greeted by an installation designed with miniatures of one of Roca’s premium product lines (especially imported from its Barcelona Factories) and the patterns depicting the water droplets in a geometric form on the walls to show fluidity in a playful manner. The discussion table, with a big LED screen wall for 3D planning support with a low standing backlit Roca Sign forms the meet and greet section of the studio.
Colourful walls of Laufen Products Display zone, a standard worldwide palette, draws the visitors to that section. Although seamless, The Parryware section is designed with brighter ambient lighting, with lighter colour tones to bring about the distinction. The conference room with collapsible glass walls and some of the display units on wheels, add to the flexibility of enlarging the space to hold a larger audience when required.
“As it was a side loaded space, we took advantage of the only main visual axis to highlight the two main Brands, Roca and Laufen, which can clearly be made out even at first glance,” discloses Singh, adding that “as it is with all Bespoke Projects, with a tight budget and a still tighter timeline, this one too had its share of scares. We discovered the hard way about the strict departmental guidelines for Interior fit out.”
Low and a number of beams saw many run-ins with consultants and the General Contractor…..and each site meeting seemed like a battle ground with everyone wearing a thick armour of best practices to defend. “But finally, the short fit out time of just 35 days was achieved by the staunch support of all the stakeholders especially the Roca Marketing team and CBRE, Main GC for the project,” says a visibly relieved Singh, who is pleased with the outcome.