Ar. Dhruva Kalra's innovative design ideas for Almond House, Hyderabad

Ar. Dhruva Kalra's innovative design ideas for Almond House, Hyderabad


Almond House followed the Design Build delivery approach for this project, which helped streamline the project from end-to-end. The single-handed nature of the approach brought greater clarity in delivering a project of this scale, from the concept to the execution, all in one flow. The constructive approach improved cost and time management via teamwork and helped accelerate innovation at every phase of the project. The brand-focused aesthetics stand as an example of such creative interventions, while the harmonious flow in the spatial theme underlines the significance of collaborative work. Dhruva Kalra, Principal Architect, I’m D’sign, shares more on the approach used while designing and building the project, and its success….Methods in placeThe framework of the authentic dessert store was planned to make a strong statement that would catch attention from across the busy streets in Begumpet. The space is imagined as an artistic reminiscence with an awakened aesthetic sense that presents age-old Indian desserts on a global platter. To suit the modern palette in demand, the quirky personality of the brand is glorified, with a subtle throwback to tradition. There is an overdose of colours and textures underlined by a strong nostalgia of classical elements.The spatial layout was planned with a design priority – to ease customer movement. The plan aligned the brand’s interests with consumer interests by introducing a clear, functional space with enough room to provide the customer a hands-on experience with the products. A clear distinction in the product display is evident – premium product ranges stand out from regular products with material demarcations coupled with dramatic accent lighting. Gift hampers, loose-selling products, etc, sit in dedicated zones, infusing clarity in the visitor’s experience. On a functional note, self-pickup, sweets and savouries and premium selling areas are backed by packaging options, with a zone dedicated for this.The execution of the intricately imagined space was empirically planned with a compelling course of action onsite that encompassed the use of factory-produced parts for a faster work schedule. The complete store was whipped into shape with a spatial shell created onsite, whose minutiae such as fixtures, systems and loose furniture are factory-produced and installed onsite. The smart construct added to the contemporary attributes of the project.Innovative materialsThe aesthetic demarcation in the interiors takes a tactile twist with textured tiles, fluted glass panes and other one-of-a-kind material innovations that favour the trends around maximalism and ridged renaissance. Wooden partitions, aureate metal frames and channel upholstery uplift the exquisiteness of the store with a flawless lustre original to the premium materials. The new-age material palette takes advantage of the factory-made build, acknowledging the systematic progress that is feasible on site. The branding aspect is underlined by pristine profiles and chic palettes that command this 360° creation. The store’s merchandise is also subtle, minimal and informative, stripped clean of all the frills, reflecting the seriousness in the brand’s approach to maintain and offer a premium quality product. An immersive experience is actualised.Technologies at playThe parent structure of the store – the mall –had a VRV HVAC system in place that proved highly energy-efficient with precise temperature control and appreciable heat recovery. The simpler installation methods also paved the way for a faster pace in the work schedule. On the other hand, the complete lighting system emerges as LED lighting, which provides a more energy-efficient system, lowering the long-term running costs in a commercial hub like Begumpet. A contextually responsive structure is conceived.Software successThe project was visualised with a straightforward approach, planned and designed with the ultra-basic software duo: AutoCAD for planning and 3DS max for interiors. The proven proficiency and universal use of AutoCAD and 3DS max made way for highly workable project planning. The fundamental design software helped envision the space’s key framework, establishing a reliable design approach.Specialty servicesThe speciality services in this store owe to it being a part of a mall, opening on the high street. The storefront is marked by a glazed façade where LED signboards stand out in the brand’s signature look: a quirky black-on-contrasts colour scheme. Special attention was given to the play with illumination, where the flushed and accent lighting find tune with the branding strategy, overstating the distinction of products.The design challenge lay in the fabrication of the ceiling – the theatrical expanse had to be constructed and completed onsite, without compromising on the timelines or the precision of the far-spun build. Other onsite challenges involved the levelling and the interpretive interior finishes – the aesthetic extravagance was crafted at length with skilled labour and meticulous material sourcing. The recherché details such as terrazzo cladding, patterned tiles and dado panels stand as a product of these challenges, labelling the peculiar ambience inside-out.Time factorThe project was completed in a span of three months – a milestone achieved through pragmatic planning with installation-ready parts, upheld by the forward thinking of the team.And so, Almond House in Begumpet was successfully brought to reality with a range of inhouse services from I’m D’sign.- SERAPHINA D’SOUZA

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