by Anmol AhujaMar 21, 2022
Seeing the products you want to buy in use is probably the best test for a buyer. This is exactly what Renesa Architecture Design Interiors Studio thought while conceptualising a new retail store in New Delhi. Titled The Brick Bond, this 550-square-feet store has been designed for Jindal Mechno Bricks, a leading brand that retails modular bricks. The aim of the architects was to create an immersive space that celebrates the very material that it is made of—bricks. Emphasising the birth of bricks from their clay forms, the interiors of this experiential centre is a modern dive into the chambers of a classic brick kiln. The earthy colour palette and symmetrical patterns allow for the bricks to take centre stage in the store. The design of the space is an ode to the Jindal Mechno Bricks' 50-year-old legacy and the versatility and adaptability of their products.
"At Renesa, our design approach dabbles in the exploration of extremes, giving each brief our all with no room for middle ground. This often manifests as either suave design languages embedded in minimalism or taking on an expressive demeanour to allow material-based homogeneity to come through. For us as a studio, design needs to eventually hold up a mirror to the ethos, function, and persona of the space in question. With The Brick Bond, our endeavours focused on creating an experiential space within which the humblest, yet most fundamental unit of construction became the protagonist. The brick varieties don a range of hues dabbling in deep browns, umber tones, warm yellows, and the celebrated terracotta, which can be produced in a range of modular sizes. In keeping with this, we have woven the design narrative in which a singular material forms the distilled essence of the space,” mentions Sanchit Arora, Principal Architect, Renesa Architecture Design Interiors Studio.
Situated in the heart of the construction material nucleus of New Delhi, this distinctive retail store exhibits a novel design identity for the brand. The new identity begins with the striking façade of the store, which serves as an introduction and sets the tone for what to expect. The humble and uniformly punctured façade, made of bricks, welcomes guests to a one-of-a-kind retail space where bricks play the dual function of showcasing and being showcased. The bricks used across the space, including the façade, are creations of Jindal Mechno Bricks. The architects have utilised them in a symmetrical, geometric matrix of sorts, delving into their diverse range of surface hues and profiles.
"The façade plays a pivotal role especially in projects of the retail genre. The site’s location witnesses a large footfall in an integral building material retail destination in New Delhi. The elevation at hand was a south-facing one and drew in a generous amount of sunlight. We utilised the terracotta-hued variety of the bricks to create a geometric façade, culling out square-form fenestrations that drew in the sun as dramatic strobes of light. Adhering to Renesa’s classic philosophy of celebrating a material in its untainted form, we were able to create an engaging façade that drew the spectator’s attention while beckoning them inside,” states Arora.
The Brick Bond houses a central display area along with an office, a bathroom, and a pantry section. The façade, interior walls, floors, and ceiling depict three unique brick bond typologies that show guests the versatility of the construction material. The display section, which is evocative of a brick kiln, is the highlight of the space. A number of symmetric, brick-clad pedestals rise from the floor, displaying Jindal Mechno Bricks’ diverse bricks, making it look almost like an art gallery.
"Undisputedly, the core display section in the blueprint was the most challenging yet exciting space to design, as it rules the nucleus of the layout, anchoring the most crucial function. The design concept here took a metaphorical journey—we envisioned this focal space as the inside of a brick kiln of sorts. Intriguingly, bricks are fired and prepared in a kiln constituted of other bricks, a process that is helmed by a regenerative aspect. We wanted to extrapolate that vision and bathe the curvilinear ceiling, walls, floors, and display pedestals uninterruptedly,” adds Arora.
Undoubtedly, the purpose of this experience centre does not merely fixate on aesthetically displaying the brick typologies. Instead, it takes on an illustrative route to demonstrate to a patron how the bricks can be laid, imagined, and experimented with. "The variety of bricks at The Brick Bond are the true-blue frontrunners of the design narrative. Jindal Mechno Bricks' vision has been conjured by employing a monolithic, contiguous, and symmetrical approach in the way the bricks are stitched into the space. The brand’s motive at this location unshackles itself from the conventional conception of a retail experience centre. There is an incessant equation of addition and deduction in the matrix of the space, establishing a balanced visual equilibrium across the volume," Arora explains further.
Moreover, this project is an honest flag bearer of sustainability and an environmentally conscious approach towards conceiving spaces. “Most interestingly, if this store were to ever be reimagined or physically experience a move, the constituent bricks engaged at the site can be disintegrated and generated into new bricks by utilising the former as raw material in the creation of a renewed batch. The core product is also the main contributing material in the production of modular bricks. The design approach taken on here is an amalgamation of zero waste generation and self-sustainability,” concludes Arora.