by Anmol AhujaMar 24, 2021
More often than not, we find movement inspired architecture – structures that mimic the movement of ship sails, like the legendary Walt Disney Concert Hall in California designed by Frank Gehry, or façades of buildings that echo the shape of billowing fabric, such as the ‘Looking Glass’ in Amsterdam by UNStudio. Architecture and design practice Orproject, with offices in London, Beijing and New Delhi, was asked to design a partition wall system for Indian fashion designer Amit Aggarwal’s new flagship store in New Delhi, which mirrors his novel style of apparel design at an architectural scale.
Amit Aggarwal is known for creating edgy, sculpted dresses and custom fabrics, replete with flowy, transparent, reflecting materials and textures. “In designing for our client’s boutique, it was our aim to complement his design approach, by creating similar textures, transparencies and reflective spaces at an architectural scale. We therefore researched complex patterns and geometries to help formulate a unique shopping experience,” explains Orproject, led by project designers Christoph Klemmt (Partner, USA) and Rajat Sodhi (Partner, New Delhi, India).
Giving off a futuristic, almost cave like aesthetic, the interiors of the flagship store have been rendered in pastel grey, with these twinkling sculptures like partitions hung from the ceiling, appearing like glass frozen midair. Designed and constructed over 90 days, the bespoke partition wall system is made from laminated polycarbonate sheets; the sheets are clear polycarbonate and the laminate is a reflective film. These dividers have been positioned to separate different areas across the store’s space, which is spread over 130 sqm, and are conceptualised to imitate the movement of the billowing fabric.
The various curves, edges and spacing of the faceted panels create shimmering reflections of light, yielding separate views to people standing at different positions in the store. “The reflections and distorted images produced on the surface of the polycarbonate along with the shimmering reflections on the floor infuse a sense of wonder and curiosity, making the retail experience more effective and unique - in lines with Amit's clothes,” informs the Orproject team. Orproject uses custom written algorithms in Python and C# to develop these fresh geometries. For modelling and fabrication Rhinoceros 3D is employed.
Moving across the space, visitors experience “passing silhouettes, fleeting glimpses and exaggerated and diminished reflections”. These sparkling, flowing walls saturate across the boutique, becoming the backdrop for Amit Aggarwal’s familiar flowing and evocative apparel collection, challenging the usual, often lackluster design protocol for retail architecture.
Name: Amit Aggarwal flagship store
Location: The Kila, Seven Style Mile, 4A Kalka Das Marg, Mehrauli, New Delhi, India
Area: 130 sqm (carpet area); 2.4m high, variable width between 0.15m to 0.45m, total running length of 45 m (partition wall system)
Year of completion: 2020
Client: Amit Aggarwal
Project Designers: Christoph Klemmt, Rajat Sodhi
Project Team: Ananya Kango, Balaji Mohan Rajkumar, Komal Sodhi
Interior Design: Ava Studio