Unique Architectural Features to enhance the aesthetics and Function of the Retail Store
Retail Store Design has much more than the three basic considerations essential for a Retail Store Design. Incorporation of various architectural features is essential to enhance the aesthetic appeal and also the functionality of the designed space. Form Follows Function in case of retail store design is a true statement; in fact its true and should be considered for every design. But we have to design the spaces according to the functions so that the design becomes a big success and serves its purpose of built.
A series of refinements are ecessary to distinguish a high end retail store from what is merely a shop. Some things stay the same, the display must be accessible, allowing the customer to ‘touch and feel’ if necessary and it is important that a visual display prominently advertise the USP of the product.
With high end retail spaces often being housed in interesting or heritage structures, it is important to respect the sanctity of the structure while designing. Instead of treating the structural members as a hindrance, the same should be treated as design elements.
Columns become flanking portals, beams – ceiling rafters, glazing-show windows. One can achieve a lot, by such an out of the box approach to the retail design, while utilizing every inch of the space.
Much can be achieved by playing with light as can be seen in the interiors of Daniel Hechter retail spaces. The showroom is provided with very bright lights, focussed on the merchandise. Huge metal lamps are attached to the ceiling which focus on the new arrivals.
Another unique concept noticeable in the trial room which is quite big, is an antique study table and a huge mirror with shelves for perfumes.
The popular materials in use today are vitrified tiles for floors, wood for walls and gypsum board for ceiling. “ Eco friendly materials like recycled wood, are also prominent in many stores as seen in Good Earth.”
We avoid using paints, we use natural products in their original form and then work on it, and do some patterns and some textures on it to create a new design.”
In today’s market, materials are available in abundance. The challenge is applying thought to the design and using creativity to produce a design output that would be functionally feasible and aesthetically unique.
Selection of materials and accessories
The selection of materials is usually dependent on the theme of the space. While some prefer graphics in the walls, others might opt for a traditional look. The spectrum is wide and the choice is endless. The choice of material is governed not only by the ambience, but also by the budget of the retailer. Sometimes the simplest materials, when used effectively, can look more impressive than a very expensive material. For a retail space like a spa store, the materials have to be earthy so as to create a feeling of freshness and being closer to nature. It is necessary to reduce the usage of artificial finished like plastics, as it would work against the desired ambience.
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