Functionality, clever creative solutions and aesthetics are the driving principles of AVA Studio’s design philosophy. Established in 2013, the studio’s scope of work ranges from individual spaces to retail and hospitality design as well as creating furniture and lighting fixtures for each project.
Founder and architect Alina Vadera believes that the relationship with the client is fundamental in any service based industry. “You have to be able to speak the same language on that given project and there has to be a certain level of trust,” she says. At AVA studio each project is approached by first grasping the concept and then building a story around it to create evocative spaces.
Daylight floats through the glass storefront and brightens up the interiors of the Ogaan boutique in Delhi’s fashionable Khan Market. It is a smaller space compared to the brand’s expansive flagship store, but what it lacks in size it makes up in style.
Alina says, “The brief was to create a space where the garments and accessories are showcased through installations to add a sense of fun to the process of shopping, yet keeping the palette and backdrop quiet.” This has been achieved by sticking to a colour scheme that does not deviate much from white and a muted grey.
The steel cage system that takes over the walls and ceilings lends an edge to the design and comes in handy to hang or place accessories. The pillars clad with mirrors add breadth to the boutique and are functional.
Cement floor, stucco walls and the detailing with lacquered metal lend a vintage ambience to the store that is in sync with the elegance that the brand is synonymous with.
Small details like potted plants hung on the wall and books scattered on side tables add to the cosy vibe. The lighting, too, has been carefully planned to focus on the collection at display without overshadowing it. According to Alina, design plays a crucial role in a retail space like Ogaan where the merchandise is the main draw. “Each product needs to be displayed in a certain manner, in certain lighting and in a certain sequence that best defines it,” she elaborates. The Studio was at the helm of affairs in designing their Emporio Mall outlet too.
Bhane is an online fashion retail brand that started with the concept of keeping fashion simple. Having quickly shot up the list of popular online stores, when the brand recruited AVA Studio to create its offline presence, the work was cut out for Alina and her team. “Our concept was to bring Bhane offline. Having a huge online presence, we conceptualised a space that was inspired by their website – clean, casual and flexible,” she says.
The Bhane store at Meharchand Market reflects all these attributes. Hollow metal boxes in different sizes are suspended and stacked upon one another to create striking geometric arrangements that can be easily shifted around to suit the need. Alina explains the thought process behind the concept, “Our intervention was in designing a distinct modular system that could be put in any space or place with the prime function of displaying and storing garments.”
The design is minimalist and the floor space is dedicated entirely to the merchandise. Except for the floor, which is laid with smoky grey tiles, white is the predominant colour, an ideal backdrop to make the apparel stand out. A spiral staircase that curves to the upper levels adds a quirky design element to the otherwise clean setup.
The façade which is largely made up of floor-to-ceiling windows accentuates the openness and warmth of the space. Alina stresses on the importance of layout in retail spaces, “Circulation and the way the user moves through the space is our prime focus. We try to build the layout and placement of the garments or accessories in a way that is easily available and attainable.”
Delhi Club House
The large bay windows and intelligent use of lighting heralds the location of the Delhi Club House from a fair distance. The clients and the team at AVA along with Headlight Design brainstormed to come up with the concept of an adda, something that would be reminiscent of the Delhi Gymkhana Club or the Delhi Golf Club, but, infused with an Indian contemporary twist. It was agreed to use this as the guiding principle.
The concept took a tangible form by incorporating terrazzo chequered flooring, dark wood panels, tennis-green paint, brass trim accents and leather upholstery in the execution of the design plan. Alina’s favourite design element is the circular columns painted in tennis-green. “They divide the space to form different zones for seating while giving a charming character to the space,” she says.
The interiors at Delhi Club House create a distinct vibe of the good old times within the modern context. While look and ambience are crucial factors in the experience of dining out, there are other background aspects that need to be taken into consideration.
Alina says, “As the kitchen is the most important function of a restaurant, we work very closely with the kitchen consultants on giving the required space for optimised use without compromising on the design. The HVAC and ventilation system is equally important so that the restaurant ambience isn’t affected.” At the Delhi Club House, AVA Studio has struck a fine the balance between functionality and appearance.
Text by Himali Kothari
Photographs Courtesy AVA Studio