Glassxpert – Asahi India’s first retail store in Gurgaon designed by Lotus Design Studio seeks to redefine shopping for glass by making it an experience that is a glass apart.
Text By Gopal M. S.
Photographs Courtesy The Architect
Yes, our skylines are being redrawn with glass. Look inside tall buildings or slick small spaces and you will find glass in the most unlikely of places; and the likely places, in new and interesting ways.
Glass, which has been around for centuries is now among the fastest evolving materials that can make your imagination run riot. And if you are thinking of ways to stun your clients or impress the visitors to your home or office with some glass, then come experience the possibilities at Glassxperts.
Glassxperts is a full-service solutions brand that seeks to bring an integrated approach to glass selection and installation for homes, offices and commercial spaces. The first store that is now open in Gurgaon succeeds in doing so.
Until Asahi India’s Glassxperts opened in India, there were no stores that specialised or created a space for customers to experience glass. And when you are an internationally proven glass expert setting up a showroom in India, the space better be one that no one will throw a stone at.
Asahi wanted to create a real experience for their clients. And that’s the task the designers at Lotus Design Studio took upon themselves when they set out to create the Glassxperts experience.
The result is a store where glass is sold like it is envisaged. A contemporary gallery full of possibilities with glass. Once the virtual space where light streamed, bounced and gallivanted around freely was created, they teamed up with Codesign, who created designs for the glass walls. They filled it with art that is maybe a little abstract, but very modern and conveying the ‘virtual’ possibilities of glass as a material of the future; both in homes
According to Ankur Choksi of Lotus Design Studio, it wasn’t an easy task to test the limits of possibilities with glass. The designing part was easy, but the difficulties they faced were at the execution levels. After all this was India, and yes, since it is a first of its kind, there were the usual problems faced when it comes to making drawings a reality. It called for a more than the usual interaction with the engineers at Asahi.
Ankur positively calls it the learning curve. He is thankful that he had a client who worked closely with them to get it right and that too, patiently. To begin with, to get the exact design, they had to work on two or three sets of prototypes.
The final design for the Glassxpert store is designed to make it look like a ‘virtual’ store. Getting the almost perfect futuristic yet practical look took time. Dreaming up the cube-like spaces, suspended spaces and the futuristic conference was the easy part but with the building, they had to come up with workable solutions. For example: even a simple thing as the glass stairs sounds great on paper but you cannot take a chance when it comes to making them.
For all practical purposes, Asahi in India functioned under very realistic restrictions. There was a stiff time frame and the budget was tight. This also meant that it was not possible to fly in experts from other countries to set up the store. So it was up to the designers and the local engineers to come up with solutions to execute the project.
For Lotus Designs, the experience was a very valuable one. They got to understand and work with various new materials, and not just glass. It would be correct to say that they have also become Glassxperts.
If you are in Gurgaon, we recommend that you take some time out and see what ideas glass will trigger in you. It could be you who will shatter the new ceiling set for design in glass!