Crafting an Urban Sanctuary to house a unique retail experience
Studio Lotus’ recently-completed concept store Paro at The Chanakya, New Delhi, crafts a richly layered environment for visitors to holistically interpret the new wellness brand by Good Earth. Highlighting the power of design as a tool to transform the visitor’s sense of space and time, the narrative instantaneously disconnects visitors from the mundane reality of the mall it sits within – transporting them to an otherworldly cocoon where the ancient and the modern coalesce in quiet harmony.
Paro reimagines the traditional brand-user interface predicated on retail, and exemplifies the emergence of an alternative means of interaction with a brand: a curated set of multiple immersive experiences – consultancy, workshops, talks, therapy, and retail – each as significant as the other, aiding the interpretation of the brand’s vision of spiritual well-being. It encourages visitors to pause, introspect, learn, and truly engage, creating a sanctuary amidst the humdrum of urban life.
The brand narrative unfolds sequentially as the visitor walks through the spaces; the resultant experience alludes to meandering through a home in the hills. A multitude of small pockets are delineated within the larger space, each embodying its own distinct character and evoking a specific feeling. In direct opposition to how retail spaces are planned conventionally – where design is employed to maximise the perception of space – this strategy humanises the experience of interacting with a brand. The spatial scaling down creates a sense of intimacy, bringing visitors closer to the products and inviting them to engage viscerally. Each of the pockets is programmed to house a particular function or activity: from therapy rooms and apothecary-like lab spaces to product displays and a library that can host workshops and talks.
The décor is warm and minimal, a combination of elements old and new; bricks salvaged from a demolished 18th century haveli create a historic shell, while white walls and ceilings offer subtle contrast, introducing a sense of timelessness to the space. Product display shelves are carved into the walls, tucked inside niches and behind timber shutters while refurbished found furniture punctuates the space. Studio Lotus collaborated with TSK Designs to create visual storytelling that plays an intrinsic role in tying the spatial narrative together, exemplified by hand-painted environmental graphics that illustrate the idea of holistic wellness sourced from the Vedas. The store’s richly textured material palette, expressed without overlaid finishes, brings into focus the values of traditional, philosophical wisdom that Paro embodies – honesty and authenticity.