Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Tianu: The Revival Project – conserving the remnants of a bygone era!

Compiled by Team IAnD
Info: Courtesy Studio PKA
Photography: Niveditaa Gupta; courtesy Studio PKA
Read Time: 2 mins
"facade Tianu studio PKA indiaartndesign"
Tianu - The Revival Project (inset) Ar. Puran Kumar

Studio PKA repurposes a wasted space into a furniture retail outlet - Finalist in INSIDE - World Festival of Interiors 2019 Retail category - juxtaposing contemporary charm with the old-world character of the heritage precinct of Ballard Estate in South Mumbai…

Wooden-beamed high ceilings, serendipitous mezzanines, arched openings… sitting amidst metal girders within a stone façade weave a narrative of an epoch gone by. Nestled in a corner, on the ground floor of a Victorian Era building in Ballard Estate, sits Tianu - ‘The Revival Project’ as it has been christened – an adaptive re-use project that speaks of a desire to recover and respect the past. 

“double height Tianu studio PKA indiaartndesign”
“feature wall Tianu studio PKA indiaartndesign”
“view towards entrance Tianu studio PKA indiaartndesign”

The 4000 sq. ft double heighted open floor plate interjected by a low-height mezzanine shines brightly bathed in ample natural light – its arched fenestrations now divest of being boarded up. With the partitions removed and the necessary retrofitting carried out to ensure structural stability, spaces now flow into each other with transitions highlighted either by way of textural and tonal variations in flooring material or semi-permeable partitions. 

“duality of space Tianu studio PKA indiaartndesign”
“pop up floor space Tianu studio PKA indiaartndesign”
“screen Tianu studio PKA indiaartndesign”

A cement board partition below the mezzanine segregates the retail space into two. It simultaneously acts as a backdrop for art and furniture as well as blocks or allows visual access to and from the entrance of the store by way of louvers.  

“view of store Tianu studio PKA indiaartndesign”
“the workspace Tianu studio PKA indiaartndesign”
“the huddle area mezzanine Tianu studio PKA indiaartndesign”
“view from mezzanine Tianu studio PKA indiaartndesign”

On the mezzanine, the steel girders act as clear demarcations between each zone – dividing the mezzanine into three bays – a storeroom and dining area, the workspace for the inhouse design team and the huddle area or semi-public zone that plays host to furniture and art as an extension of the retail space and establishes a connect with the store below. The latter, thus, not only capitalises on floor space but also builds a unique and intriguing narrative for customers to experience the store in its entirety.

Respecting the textures of exposed brick, existing wood and metal, the introduction of new materials is kept to a bare minimum. This further helps to accentuate the teak wood furniture on sale by providing backdrops and frames to highlight and showcase the same.

The frontage merits a special mention as it not only entices visitors with its wood and glass entrance that jut inwards, accentuating the feeling of discovery as one steps up and in; but its large display windows allow the elements of the store to percolate out to the pavement; activating the street, virtually becoming its seamless extension.  

The design speaks of simplicity and transparency – an effort to bridge the gap between the old and new; architecture and product. 

Fact File:
Project name: Tianu - The Revival Project 
Architect Firm: Studio PKA 
Principal Architect: Puran Kumar  
Design Team: Noel Woodward, George Chacko, Nivedita Parab
Gross Area:  4,000 sq. ft. 
Project Location:  Ballard Estate, Mumbai
Completion:  August 2018 

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