Saree Seller's Boutique by Architects Zia Ismail & Juraij Ahammed
This boutique was designed with the core concept of creating a cozy ambiance, enveloped within an interpretation of traditionalism.
The project site, located at charming coastal Malabar town, was lush with character and potential - a long space flanked by quaint shallow arched windows with short sill heights, with a sloped, clay-tiled roof. The client desired to embody the aspects of hospitality, casualness and luxury within the boutique. Design ideas mainly revolved around enhancing the value of the space and it’s geographical and historical context along with hand-picked interior elements that would complement the traditional clothing products displayed at the boutique.
Although few areas were to be separated for privacy needs, the main boutique was given due respect in terms of space, especially since it gave one the first impression as it is stepped into from the entrance, towards the ‘Gadhi’ area, where premium attire is to be displayed. The client was specific about a minimal display, with a selected range of products, creating an ease for clients to experience the space while browsing merchandise.
Designing the circulation for the long space, with four zones interconnected, was an interesting challenge. A simple round table topped with luscious greens, set a few feet away from the entrance, acted as an element that would indicate to the customer to pause, look around, understand the space and choose a direction to head towards - but without overpowering the other design details. The tropical wall art, well framed from the entrance as well as from within the space was also intended to hold attention.
We were keen on the client’s desire to have customers feel at home and so antique furniture and decor were handpicked for the space, along with a few elements from the client’s own collection. As for the upholstery and other fabric pieces in the boutique, we used a warm and bright colour palette with a tinge of green. Colour palette chosen for the rest of the components were neutral, such as slate stone flooring and wooden furniture in order to emphasise the well-crafted clothing products and to tone down the design elements at the display area.
To connect both the characters of the space, a yellow ochre half wall with the colour of natural clay earth pigment, bordered by custom-made glossy emerald green tiles was done throughout the area. Though the design detailing in the ‘Gadhi’ area was kept very subtle so that the visual focus is on the display of crafted attires, a few exhibits of antique cloth collection owned by the client were displayed on one of the walls. Lush green indoor plants in brass and wooden vases placed at the corners and in front of the yellow ochre wall adds contrast and charm.
The exterior of the boutique was designed to be simple and elegant with a few basic architectural details and good lighting. The building was naturally beautified by the tender green plants seeping through the terracotta pathway. The landscaping elements were carefully chosen considering the expanse of each plant in order to direct a person from the entrance path towards the entrance.
Project: Saree Seller's Boutiqu
Location: Calicut, Kerala
Lead Architects: Ar. Zia Ismail, Ar. Juraij Ahammed
Written by: Zama Ferin
Photography: Aghin Komach
Wall Art: Plantae by Zia