“Architecture is like music for a soul and each one should get the music he yearns for”, believes Architect Vipin Bakiwala, who completed B.Arch. from MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur in 2004 and began working on his own, during the initial years of his bachelors’ degree. He got the opportunity to work with his professors and gradually realized the fact that architecture is much more than just bricks and cement. He recognized that it has the capacity to heal one’s soul and mind and bring happiness into ones’ life. This perception boosted his relentless passion for architecture and stimulated him to design spaces that truly reflect the inhabitants’ soul. Vipin thus developed his own unique style. This led him to gather a wide acumen in work ranging from architecture and Interiors to product design.
In the year 2006 Ar. Vipin Bakiwala established Vipin Bakiwala Design Studio, which is today a leading Architecture and Interior Design firm based in Jaipur, India with a team of impassioned architects, designers, artists and artisans. The firm works on an array of projects consisting of residences, restaurants, manufacturing as well as retail units. It is the team’s continuous attempt to work upon minute specifics of design from the very outset and keep on exploring and experimenting with different trends and materials to achieve the objective of creating soulful and timeless designs. They also collaborate with Sunividh Art to provide customized solutions and creative consultancy on various art forms, sculptures, paintings and artifacts to their distinguished clientele.
Their recent projects list a textile design and production house ‘Riwaayat’, a fabric studio ‘FabricQ’, a contemporary high end bungalow in Jaipur, a meditation hall in Dronagiri, MP, an ENT Hospital (ongoing), besides the themed Jewelry Boutique ‘Radhika Jewels’ which is being featured here.
The project was commissioned by Rahul Jain, who is the owner of Radhika Jewelscraft Private Ltd. Radhika Jewelscraft offers traditional Kundan and Nakshi Jewelry collection. It was previously engaged in designing, manufacturing, supplying and exporting to a wide global clientele. Due to the growing interest of the owner towards bridal jewelry, they decided to enter into the retail sector. This bridal jewelry boutique is located on the ground and basement floors in a posh area of Jaipur and has an area of 4500 sq. ft. The design team comprised of Ar. Vipin Bakiwala and Ar. Nainika Nagar.
Ar. Vipin Bakiwala’s reminisces, “Our first rendezvous with the client gave us the food for thought that the entire design should celebrate the essence of being a ‘Bride’, her emotional journey and the care and affection she receives from her close ones. It’s when we discovered our design theme; it’s when the bride became the hero of our fairy Jewelry story.”
The existing space was almost a clean shell with lack of sunlight and uninspiring façade. A couple of months were dedicated towards the project’s identity development followed by the construction period. Besides, since the boutique also offers jewelry other than the bridal collection, the retail planning was done accordingly. After 6 months, it finally turned up into an upscale and one of a kind Jewelry Boutique.
The boutique subsumes a light neutral color scheme that pleasingly coats on the entire design. Starting from the exterior, a rose gold signage tops the 30 ft. wide façade of the boutique. The flooring has a combination of dual finish granite tiles laid in random triangular patterns that guides you to the main store and enhances the expanse of the property.
Whereas a decorated wall mural made in GRC adds to the overall ambience. An amalgamation of hexagonal classical columns crowned with arches uplifts the low height and wide proportions of the façade. We also added Italian marble clad columns to balance the dainty classical façade. A well detailed, Sabyasachi Hazarbuti wall covering was spread on the walls of the elevation to set an indulging rhythm to the boutique. A pair of opulent wooden doors with frosted glass paves way to the retail and basement space respectively.
At the outset, the striking contrast between the customized Bamboo Silk carpet in mint green and off white silk threads and the neutral color palette of walls and ceiling grabs the attention of the customer. The primary display space has balanced and symmetrical elevations holding the jewelry showcases and the central niches, one with ‘Paan’ leaf shaped artwork and other with mirror paneling. Facing these niches, the customer indulges in a pleasant experience of buying.
Two arched openings connect the retail space to the lounge area. The space is affluent with mirror paneling, jewelry showcases, and a soft hued 8-seater couch. One of the lounge walls features a gold leafing artwork of the ‘Ashoka’ tree. The design elements attempt to double up the small widths of the space and lift up the walls. The idea behind designing the sofa seating was to let the bride and her family to interact closely while selecting from the collection. It also attempts to break the barriers between the staff and the customers, creating a semblance of trust among them.
The lounge connects to a small Shamiyana vestibule that features a gold leafing artwork inspired from ‘Kaali’ embroidery design of South India. The vestibule leads a few steps up to administration office, exhibiting a ‘Paan’ leaf shaped artwork behind the admin’s desk and a frosted glass window that views the vaulted double heighted lobby of the second entrance of the basement.
Walking down the carpeted stairs, next to the vestibule, one passes through a bright passage enriched with wall coverings, classical style mirror, planters, framed artwork and elegant balustrades. The passage connects all the significant areas i.e. the Directors’ cabins, basement lounge, back office and a waiting area.
The main directors’ cabin is adorned with eminent Pichwai painting portraying Shreenath Ji. The colors of the painting resonate with the color scheme of the entire room, while the jewelry and floral patterns add vibrancy to the space. The color palette, flooring, upholstery as well as finishes, all are thoughtfully put together to add to the glory of their profession.
The lounge space is unveiled by sliding glass doors in the arched opening. The floral patterns of the Hazarbuti wall covering continues in the etching design of the doors. Exclusively designed for the bride, the lounge is elaborately adorned with floral designed rugs from Jaipur Rugs, Moroccan style mirrors and jewelry showcases on all the four corners along with blush pink sofas.
The arches across the space, take influence from the Mughal architecture, deeply rooted in Rajasthani style. The artwork in the front arched niche features intricate gold leafing around floral designs, depicting the delicate bride adorned in beautiful wedding jewelry, meant just for her.
The back office and waiting area are located on the other side of the passage. Back office consists of work rooms, rest rooms and services and being a restricted area it is done in the most simplistic way.
The waiting area is spacious and features six niches on the wall each exhibiting gold paisley design. It further follows the duplex, which extends the effect of sunlight and aims to make the client feel lighter. The classical balustrades, bright chandeliers & light-hued couches harmonize well to lend allure to the entire space.
The duplex door opens up to the double heighted lobby of the second entrance. The lobby bestows an overwhelming welcome to the visitors with its beautiful classical planters, Italian marble on sides and stairs, wall coverings, metal wall sconces and a grand white door with frosted etching.
The Boutique is galvanized from Classical Architecture and endeavors to exemplify the timeless experience of buying the exclusive bridal jewelry in a new light of glamour, elegance and composure. At the same time it aims to bestow the warmth that a bride gathers from her beloved family. All through the space, one will discover passion within the finer details.
The customized Bamboo silk carpet flooring is a common thread at majority of the space and is replaced by Italian marble flooring at some places. All the marble is sourced from A-Class Marble while most of the furniture is designed in-house. There are nine Gold leafing artworks and a vital Pichwai artwork, brilliantly developed in different designs as well as on surfaces. Another intriguing attraction is the Sabyasachi Nilaya Hazarbuti wall covering, used in a variety of colors throughout the space.
On being asked about the challenges faced, the architect said, “Throughout the project, we faced a number of challenges; the major one was to correct the oblongated geometry of the space. After many successful and failed experiments, we were able to create a space which is not only an ode to the rich Indian tradition but a language the brand now speaks.”
Photographer : Mr. Abhishek Kumawat
Art Consultant: Sunividh Art
Artist : Artist Ghanshyam Nimbark