House of Marigold: by stARCH Design Spectrum, Vadodara
stARCH Design Spectrum is a design studio in Vadodara, which specializes in Interior Design, Architecture and Landscape Design. Set up in 1997, by co-owners Sonali and Tanuj Desai, the practice integrates their professional training with their personal ideologies. In focus here is ‘Marigold’ – the first boutique of designer watches in India! The retail outlet needed an edifice that could match the magnificence and elegance of the watches on display. A fifty-year-old bungalow was thus chosen, and restructured into a palatial Neo-Classical/Baroque styled edifice – with a complementary interior scheme!
Conservation of buildings has become an integral part of urban architecture. And when it has to be redesigned and reinvented into a never seen before kind of a place, it needs adept understanding of the old and the new. A challenge that demanded great finesse and sophistication, in-depth knowledge of structural restrictions and a keen eye for detail, lay ahead of architects Sonali and Tanuj, the heads behind stARCH Design Spectrum, at Vadodara.
A luxury brand of designer watches – Marigold – needed a display space that would do justice to the products; one that would highlight the magnificence and elegance of the watches. A fifty-year-old bungalow was then revamped into a palatial European style edifice with multiple interactive spaces woven into each other.
The client’s brief was crisp and clear, yet offered a lot of freedom of operation and ideas to the designers. Perhaps the most intriguing and architecturally deft move in the renovation was the incorporation of European-styled pillars in the arched doorways and walls. The street lamps introduce you to the richly artistic décor styles used in the interior, before the entrance foyer envelops you into its warmth.
The entire space manifests as a surreal ‘experience’ – as one is suddenly transported into a different era, in a different place, and a different context! The grandiose luxury of the décor is exemplified by the choice of materials and finishes, exquisite craftsmanship adding to the impact of the experience.
The distinctive and exemplary timepieces displayed in the lounge-cum-museum on the ground floor set the theme for the boutique. The place is designed to be an ‘experience’ for the visitor and it does just that! The evolution of time and timepieces through eras gives the place the look of a museum and acts as a medium of studying the history of time. The designers’ attention to the smallest detail is reflected in elements like the fireplace that adds the stately touch, the resin fibre statues, the imprints of parts of a clock on the flooring in the backyard and bookmark shaped backlit wall hangings through the stairway.
‘We believe in green architecture and all our projects are based on the philosophy of minimal intervention’, shares Tanuj. The flooring and walls of the old building are retained and given a new look. ‘We have created a lot of ‘green spaces’ in this building as the client wanted cosy areas where the client could leisurely explore the beauty of the exquisite time-pieces’, he said. Sonali adds, ‘Having won the complete faith of the client who believed in the sensibilities of the Architect duo, reinventing and designing House of Marigold was a pleasant experience’.
The boutique has two display rooms that are lit aesthetically and extravagantly. A majestic Grandfather Clock on the ceiling of the stairway opens up the spaces for the opulent and artistic display of the beautiful watches it displays. The spaces distinguish the different areas and together, these small details concur to define a comfortable, decorous and pleasant work environment.