Ensemble’s New Concept Store in Hyderabad

October 24, 2022

Ensemble’s first concept store in Hyderabad was created by Hyderabad-based designer Sona Reddy, commemorating its 35th anniversary. The recently opened boutique, which is situated on a bustling street in the upscale Banjara Hills, is a celebration of Indian design that pays homage to its rich history. 

Three distinct levels are covered by Ensemble Hyderabad and are approached in three distinct methods. Lots of natural materials, such as terrazzo and lime plaster, were purposefully used. The materials were obtained directly from the source, such as marble from Banswara and pink sandstone from Dholpur. Lengthy processes were condensed into a brief period of time. The store incorporates sustainable components such as reclaimed wood furniture, antique glass vases from pharmacies, and indigo pigment in place of paint.

The goal was to develop a retail space that was discreetly luxurious, drawing design cues and features from existing Ensemble stores and translating and advancing them to bring to life the space that had been available—keeping things simple and only designing when essential. Furniture was custom made, continuing the style set by Bijoy Jain, the designer of the existing stores. With softened edges and subdued colour tones, all of the elements have tenderness to them. In order to create a significant curve for the double-height entry space, the studio moved this ahead. Terrazzo flooring was taken a step further and finished as the façade. Banswara marble was used for the windows, doors, and other features throughout the store. Lime plaster covered all the vertical surfaces, and the bridal section’s pink sandstone flooring stands out. The objective was to select native Indian materials and showcase them to the fullest.

The building’s facade is imagined as a grey monolith, with terrazzo poured onto the lower two levels of the facade and a punctured concrete screen on the second floor. The grey is offset by greens sprinkled across a planter box on the first floor level, and a large indigo double door is a callback to the doors of Ensemble stores across the country.

The entrance space sets the tone for the rest of the project. The 12 foot high windows on either side with marble panes bring in different light and drive one’s vision upwards to the large arch in soft pink lime plaster. Two suspended murano lights lend an art deco feel to the space. An arched entryway leads to the contemporary section on the ground floor, set in muted tones of grey.

The high-ceiling contemporary section with its spacious display gives the store a luxurious feel, and marble shelves with brass accents add to the opulence. A small seating area near the fluted wood billing counter has an antique carpet, which adds a pop of colour to the space. The grey space transitions into a pink staircase, punctuated by an indigo lift.

The first level, also in grey, houses the men’s and textile collections. Sarees are displayed in thin wooden shelving units complemented by a large marble table. The impact of the double-height curve is magnified when viewed from this mezzanine, and one feels the connection to the floor below, even though it is at a different level.

The bridal section is set apart from the rest of the store. Taking forward Bijoy’s theme, the studio used pink sandstone on the floor and matched lime plaster on the walls. Ample daylight enters this floor from the concrete screen. The luxurious trial rooms with marble doors, again an element from Bijoy, open out to a spacious seating area for families.

The pink sandstone stairway highlights itself through the grey tones of the ground and first floor and seamlessly blends itself into the second floor. The contrast between the tones and textures can be seen as they wrap themselves around the metal mesh elevator shaft, all of which is pigmented in Indigo. An interplay of light and shadow is achieved when the light falls through the mesh, and the brass sconces help brighten up the space.

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