Akshat Bhatt and Nikita Aneja turn to contemporary theatrics to transform a retail space for Perona in New Delhi’s DLF Avenue

JAN 22, 2021 | By Raashi Dev
The muted colour palette generates the aura of a luxe exhibit; Photographs by Jeetin Sharma
The structural design creates the aesthetic of a contemporary walk-in closet; Photographs by Jeetin Sharma
The clothes are highlight much like art at an exhibition; Photographs by Jeetin Sharma
The storefront is fashioned to generate intrigue and lure shoppers in; Photographs by Jeetin Sharma
View of the merchandise in the store; Photographs by Jeetin Sharma
Glass sculptures make for perfect display cases; Photographs by Jeetin Sharma
View of the Perona store; Photographs by Jeetin Sharma

DLF Avenue is home to an almost 1,200 sq ft store for apparel brand Perona. Its USP? That it navigates the post-pandemic world and converges two systems that are often considered to be at different ends of the spectrum—culture and shopping. 

Akshat Bhatt and Nikita Aneja of Architecture Discipline have created this distinctive and edgy space. The design expands on notions of modularity, flexibility and reusability of space, while also exploring the dynamics of modern consumption (both digitally and physically).

The resulting layout offers an immersive experience within a non-intrusive shell. It is brought to life through a controlled palette of changing materials, lighting and finishes. 

Changing rooms are conceptualised as green rooms in theatre; Photographs by Jeetin Sharma

“As a studio, we’re interested in finding areas of work that slip between conventional territories. And this project offered us certain freedom to explore that. We wanted to create a shop display system that was ephemeral,” says Bhatt. Indeed, in some cases, classic Perona products grace the floor akin to objects in an exhibition, disconnecting the brand from the temporal dimensions of fast fashion. 

Straight lines and colour harmony ground the concept; Photographs by Jeetin Sharma

The changing rooms are fashioned as green rooms in theatre, taking cues from Shakespeare’s famous quote ‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Continuing with this theme, the products are enclosed within wooden panels draped in suede fabric to convey a sense of gravity mixed with comfort. 

Minimal silhouettes are displayed in artistic grandeur; Photographs by Jeetin Sharma

The overall neutral palette lends itself to an industrial character using sharp, bold details. Reusable polycarbonate and curved SS panels on the walls create a dense foreground with counterpoints in the glass. The imposing character is balanced by suede curtains that add textural variability and break down the monotony.

Tinted glass allows for seamless partitions; Photographs by Jeetin Sharma

The metal diffuses and reflects the colour of the merchandise that’s suspended immediately in front of it and animates shadows, thus creating an immersive experience.