Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Akshat Bhatt

Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Akshat Bhatt

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Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline
photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP

The SEPIA store designed by Ar. Akshat Bhatt of Architecture Discipline for Furniture Republic is inspired by scenes from Indian streets.  The ever-present hawker protected from the elements by a simple bight coloured plastic drape, the seemingly chaotic ordering system wherein everything is present and visible is well depicted. The exhilarating kite battles in the summer sky, even the anarchy of overhead electrical lines and the sometimes legal tap-offs– all becomes a part of design.

The client wished to create a unique experience to display and retail eclectic objects that have bearing in traditional arts and crafts. We were given freedom to develop a program and propose a mood for the store.  Our understanding with the client moved beyond the standard client-architect dialogue which, helps with unconventional projects such as this.

The store is located within an old flour mill complex. The spatial structure is a reasonably large span. The walls were poorly finished. The designers decided to use these elements to form the organizational and material palette for the space. In a way the only new material used is paint. Most of the palette is grey and black to enhance the contrast where colours are expressed. The store sits within a complex rendering the traditional show window moot, instead a brightly coloured wire mesh structure veneers the silhouette of the buildings and presents the complex to motorists driving across at 60 kmph. The textures on the walls were exaggerated or muted depending on the requirements of each ‘zone’ and hexagonal platforms were arranged at multiple levels which allowed the retailer to present the ‘objects’ in a non-orthogonal / non-linear format–a bit like characters in theatre. The viewer can either engage themselves with the objects, get immersed within the store, walk up or down levels or walk on as one would through a street market. Incidentally, the material chosen for the flooring of the circulation areas is ‘ashphalt’ and the road outside has really been pulled in. The ceiling has been conceived as deconstructed kites a hat-tip to our Independence Day celebrations. These are simple carpet backing stretched on lightweight timber frames. Coloured kites suggest the movement axis. The kites are used to bounce diffused light through the space to create a subtle drama that structured ceilings cannot.

Further, unfinished GI sections are suspended like branches through the halls; these are tracks that house the lighting system and occupancy sensors.  The theatrical feel is enhanced by lighting, wide and narrow spots are used to accentuate the objects on display, these cast strong shadows on the floor and walls. The composition is dynamic such that every time onewalks in,  it looks a little different.

  • Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline <br> photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
    Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline
    photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
  • Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline <br> photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
    Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline
    photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
  • Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline <br> photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
    Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline
    photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
  • Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline <br> photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
    Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline
    photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
  • Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline <br> photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
    Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline
    photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
  • Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline <br> photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
    Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline
    photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
  • Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline <br> photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
    Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline
    photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
  • Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline <br> photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
    Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline
    photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
  • Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline <br> photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
    Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline
    photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
  • Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline <br> photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP
    Sepia, Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi; Ar. Akshat Bhatt, Architecture Discipline
    photographs Akshat Bhatt / IHDP

Materials Used

Area Material Material description Price
Flooring Dewatered Concrete

Ashphalt

Recycled Timber Palettes

Rs 50/sq ft

Rs 65 /sqft

Rs 70 /sqft

Walls Distressed plaster and Multilayered paint Rs 30 /sqft
Ceiling Abstract Kites suspended from Roof

Gi Louvers

Carpet Backing on Timber and G I Frames

Unfinished Gi panels placed to slope

Interior Walls Dry Walls Lafarge

fact sheet

  • project : SEPIA
  • location: Dhan Mills Compound Chattarpur, New Delhi
  • client: The Furniture Republic
  • architects: Architecture Discipline
  • principal architect: Akshat Bhatt
  • team:  Akshat Bhatt, Aditya Tognatta, Nidhi Khosla
  • lighting: Architecture Discipline / Rahul Singh
  • area: 15,000-sq.ft.
  • date of commencement & completion :  2012
  • photographs: Akshat Bhatt / IHDP