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  • Writer's pictureChanda P Kumar

Rapport's new concept store 'Rooted In Motion'

Our feet & in turn footwear as a medium is connected to movement and exploration. Inspired by this thought, the concept ideation rooted in motion was the key driver in the store design of Rapport’s newest outlet in Hyderabad.

The store concept was conceived during the initial onset of COVID19, with the thought of what should a shoe store be like post pandemic. And how it aligns with consumer perception and behavior towards buying with an underlying feeling that people have been at home mostly during lockdown months. The approach was also centered on how a shoe store can provide a unique customer experience and help buy footwear with a thought of its lifestyle and usage / occasion. Lastly, the design was all about how a shoe store can be presented in a manner that it becomes a social hangout / destination unlike a usual store.

These three main thoughts became the pillars of the concept ideation towards store design. Creating a space which was highly urban, transparent, open, indulging, non-intimidating, inclusive, nature friendly yet exclusive in its own domain.The store layout was divided into two broad areas. The ground floor for active, athleisure and casual range, which takes on the inspiration of an urban streetscape. The upper floor housing formal and occasional range is inspired by a wedding lounge. An invisible access staircase connects both floors and transitions a person from the open urban space to a controlled indulgent environment.

The ground floor designed as an urban space takes cues from urban street elements such as furniture, walkway and building character. It uses forms and materials like expose concrete, natural wood, actual greens and abundance of natural light. The entire space allows people to browse freely and also provides intermittent spaces where they can sit and try footwear. Display of shoes are planned in a linear and open manner which provides flexibility and enhances character of the overall buying environment. The overall quality of space including color, texture, tonality is highly sophisticated and borrows from spaces like studios and institutes. Natural light plays a big role in adding to the above character.

The residential plot was converted into a custom designed building for the store with the objective of providing an open transparent and natural space for store environment. Inside the store, a mezzanine was created as a large, stilted pod like a very large fixture in a store. An L Shaped detached double height space was formed like a natural lighting tunnel which also doubles up as a viewing gallery from the upper floor. Hence the mezzanine floor transforms into an integrated pod nested within the store.

The mezzanine pod is dedicated to formal and occasional wear category and hence it is designed as a highly indulgent experience and premium service creating an apt mood for such buying. The space is defined and articulated by the use of coated metals, perforations, glass, polished surfaces, soft upholstered highlights, acoustic ceiling, warm & accentuated lights and luxurious seating. The space divides into three zones catering to occasional footwear for women, men and bespoke shoes.

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