SuperMarche | Reimagining Gourmet Retail | Sync Design Studio | Ludhiana
Sync Design Studio is a Gurugram based design studio that specializes in consumer-centric architecture layered with a collaborative and holistic approach. Founded by a team of a young, self-motivated group of architects, the studio recently raised the bar for retail architecture with their store of the future — SuperMarche in Ludhiana.
Conceptualising for the new normal:
Designing for the people has always been a core philosophy at Sync Design Studio. Creating dynamic spaces that champion contemporary architecture while keeping user comfort front and centre is key to the studio’s design ethos. SuperMarche, a bespoke, exotic grocery and essentials store in Ludhiana is an example of the studio’s commitment to meeting the needs of the urban consumer in a new normal. With its covid responsive design, SuperMarche aims to lead the way in the post-pandemic retail architecture era.
SuperMarche arose as a solution to the shopping needs of the anxious consumer. Partner and Co-founder, Bhavuk Jain asserts, “We architects have the responsibility to help people transition from the old to the new as smoothly as possible. We understood that this particular project needed to have a dispersion model instead of the traditionally followed model of concentration in shopping outlets.”
To achieve the same, the store features a dispersive floor plan that promotes social distancing and prioritizes a hassle-free shopper movement throughout the premises. To better control the access area the store has a singular entry point for both ground and basement floors. The studio also did away with the conventional storage chamber altogether to help modulate the number of staff inside the store.
Design and Covid-responsive technology:
The design is a reinterpretation of modern classical and therefore has minimal accents fused with eclectic design elements such as the double-height chandelier and the veggie wall-art logo at the entrance. Taking advantage of the store’s location opposite a canal, a juice counter was introduced for the cyclists in an attempt to increase the visibility of the store. To aid the user with a premium shopping experience, the store’s exposed ceiling was accentuated by rafters and mirrors that increase reflection. The flooring adorns a dynamic, striped Zebra pattern that helps in tying the elements of the ceiling with the flooring—bringing cohesion and harmony to the look and feel of the space. An 8 mm thick metal folded staircase was designed to facilitate easy user movement despite the restricted space. Grey metal and brass finish accents add an opulent vibe to the otherwise minimal design palette of the store.
SuperMarche—a one-of-its-kind prototype in Punjab sources local produce from the farms and delivers it all over Punjab—championing the cause for going vocal for local and supporting small farmers. Such a special cause needed special storage ideas. The studio was quick to adapt and introduced flexible, modular storage. The wooden laminated shelves with metal frames have adjustable flexible heights that fit the store’s multi-occasional display requirement. Gondolas or suspended racks adorn the ceiling while aiding in efficient product display. Since it was important to find a way to temper consumer anxiety and minimize the risk while shopping, the studio developed an arrangement of compartmentalization for various foods such as keto, vegan etc. Even the dry fruit section was equipped with a dispenser system.
To bring some normalcy to the shopping experience, one which was reminiscent of a pre-covid era, a barista was introduced inside the store for the users to enjoy coffee while shopping. In the same vein, a cheese counter and a salad bar were added to refine the premium shopping experience. Considering the need for a contactless user experience post-covid, fast buy kiosks were installed in the store. The user can order all groceries from a screen and pick up the same from the stall as well as via a customised app for the store and self-checkout; thereby avoiding the need to browse through shelves altogether.
With Supermarche too, the studio has openly advocated for the latest technology that helps in reducing the environmental cost of the design by embedding R32 refrigerant for HVAC systems which minimize the environmental impact of the cooling systems.
“Retail architecture now needs to consider the massive shift in the consumer mindset that has been brought about by the pandemic. We must design in a way that provides the consumers with a sense of safety, accessibility, reliability and transparency,” argues Bhavuk Jain.
Sync Design Studio is one of the architectural and design firms in India exploring strategies to deal with coronavirus. SuperMarche—a precedent for the store of the future has demonstrated the studio’s swift response and resilience in answering the consumer’s demands and needs.
Project Name : SuperMarche | Reimagining Gourmet Retail
Design Firm : Sync Design Studio
Architect: Bhavuk Jain, Sandeep Singh
Project Category: Interior Design
Project Location: Ludhiana, Punjab
Project Size: 5000 Sq. Ft
Project Status : Built
Photography Credits : Bhavuk Jain
Text Credits : Urvashi Vasishtha