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Set inside the Patkar Bungalow

The store was to represent Nicobar’s fresh, curious and contemporary Indian spirit.

A store that charms and engages

The brief called for a store that egged the customers to spend hours lingering around, conversing and engaging with the culture of the brand.

The wood joist ceiling

Studio LAB stripped down claddings and coverings to reveal the original, quaint bungalow.

The Travel Room

The room’s butter rum walls are balanced with a fresh white wood joist ceiling that was uncovered from the previous structure.

The quaint white shuttered windows

The Travel Room, to begin the journey with, has white shuttered windows – that look out onto traveller palms.

Whispers of India

Most of the store’s furniture and lighting were bespoke designs for a custom made Nicobar experience.

The womenswear

The womenswear zone echos a bouyont feel, through the combed white walls, rough earthy stone and woven cane lights.

An anchored aura

The walnut wood flooring is offset by a single midnight blue wall with a hand painted moon and a tiger.

“As if you were on fire from within, the moon lives in the lining of your skin”

“The moon has always been important to the Nicobar brand. The Neruda quote and painting phases of the moon immediately reminded me of the core values of Nicobar.”

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Workspace 18 May 2018

Studio LAB repurposes an old heritage bungalow in Bandra, to narrate Nicobar’s travel tales

Nicobar is a popular contemporary lifestyle brand that translates modern India’s culture and tropical theme, into commerce. Deciding to expand beyond their base in South Bombay, they turned to Studio LAB – to render the essence of Nicobar, into a tangible, built environment. CQ converses with Shonan Trehan, founder of Studio LAB to get the details.

Translating Nicobar

Set inside the Patkar Bungalow, a heritage precinct nestled in the heart of Bandra, the store was to represent Nicobar’s fresh, curious and contemporary Indian spirit. The locale, the ambiance of Bandra – a mix of old school charm and urban chic – and the atmosphere of the brand’s energy is reflected deeply in this space.

The brief called for a store that egged the customers to spend hours lingering around, conversing and engaging with the culture of the brand. To achieve such a space, the team of designers imagined each room to become a Nicobar-curated moment. Planning the spatial sequence as a home, every room had a distinct theme as well as product collection. “Each space has the Nicobar love for travel as the core of it’s feel. One can settle in and engage with the brand on different levels,” Shonan elaborates. 

A store that charms and engages

The brief called for a store that egged the customers to spend hours lingering around, conversing and engaging with the culture of the brand.

An old structure

Previously, collaborating with Vintage Garden for “A Wellness Sunday” at the heritage bungalow, Nicobar knew they had found their newest location-to-be. Although old and disheveled, the structure and the location was brimming with the charm and vibes that are fondly associated with Bandra. 

Set inside the Patkar Bungalow

The store was to represent Nicobar’s fresh, curious and contemporary Indian spirit.

“Each space has the Nicobar love for travel as the core of it’s feel. One can settle in and engage with the brand on different levels.”

Studio LAB not only restored the old structure, but also amplified and emphasised it. They stripped down claddings and coverings to reveal the original, quaint bungalow. The wood joist ceilings, shuttered windows and spatial volumes were rediscovered. 

The wood joist ceiling

Studio LAB stripped down claddings and coverings to reveal the original, quaint bungalow.

Materials that assembled

As Shonan explains, the material reasoning was rooted in the mood of Nicobar, portrayed in each room. The Travel Room, to begin the journey with, has white shuttered windows – that look out onto traveller palms. The room’s butter rum walls are balanced with a fresh white wood joist ceiling that was uncovered from the previous structure.

The Travel Room

The room’s butter rum walls are balanced with a fresh white wood joist ceiling that was uncovered from the previous structure.

The quaint white shuttered windows

The Travel Room, to begin the journey with, has white shuttered windows – that look out onto traveller palms.

The Homeware Room picks up warmer tones, reflecting the products it exhibits. The ensemble of cane baskets, cork tables, ladder displays and wooden display elements are harmonised by a brass light fixture sourced from Chor Bazaar. The light fixture also highlights the dark charcoal ceiling it stands against. The shelving for this section was built to resemble a potter’s shelving rack. The products were stocked in abundance, like pottery – making this the Potter’s Studio.

Whispers of India

Most of the store’s furniture and lighting were bespoke designs for a custom made Nicobar experience.

The clothing sections too reflect different themes for the womens and menswear segments. The womenswear zone echos a bouyont feel, through the combed white walls, rough earthy stone and woven cane lights.

The womenswear

The womenswear zone echos a bouyont feel, through the combed white walls, rough earthy stone and woven cane lights.

“The rough stone flooring, textured walls, tropical timber, rope, hints of brass, found furniture elements like travel trunks, cork, marble – a blend of tropical materials with a whisper of India.”

The menswear has an anchored aura to it. The walnut wood flooring is offset by a single midnight blue wall with a hand painted moon and a tiger. The room also has travel trunks and nautical brass lights, setting a dreamy, travel vibe. “The moon has always been important to the Nicobar brand. The Neruda quote – “As if you were on fire from within, the moon lives in the lining of your skin” –  and painting phases of the moon immediately reminded me of the core values of Nicobar,” Shonan goes on to tell us that the graphics were developed by Nicobar’s design team.

An anchored aura

The walnut wood flooring is offset by a single midnight blue wall with a hand painted moon and a tiger.

Most of the store’s furniture and lighting were bespoke designs for a custom made Nicobar experience – A writer’s desk to display stationery, a gift wrapping station, ladder textiles display racks. Some of the elements – like the rose wood cupboard and marble table – were sourced from Chor Bazaar, again leaning into the old-worldly, traveller theme.

“As if you were on fire from within, the moon lives in the lining of your skin”

“The moon has always been important to the Nicobar brand. The Neruda quote and painting phases of the moon immediately reminded me of the core values of Nicobar.”

“The rough stone flooring, textured walls, tropical timber, rope, hints of brass, found furniture elements like travel trunks, cork, marble – a blend of tropical materials with a whisper of India,” Shonan explains. With spots to lean against, corners to nestle into and a wide array of baubles, as Nicobar puts it, there’s something for everyone to do in this store.

Visit the store, here. Also check out more of Studio LAB’s language-architecture-body of work on their website.

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