In one of the swankiest lanes of Alkapuri, Vadodara, Fainy Thakor, a young architect, has lent her design sensibilities to a trendy bakery franchise, Mr. Puff. It is a fascinating example of how an intelligent design can aptly embellish a limited space of 500 sq ft.
In Mr. Puff, a commercial establishment from six decades ago, Fainy Thakor’s design demonstrates all these facets but also adds a differentiating character to the popular brand.
Other than an informal café seating, the requirement was to have a kitchen, cash counter and shelves to showcase retail products. All of these had to be done inside an area of 500 sq ft.
There are two focal points in the bakery – the brick lined wall with face murals and the product shelves. The brick textured wall adds a dash of red to an otherwise sober colour scheme. Also, the implicit correlation between a bakery and the earthiness of bricks brings a cosy ambience to the store. The four face murals with quirky expressions symbolise a youthful sense of abandon.
As the client’s brief included the need for the store to be interactive, there are a few product shelves offset against a blackboard. There is a tasting counter with the doodle “Don’t forget to grab a bite, it’s free!”
The specials of the month or any other products that need to be highlighted are stacked here.
Many design choices in the bakery have been executed with care and skill, so as to underplay the room size. For example, the tiny kitchen is neatly tucked away behind the cash counter. Thakor shares, “Behind the counter, there is a grey laminate partition with a ‘secret’ window at its centre. This window is only opened when an order needs to be passed on. Otherwise, it’s closed and looks like a plain partition.”
As “looking at a smaller space would make the overall space appear small”, she chose to conceal the kitchen skilfully behind a window decorated with vertical grooves.
The colour scheme, too, is in cognizance of the footage area. Grey, white and black with occasional shades of red and wood manifest a soothing effect. The flooring is a soft black kadappa stone that complements the decor without syphoning off attention from the important focal points.
Thakor graduated from college just three years ago, and her firm was established just a few months later. However, in a short span of time, she has done many residential and commercial projects. Although Mr. Puff was her first retail project, she managed to wrap it up in just 40 days.
Her joie de vivre is seen echoed in every element of this project in abundance.