Last weekend saw the completion – and unveiling – of one of our new projects: Starmark. It is a bookstore / lifestyle store in a nearby mall. This is their 4th store – all of which are located in Kolkata – and we were fortunate enough to get the project. As a lifelong bookstore junky, I was eager to take this work on and see what could be done. The space – even though in a mall – was quite interesting as it was located underneath the cineplex – giving us wildly varying ceiling heights throughout. The previous tenant had done the typical mall project, creating a flat ceiling throughout, painting it white and “dressing” the columns with posters. This was a shame, as the exterior windows were all covered and the interesting ceiling was hidden from view.

So we took a different approach. We wanted to – literally – turn the typical store inside out and upside down. A visit to the Starmark store at South City mall serves as our pushing point. Here they have created a mostly uniform white ceiling and have brown wood floors. Also they have wrapped the perimeter with shelves and graphics – leaving the middle open to views. We made the floor white, ceiling brown – graphics hang in the middle and more walls are added to block your ability to see the whole store in one shot. As you walk through, the vastness unfolds – revealing something new and interesting around every corner. All these devices had to occur without sacrificing the functional needs of the store or loosing their corporate brand along the way.

The project took almost 5 months from beginning to end, and I would say that 75% happy with the outcome (there are always some things that you hate or mistakes that you made or simply things you tried that didn’t work) – which is a pretty high percent for me.

Last Friday was the Grand Opening and I was excited to just stand there and watch as people came into the store and looked around. A few people even approached us and relayed how much they enjoyed the design. All the stress leading up to the opening and the work from the last 5 months disappeared, and it was pure pleasure knowing that I had finished. It feels good to have helped create something that will sit as this sort of object in the city – at least for a while – and acts as a marker of my presence here. “Brook was here. He did this.”