Classic Marble Company (CMC) is an international brand that spans across 40 countries and considers as living space innovators dealing with a range of natural marbles, exotic stones, granites, high pressure laminates, engineered marble and quartz. Their existing facility in Bhandup, Mumbai is a part of the industrial sector, they were desirous of revamping the brand image, the brief most obviously demanded elements that could effectively convey a message that the owner believes in what he sells.
Classic Marble Company’s (CMC) head office cum showroom has been designed to represent distinction with innovation. Breaking away from the clutter the showroom cum office building adds a spark to the immediate area with its façade telling the story of the brand even before anyone steps foot in it. The façade gives the first impression of a structure and reflects the identity of the building. This required for the façade to not only look different but also to endorse the company’s product. Kalinga Stone, CMC’s flagship brand for composites, was picked out for accomplishing this objective and the entire façade was clad with the marble.
Thin marble slabs were machined to 5 mm thickness in select areas, which allows the light to pass through
The next step was to further accentuate the beauty of the façade by adding to it an element of light. Interestingly, being a processed material which makes it stronger, the marble allowed for being machined into reduced thickness. Without making it dangerously fragile, but thin enough for making it translucent, the marble slabs were machined to 5 mm thickness in select areas. A technical innovation in external façades and a first of its kind in India, a CNC machine was employed to cut or engrave square patterns into the marble slab. The resulting opaque surface allows for light to pass through it, beautifully highlighting the delicate veins and elaborating the richness of the marble. In the daytime, the curtain filters the light through it, which falls inside the office interiors in a gorgeous mélange of colours and designs, and in the evenings, the LEDs behind the reliefs light up the façade to render an expression reminiscent of twinkling stars in a Milky Way.
Techlam Lounge and Store Interior
The façade design not only marks an identity, but also proposes the way for new façades to spring up. With these elements of modernism, innovation and endurance, it is an easy trend setter and proposes a wide usage in the corporate and luxury sector. This encourages them to use it wherever creativity is prime against affordability.
Where the interiors of the showroom are concerned, the architects conceptualized the space as a modern day museum with an understated cover that is effective enough to display the products like paintings in a museum. Their range of stones varied in colours, the architects chose neutral shades of grey and brown for the walls. The circulation was planned to create dark tunnels with a bright streak of flexi light that marks the outline of these tunnels and adjustable art light highlighting only the marbles on both sides.
When you design a showroom for a product so widely used in the construction industry, you have to maximize on its usage. The floors, table tops, counters, etc., are made using the in-house material. The walls used huge slabs of marble that reflect a character like that of a painting. It’s an instant suggestion of its potential. The mural at the entrance and reception table are the highlight of the interiors. Carved out of a single piece of raw block of quarry marble, they sit like two majestic pieces in the lobby, complemented with a modular light chandelier in a three-dimensional form hanging over the reception almost imitating a tree branch that hangs over the solid rock.
The reception carved out of a single boulder of marble & Mural wall conceptualized as a stone quarry under mining
The architects tried to keep the furniture minimal and the lighting scheme around is only to highlight the marble on walls and floor for the best. The architects also planned a cafe corner along a discussion area. It lends a space and time to the visitor to immerse themselves into the surrounding lifestyle. The punch of this area is the ‘gold stone’ cafe counter placed against a rough granite slab in an almost dark tunnel with tiny spotlights to highlight the bling of the gold only. Svelto Lounge is another highlight corner where the high pressure laminates have been used to create a three-dimensional feature. The play of light is an interesting detail where the surface undulations create dynamic patterns with slim linear profiles.
The showroom is a representative of trade that throws creative ideas for its inherent material and creative lighting.
Project: Classic Marble Company, Bhandup
Location: Bhandup Village, Bhandup, Mumbai
Architects: Drishti Architects and Interior Designers
Principal Architect: Sunil Gambani
Associate Architect: Misha Sharma
Material Used: Natural marble, Exotic Granite, Kalinga Stone, Marble, Techlam, Iris
Size: 473 sq m/5,089 sq ft
Commencement and Completion Date: 2016