Amidst a street elevation of cluttered and unplanned development, a linear structure on a narrow strip of land, stands out with its clean and dynamic front facade, as a bold expression of Akij Ceramics. Architect Mohaimeen Islam designed the 2000sft display centre facing the east of the busy road of Kuril Bishwaroad, which profoundly portrays the exclusive products of the renowned brand and enables a walkthrough to experience the world of Ceramics.
The creative display centre is designed as such to exhibit the wider portfolio of products brought on by Akij Ceramics, a brand that has gradually achieved some heights in producing quality tiles and sanitary ware both for residential and commercial purposes. Keen to portray their development and allow the customers to truly understand and observe the variety of products through a boutique, the client approached the architect who was already experienced in designing a few other stores and an expo pavilion which highlighted the strength and capacity of Akij Ceramics in the consumer market. The architect transformed the old two-story building into a showroom, with an additional floor, to be avidly explored. The infrastructure does not fail to catch the eyes of the passersby. With its louvre strips within a framed aperture that is illuminated in the evening, the facade has an engaging sense of dynamism.
All three floors are connected through internal stairways in an attempt to allow the customers to continue their journey to the top floor which was retrofitted with steel-framed roofing.
The products are organized for display in a way for customers to have a mixed experience, to keep their interest and search alive by zoning the tiles section on the ground floors and top floor while keeping the sanitary wares in between. Moreover, a few specific types of display systems were chosen according to the product type, so that the customers get well oriented while browsing through. Definite approaches, such as recessed grouped displays were objectively done to make a more concentrated view of the products, in addition to sliding displays and individual displays, keeping the centre modulated and simultaneously highlighting the wide range of products that Akij Ceramics are developing. Furthermore, combined concept kiosks are placed on the eastern fronts so that people can have a quick view while just passing by. Maximized circulation was ensured through an uncluttered layout, with displays on sidewalls. Wooden textured floor tiling with basic ceilings were, purposefully, less highlighted to put the focus on the products, allowing customers undiverted attention.
The narrow space was efficiently designed to make it feel lighter by allowing natural light.
To complete the whole experience with a fine touch, luminaire design has been given particular attention to creating the proper ambience and eye-soothing lighting choices, based on the individual product’s type. The channelled eastern light, accompanied by consciously designed artificial lighting on all three floors, consequently, enhanced the nature of the Ceramics. The transparency allowed this showroom to not only seem larger but also experience the city life as well.
With the rising Ceramics industry in Bangladesh, Akij Ceramics is continuously developing better products for the customers and the small display centre has attempted to represent the effort through simplicity, elegance, and state-of-art fashion so that the users get pleasure and truly value their time being here.
Mohaimeen Islam is a practising Architect who graduated from BUET in 2012. After completing his MArch in Design & Make MArch, from the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London in 2016, Mohaimeen worked as an Associate Architect with VOLUMEZERO Ltd., later served as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture of BRAC University. He designed and constructed a bespoke prefabricated 2-story Pavilion for AKIJ Ceramics Ltd in Dhaka, which was awarded as the Best Pavilion Design 2019, by BCMEA. Mohaimeen is keen on digital fabrication technologies, to engage in advanced research with engineered timber, for its promise of sustainable Mass Timber Construction (MTC). He is currently teaching as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture of BUET in the Construction and Technologies Division. His field of interest includes Computational Design, Digital Fabrication & Experimentation through the application of Advanced Technologies and Innovative Material Practices.