By unfollowing the stereotypical ice-cream parlour/ dessert shop design model, Puducherry based Architecture Interspace have created the city’s first ever dessert studio with a very innovative and contemporary design. Located in the French colonial town in the heart of Puducherry, formerly known as Pondicherry, Cream Affair is the newest hotspot for the youngsters of the town and also for tourists flocking from all over the world.
The design challenge was to expand the space within the existing shell. The original space was 10 feet x 13 feet. By introducing a mezzanine level in the double height space, the seating area was doubled to 20 feet x 26 feet. The other challenge was the timescale of the project – from conception to construction, it was completed in 12 days. This meant the design, materials and construction technology had to be adapted for a fast-tracked project.
The core idea of the design was to replicate the informal dessert enjoying experience at the beach. The design features a galleria leading up to the mezzanine cube seating area. The galleria along with the contemporary industrial finish for the interiors creates an ideal space for interaction. For ease of use and segregation of function, two riser heights are used in the galleria – one for mezzanine access and the other for seating. The galleria features movable ice cream trays and offers seating for groups across and along levels.
To replicate the bright colours of ice creams, a pastel colour palette comprising of blue, yellow and pink is used for the dessert studio. One hundred cubes rotating on a vertical axis combine to form Cream affair’s logo on one side and function as spaces for customer testimonials on other sides.
The lighting is designed to have minimum interference with the existing structure. Lighting conduits contain electrical wires inside uPVC pipes and are suspended from ceilings. The 2 inch LED fixtures are connected to 1 inch uPVC pipes using special reducers. And the bends in the electrical conduits are achieved using L-shaped specials.
The mezzanine floor and the galleria are formed of ferro cement concrete on grid rafters. A mild steel wire mesh acts as a handrail and partition between the ground level and mezzanine. The production area, serving station and hand wash are neatly tucked in below the mezzanine floor and galleria.
A full 6 feet x 6 feet glazed window offers street views from 3 feet height thereby offering privacy and views at eye level for customers and passer-by at the same time. The dessert studio has opened to highly positive reviews and the interior design of the studio is playing a critical role in bringing in new customers and retaining long time ones.
Project Details: Cream Affair
Area: 900 sq.ft (83.6 sq.m)
Project type: Dessert Studio
Location: Rue Romain Rolland, Pondicherry.
Design and Execution: Architecture_Interspace
Design team: Ar Madhini Prathaban, Ar Goutaman Prathaban
Photo Credits: Felix Emmanuel