A Classic!

The vintage Renaissance era comes alive in all its richness and glory at Eigerbuck Chocolatier in Hyderabad. All credit goes to Aamir & Hameeda for their not-so-routine design minds.

Vintage looking teak wood doors clad in distressed laminate in blue with beautifully-crafted handles in a gold hue are striking elements at the entrance. The old-world charm of the two lamp posts adds to the drama. Together, they intrigue and awe the visitor to take a step inside the chocolate boutique.

Architect Aamir Sharma of the famed Hyderabad-based design house Aamir & Hameeda has the perfect (and the strongest) recipe to win over his clients from the word go — you present them with a design idea they can’t resist. As simple as that! Having said that, it was surprising to note that his latest project, which we feature here — Eigerbuck Chocolatier — was initially met with some hesitance from the architect’s part when it was presented to him. “We got a call from Suman Gunti and Reshma Gunti last year and they wanted us to design a store for chocolates. We were hesitant at first to take it up, as we had never done up a store like that before — the closest we had ever got was a dry fruit store called Nutrixx,” says Aamir. But some projects simply are meant to be done… and with the objective of executing something radically different, Aamir and the Guntis joined hands.

With the intent of creating a space which was both striking, mind-boggling and totally out of the ordinary, Aamir presented the client with a design idea which strayed away from the contemporary, modern Indian or Zen interiors that are in vogue today. Inspired by his trips to Florence, Aamir proposed a space which embraced the classical, gothic and Victorian design theme. For Aamir and his team, venturing into this design spectrum was a first too. But all the knowledge that the architect had gathered from his travels to the region were put to good use.

A view of the three refrigerators which have been refurbished by the architect with the help of a renaissance graphic on vinyl. Note the Victorian printed tiles which were introduced in the centre to perk up the floor.

When Aamir visited the 3,000-square-foot space, with an even lesser carpet area, it was dark and dingy and had a low ceiling height. “So, we first did a flat ceiling and then used plaster mouldings all around for the detailing,” he explains. “The air conditioners were planned in sections and the ceiling was partitioned with rafters made from putrefied wood with dummy clamps holding them,” he adds. Once the ceiling was sorted, the flooring was tackled — simple ceramic tiles were chosen, but as they did not give the required effect, Victorian printed ceramic tiles were used in the centre of the boutique to add more depth to the space. To complement the flooring, the ceiling further was experimented with a vintage blue hue and all the lighting were hidden in the mouldings that defined the ceilings and walls — which were painted in an antique gold paint to further enhance the classical look.

Next, antique chandeliers, wall lights with sharp Victorian detailing and bespoke Baroque-style furniture were given their rightful places. As for the prime purpose of this boutique — the exquisite chocolate display — shelves on the walls with metal brackets were custom designed in-house. For the final touch, wall panelling with a special vintage scraped blue laminate and wallpapers emitting a Victorian style were incorporated.

A lush handmade carpet rests under the baby piano which holds a place of pride at the front of store. Its inclusion further strengthens the days of yore look.

The machines (read refrigerators) for the chocolate came through… and everything was set. But, Aamir felt the picture was not complete… something was still missing! “The three bulky and boring refrigerators were an eyesore, and after two sleepless nights, we decided to use graphics from the Renaissance era on these machines and all the pillars in the store — and the space changed dramatically. They looked amazing,” beams Aamir. To give the boutique a classier, upmarket and exclusive edge, an antique baby piano was brought in and placed close to the entrance. In the architect’s own words… “What came about after this entire exercise is a spectacular Baroque store with out-of-the-box styling — most definitely it sets Eigerbuck Chocolatier apart from the mundane rest…” I can’t agree more!

Project Eigerbuck Chocolatier
Client Suman Gunti and Reshma Gunti
Location Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana
Area 3,000 sq ft
Principal architect Aamir Sharma