A temple of incense to invoke the senses
By Retail4Growth Bureau | November 21, 2022
Sugandh Lok, designed by 4Dimensions Retail Design, is a space where traditional temple art meets contemporary technology to craft a sensorially rich and immersive brand narrative - one that worships the art of incense making.
Sugandh Lok, as the name suggests, is a one-stop destination for incense. The store, located in the traditional Gandhi Bazaar market of Bangalore, has been designed by 4Dimensions Retail Design, as a spatial tribute to agarbathis. The idea essentially was to evoke the ambience of a temple or prayer hall and embellish it with aesthetic and immersive sensorial elements that would reflect the product and brand values.
Sugandh Lok itself was established in 1945 by the Sarathi family and boasts over 70 years of expertise in incense making with a presence in 45 countries. Sarathy International, the company manufacturing the quality agarbathis, has made a name for itself in the category of premium agarbathis, with a lab facility and factory based out of Bangalore. The group wanted to create a retail brand called ‘Sugandh Lok' for selling the premium agarbathis to the local market directly.
The retail space had to not only capture the essence of the premium product but also convey the group’s focus on preserving Indian culture and heritage. As Nagaraja R, Founder-Director - DESIGN, 4Dimensions Retail Design, says, speaking about the project, “The brief given to us was to create the ambience of a Hindu temple, which would resonate with all that the product stands for. So 4D took key elements of a Hindu temple that would reflect that ethos. Thus a temple facade, a front courtyard, the prayer space, and the ‘Garbha Gudi were the key architectural elements that inspired the store design. These elements were explored and given a contemporary touch to meet the brand objectives.”
Essentially, the store is a marriage of traditional temple art and contemporary technology to strike the right experiential chord.
The facade with ‘Sadarahalli’ granite portal, stone engraving and cornices that evoke the feel of a temple or a place of worship. The use of natural materials further conveys authenticity
A small courtyard with side windows and other elements that enhance the product aura and aim to intrigue the customers
LED light installation above the window display that simulates the agarbathi look, with brass floor inlays, wall carvings and bass bells
The Center space is tiled diagonally with bass inlays and furniture that reiterates antiquity
Ceiling design with a lit grid pattern in each niche, further bringing alive the temple ambience
The ‘Garbha Gudi’ conceived as the central space also features a large LED TV that conveys the brand story. Custom-made fragrance jars further enable customers to smell and experience the different types of agarbathi flavours offered.
As Nagaraja adds, “The Experience Room and Legacy Room have been added to complete the customer journey, wherein they can sit and enjoy the different fragrances while getting a detailed understanding of how the premium agarbathis are made with the right ingredients.” The Legacy Room takes the customer through a documented history of the brand right from its inception, while showcasing its products through the years.
The endorsement for the store design comes from the client himself - Sapthagiri S Boggaram, Owner, of Sugandhlok Agarbathis, who says, talking about the store and what it was meant to deliver, “We are a premium brand of agarbathis selling to 45 countries. We wanted to focus on the Indian market and reach our customers directly with a presence in traditional markets, hence the choice of Gandhi Bazaar in Bangalore as the store location. Essentially, we wanted a store that would reflect our product values and connect well with our customers. So the brief given to 4Dimensions was that the store space had to feel like a temple for agarbathis, with a lot of stonework, carvings, woodwork, etc - basically, an ethnic space that would reflect the rich Indian culture and tradition. And I must say 4D has brought it out in a beautiful manner. Customers are delighted with the flagship store and we now have plans to roll out multiple stores nationwide in other traditional markets as well.”