Creating a strong presence in retail environments heavily concentrated with shops can be a challenge for brands. Especially so in a place like an airport, where distractions are plentiful. Renesa Architecture’s work for Opium, a premium eyewear brand in Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, is a prime example of how designers can effectively use colour and layout to achieve a standout space no matter the context.

With The Flip Flop, a pop-up shop from Opium, the Renesa team imagined a boutique that could tint reality just as eyewear does. Stark neon signage outside of the shop piques customer interest, inviting them in through an arched entrance, guided through the animated, open-plan design.

To execute that idea, they developed curved modular displays, repeated throughout the space for visual complexity. The grid-like displays are broken up by collapsible shelves, mirrors and lighting, together creating the illusion of recesses or volumes looming out from the walls. Inside, each pair of glasses is given its own mini-stage to stand on, spotlighted by a neon green glow.

‘The project is not merely about designing an optical store, it’s about creating an ambiance in which public space and private space are deconstructed – and placed in the same field – to maintain a strong visual character,’ explains Sanhay Arora, principal architect of Renesa. ‘The result is an eccentric visitor experience through the simple vision of colour blocking.’