Saturday, June 2, 2018

When Architects go shopping!

"When do you think the commercial street was formed? How old do you think it is?" Leena and I asked eachother as we juggled through the Saturday evening traffic of Commercial street. The weather was pleasant after some heavy afternoon rain and it seemed like all of Bangalore had come to the commercial street to take advantage of the weather and do some weekend shopping

Leena and I spent the last couple of days, in and around Commercial Street of Bangalore - selecting and picking tiles, bathroom and kitchen fittings for multiple clients. We went looking around 4-5 showrooms, checking the various options they had, talking about new materials, and finding new contacts in these showrooms who could possibly help us in the future. It was physically exhausting - but mentally satisfying. We saw it all, tiles that range from Rs.60/ sqft to Rs.900/sqft, decorated bathroom sinks of Rs.30,000 and the many many finishes that they could come in. We saw jacuzzis, automatic kitchen shutters and multiple unique fixtures for various uses. The last two days was spent in acquiring knowledge. 

This whole experience made me realize that this is one area within architecture that is cursed by the internet and technology. While I was familiar with a lot of these materials  through their websites, there was a lot that didn't get conveyed through the screen. It didn't show how engineered granite and quartz felt nothing like the natural stone,how the tiles looked different against different materials, how the spoons clattered when the wire baskets were opened or shut and how they didn't when a specific mat was kept under them. The colors looked different, the material felt different and a lot of the materials that wasn't updated on the website was shown to us. When we physically went in search of a specific tile of a specific colour, it showed us various other options that Google would never have shown us if we went searching for "mauve coloured tile" on it. 

We eventually never found out when the Commercial Street came into existence or how it came up ( Google lacked proper information on that as well), but personally, I found the answers to a lot of queries that was circulating in my head the past couple of weeks. 

Can't wait to get back to Commercial Street or other places and explore further ! What are your stories of Commercial street?

- Ananya

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