Romesh Sapra

Rider’s Retreat

Designed by Sapras Architects, the flagship Harley Davidson store in India is a biker’s paradise. With a large metal frame work holding the bar & shield logo atop the main entrance with sections of glass curtain walls showcasing the motorcycles within, the Harley Davidson store is hard to miss. The clients wanted to create a bike store like never before. Keeping in mind the constraints by local authorities, the front end became the bike store while the workshop got extra spill over area in the rear end of the space.

Almost like a restoration project, the design infused new life in to a derelict factory shed. “For the Harley Davidson flagship store in Delhi, we were shown a brownfield site which came with a 50 odd year old derelict industrial shed complete with north light, crane cranks, heavy girders, trusses and the works! It sure was love at first site for us”, said Romesh Sparas. Spread across 21,000 sq ft, the store took a whopping 9 crores to make. Sapras Architects infused the rugged soul of the biker into every element of the store to represent the brand’s image.

To highlight the feel of the warehouse exposed brickwork, cladding was used in the entire facade. Raw corten steel, 40 feet freight containers, exposed concrete and metal sheets were used to infuse grit in the space. Large industrial fans and galvanised iron AC ducts were used for the 28 feet high shed ceilings. Propeller fans used as table bases, bison panel tops, a steel girder and a concrete reception able are some of the other elements that add to the rugged vibe.

Large spaces were maintained to display the bikes and other merchandise. A relaxing lounge for bikers completes was a welcome addition. The 28 feet high walls feature extensive Harley Davidson artwork along with sections of old bricks painted in lighter tones to offset the heavier and darker warehouse ceiling trusses. Like the practical materials of the bike themselves suitable for rough and tough use, the raw materials within the store were also coated with clear PU. Taking advantage of the inherent design, the concept evolved around the existing factory shed with all its raw metal trusses, roofing sheet, grit and grime. This has been completely reflected and achieved in the design without compromising on detailing, ambience and comfort.