Aviraté, meaning sensual in Sanskrit is a high-end women’s clothes label, whose flagship store was envisioned by Timex Garments two years ago.

Photography Waruna Gomis

“They wanted a boutique that would showcase elegant attire designed by the Aviraté team,” Archt Dipika Dharmadasa says, explaining the desing ethos behind the project. Having to work with the existing building at Maitland Crescent, she has ensured that contextual restraints were exploited to simultaneously highlight the power of the product, and emphasise its creativity.

Aviraté is set apart by its stark exterior, a façade of black and white glass accentuated by a gold coloured signage. Part of its façade comes alive as a screen, by night displaying the very latest of the Aviraté creations.

The customers are greeted by black, white and gold mannequins a top a black glass display at the entrance with a metallic chandelier that showers down upon them in gold. The warm timber floors compliments the black and white interior with a textured dull gold ceiling that weaves its way through the store binding the spaces together. Glimpse of a black and gold sculpture standing in a white pebbled courtyard, beckons the customers to explore further in to the store.

The store has dedicated display areas for an array of Aviraté products ranging from casual wear, evening wear, lingerie, accessories, shoes and bags.

Aviraté casual wear section features fluid stainless steel pipes juxtaposed against a high gloss black (Perstop) background that adorns the periphery of the room. The dresses on display are supplemented by accessories, displayed on glazed and black timber display units in contrast with the glossy off white (tiled) floors. Shoes, bags and lingerie section portray curvilinear silver colored shelves against a black back drop. Dipika says, “this arrangement showcases the luxurious variety well, skillfully crafted interiors were vital to meet the spatial requirements of the client without compromising on aesthetics”. The use of mirrors around the store is very artistic and atypical – allowing for optimum presence of the products on display.

Bringing a progressive profundity to the high-end retail experience, Aviraté combines exclusive custom made furniture, unexpected material selection and a bold choice of colour to create a high end shopping experience.

Creative manipulation of lighting that filters down on the display units is augmenting to the overall ambience the store has to offer. Illuminated translucent glass shelves are also used to display shoes and bags while black and white posters on the walls highlight the lingerie section.

Evening wear section, which is the most priced of the Aviraté collection, features an overhead plane of patterned glass that flanks a reclining mannequin at the centre of the room. Evening wear is displayed against textured glass panels lit from behind and enhanced by a black carpeted floor. The spacious trial rooms are supplemented by lounge chairs outside allowing those accompanying customers to wait in comfort, adjacent to the courtyard. The backdrop of the cashiers’ desk is lined with black silhouettes embossed on gold fabric, illuminated from top and framed by white walls. The shopping experience is completed by a visit to the Aviraté café. The café offers a variety of coffee, cakes and sandwiches in an intimate environment consisting of timber floors, black, white and gray interiors accentuated with a spark of lime green upholstery and graphics that adorn its walls.


Principle architect: Dipika Dharmadasa

Architectural Firm: DDN Design

Other Consultants

      Design Team: Rushdha Hamza / Shirin Hussain / Anam Abdul Azeez / Sudath Perera / Amanda Jegarajasingham

Square area of the project:

      Store and café: 1125+555 sqft

      Outdoor: 1475 sqft

      Service block: 2570 sqft

      Admin: 555 sqft

Date of Completion: December 2010

Project Period: Six months

Contractor: Buildmart

Client: Timex Garments