Hend Almatrouk, Kuwait architecture, Studio Toggle

Studio Toggle-designed chocolate boutique in Kuwait mimics a cellular vault

Kuwaiti architecture and urban design firm Studio Toggle, founded by Hend Almatrouk and Gijo Paul George, was commissioned by homegrown Kuwaiti chocolatier, Bean2Bar to design their debut boutique in Arjan Square, a trendy dining destination in Salmiya city. The 33m2 space with a narrow frontage posed a significant challenge for the architects who wanted to create a bright and airy atmosphere with plenty of storage space and flexibility in terms of usage. To address this challenge, the architects designed a slender, cellular waffle vault along the length of the store that transformed into a sleek secondary enclosure.

This eliminated the need for a conventional ceiling and created an expansive illusion. The dimensions of the cells of the vault were based on the modular packaging unit used by the chocolatier and this led to re-imagining the space as an analogue modular screen with the cells acting as pixels.

Messages or patterns can be displayed on it by using a combination of empty cells or by changing the colours of the packaging unit. This opens up possibilities for the store to change its ambience in an interactive way to suit various occasions.

Read DesignMENA’s report on Hend Almatrouk winning the Young Architect of the Year award at the Middle East Architect Awards 2017