What is Commercial Design?
People often comment how the public seems to spend hours in shopping malls, libraries, hotels, or cafés either alone or with families and friends. This is due to the comfort aspect combined with the availability of resources at ease. Making people visit such places and then convincing them to stay is a huge part of commercial design in architecture. The architect or designer has to keep customer appeasement at the top of his list when mapping out the layout of the building and creating its facade. Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Commercial design in architecture is concerned with designing and planning the layout, appearance, and functionality of buildings and spaces used for commercial purposes, such as offices, retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses. The goal of commercial design is to create spaces that not only look good but also serve the specific needs of the business and its customers. For example, an office building design needs to have functional and ergonomic workspaces, while a restaurant needs to have a layout that maximizes efficiency in the kitchen and creates a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for diners.
The Subconscious Impact of Building Design on Customer Experience
I used to think it was a piece of cake to design such buildings. After all, what matters is on the inside, right? If the malls or hotels have the best service and products then people will naturally gravitate to them without needing fancy designs and the works. Boy, was I wrong!
Getting the people to come is another thing that depends entirely on marketing but the accessibility of the building, the location, the ambience, the amenities, etc., are actually the factors that people pay attention to on a subconscious level. This is why you return to some places hundreds of times in a year and some you never enter again because the design schema was off, the lifts didn’t work or the building seemed suffocating during rush hours.
This makes one realize again that it’s a complex process, and it requires a team of experts with different skills and expertise to get the job done right. Architects, interior designers, engineers, and contractors all play important roles in a successful commercial design project. But when everything comes together, the end result can be truly impressive. A well-designed commercial space can not only improve the customer experience but also enhance the overall productivity and profitability of the business.
Addressing the Lack of Consideration for Special Needs in Public Spaces in Pakistan
In commercial design, you have to be laser-focused on getting all the minor details perfected to the last dot. Long and winding corridors with no places to rest or refresh can tire out people quickly. Not to mention you have to think of inclusivity which means catering to people with special needs as well. Surprisingly, but not so much, most commercial buildings do not cater to all. There is a huge gap in the design which simply overlooks the needs of senior citizens or people with disabilities. This is particularly true for the region of Pakistan where people with special needs are rarely taken into consideration when designing public spaces.
Key Considerations in Commercial Design
To overcome these design faults and many more it is imperative that commercial designers keep the following considerations in mind:
The purpose of the space determines every other aspect to follow. Offices, retail, and parking, all are vastly different from each other and hence require different considerations. Additionally, leaving out or using any of the fundamentals incorrectly will endanger the entire project.
The layout will guide the organization and division of spaces. This includes the sizes of rooms to be allotted for different uses such as kitchens, restrooms, storage, shops, etc. How the spaces will connect with each other and how to manage the circulation area?
The layout will determine what the overall sellable area is going to be available to the client, and how aesthetically and functionally spaces connect with each other, which is going to affect the overall appeal of the project.
Attractive appearance is another factor that has to be unique and useful for the overall building. In this process, the client’s personal preferences are considered, together with the surroundings where the future commercial building will be located. How to make it more noticeable, and how its purpose should also complement the building’s outside style. For example, a modern commercial plaza design in Pakistan will stand out more in comparison to traditional minimalist facades.
Signage and Branding:
A crucial aspect of designing commercial spaces is to ensure the business’s branding and messaging are incorporated into the design. Having a properly curated space on the exterior of the building only increases the beauty of the commercial building’s design.
Energy Efficiency and Sustainability:
The sustainability of a project depends on designing an energy-efficient space that can be maintained long-term. For this reason, the space designed should be as environmentally friendly as possible. The routes of the ducts, plumbing, and electricity should be in accessible places to bring the overall cost of maintenance down.
Commercial designing is sought for marketability. The client’s first priority is to successfully sell the apartments and shops along with a design that distinguishes their place in this cutthroat market. And the earlier work of Primarc Studios demonstrates this same point.
According to the Bylaws:
And the most important point of all, making sure that the building has its design according to the bylaws set by the development authority. We all see “that other commercial builder” not following the bylaws, but leaving those open spaces in a functional way, only enhances the overall appeal of the building giving it much-needed breathing space.
The introduction of FAR (floor-to-area ratio) in Islamabad and Rawalpindi has been introduced, to mid to high-rise commercial buildings, which gives you a percentage of area based on your plot area. This has given the commercial design a breath of fresh air, in terms of design and sustainability opportunities.
Why Primarc Studio Stands Out Among Architecture Firms
In short, a successful commercial design takes all of these factors into account. But designing and implementing these factors can seem like a daunting task when you are relatively new in the business. A key concern of clients is to partner up with the right people for this task. Primarc Studio has the breadth and depth of experience in commercial design which enables clients to enjoy the process of embarking on new ventures. Their case study of Enigma Haus, located in Mumtaz City, Islamabad, is a testament to their skillset and efficiency in commercial designing. In addition to all the aspects above, Primarc Studio also provides commercial interior designing which most architecture firms forego.