Jaipur's Nila House aims to preserve traditional Indian craft
Handcrafted pieces from local artisans will be available to purchase in this lifestyle store in Jaipur, India, which features interiors developed by Bijoy Jain.
Offering a selection of handwoven and naturally dyed products, Nila House sets out to be a "repository of knowledge" on traditional Indian craft techniques.
The store – which includes an archive, workshops and library – is the brainchild of the Lady Bamford Foundation, which works to support disadvantaged communities throughout India.
"Nila House is not about retail, it's an experience – embracing what traditional craft means and how it can reflect the modern-day world," the store's director, Anuradha Singh, told Dezeen.
"It is a dynamic space for interactions, collaborations, education and so much more."
"My relationship with India goes back over forty years and in that time I have developed a deep love and appreciation for the country, its people and the richness of Indian handmade traditions," continued the charity's founder, Carole Bamford.
"Creative exchange and the sharing of ideas is at the heart of any thriving community and my hope is that Nila will encourage a lively conversation between artists, makers and designers from around the world."
The store takes over a 1940s residence in Jaipur that, after being left vacant for several years, had fallen into a state of disrepair.
Indian architect Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai transformed the building to feature a series of whitewashed spaces, each arranged around a central courtyard that's bordered by ornate marble columns.
At the time of its opening, the store decided to present an indigo-themed array of clothing and homeware – India was one of the earliest producers of the deep-blue pigment and is allegedly from where the colour takes its name.
The inaugural collection was also meant to be a subtle nod to the store's name, Nila, which means blue in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit.
Striped rugs, patterned plates, shirts and linens were presented in the main retail room, which features backlit shelves and display rails embedded in rough chunks of stone.
Fluted glass doors lead through to the textile archive and reading room, which is filled with arts and craft-related titles.
There are also a host of workshops that can be used by local creatives and Nila House's artists-in-residence, who will be encouraged to collaborate and produce pieces for the store.
A growing number of brands, architects and designers are making moves to safeguard India's design heritage.
Early last year saw IKEA work with two social enterprises to produce Innehållsrik – an 18-piece homeware collection that makes use of materials handcrafted by Indian artisans.
Photography is by Shine Bhola unless stated.