Thomas Goode – makers of fine china, silverware and glassware since 1827 – worked with designers Shed for their international expansion. There was much potential in a brand with two Royal Warrants and a rich history of designing for royalty around the world. The approach was to help Thomas Goode acknowledge the past whilst owning the future.
The store is set within the prestigious Oberoi Mumbai hotel, sitting alongside a museum which showcases archival pieces from the homes of British and Indian royalty. Shed took inspiration from the brand’s Victorian headquarters in Mayfair, London, to bring a piece of the brand’s heritage to India.
The original listed showroom in Mayfair is such a strong part of Thomas Goode’s story that it provided the key inspiration for Shed’s new concept direction. The grand room proportions and elevational compositions informed the treatment of new spaces, on the other side of the globe.
Horizontal banding is key to the new space. There are continuous retail datum heights, along with a high-level frieze of plaster moulding, orange crackle-glazed tiles and gold beading. This established rhythm is disrupted at key points, with dining tables with lavish table settings. These are placed in front of arched mirrors, doubling the impact and drama.
There is an interplay between traditional and contemporary, decoration and simplicity. The retail fixtures display the form of a traditional dresser, but are expressed with a minimal bronze metal framework and illuminated shelves. The wide drawers glide open to reveal fabric linings and precious objects for sale. Highlight display units are in UV-bonded glass.
Going against industry norms, Shed envisaged a dark and dramatic environment as the perfect backdrop to china and glassware. The deep blue polished plaster was developed with the aim of showcasing the product as seductively as possible.
Where the Mayfair showroom would have featured a chandelier, here the ceiling is punched into negative space and bathes in ultramarine blue illumination – inspired by the artworks of James Turrell.
Two ceramic elephants have stood at the entrance to Thomas Goode’s London showroom since Victorian times. They are one of the only showroom items that are not for sale. An exquisite detail of the elephant’s saddlecloth has been hand-tufted into an exclusive rug. Separate to the store is the Museum. It showcases some plates that Thomas Goode designed for Indian and British royalty, displayed for the first time, in a refined setting. Horizontal bands showcase the illustrious plates with a descriptor and a picture of their recipient. The museum allows the brand to communicate the depth of their history to a new generation.