The chief architect Marine Bustros, founder of mbDesign, discusses the latest newly-designed branches and the reasoning behind the architecture.
Maison Noura has come a long way since inception, so what does the brand mean to you?
I have a strong emotional connection with Noura that dates back to my childhood. When I was a young girl, my family had a tradition of ordering food from Maison Noura for our traditional Sunday family lunch, so the name brings back countless fond memories.
How has your experience helped you shape the new concept stores?
The professional experience I gained when working for an interior design company was very helpful since I was involved in a diverse range of commercial projects that included both restaurants and hotels. It’s vital for architects working today to adopt a holistic approach and consider the entire experience rather than focus solely on the design aspect.
What were the main challenges and will the same design be used for all the outlets?
The main challenge was to renew the brand while keeping its identity. Maison Noura is one of the finest chocolate, pastry and catering establishments, with a 70-year history. We had to create a concept for a new boutique, while simultaneously respecting the traditional signature of the brand. My mission was to design a space that the older generation would find welcoming, while also giving it a younger feel. The shops will definitely have the same vibe, color palette and identity, but visitors will find a variation and individual twist in each one. Every store is different in terms of existing architecture and size, so the idea was to adapt the design to the space and create a new concept for each of them.
What sets the Noura designs apart from other brands?
In the initial stages, we researched extensively how to position the products most effectively and optimize the layout to give the customer the best overall experience. We also implemented a new ‘grab & go’ concept enabling customers to buy products on the go. This is proving particularly popular with the younger crowd. The Noura shops are welcoming spaces with a design that’s aesthetically pleasing without being pretentious. This combination ensures all visitors will feel relaxed and comfortable, whatever their demographic.
What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to focus on more commercial projects, whether restaurants, hotels or retail. As an interior designer, I’m not only interested in designing attractive spaces, but also learning about the entire infrastructure development behind a business. This valuable information helps me to produce the best design and customer experience for a client and will undoubtedly play a positive role in the business’s success.Add to Favorites