Commissioned to provide a new platform for centuries old Italian jewelry brand Bulgari within the prominent retail corner of 5th Avenue and 57th St, the 4,500 sq ft store with a new two story façade for the historic Crown Building provides a vibrant addition to the luxury fashion powerhouses characteristic of the retail district.
The façade is composed of a bronze motif - diagonal rhomboids and rosette corners - abstracted from an archival sketch for a Bulgari broche – that provides a level of transparency uncommon for the jewelry boutique typology, allowing ample daylight to pass through and at night, LED lights create changing patterns through the grillwork, extending the brand’s presence from the inside out.
Materiality, color, and historicism are the main design elements that that run throughout the store, defining the primary public browsing areas with five different types of intricately veined Italian marble and vibrant colors reminiscent of the Italian summer sun. Smaller, warm and intimate spaces transition to Italian walnut flooring and are used for VIP sales and private viewings. The furniture reflects Bulgari’s post war period for which the brand is well known, with several Osvaldo Borsani tables and Borsani chairs, and a pair of Gio Ponti bronze chandeliers.
The statement staircase is enclosed by a geometric bronze lattice work screen inspired by the floor of the Pantheon. This central artery of the boutique is intentionally transparent and open, above and below, and composed of Pavonazzetto marble with placement so meticulous as to feature a continually undulating stone pattern from top to bottom.
The store also features specific locations for the display of artwork further celebrating Bulgari’s iconic past, bringing moments of surprise into the boutique and revealing the muses of the brand owners. Two silkscreen prints of oversized gem’s by Andy Warhol and a commissioned work of Bulgari's perhaps best known client, Elizabeth Taylor, by Campagnolo & Biondo is positioned just above the stair.
Photos Credit Manolo Yllera