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Midcentury Italian Design in Bulgari New York flagship by Peter MarinoSunday 22 July 2018
Midcentury Italian Design in Bulgari New York flagship by Peter Marino – Bulgari Reopens Fifth Avenue Flagship Store. Occupying a corner place in the iconic Crown Building, the store’s new crisscrossed and rosette-studded façade is a standout on the road, but the marble-trimmed, glass-encased entry is a replica of the brand’s flagship in Rome. And when architect Peter Marino was tasked with renewing the luxury brand Bulgari flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue, he glanced to the luxury jewelry brand’s Roman origins.
For the interior decoration, Peter Marino chose to mix Italian design tradition with American innovation. Hand-placed marble and glass tesserae make up the sparkling white floor under jewelry cases inspired by Carlo Scarpa’s Delfi Table (which was itself inspired by a Marcel Breuer design). Special collection cases sit on marble-topped tables by Osvaldo Borsani and Angelo Mangiarotti, and massive Carrera half-columns rise along the perimeter of the store. Two grand Gio Ponti chandeliers (c. 1960), bought by Bulgari from the ballroom of the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Rome, light the double-height space from above.
Marino’s mid-century design features pieces of Italian design from the Dolce Vita in Rome, respecting completely the mix from the inspiration origin.
The architect is already known often for his use of luxurious materials and fantastical retail spaces, to discuss designing within a visual heritage, the greats of Italian midcentury design, and the golden sunlight of Rome.
I wanted the New York store to express the Bulgari identity with strong Roman references and Roman ideas of color and form. When I think about the identity of Bulgari, I think about the southern Italian sun. I wanted to reflect this in the gold and apricot that you see in the afternoon in Rome. It is expressed in all of the textiles, furniture, walls. Bulgari is also very much a contemporary company and jeweler with a tandem view of looking back and supporting modern design at the same time.
Italian design heritage influenced the store’s design and the furniture chosen. In this case, the midcentury Italian era of design was so influential because it relates to the Bulgari identity. I wanted to introduce elements of Italian architectural modernism into the store as the mid-20th century was a period of Italian history that was very central to Bulgari’s success in high-fashion jewelry. It was a time when Rome with its local movie industry was a chic attraction for Hollywood’s stars such as Liz Taylor and Ava Gardner. Taylor was perhaps Bulgari’s most famous customer at that time.
What sets the New York store apart from that of the other Bulgari stores you worked on in Rome and London?
Comparing this New York store with the other Bulgari stores in Rome and London, Marino considers New York a younger and more modern city than either one of those. For both Rome and London, the exterior was landmarked, or listed as you call it—naturally, as an architect, he would like to think that he could improve an exterior, but to work within the limits and constraints of a landmarked building is its own architectural challenge, and the process has its own associated qualities of respecting a city’s heritage. Working in New York there was more freedom to develop the face of the brand, inside and out. The interior is more open, with a double height ceiling comprising the majority of the ground level that we created along with a private sales mezzanine in the rear of the “colonnade.”
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Source: Boca do Lobo Blog