By Natalie White | Photos by Gionata Xerra
The new Bulgari store designed by Peter Marino is a re-styling of the shop opened back in 1989 in one of the most strategic locations in Manhattan, on the corner of 5th Avenue and 57th Street, occupying very impressively 308 square meters of the outer façade of the Crown Building, a true landmark of New York.
Following and evolving the architectural elements of the house of Bulgari, and the flagship store in via Condotti in Rome, the Manhattan boutique draws on a timeless yet contemporary vision of Rome, combined with the integration of original details of the early 20th century.
The entrance door is the reproduction of the iconic Condotti door of 1930, completed with the hand crafted replica of the lantern hanging over the entrance of the Roman flagship store.
The Aura Proportion design of the portal, recalling the Baroque architecure of Borromini in Rome, features in all the windows of the shop.
On the exterior is a mesh inspired by the design of a heritage bracelet’s clasp from the 30s. The ‘rosetta’ motif, is reproduced on the facade in 1980 bronzed flowers, hand-made in Italy and completed with the same number of lights that can be used to create spectacular effects in countless combinations.
On the inside, the layout is reminiscent of Italian theatres. The mezzanine floor a balcony, like a typical theatre box, where shoppers can marvel at the colours and geometries of all architectural elements defining the space as well as the jewellery.
In the main entrance room, a star-patterned white Lasa marble mosaic on the floor welcomes the visitor and two oval shaped counters in light galvanized iron, inspired by the renowned Italian architect Carlo Scarpa, are an invitation to browse the shop and to explore Bulgari’s most iconic collections.
On top of them, two chandelier by the Italian architect Gio Ponti, enlighten the product and the atmosphere.
From the main area, the client can access more intimate and warm spaces, all echoing a special atmosphere, for an immersive and multifaceted Bulgari experience.
The Accessories area is a tribute to the 70’s and to the Italian designers of this vibrant decade, such as Scarpa and Mangiarotti. The VIP Area on the mezzanine floor evokes the charm of the Salottino Taylor, the lounging room at via Condotti in Rome, where the Hollywood actress spent many hours escaping from the paparazzi through a secret door of the Palazzo, leading her directly to Bulgari.
In this space, the atmosphere of the 1960s is recreated by vintage armchairs inspired by Osvaldo Borsani, coffee tables in onyx and rich carpets.
With this project an instant defining landmark in New York City's iconic shopping street, Bulgari has created a magical port transporting through the store's Condotti door, a throughway from the Eternal City to New York, the city that never sleeps.