When architect Peter Marino was tasked with renewing the Bulgari flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue, he glanced to the luxury jewelry brand’s Roman origins. 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.
“Symbolically, it’s a way to enter into the Bvlgari world,” said Silvia Schwarzer, the brand’s chief architect. “So, we wanted to give that to the city of New York, but also have some elements specially designed by Peter Marino for the New York store.”
Inside, Peter Marino has combined Italian design culture with American innovation. Hand-placed marble and glass tesserae make up the bright white floor under jewelry cases inspired by Carlo Scarpa‘s Delfi Table.
Exceptional collection cases sit on marble-topped tables by Osvaldo Borsani and Angelo Mangiarotti, and large Carrera half-columns rise along the border of the store. Two grand Gio Ponti lusters, purchased by Bulgari from the hall of the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Rome, light the double-height space from above.
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“These are pieces of Italian design from the Dolce Vita in Rome,” said Schwarzer of Marino’s midcentury curation. “The mix is important because we always go back to our roots.”
“I’m a complete bronze freak,” admits Peter Marino, who is an enthusiastic collector of Extravagant and Renaissance bronzes. It’s a lust he shares with ancient Rome, where bronze was the element of selection. In Marino’s hands, it grew into the foundation for elaborate grillwork completely.
For the 4,500-square-foot interior, more bronze shades enclose the latest statement stairway up to the balustrade by the restored floor. Their matching geometry has extensive ancient origins: Its pattern is acquired from that on the floor of the Pantheon, an intervention Peter Marino had devised for the Rome and London stores.
Source: InteriorDesign and Architectural Digest