Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel and Partners
Bronze, steel, wood and glass
The De Beers jewelry store opened on Old Bond Street in London is the first flagship store of the new overall image developed by Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel for the famous brand De Beers, founded in South Africa in 1888. The display of jewelry and diamonds is the guiding theme of the whole project, also approached in architectural terms, emphasizing the effects of light specific to glass and the abstract character of crystal. Glass, etched with perpendicular lines to form a woven effect, or completely transparent in continuous full-height panes or smaller sizes to create essential display cases, is the material deployed to develop the entire spatial wrapper in a sequence of overlaid layers capable of conveying the sensation of a unified environment, while also forming individual rooms along the store itinerary. The light ricochets through the various spaces that guarantee the desired levels of privacy for customers, enhancing the sparkle of the jewelry on display. The lightness of the glass parts forms a balance with the solidity and compact character of the finishing materials like ebony and stone. Ebony is also used for the linear boiseries and the custom furnishings.