Wednesday 15 Mar 2017
Studio Arthur Casas developed new concept stores for H. Stern that evokes Brazilian identity and the cosmopolitan design of the brand. Architecture complements the delicate craft of the jewelry by creating an evanescent atmosphere that refers to a jewel box.
On traditional Fifth Avenue the façade communicates the uniqueness of the brand amid innumerable stores and the urban frenzy. A grid design based on H. Stern’s logotype “S” creates a pattern of metal panels forming a scales texture with reflexes that change with the sunlight. The weathered golden tones are highlighted by the polished panels, bringing an elegant sobriety to the store. The aim is to highlight the façade in the urban scale without competing with the exhibited jewels. Three pillars within the façade restrained the openings to a generous entrance on one side, inviting customers to enter the warm interior, and a small showcase on the other, conceived as a jewel box itself.
The interior space takes organic shapes dominated by a dome that extends the height of the ceiling and erases the boundaries. Wooden panels- typical of Brazilian Modernism- enhance horizontal lines that dilute the space. Showcases and desks take curvilinear shapes, inviting customers to discover jewels that seem to float above cantilevered structures. As a tribute to mid-century American design, Milo Baughman chairs retake the colors of the architecture. Special attention was given to employ warm and neutral tones through complementary textures: wood, fabrics, leather and metal.
The lighting project, elaborated by l’Observatoire International, was particularly complex due to the need for highlighting the fine craft of the jewels both when exhibited and while tried by customers. The smooth velvety texture of the dome creates a homogeneous atmosphere whereas spotlights hierarchize the space, intercalating moments of discovery on scales that range from a gem to the entire architecture.
The profusion of details disappears behind the delicate assemblage of different elements, transforming a construction puzzle into a homogeneous composition. The result is a space that invites customers to lengthen their stay, a breath of calm on busy Fifth Avenue. Brazilian design is revealed by the strength of natural materials and free shapes, creating a sensorial experience to highlight the essential task: to seize the fine craft of a jewel.
Studio Arthur Casas