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Pierre Marcolini has become a name synonymous with some of the finest chocolate in the world. The Belgian chocolatier founded Maison Pierre Marcolini in Brussels in 1995 and has now opened an array of boutique stores. Into were invited to collaborate with architects BETC Design on the creation of his fourth in Paris. The store is not sizeable, and the focus was on attention to detail. Both the client and architect favoured the use of LED light sources. In particular there was a strong emphasis from the initial brief on the importance of a high CRI (Colour Rendering Index), so that the product would be illuminated in as near to natural light as possible.

The way in which the solution was produced: In order to choose the most suitable LED engine for the project into hosted multiple demonstrations to the client and the architect. These involved a range of LED sources and the chocolatier’s products and packaging so as to recreate light effects in situ. The focus on the creation of a crisp white interior in collaboration with the architect and client meant it was important to select an engine with a high CRI. For the design of such a petite store into consciously chose to specify products from a small number of manufacturers for colour consistency.

Due to the pristine white interior designed by the architect the number of downlights in the lighting design was kept minimal for a relatively blank ceiling canvas. Instead, ceiling coffers frame the ceiling with a linear LED light source. For lighting onto product into designed bespoke integral light details that line the inner edge of all alcove shelving around the perimeter of the store. To ensure light sources would not be visible, measurements and calculations were made of each shelf. In total 11 separate styles of bespoke details were designed and drawn for the small boutique. The LED shelving details provide a clean, even light onto the chocolate. Free-standing displays also incorporate integral linear details at the base, but considerations were made of reflections onto the floor of the store.

The lighting scheme is on a Lutron dimming system. This is not usual for a retail environment, but the brief was that lighting needed to be capable of changing to suit events held within the store. Into attended the site towards the completion of the project to commission the lighting and ensure the client and architect were pleased with the resultant lighting designs. into translated all documentation into both French and English.

The result: The boutique store is a reflection of the Pierre Marcolini luxury chocolate brand and is lit entirely from LED sources with a high CRI. The detail in designing bespoke integral shelf lighting – different for each area depending on height and depth and product – ensures an even and clean distribution of lighting onto the chocolates.

Photography: Luc Boegly
Interior design by BETC Design
Lighting design by into lighting

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