Patchi chocolate shop Nobu by Lautrefabrique Architects, Ryiadh – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

April 22nd, 2016 by retail design blog

Lautrefabrique Architects have designed Patchi shops for over ten years creating a stage for the concept of this Lebanese brand of ultra-high premium chocolates raised to the status of gems and presented in the manner of a jeweler. More than one hundred and forty boutiques around the world, a position of leader and an omnipresence in the Middle east make each new site a fresh challenge in luxury, elegance and exclusivity. The shop is located on King Fahad Avenue, the main thoroughfare of Ryiadh, capital of Saudi Arabia at the foot of the Nobu Hotel.

The principally glazed façade is brought alive by large illuminated sign boxes while on a black background, the backlit brand name is displayed in both alphabets. Completed in summer 2014, this boutique illustrates with a new configuration, the group’s desire to move upmarket, to replace the palette of whites and purity previously used and to offer its customers an even more luxurious setting further exploiting the metaphor of jewelry but enriching the decor with hitherto unused elements and materials like black marble, copper, textured wallpaper and even carpets. Each shop, while remaining exclusive offers none the less a warm atmosphere with a touch of baroque.

Clearly sequenced, the hundred and eighty square meters are subtly divided, as is often the case with Patchi stores, into separate universes: from an area with presentation boxes and countless other precious containers to the reception area, materialized by a copper desk with natural contours to the chocolate counter with its signature ebony walls. Finally, set back from the rest of the shop is an area dedicated to baby and wedding gifts … This part of the shop has been organized in the manner of a boudoir and is protected from view by a screen of copper strips, edged with a frieze of Patchi monograms. (A touch-screen tablet boasting a very inspiring image catalogue is also at customers’ disposal to help them make their choice)

Everything has been staged around the “actor-star” – chocolate: Round and rectangular niches, framed and brightly lit, feature on the walls. On the floor, lacquered pedestals of various sizes and heights resemble elegant hat boxes with their edges picked out in braid. In glass displays a multitude of transparent cones present the glory of every mouthwatering mouthful; treasured objects of desire preciously wrapped. Individually, in boxes or teeming in bowls, the chocolates are considered as pieces of jewelry: with calm refinement. The tour is in itself a privilege.

Throughout the store, effects of different materials and contrasts compete in the long mirror on the ceiling which creates a set of random reflections giving a pleasant impression of confusion. A series of black and copper pendant lights provide pleasing vertical lines while on the floor, carpets provide horizontal lines while contributing to warming the beige ceramic flooring.

Photography by Luc Boegly



























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