MVRDV has completed its second façade design for Bulgari, the luxury jewelry brand. Following the realization of a marble-veined elevation in Kuala Lumpur that opened in 2018, MVRDV has now designed a façade in Bangkok’s Iconsiam department store — one of the largest malls in Asia. ‘with this design, we bring a roman zest for life to Bangkok,’ says MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs. ‘we are working on several Bulgari stores simultaneously, always making sure that we use high-quality materials such as natural stone, tinted glass, copper, and gold as a basis. Though all the designs will be unique to their location, each will have a distinct Bulgari signature.’
Using Bulgari’s glamorous and timeless heritage as a starting point, MVRDV’s designs take inspiration from the portals and distinctive cornices on Bulgari’s very first store in Rome — located on Via Dei Condotti since 1905. The form of this cornice became the motif that MVRDV developed as a common thread across the façades, deployed in a variety of combinations that allowed MVRDV to experiment with asymmetric patterns and innovative materials.
For the Iconsiam store, an emphasis was placed on elegance with the cornice pattern façade completed in brass combined with different types of glass. This striking golden effect draws attention from visitors ascending the mall’s escalators, which end directly in front of the store. Meanwhile, the windows have varying colors and degrees of transparency, tailored to the functions behind them. At ground level, transparent glass forms shop windows, while on the two levels above opaque windows are strategically positioned to ensure privacy for those using the top-floor VIP lounge.
The first Bulgari flagship store with an MVRDV-designed façade opened in Kuala Lumpur in 2018. This design used a unique material: concrete crossed by gold-colored transparent resin veins. This material gives the appearance of marble, with the veins lighting up at night to provide a radically different look. Earlier in the same year, during Milan Design Week, MVRDV presented an installation for Bulgari which translated the well-known ‘Serpenti’ scale motif into a vaulted mirrored room.
Founding partner in charge: Jacob Van Rijs
Partner: Fokke Moerel
Design and material development team: Aser Giménez Ortega, Simone Costa
Construction phase team: Aser Giménez Ortega, Simone Costa
Concept design team: Aser Giménez Ortega, Elien Deceuninck, Rico Van De Gevel, Junxiang Zhang
Images © Ketsiree Wongwan