We have already raised a toast to the Ultimate Temptation Necklace that was designed to mark Bulgari’s 130th anniversary. And Telegraph takes us inside Bulgari’s commemorative flagship store in Rome. The Italian fashion house had commissioned American architect Peter Marino to renovate the Via dei Condotti outlet. The current flagship store in one of the most fashionable street of Rome was opened way back in 1905 by Bulgari with the help of his two sons. Peter Marino had a tough time blending the eternal element of the Eternal City and the elegance of the jewelry brand to give a new look!
The exterior of the structure that was created in the 1930s by architect Florestano Di Fausto was restored without messing much with the existing features. However, the interior was worked upon to add modernist features while skillfully integrating the surrounding spaces into a “more homogenous and aesthetically pleasing ensemble”.
Even today the shoppers step inside from via dei Condotti into an elliptical vestibule. The well-designed geometric bronze and Pavonazzetto marble staircase leads to the new first floor of the store. Drawing inspiration by the floor of the Pantheon, the striking “Maglia Pantheon” (the Pantheon Mesh) features an intricate bronze lattice-work. An eight-pointed star motif that lies at the center of the Bulgari vestibules has also been added to this pattern.
Marino has conserved the original parquet floor and walnut display cases from the 1930s décor in the two galleries located either side of the entrance lobby. While the brides may turn to the right to pick from the bridal gallery, the high jewellery collection is housed in the gallery on the left.
Among the other iconic restoration features is Di Fausto’s promenade. The walkway topped by concrete-framed glass has been punctuated with openings lined with Breccia di Seravezza stone, reminiscent of the ancient green African marble used for the store’s facade. A gilded bronze sculpture at the end of the hall grabs the attention too.
Les Colonnes Revolutionnaires, by Belgian artist Johan Creten is also picked by Marino. It is described as a modern interpretation of Bernini’s twisted columns in St. Peter’s, thus evoking the splendour of ancient imperial Roman architecture.