On September 30th 2008, Bulgari has celebrated the opening of its new Paris flagship store.
Located at the corner of Rue Franšois 1er and Avenue George V, the new store will be the fourth location in Paris following the boutiques on Avenue Montaigne and Place Vend˘me at number 10 and 25. It will also be the largest Bulgari store in Europe with 1.500 square meters of retail space on two levels.
Inspired by the volumes and architecture of ancient palaces, the new Bulgari store uses all of the brand codes, reinterpreted with great finesse by the company's in-house architectural team. It embodies a new architectural concept, the "twin store," with two separate entrances for two worlds which subtly mingle inside through the clever arrangement of materials and soft colours.
The outside "rotunda" fašade features a sophisticated contemporary
design, spaced by diamond-shaped columns in gris pulpis marble. Facing
Rue Franšois 1er, shoppers will find a complete assortment of jewellery
and watches. On the Avenue George V side, glass display cases will showcase
the latest Bulgari accessories collections for men and women. An entrance
in the centre of the "rotunda" provides a link between the two spaces.
A wide copper staircase is concealed behind all this transparency and light. Its suspended ramps and glass side panels provide the staircase a floating appearance. With its luminous risers - a hallmark of the new architectural concept for Bulgari stores - it leads visitors towards the suspended display cases containing fine jewels from the High Jewellery collection.
The overall store design is alternated by panels of stone and oak treated
with encaustic, jewellery display cases and large panels of silk stretching
from floor to ceiling. Soft, warm colours mingle naturally such as bleached
oak and rich, glossy brown oak, Trani marble and encaustic finishes.
This architectural achievement has been realised by 250 craftsmen and workers from 35 companies. Altogether, they will have removed more than 550 tons of rubble, all of it recycled according to the environmental practises, and installed nearly 50 kilometres of cables. The 1,000-square-meter space will be fitted with 65 tons of fine marble.
The Bulgari Group is a major player on the global luxury market. In 2007, its sales totalled 1.091 billion euros. Bulgari stores are located on the most prestigious shopping areas around the world and the brand has a network of selective distributors. As of June 30, 2008, the 252 existing Bulgari boutiques included 155 directly owned by Bulgari. The Bulgari product portfolio ranges from jewellery and watches to accessories and fragrances. The Group is controlled by the Bulgari family, which owns approximately 52% of its capital, with the remaining 48% being traded on the Milan Stock Exchange.