STORE OF THE YEAR
Tiffany & Co.
SEE MORE IMAGES
of this project online.
New York City
Exquisite craftmanship and attention to detail result in
the famed jeweler’s new SoHo store being named Store of the Year
Design: Tiffany & Co. New York, NY
Celebrating its 175th anniversary, Tiffany & Co. returned to SoHo
in downtown Manhattan, the scene of the legendary jeweler’s very
first store, to open a stunning new store in the historic art district.
With a more urban look and feel than the company’s Fifth Avenue
flagship, the 9,000-square-foot store features elegant interiors
embellished with elements by local artists and artisans. Luxurious
materials abound, including mother-of-pearl, gold and silver leaf,
custom Aubusson tapestries, silk carpets, and Amazonite stone
(a reference to Tiffany Blue). Each individual selling space is ornamented with distinct architectural elements that reference the
venerable retailer’s history.
Chairs in the store’s private sales salon are upholstered in custom
Aubusson tapestries in the Tiffany Magnolia pattern. A feature wall
of magnolias was created in a verre eglomise technique, a process
in which the back side of glass is gilded. Magnolias are also woven
into the silk carpet.
In another salon, an illuminated ribbon ceiling art installation by
Marcus Tremonto references the white ribbon wrapped around the
famous Tiffany blue box. The same salon’s 14-foot-tall bookcase
contains a carefully curated, authentic collection of Tiffany product
prototypes, jeweler tools, and jewelry design sketches.
Magnolias make a number of appearances, drawn directly from
stained-glass magnolia patterns designed in leaded Favrile glass
by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the 1800s. Magnolias adorn both carpet and walls in the store’s engagement salon. In a process that
took three weeks to complete, the walls of the elliptical space
were finished in seamless hand-applied lacquer, then inset with
hundreds of mother-of-pearl magnolias made by artisan John
Opella. Hand-forged, white-gold screens by Michelle Oka Doner
continue the theme, framing the entrance to the room. Oka Doner
also hand-forged a chandelier for the store’s “statement jewelry”
room covered with white gold leaf, reminiscent of the magnolia
tree branches in Tiffany’s stained glass.
A dragonfly pattern, a nod to Tiffany & Co.’s tradition of incorporating flora and fauna into many of its jewelry, crystal, and metalwork creations, appears on backlit silver-leafed glass panels,
custom flooring, and furniture.
And in the gallery, panels engraved with Tiffany’s signature wheat-leaf pattern—from the entrance to the retailer’s Fifth Avenue
flagship—recognize the importance of nature as an inspiration of
Tiffany design. In addition to images of the original Tiffany & Co.
store and archival jewelry, artworks by local artists in a variety of
mediums hang on the gallery walls.
Finding Tiffany Blue
As a luxurious statement of the company’s signature color,
the statement-jewelry salon is clad in Amazonite stone.
Not only is the naturally occurring stone very rare, it also
varies widely in coloring and characteristics, according
to Anthony Robins, group vice president of global real
estate and strategic store development for Tiffany & Co.
“Sourcing the ideal material with our desired coloring
of Tiffany Blue was a great challenge,” Robins explains.
Finding the best pieces for the room required numerous
trips overseas to locate the stone and, ultimately, hand
selecting the most desirable pieces from three sources,
each with varying quantities. The stone pieces were then
shipped to one quarry where they were arranged by hand
to create the most compelling layout.
“This was a stressful installation. In the end there was only
one piece available for damage replacement,” Robins
notes. Fortunately the spare wasn’t needed.