Since the renovation of Bvlgari’s historical Roman flagship in 2014, the new design concept by Peter Marino has been rolled out in key locations around the world. Sydney’s Castlereagh Street flagship, which officially opened its doors on the 29th of August, is the newest jewel in Bvlgari’s crown, striking a balance between bold and daring Roman architectural design and innovation that pushes the boundaries of traditional bricks and mortar retail.

The Castlereagh Street refurbishment highlights the importance of Australia within the global luxury marketplace. Further solidifying this point, a unique capsule collection has also been designed exclusively for the reopening by Bvlgari’s Creative Director Lucia Silvestri. The capsule collection will comprise of 11 pieces and combine the brand’s iconic Diva’s Dream and Serpenti collections with Sydney’s very own icons, the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach.

The Diva’s Dream Eleganza necklace, featured in the window showcase of the new boutique, is a breathtaking piece that offers a subtle nod to Sydney’s most iconic building– the Sydney Opera House. “The sails are an interpretation of the sign of our Diva Collection, a translation from Italy to Australia, from the Baths of Caracalla in Rome to the Opera House in Sydney,” says Lucia Silvestri, who designed the necklace. Taking inspiration from architect Jørn Oberg Utzon’s iconic and unmistakable white sails, the white gold Diva’s Dream Eleganza necklace features an unrivalled 43 ‘Bondi Blue’ sapphires of 11.38 carats, pavé-set diamonds, and one brilliant-cut diamond totaling 10.45 carats.

The necklace will also accompany 10 limited edition Serpenti python skin bags, designed with one of Australia’s most famous natural wonders in mind, Bondi Beach. The bold, glistening python skin used for the Serpenti bags takes inspiration from the shimmer of the Pacific Ocean, whilst the snake, an ancient symbol of wisdom and one of the most iconic Bvlgari motifs, is given new life through the original use of materials and colours employed in the design of this limited edition bag.

Innovation meets tradition in the newly designed boutique, with ancient marble and stones typical of Roman buildings expressed in a classic geometry open to modern interpretation. Looking at the store façade, Bvlgari’s iconic Black Grand Antique marble, cognisant of the original Via Condotti flagship, frame the doors of the building, and are accompanied by cream and saffron-coloured windows on either side.

Visitors are welcomed with Bois Jourdan marble at the entrance, as well as the Condotti eight-pointed star in red porphyry, which has become an iconic design element for the brand. Considered a universal symbol of balance, harmony and cosmic order, the eight lines are symbolic of the four cardinal points (north, south, east, west) and time (two solstices and two equinoxes). As per the legend, the star is symbolic of the medieval phrase Roma caput mundi, meaning, “All roads lead to Rome”. The original star is actually part of the flooring inside the historic Bvlgari Condotti flagship in Rome and is a unifying symbol found in all Bvlgari boutiques around the world.

Each room in the boutique makes use of a range of precious and tactile materials. In addition to the star-patterned white Travertino ‘Navona’ detail at the entrance, the boutique also displays a stunning walnut parquet that features a degrade effect. This detail simulates a luminous Italian ambience flooded by natural sunlight. A fine example of Italian craftsmanship, the degrade effect requires walnut wood that is carefully sourced and selected, then dried in direct sunlight in different periods, and finally composed onsite by skilled Italian artisans.

Large marble tiles, sourced by the famous Italian caves of Seravezza and Carrara, were also cut using the so-called book-technique, employed to ensure that the veins in the marbling were mirrored and matched perfectly with one another.

Entering the store is a discovery reminiscent of a walk in the city of Rome, kissed by the sunlight, with a central room that resembles the light-flooded Spanish steps. In addition to the main area, clients can also access other rooms where they can sit down to enjoy Bvlgari creations with a different level of privacy. Like a journey through Bvlgari’s history, each room has a special atmosphere, thanks to the different flooring materials and décor used in each space.

In the main area, an oval-shaped counter in light-bronzed galvanized iron, inspired by the renowned Italian architect Carlo Scarpa, is an invitation to browse the shop and explore some of Bvlgari’s most iconic collections. Above this space, a Murano crystal chandelier by Vistosi (Ecos, designed by the Venetian studio Renato Toso, Noti Massari e Associati), illuminates the sparkling products and overall atmosphere of the boutique. Jewellery is also on display on original Eros marble tables, designed by Angelo Mangiarotti. The design incorporates a gravity-based embedding between the tabletop and legs.

Further enriching the shopping experience, a truly personal touch is provided by the VIP area, where the most precious creations can be viewed with privacy, similar to the space Elizabeth Taylor enjoyed during the golden years of Italy’s Cinecittà. This space is surrounded by a Pantheon Mesh grid (Maglia Pantheon), a bronze latticework screen which draws inspiration from both the floor of the Roman Pantheon as well as Bvlgari’s iconic eight-pointed star motif.

Adorned with Imperial Saffron shantung silk, the Condotti windows on the walls of the boutique are a further reminder of the original Condotti flagship in Rome. Similar references to the brand’s heritage and legacy can be noticed throughout the Sydney flagship. The walls are also decorated with vintage images of famous clients and ambassadors of the brand.

The balance between ancient and new, tradition and innovation, which defines the Bvlgari spirit, is expressed throughout the store with décor and furniture. Reminiscent of the Italian designers of the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s, the space houses some furniture carefully selected. In order to best present the finest jewellery, Bvlgari has decided to refer to the best Italian design eras.

The beauty of shapes, the audacious combinations of materials and colours together with the excellence of Italian artisanship create a connection between the concept of the store and the trademarks of the brand, thus shaping the house of the brand just as Bulgari creates its jewels.
The refurbished Peter Marino-designed Sydney flagship is now one of six boutiques located in Australia, with the Chadstone boutique in Melbourne and the Pacific Fair boutique on the Gold Coast being the most recent additions to Bvlgari’s Australian portfolio.

Source: Bvlgari