Store reconstruction and renovation, with interior construction on all floors — 45, Rue du Rhône, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland— 670 m² — 6.12.2018 — Bucherer AG, Lucerne

Elegant luxury

Flanked by Lake Geneva to the right and famous name boutiques to the left, the Bucherer store on the Rue du Rhône is like a grande dame in excellent company. Following the renovation and reconstruction of all floors, and the addition of a new façade, the store has a newly majestic bearing. For the first time, it also features the Bucherer Gallery concept with a new CPO area (for certified pre-owned watches). blocher partners has been working with Bucherer since 2010; among its projects are the planning and design of the new Bucherer store in Düsseldorf.

The impressive history of this Swiss watch and jewellery house is reflected in the century-old structure in downtown Geneva, as well as in the simple, superior elegance of the watches and jewellery presented in more than 670 square meters of retail space. One only has to step inside to experience the luxurious ambience of the store concept, which the interior designers have created elsewhere – and now for Bucherer.

At the heart of the design is the historical staircase that greets visitors at the door. Not only does the staircase link all six floors; it also represents the building’s remarkable character. Working closely with the Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments, the interior designers restored the staircase to its original grandeur: Once again, the natural stone gleams; the black metal railing and entry step reflect the early 19th-century style of French-speaking Switzerland – the period of the building’s construction. The designers also unblocked the windows behind the staircase, fitting them with historically appropriate muslin glass.

Sophisticated interior concept

Like a symphonic overture, individual areas unfold as the visitor approaches. Portals in light Botticino marble demarcate each level, adding a note of elegance. While the Rolex and watch departments are on the ground and first floor, the second floor above ground is dedicated exclusively to jewellery: diamonds and other romantic stones. The interior designers integrated a jewellery studio and repair workshop into the third floor.

While the countertops in the watch department are square, those in the jewellery department are rounded. An understated design, with tables of dark-stained oak, delicate brass mouldings and simple glass showcases, allow the watches and jewellery to take centre stage. Self-supporting walls of bronzed brass and marble catch the eye; some have been fitted with glass showcases for special presentations.

On the fourth floor, visitors enter the world's first Bucherer Gallery. Not only does it feature a strap bar with a selection of wristbands and Bucherer Blue Edition watches; it also includes a CPO department with a carefully curated selection of pre-owned watches, including rare timepieces and limited editions. The Bucherer Gallery has its own distinct character, beyond the store concept. Its interior promotes a rather easygoing sales atmosphere: Velvet lounge furniture, a spacious bar overlooking Lake Geneva and high sales counters convey a club-like character and invite customers to linger.

The sophisticated blocher partners interior design also unfolds to full effect in the jewellery department, where a flower installation by British-Brazilian artist Valeria Nascimento enhances the feminine atmosphere. VIP areas on each floor offer both privacy and an opportunity for exclusive consultation. Lounge furniture, matching the wall designs, makes for a special quality of stay. Large, double-wing windows provide a spectacular view of Lake Geneva, rounding off the exclusive shopping experience at Bucherer.

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