Conversion of a fashion house into a flagship store for luxury watches — 12, Bvd. des Capucines, 75009 Paris, France — 2,000 m² — 04.2013 Bucherer AG, Lucerne, Switzerland
Boulevard of treasures
It was just a matter of time before Bucherer, the traditional Swiss watch and jewelry maker, would establish a foothold in Paris. The dream became reality at Boulevard Capucines 12, between Oper and Place Vendôme, also known as the golden triangle of upscale watchmaking.Over three floors, the architects and interior designers at blocher partners created the ideal environment for such brands as Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget and of course the house brand – Carl F. Bucherer. Since 2007, the Stuttgart-based architecture and design office has been working for the Swiss family-owned company and has been responsible – among other things – for the planning and design of a jewelery shop within a department store.
The rotunda-shaped, historic building is characterized by a classical façade and wood-paneled storefront on the ground floor. There, the repeated pattern of the “Bucherer-eight” (taken from the firm’s founding year, 1888) promises quality and exclusivity.
With a sweeping gesture, the main entrance presents itself at the intersection with Rue Scribe. The building, with wings opening out to the sides, allows a glimpse into the spacious entrance hall, flanked by the shops of prominent watch manufacturers as if on a boulevard. Botticino marble paves the way and decorates the historical cross supports. The interior designers made use of the existing column grid to create settings for individual brand identities. Bronzed brass surrounds the display windows and covers the back walls. So the family brand is always present, but each individual brand has room to make its own statement.
Signs of the times
The three floors of this luxury department store are stylistically connected through installations by English-Brazilian artist Valeria Nascimento: Hundreds of delicate porcelain blossoms hang from the ceiling, reflecting soft light. On each floor, they lead to a central, broad staircase of Botticini marble, backlit along the sides and accompanied by a gently curving, floor to ceiling balustrade. On three sides, the central staircase is encased in bronzed brass.
Closed to the outside, the interior shows the precisely lasered Bucherer pattern. This conveys a sense of lightness and transparency as do the windows which are set into the stairway hull and offer insights into the different levels. At ground floor and first floor, the areas of Bucherer diamonds are connected on the opaque outer shell of the staircase. Bronze frames also shape the back wall, into which fabric or golden marble is set, with recessed display cases. In front, showcases and tables of dark-stained oak invite the customer to a consultation and appraisal of gems. On the ground floor, a marble back wall with sophisticated displays complements the presentation. On the basement, clients can have a look at the firm’s history. A large memorial wall with a timeline of Bucherer’s history is embedded in the characteristic bronze frame on one of the retail floors.