Third Bulgari flagship façade by mvrdv
MVRDV completes the bright façade of Shanghai’s Bulgari flagship to celebrate its circular design strategy. The glass panels are made from recycled champagne bottles and housed in an Art Deco brass frame. The project is influenced by a variety of influences and precedents, including the motif of the original Bulgari store in Rome and the rich history of Art Deco, which shaped much of Shanghai. Recycled green glass suggests jade-like quality, a homage to the heritage of Chinese cities.
Watch the video above to see MVRDV’s process of recycling glass bottles to make sparkling façade.
Gold-colored brass trim enhances the jewelery-like effect of the façade
Image © Bvlgari | @ Bvlgari
Art Deco motif connecting Bulgari and Shanghai
Bulgari’s flagship façade, located at Shanghai Plaza 66, marks the third ongoing partnership between MVRDV (see here for details) and luxury Italian jewelery brands.As with the previous design, the Shanghai project a Visual motifs inspired by portals and cornice It passes through Via Condotti in Rome, Bulgari’s first original boutique, and employs a recognizable visual identity that now defines stores around the world.
A twist on the previous design, MVRDV applies this motif beyond the window frame. The façade in Shanghai has almost no windows. Instead, the cornice motif is transformed into a layered panel that forms an Art Deco-like pattern. Art Deco is a theme common to Shanghai and Bvlgari. The status of the Chinese city as an important port connecting the east and west in the early 20th century led to a rich tradition of this architectural style. The Bvlgari deco collection, on the other hand, characterized the jewelery at the same time.
At night, the backlight illuminates the panel, emphasizing the unique texture of the glass.
Reference to precious jade
To close this circle of inspiration, the façade takes on the importance of luxury jewelery with jade-like panels, China’s most precious stone. The result is a complex design with multiple layers of cross-cultural references. This is a jewelery-quality Art Deco architecture that combines the finest cultures of the East and the West. The golden brass trim gives the façade a jade jewel-like appearance.
The façade uses the same Art Deco cornice motif used throughout the MVRDV Bvlgari design.
MVRDV manufactured the Bvlgari Shanghai facade panel from compressed green glass. This is a unique material effect that creates a translucent finish. At night, the backlight behind the panel gives the façade a stunning glow, highlighting the unique texture of the glass. The glass is completely recycled and manufactured at the Magna factory in Teutschenthal, Germany, which specializes in glass processing.
This project has shown the potential of sustainable recycled materials in luxury situations and has taken a step towards MVRDV and Bvlgari’s goal of store design built using 100% circular economy materials. Backlights, on the other hand, are designed to minimize the energy footprint of the façade and use less than half the energy of a typical equivalent installation.
The façade takes on the importance of luxury jewelery with panels that reflect jade, China’s most precious stone.
Details of compressed green glass and its translucent finish
Project name: Bulgari Shanghai flagship
Architecture: MVRDV | @mvrdv
position: Shanghai Plaza 66, China
client: Bulgari | @ Bulgari
completion: December 2021
Photo: © Bulgari