As you walk down the streets of Bukit Bintang, among many of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur’s extensive line of luxury boutiques is the Bulgari‘s flagship store. You may realise something is new, darker and edgier with the store. That’s because MVRDV has brought Rome’s rich culture and exuberance to the heart of Kuala Lumpur with his latest work with Bulgari.
This is not the first time that this award-winning international Dutch architecture firm has worked with Bulgari. In the recent Milan Design Week 2018, MVRDV designed and brought Bulgari’s iconic Serpenti bracelet to life with an installation that pays tribute to the brand’s historic emblem. The vision of the installation — an abstract universal experience — now being translated to the Bulgari’s flagship store in Kuala Lumpur.
The store façade is designed as a tribute to the Italian fine jewellery brand’s heritage and experiments with traditional materials. Stunning and stately, the storefront has been updated with striking concrete, resin, and brass façade, which represent the Bulgari’s creative spirit — drawing inspiration from the timeless beauty of Roman art while giving it a distinctive contemporary touch.
Bulgari‘s frame of the via Condotti door is a set element used asymmetrically in different locations over the world, whilst still abiding by the iconic marble façade. As there are many ways to reinvent and reinterpret it through material experiments, rough concrete with resin veins is chosen for Kuala Lumpur’s store. It holds two completely different looks — by day it looks organic yet striking, whilst at night a more dramatic effect emerges. Light permeates through the fissures on the facade; resembling marble.
A similar approach is used in the interior of the store, with glazed concrete — a reversal from day to night. Amber coloured brass is used to frame the glass inside the iconic via Condotti frame, that fades towards the top of the building. This new product consists of glass fibre reinforced concrete with fissures filled with golden resin for both interior and exterior facades.
The Kuala Lumpur storefront is the first in a series of MVRDV façade reinventions for Bulgari.