Written by |
19 March 2020
Italian studio Vudafieri-Saverino Partners has designed the first American flagship store of Delvaux, the world's oldest luxury leather goods house: 650 square metres on Manhattan's elegant Upper East Side in the Sherry-Netherland building, an architectural jewel of the 1930s, set in the heart of Fifth Avenue.
Since 2012 Vudafieri-Saverino Partners has been responsible for designing the world concept of Delvaux stores, giving each boutique a narrative slant that differs according to the characteristics and culture of each city: in this case, the architects have created a space that combines Delvaux's ironic, eccentric interpretation of luxury with robust citations of Flemish design and decorative arts, paying tribute to the vibrant and multi-cultural energy of Manhattan.
The boutique is developed on two levels and the original architectural space along with the ancient balustrade of the internal staircase have been preserved and adapted the Delvaux boutique concept; interior design takes inspiration from the living room of Palais Stoclet, a Belgian symbol evoked by Calacatta Vagli marble, small geometric upholstery, hints of ebony; some of the distinctive elements within the Delvaux concept, such as the iconic curved boiserie, even form part of its context.
Entering the store from Fifth Avenue, a reproduction of the original revolving door leads into the world of Delvaux in the form of a spacious, scenic room: here the Gris des Ardennes marble floor - a further reminder of Belgium, of which the stone is typical - interacts with the imposing 5-metre-high mirror column; inside leather-cutting templates, period pieces from the Delvaux archive, are on display and vintage tables by Emiel Veranneiman, a true master of Belgian design, make their presence felt in the centre of the room.
The original staircase, its steps ironically covered in the colours of the Belgian flag, takes us to the upper floor where the balustrade overlooks a spectacular central chandelier in burnished brass with a diameter of over 3 metres, which once illuminated a Flemish church.
Spaces on the upper level become more intimate and private: the white curved boiserie leads to the VIP Room, an elegant room open to the public and boasting a unique view of Fifth Avenue and Central Park, and here the large windows dialogue with the velvet seats and the marble and ebony display panels; among the room’s distinctive features are the Versailles parquet floor, 18th century French Regency table that once belonged to financier George Jay Gould I and brought back to Manhattan by Delvaux, and Veranneman's elegant console table.
Maison's creations meet pieces of decorative art worthy of a museum collection, and welcomes New Yorkers discover Delvaux values: a combination of savoir-faire, timeless tradition and innovative spirit.
Photography is by Frank Oudeman.