Creating a virtual world through the poetic use of materials was Valerio Olgiati’s intention in designing this flagship store in the city of Miami for the French high-end fashion brand Céline.
Such virtuality has to do with the manipulation of the space, which the practice of the Swiss architect has distributed in two distinct areas connected by a pitched stairway of sculptural nature: an upper level for shoes, handbags, and ready-to-wear clothes; and a lower floor configured as a showroom, with pyramidal forms and pillars that suggest the idea of a canopy.
In order to create this introverted virtual world, much has been made to depend on the atmosphere produced by the extensive use of the dominant material: marble. From the pillars to the pedestals by way of the walls and floors, all the architectural elements of the shop are clad in a slightly polished stone that spreads all over like an abstract beige carpet. Plaques of very lightly veined sky-blue Brazilian marble are embedded in it, as in a mosaic of large pieces or a work of marquetry executed in stone. The same sheets clad walls and ceilings. The result is a geometric bichromie that is perceived as sophisticated but also a bit unsettling.