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MVRDV reinvents marble and light permeating façade for Bulgari's flagship store in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia - Jun 14, 2018 - 03:35   4758 views

Accliamed Dutch firm MVRDV has completed a new flagship store for the global luxury brand Bulgari in Kuala Lumpur, the new store reinvents marble and light on its façade by reimagining the luxury brand’s heritage, and experiments with traditional materials.

The building is the first built store of MVRDV developed in the studio's facade designs for the luxury brand. Combining concrete and resin on the same material, the facade is permeated by gold light to create "a marble-veined façade" to mark Bulgari's signatory cornice from its via Condotti store with a world of exuberant materials.

The new store is located in the heart of the buzzing Bukit Bintang district, and one of a number of offerings for luxury goods in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Shopping Mall, the Bulgari flagship store has been updated with a striking concrete, resin and brass façade. 

"For over a century, Bulgari has set the pace for Italian style with a forward-looking, creative spirit that draws inspiration from the timeless beauty of Roman art, while giving it a distinctive contemporary touch," said MVRDV in its project description. 

The store is marked with an incredible depth and orange-coloured appearance, creating a sharp contrast in between other luxury stores along the street - by presenting itself as a 3D-printed envelope. 

"With this new façade, we emphasize the historic essence of the renowned Italian brand to the world, looking not only to the past but to the future as well," said Jacob van Rijs, co-founder of MVRDV. 

"Bulgari is a bold, glamorous, exuberant and undeniably Roman brand, so we interpreted these themes as key ingredients for an innovative façade."

MVRDV also developed a catalogue for Bulgari's international storefront façades, to apply a strategy that can be adopted for future stores, making them instantly recognisable and unique in any global location. 

MVRDV, best known for its material innovations on the buildings and façades in many projects, the studio's catalogue presents an approach offering endless possibilities that combine sophisticated detailing with high-quality materials.

"The glass of the façade is framed in brass and has an amber colour that fades towards the top of the building. This new product consists of glass fibre reinforced concrete with veins filled with golden resin for both interior and exterior facades. Light permeates through the veins in the facade, making it resemble marble," added the studio.

After preliminary design, MVRDV worked closely with a number of partners including a research team at TU Delft and Tensoforma who worked on façade production.

"The cornice of via Condotti is a set element used symmetrically in different locations over the world, and its iconic marble façade will be reinvented and reinterpreted by material experiments. In Kuala Lumpur, a concrete and resin façade is permeated with gold veins illuminated from the inside. By day, the store façade is organic whilst at night a more dramatic effect is reached."

Founded in 1993 in Rotterdam, MVRDV is led by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. The office works with more than 180 architects, designers, urbanists and other staff in Rotterdam, Shanghai and Paris.

MVRDV recently unveiled images for the transformation of Albania's communist-era pyramid into a new Culture Center. The studio's recent work for Bulgari also includes a designing of a vaulted room at Milan Design Week, the architects filled a vaulted room with Bvlgari’s iconic Serpenti bracelet reflected with thousands of honeycomb patterns and mirrors that create a kaleidoscope effect for visitors.

The studio is currently working on a scenic 5-km-long floating platform to create a new public landmark for the city of Den Helder in the Netherlands.  

Project facts

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Client: Bulgari

Programme: 103.4m2, façade design 

Budget: Undisclosed

Design: MVRDV- Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries

Concept Phase - Design Team: Jacob van Rijs, Fokke Moerel with Sanne van der Burgh, Aser Giménez Ortega, Elien Deceuninck, Rico van de Gevel and Junxiang Zhang

Design and Material Development Phase - Design Team: Jacob van Rijs, Fokke Moerel with Aser Giménez Ortega, Elien Deceuninck, Simone Costa, Frane Stancic, William de Ronde, Marek Nosek and Rico van de Gevel

Construction Phase - Design Team: Jacob van Rijs, Fokke Moerel with Aser Giménez Ortega, Simone Costa and Marek Nosek


Material Research: Delft University of Technology – Rob Nijsse, Frederic A. Veer, Telesilla Bristogianni, Faidra Oikonomopoulou, Lida Barou and Kees Baardolf 

Structural Research: ABT bv – E.H.J. ten Brincke, P.A. Bulsink, M.LW. van Veghel, E.A.M van den Broek

Engineering and construction: Tensoforma Trading s.r.l.- Stefano Bertino, Laura Finazzi, Ilenia Longa and Fabio Pettenati

Resin: Estro s.n.c – Marco SalvioniConcrete: CDF s.r.l – Jacopo Antonioli

Glass: Vetraria Bergamasca Tecnovetro s.r.l – Sonia Bonesi

Glass film: Euroline for 3M – Massimo Schetz

Diagrams: MVRDV

All images © Daria Scagliola / Edit: Stijn Brakkee

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