An exceptional location in Piazza di Spagna, Rome, and impressive dimensions totalling eight hundred square metres on two levels turn the new Dolce & Gabbana fashion house boutique.
Designed by Carbondale – into a contemporary and seductive interpretation of a luxurious gallery, where natural stone inside plays a defining role thanks to the prestige and uniqueness of the materials and their processing.
Fifteen marble materials
The sales outlet concept in the luxury segment was an ideal opportunity for creating an illusionary setting starting off from the varied input that the historic context itself – the surrounding area as such and the symbolic impact of the entire city – inspired. Consequently, the project encompasses echoes of Borromini and takes inspiration from the Vatican, all heretically placed at the service of garments and accessories. On passing through the entrance, visitors-customers are drawn towards the Grand Room, a setting twenty-two metres deep and six metres high; the ceiling is enclosed by two domes with a central skylight, each lined with rings of colourful, handmade stone mosaics. The walls of this space are in rough cement dotted with moiré silk panels covered with bright cardinal red glass. Yet the stone floor is the item that immediately catches our attention: fifteen different marbles laid geometrically with a wide range of colours: intense yellow, red, ivory and cream, quartz blue, mother of pearl white and blacks and intensely veined grey.
Artifice of perspective
A monumental marble staircase rises to the upper level: a gallery that further highlights the Baroque artifice by merging traditional elements – such as natural stone – and contemporary technology. The half vault cross-section of the gallery magically becomes whole thanks to its reflection in a mirror-wall that visually completes the figure; this illusionary effect is brought to a climax by the simulacrum of a fresco on the vault – a curved LED transmitting images inspired by an eighteenth-century ceiling painting by Paul Troger. The sumptuous selection of the marble and natural stone materials is juxtaposed at intervals with wood, brass, Murano glass and fabrics – a full expression of the architecture of luxury that is one of the main fields of action of the designers. Carbondale is an international studio with head offices in Paris. It was founded by American architect Eric Carlson, who has become internationally famous for the sales outlets designed for Louis Vuitton along the Champs Elysées in Paris.