Opened in 1905 by Sotirio Bulgari, the House’s founder, the historic boutique on Via Condotti today remains the jeweler’s most emblematic showcase. Completely restored for the House’s 130th anniversary, the Bulgari commemorative store still occupies the ground floors of two palazzi built in the characteristic Roman architectural style, the Palazzo Maruscelli Lepri and the Palazzo Boffil. Blending elements of restoration and transformation, the re-fit orchestrated by architect, artist and collector Peter Marino is in keeping with the House: a link between past and present. An eclectic rebirth in which attention to detail and high-quality materials and Italian design have been harmoniously combined.
The character of the 1930s décor, such as the original parquet floor and walnut display cases, has been preserved in the two galleries located either side of the entrance lobby.
Di Fausto’s promenade, a walkway topped by concrete-framed glass has been restored with Marino interventions. The promenade has been punctuated with openings lined with Breccia di Seravezza stone, reminiscent of the ancient green African marble used for the store’s facade.
Marino’s geometric bronze and Pavonazzetto marble staircase leads to the new first floor of the store. He chose this marble because it was a popular choice for columns, statues and decorative flooring in ancient Rome. The striking “Maglia Pantheon” (the Pantheon Mesh), a bronze lattice-work screen, was inspired by the floor of the Pantheon. To this Marino has added the eight-pointed star motif that lies at the centre of the Bulgari vestibules.
Speaking of his collaboration with Bulgari, Peter Marino said, “Everything starts with an ‘ideas board’, I take vintage photographs and as much product as I can to understand what makes this brand different. Here we learned it was a lot about coloured stones and very glamorous women. And this is all about Rome. So we are showing Roman architecture.”