Project Name: Bulgari Shanghai | Location: Shanghai, China | Year: 2021 | Client: Bulgari | Size and Programme: 274m2 retail façade
Founding Partner in charge: Jacob van Rijs
Partner: Fokke Moerel
Design Team: Jacob van Rijs, Fokke Moerel, Aser Gimenez Ortega, Simone Costa, Giovanni Nardi, Elien Deceuninck
Director MVRDV Asia: Steven Smit
MVRDV Asia Team: Ruochen Zhang, Carmen Xu
Images: © Bulgari, © Xia Zhi
Copyright: MVRDV Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries
Glass manufacture: MAGNA Glaskeramik® GmbH | Contractor: RICH HONOUR International Design Co., Ltd
A jade façade made from recycled champagne bottles: MVRDV completes Bulgari flagship store in Shanghai
Shanghai Plaza 66 – one of the largest and most popular shopping malls in Shanghai – is now the home of a new Bulgari flagship store at Shanghai’s Nanjing Road. The new store features a green, jade-like façade designed by MVRDV, made from brass and recycled champagne, beer, and other glass bottles. Inspired by a medley of influences, from the original Bulgari store in Rome to Shanghai’s unique Art Deco architecture, the project is innovative and sustainable, yet remains true to the heritage of both Bulgari and Shanghai.
Art Deco is a theme that wonderfully connects Shanghai with Bulgari. From the 1920s to 1940s, Shanghai housed one of the richest collections of Art Deco architecture in the world, from fashion to art. In the same years, Bulgari celebrated this era with its famous geometric diamond jewels.
The green panels are reminiscent of China's most precious jade stone and the gold-colored brass trim gives the facade a jewel-like appearance. The panels are made of the unique material MAGNA Glaskeramik®, which is characterized by a translucent finish. Only recycled green and translucent glass shards were used for the special color, which was developed at the customer's request in the MAGNA Glaskeramik® laboratory in Teutschenthal.
At night, background lighting behind the panels lets the facade shine conspicuously and underlines the unique structural quality of the glass. The project demonstrates the potential of sustainable recycled materials, also in luxury contexts, and takes a step towards the goal of MVRDV - the architects in charge - and Bulgari to build shop designs from 100% circular economy materials. At the same time, the background lighting is designed in such a way that the energy consumption of the facade is minimized and less than half the energy of a typical comparable installation is used. “Our collaboration with Bulgari has yielded some fascinating material experiments,” says MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs. “It’s a passion we share with them, albeit in different design disciplines. The Shanghai store encapsulates the value of these experiments: given the right treatment and detailing, leftover champagne and beer bottles, which would otherwise be thrown away, become a jewel for the city.”