Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola has designed the first US flagship store for Italian watch brand Panerai in Miami's Design District, featuring a chandelier with shapes based on watch parts (+ slideshow).
The two-level, 2,200-square-foot (204 square metres) shop is outfitted with luxurious materials like marble and bronze and is located on the south-west corner of the district's Palm Court.
The rectangular ground floor is lined with striated wood paneling with illuminated niche display cases.
A sculptural chandelier of circles and gears runs the length of the space and was inspired by the inner workings of watches.
"In the boutique we have introduced some new features like the tailor made chandelier that evokes the precision mechanisms of a watch," said Urquiola. The designer also recently redesigned the New York showroom for the Italian furniture brand Cassina, for which she is art director.
Related story: Patricia Urquiola overhauls Cassina's New York showroom
Urquiola designed the furnishings for the Panerai store, including seating, tables, and service counters.
The staircase at the rear of the shop has the same gold finish as the chandelier, and the profile of the open tread stair also resembles the teeth of a gear.
A second floor viewing lounge is reserved for VIP customers and will also host private events including art exhibitions. A large wall clock looks like one of the company's watch faces.
A model boat is meant to evoke's the company's history as a supplier of naval instruments for the Italian military.
Long acquainted with the Florida city, Urquiola sees the boutique as the latest example of Miami's development as an international capital of design and culture.
"Miami is special to me because it is part of my family. As my sister and her family have been living there for more then 30 years," she said. "I see a new Miami now, a Miami 3.0, with the same values as before but with more attention to quality and internalization."
"The Design District is one of the better examples of this process, bound to the world of art and design, also by physical vicinity," Urquiloa added.
The Miami Design District is the brainchild of Craig Robins, co-founder of the Design Miami fair, who is developing the formerly neglected area into a neighbourhood dedicated to fashion, design, architecture and dining spaces.
"Fashion is a powerful industry and when you combine it with the other businesses we have, it fuels the ability to do more art and design," Robins told Dezeen in an interview featured in our latest book. "Artists like John Baldessari and Nate Lowman are doing buildings. We commissioned a prototype from Konstantin Grcic. We’re doing buildings with architects like Aranda\Lasch, Sou Fujimoto, Keenen Riley."
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